The idea of a Robocop statue in Detroit was funny at first, when it began as a tweet from the mayor David Bing. But when a web campaign launched an effort to make the statue a reality, I found it more sad than hilarious. The blog Super Gay Detroit breaks down the many reasons it is unnecessary and insulting to the city. (If it matters, I’m a huge fan of the movie.)
The fact is Detroit is one of America’s most economically devastated cities and could use a lot more than a Robocop statue. But people on the internet who mostly don’t live there thought it would be funny, so they’re getting it.
That will give Boing Boing and Twitter something to talk about for a day, but the people of Detroit will be staring at a statue of a movie character for the rest of their lives, reminded of how their fellow Americans are willing to mobilize and donate money on the internet when the cause is their own detached ironic amusement. Maybe I need a sense of humor. I Can Haz Cheesburger statues for every city!
The project was funded through Kickstarter, the same website that Ted Rall used to raise cash for the trip to Afghanistan. The Robocop project brought in double the money he did in a fraction of the time–I guess having the backing of an 80s reference is quite helpful. I was thinking of launching a campaign to build a statue of Rambo in Afghanistan. And maybe do some reporting while I’m there.”