The time has come: Group raises $50,000+ for Robocop statue in Detroit

posted at 10:12 pm on February 16, 2011 by Allahpundit

As I write this, they’ve got $54,000 and change pledged towards the statue with media buzz building and 38 more days of fundraising to go. They’re aiming for a seven-foot statue, but now that this semi-joke has gone national and the money’s rolling in, the sky’s literally the limit. The whole thing started as a goof on Twitter, until Detroit Mayor Dave Bing took it seriously enough to tweet a polite thanks-but-no-thanks, which naturally galvanized a movement. Hence the difference between Egypt and America, my friends: They use Twitter to overthrow a dictator, we use Twitter to build public shrines to campy movie cyborgs.

No lie: I find the whole endeavor oddly touching.

Jerry Paffendorf, who helped organize the campaign, acknowledges that RoboCop will not revive Detroit. But he hopes the project will not only create a tourist attraction, but also show that “crowd funding” can make a difference in a city where so much needs to be done. Additional money collected through March 26, when fund-raising is scheduled to end, could go toward other — perhaps more important — projects, he said.

“Sometimes it takes a RoboCop to show a different way to do things,” said Mr. Paffendorf, a 29-year-old Internet entrepreneur. “My hope is that it sets an example and puts this kind of funding on the map, so when people see big problems, they can think, ‘If crazy people raised $50,000 for a RoboCop statue, we can certainly raise more to take on something bigger.’”

The project’s merits have been debated on numerous local blogs and radio programs, and the effort has been criticized as wasting money and glorifying the fact that Detroit has long been Hollywood’s default example of urban decay. “This is what happens when irony runs amok,” read a headline on the Web site of Crain’s Detroit Business on Wednesday.

More from the AP, which quotes an organizer as saying, “I’m very positive that it’s gonna happen”:

Walley said he sees potential for the planned 7-foot sculpture in the city, hoping RoboCop would draw the curious and tourists, just as the Rocky Balboa likeness does in Philadelphia and the Fonzie statue known as “Bronze Fonz” does in Milwaukee.

Plus, it’s just a cool idea, said Walley, 35, who lives in the city.

“There’s definitely a pop icon, kitsch factor to it, for sure, but it’s definitely in the light-humorous end. It’s not funny in that it’s a joke on Detroit or anything like that,” he said, referencing fears the statue would play to the perception that Detroit is plagued by crime and violence.

I think it’s 99 percent kitschy joke and one percent earnest-jumpstart-for-urban-renewal, but a nationally famous Robocop statue would at least bring the number of reasons to visit Detroit up to, er, one. Besides, he’s the perfect spokesman for the city’s aspirations — a symbol of a return to order and hope for the future amid a dystopian landscape, with a little LOL tossed in. Here’s some musical accompaniment while you mull the idea; there’s a bit of profanity and graphic violence (natch), so please observe your official content warning. Exit question: Christie/Robocop 2012?


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Loved the movie when it first came out. Saw it again, recently, and, well, things change.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:14 PM

WTF

Electrongod on February 16, 2011 at 10:15 PM

They use Twitter to overthrow a dictator, we use Twitter to build public shrines to campy movie cyborgs.

scroomed ….

ted c on February 16, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Hence the difference between Egypt and America, my friends: They use Twitter to overthrow a dictator, we use Twitter to build public shrines to campy movie cyborgs.

It’s official: we’re doomed. And you find this touching? You really need to get out more.

conservative pilgrim on February 16, 2011 at 10:16 PM

but a nationally famous Robocop statue would at least bring the number of reasons to visit Detroit up to, er, one.

masterful snark.

ted c on February 16, 2011 at 10:16 PM

They’re aiming for a seven-foot statue,

As long as they don’t start bowing to it.

conservative pilgrim on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Okay, so I’m finally the first in a thread and it is about as asinine a topic as could be imagined. Oh well.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

ED-209 would be better.

Bishop on February 16, 2011 at 10:18 PM

How about a statue of “THE OMEGA MAN” instead.

Seems more appropriate for Detroit.

PappyD61 on February 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM

I’ll buy that for a dollar. The 45 mile/charge SUX.

Electrongod on February 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM

They use Twitter to overthrow a dictator, we use Twitter to build public shrines to campy movie cyborgs.

Well, if Sarah Palin can run the world from FaceBook…

*ducks*

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Oh yeah, Detroit needs an icon to remind folks that an evil corporation bought off the city and built machines to replace the unionized cops. Then the machines turned on them all! Oooooooooh!

cartooner on February 16, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Add a metal burqa and you’re done.

Al-Detroit-stan.

profitsbeard on February 16, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Besides, he’s the perfect spokesman for the city’s aspirations…

Detroit? Well, to make it official, they should have the government pay for it, and use the donations for bonuses or something.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 10:24 PM

The funds are being raised privately, without tax dollars.

So, what’s the big deal?

And, as I recall, Robo Cop 1 was filmed largely in part in Las Colinas, Texas.

BowHuntingTexas on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

As an expatriate of Detroit, I think it’s a beautiful idea. Never-mind that all of skyline shots in the original movie were of some other city (Dallas, if I’m not mistaken).

carl todd hand on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

This is a Seinfeldesque thread begging to get hijacked.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Why not, they’re still building the 6000 SUX

TheBigOldDog on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Seriously, could you just imagine what our country, as it is today, would look like if we went through the Great Depression??

Lay down and just die anyone???

BigWyo on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Okay, so I’m finally the first in a thread and it is about as asinine a topic as could be imagined. Oh well.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Well be glad you had something to say. Some of us, not so smart, just sayin!

bluemarlin on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Why not, they’re still building the 6000 SUX

TheBigOldDog on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Is that a GM model?

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Is that a GM model?

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

The 6000 SUX itself was based on a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

TheBigOldDog on February 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Okay, so I’m finally the first in a thread and it is about as asinine a topic as could be imagined. Oh well.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Well be glad you had something to say. Some of us, not so smart, just sayin!

bluemarlin on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Yeah, well, I didn’t watch the video either. ;)

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Watch the movie and you’ll notice that the Robocop Detroit, supposedly in a dystopian future, doesn’t look near as bad as the Detroit of 2011.

Perhaps the Robocop statue can be inspirational for the city, set a goal for them to aspire towards?

G M on February 16, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Yeah, well, I didn’t watch the video either. ;)

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:28 PM

I don`t care who you are, that is funny!

bluemarlin on February 16, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I think it’s 99 percent kitschy joke and one percent earnest-jumpstart-for-urban-renewal, but a nationally famous Robocop statue would at least bring the number of reasons to visit Detroit up to, er, one.

Exactly. As I said on a Facebook update on this story: it’s not as if people give a sh!t about Detroit for anything other than Robocop.

Vyce on February 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Is that a GM model?

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

The 6000 SUX itself was based on a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

TheBigOldDog on February 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Ouch. Not a good vintage.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Okay, so I’m finally the first in a thread and it is about as asinine a topic as could be imagined. Oh well.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Could be worse. I was finally first in a thread tonight. Happened to be the Bieber thread.

Vyce on February 16, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Why not, they’re still building the 6000 SUX

TheBigOldDog on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Is that a GM model?

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Well of course, the only car available to Americans. The 6000 number is the gas guzzling tax paid at purchase.

Electrongod on February 16, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Okay, so I’m finally the first in a thread and it is about as asinine a topic as could be imagined. Oh well.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Could be worse. I was finally first in a thread tonight. Happened to be the Bieber thread.

Vyce on February 16, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Well Robocop kicks Beiber’s azz. I’ve got that going for me!

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:35 PM

The beauty of economic freedom is that people can spend their money on whatever ridiculous crap they want.

Caiwyn on February 16, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Okay, so I’m finally the first in a thread and it is about as asinine a topic as could be imagined. Oh well.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Could be worse. I was finally first in a thread tonight. Happened to be the Bieber thread.

Vyce on February 16, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Well Robocop kicks Beiber’s azz. I’ve got that going for me!

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Baby. Baby. Baby. Oooohhh… *WHAP!*

Heh.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Funding a robocop statue will not feed a hungry child, nor a homeless woman under a bridge, nor an aimless commenter on a blog site called HotAir. Oh, the humanity.

TXUS on February 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Exit question: Christie/Robocop 2012?

If I were a Palinista, I’d claim that Christie would try to confiscate RoboCops, multi-fire automatic pistol and replace him as VP with someone who believes in Sharia Law.

tommylotto on February 16, 2011 at 10:50 PM

A Robocop statue? I’d buy that for a dollar! I hope they place it in front of Lee Iaccoca Elementary School.

Doughboy on February 16, 2011 at 10:56 PM

“Stay out of trouble” — Robo

John the Libertarian on February 16, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Exit question: Christie/Robocop 2012?

Throw in the Palin impersonator from CPAC as Secretary of State, and you’ve got a deal!

Kensington on February 16, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Why not, they’re still building the 6000 SUX

TheBigOldDog on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

It’s being marketed as the “Chevy Volt”.

G M on February 16, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Loved the movie when it first came out. Saw it again, recently, and, well, things change.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Things haven’t changed for me. With the possible exception of Spider-Man 2, IMHO RoboCop is the best comic book movie ever made.* Paul Verhoeven got incredible performances out of every actor involved (especially Miguel Ferrer and Kurtwood Smith). The lack of CGI made it more — if you will — human than efforts like Terminator 2, and while the satirical aspects are a bit dated (especially the shots at Nixon & Reagan), it’s interesting how prophetic it turned out to be in some respects: The proudly bulky, fuel-guzzling SUX predated the SUV, and while there is no console for the nuclear war game, in every other home with one there is a dystopic combat simulator. What hasn’t changed: Government hasn’t yet contracted private corporations for domestic law enforcement. The union disputes are 100% the public’s problem.

Also: Most action movies don’t have a scene that sincerely touches the heart. I’m not an easy cry, but I had to fight back tears when Robo/Murphy finds his abandoned home and remembers his long-gone family.

Thanks for the rap video, Allah.

*Yeah, I know there was no RoboCop comic book, but it’s that kind of movie.

L.N. Smithee on February 16, 2011 at 11:33 PM

With the possible exception of Spider-Man 2, IMHO RoboCop is the best comic book movie ever made.

It’s a fantastic movie. A deathless classic.

And then there were the sequels. Not so deathless. Oh, well.

This Michigan expat is looking forward to checking out the RoboCop statue during some future visit.

Gordon Winslow on February 17, 2011 at 12:05 AM

It’s the only signifigant mythological hero in the history of detroit that represents something good…

Why not build a statute of it.

Watch the movie and you’ll notice that the Robocop Detroit, supposedly in a dystopian future, doesn’t look near as bad as the Detroit of 2011.

Perhaps the Robocop statue can be inspirational for the city, set a goal for them to aspire towards?

G M on February 16, 2011 at 10:30 PM

That one’s funny because its true.

Jones Zemkophill on February 17, 2011 at 12:35 AM

Things haven’t changed for me. With the possible exception of Spider-Man 2, IMHO RoboCop is the best comic book movie ever made.

L.N. Smithee on February 16, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Nolan’s Batman movies are better than Spider-Man 2, but you’re right about Robocop. It works on so many levels. As a corporate satire. As an action flick. As a revenge movie. And it’s also one of the most quotable films I’ve ever seen.

About the only complaint I have is that I wish Peter Weller outside of the suit was given more screentime and character development. That scene you mentioned in his house is effective, but it would’ve been more so had he not seemed so robotic(pun intended) at the beginning of the movie.

Doughboy on February 17, 2011 at 12:37 AM

My only question is whether the liberals can attach to this, perhaps they can convince someone that a dildo or something would give it the right vibe or something. Kind of like they do with everything that goes up in the public square. 9/11 memorials for example.

astonerii on February 17, 2011 at 2:13 AM

Having pledges for $54k and actually getting $54k are two different things.

ButterflyDragon on February 17, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Loved the movie when it first came out. Saw it again, recently, and, well, things change.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:14 PM

You’re right. It’s not entertainment anymore…it’s a documentary.

NavyMustang on February 17, 2011 at 3:13 AM

much of Robocop was filmed in Dallas. Not Detroit. DD

Darvin Dowdy on February 17, 2011 at 7:25 AM

Ouch. Not a good vintage.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM

The Cutlass Supreme became one the best selling cars in America at the time selling over 1M units. It was available with a 455 4-speed, 405 or a 350

TheBigOldDog on February 17, 2011 at 7:30 AM

As an expatriate of Detroit, I think it’s a beautiful idea. Never-mind that all of skyline shots in the original movie were of some other city (Dallas, if I’m not mistaken).

carl todd hand on February 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

At least the first movie was filmed in Dallas. The OCP building was Dallas City hall with another 100 stories matted to it. When things went completely to crap, it was filmed on Elm street just east of downtown (they didn’t have to dress that set much) and Reunion tower is in the background many times.

At the time, I was asking why the film makers thought of Dallas when searching for a futuristic Detroit, now days, not so much.

cozmo on February 17, 2011 at 7:56 AM

Rather than investing money in another public art project (just what is the ROI for that kind of thing?), perhaps the city’s leaders should start seriously pursuing that “Delta City” concept being floated by Omni Consumer Products….

ironman on February 17, 2011 at 9:13 AM

The downtown scenes in Robo Cop were filmed in downtown Dallas because of all of its mirrored futuristic-looking buildings.

parteagirl on February 17, 2011 at 9:28 AM

What’s da stat dooooin’ in Shi-cah-go?…. it was filmed in Dallas…..

CynicalOptimist on February 17, 2011 at 9:33 AM

dude Robocop was filmed in dallas not detroit.

snoopicus on February 17, 2011 at 10:36 AM

The good people of Sunbury, Ohio, have been trying to raise money to erect an equestrian statue of the Civil War general William S. Rosecrans, who was born there. Some think him the greatest general of that war. (I certainly do.) But he’s the only Major General of the Civil War who doesn’t have a statue erected of him anywhere. Anyone wanting to contribute to this worthy cause should look at
http://rosecransheadquarters.org/Statue/Campaign.htm

NNtrancer on February 17, 2011 at 1:14 PM

It’s a fantastic movie. A deathless classic.

And then there were the sequels. Not so deathless. Oh, well.

Gordon Winslow on February 17, 2011 at 12:05 AM

RoboCop 2 was horrendous (I didn’t even bother with RoboCop 3 once I knew Peter Weller passed on it, and that Robo flies in a climactic scene). Never before in my life did I want to see a prepubescent boy shot in the head before the scene when the pint-sized punk started torturing Murphy. I hate the movie for making me feel that way, and wonder how someone could have conceived of it.

It was directed by the late Irvin Kershner, who also directed The Empire Strikes Back. Kershner IMHO presided over the best and the worst Sci-Fi sequels ever. In Irvin’s defense, however, the original script by comic book writer Frank Miller was panned by studio execs (according to Wikipedia sources), and the disjointed plot was cobbled together on a deadline.

L.N. Smithee on February 18, 2011 at 6:37 AM