Yesterday we payed tribute to those films from 2010 that made us laugh, those that made us cry and those that bored us to tears. But I feel that with all the hype surrounding these movies from the present, we've forgotten great films from the past. Films from, say, 1987. Mayor Dave Bing, I'm looking in your direction.
Mayor Bing is the mayor of Detroit, Michigan. For those of you not familiar with Detroit, it's probably because it's in Michigan. I'll give you a quick background: The city was founded by the French in 1701. They named the city after the nearby river called the "Rivière du Détroit," which translates, roughly, to "lions who will never qualify for the Super Bowl." Since that time Detroit has grown and is now known for their auto industry, Motown and, of course, Robocop.
I've mentioned Robocop on this site before, but I feel like I should state again how much of an influence it had on me as a child. I watched this movie a lot. This movie is the reason that catchphrases like "I'd buy that for a dollar!" "You have 20 seconds to comply." and "Drop it! Dead or alive, you're coming with me" have found their way into my everyday vocabulary. This movie is also the reason why I never trusted Kurtwood Smith when he was on That 70's Show. I owned the toys, I played the video game, I wanted to be Robocop when I grew up.
However, sadly, I didn't end up becoming a cop, or a robot for that matter. Though my lovely wife is probably happy about both of those failures. She would worry about me getting hurt or getting rusty. Nevertheless, Detroit should be proud that the movie Robocop was set in the Motor City. Instead, the leadership has turned a blind eye to their part man, part machine, all cop heritage.
Here's what I'm getting at. On February 7th, 2011, a man tweeted Mayor Dave Bing saying, "Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky & Robocop would kick Rocky's butt. He's a GREAT ambassador for Detroit." Mayor Bing tweeted back, "There are not any plans to erect a statue of Robocop." The mere fact that the mayor responded to this idea at all created a flurry of activity on the web.
The tweets led to a Facebook page, created by John Leonard. This pushed the idea even further. They created a website, started to raise funds, got media attention (I learned about this story from a news article that, alert reader, Brent sent in), they picked out a proposed location for the Robocop statue and they've even contacted sculptors about the best way to cast Peter Weller's iconic Detroiter.
And the rest is history. Or it will be. Their goal was to raise $50,000 to fund the building of this statue. As of the time of this post, they've raised almost $63,000. It's apparent the people of Detroit (and the United States of America) wants a statue of Robocop. Your move, Mayor Bing.
You have 25 days to comply.
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