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Friday, February 18, 2011

Detroit to get geeks-financed statue of RoboCop

I guess if Philadelphia can have a Rocky Balboa statue, and if New York City has one of Ralph Kramden and if Milwaukee has the Fonz as a landmark, then Detroit should get a lasting monument to its own... hero?

(Oh yeah, I almost forgot : nearby Mount Airy - the model for Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show - has that life-sized bronze statue of Andy and Opie going fishing! So I guess the precedent has already been set for fictional lawmen. Law-cyborgs. Whatever...)

Earlier this week a flood of support coalesced across Facebook and Twitter to erect in Detroit a statue of... RoboCop. The titular "part man, part machine, all cop" hero of the 1987 sci-fi action smash-hit movie. Somebody forwarded the idea to Detroit mayor Dave Bing, who responded with "There are not any plans to erect a statue to Robocop. Thank you for the suggestion."

That's when the wheels of justice, ummm... Motor City, errrr... fandom kicked into overdrive. Before you can say "interface spike" a fundraising effort was in high gear, determined to raise $50,000 to finance the statue of RoboCop.

A few days ago, with $25,000 left to accrue for the project, a donor kicked in the last half. The RoboCop statue has enough money to become a reality.

When that will happen is another story. Word on the streets of Old Detroit is that Mayor Bing won't give the clearance for the statue to be placed. One of the reasons why some don't want it is how RoboCop was a movie that played off of Detroit's hard times and urban blight during the Eighties (something which hasn't drastically improved). A RoboCop statue, opponents claim, would be a monument to the Detroit that many in that city are trying to escape from being. But the statue might well wind up on private property, where it is hope that it will become a landmark regardless.

Ehhhh, interesting. I wonder what Bixby Snyder has to say about it:

"...FOR A DOLLAR!!!"

And now there's news that a reboot of RoboCop is underway. Hmmmm... not too crazy about that. The first movie was excellent and RoboCop 2 is better than its reputation. I think there should be a serious RoboCop 3 (forget the one that was, what, direct to video?) and put lots of Bixby Snyder in it. Or, have a full-length It's Not My Problem movie. Surely I can't be the only one who would watch that... right?!?

(Or make me really happy and put a statue of Snake Plissken up in Central Park.)


Anonymous said...

With the exception of the mention of a possible remake, pretty cool story there Chris. When I first saw RoboCop my first thought was - no way an American city would ever, ever be...That. Effing. BAD! Alas, current Detroit may actually be worse than depicted in the movie. If you have not visited Detroit yourself....don't bother, you are not missing anything!

The reason the Mayor of Detroitistan (ooops, did I say that out loud? ) doesn't want a RoboCop statue is because his city needs the real thing. Now.

Thanks for posting this story.