Recent struggles of Michigan State basketball notwithstanding, the city
of Detroit is on a hot streak. Eminem's two-minute Chrysler commercial
was the water cooler moment of this year's Super Bowl. At the age of
85, legendary local crime novelist Elmore
Leonard is the producer of a breakout basic cable hit. GM's hourly
workers are reportedly set to receive bonus
checks of more than $3000.
Yes, it's a good time to be in
the Motor City. But are local leaders losing touch with the city's rich
cultural heritage? Consider Mayor Dave Bing's refusal
to engage Twitter users who suggested the city's new urban renewal
project should include a statue of RoboCop, the fictional, futuristic
Detroit beat cop who battled street crime and evil industrialists in
three films of steadily declining quality.
Bing, an NBA Hall of
Famer, might not realize the impact RoboCop had on ordinary Michiganders
from 1987 to 1993. The movies were filmed in Texas, but tapped into the
fear--universal at the time--that shady European conglomerates wanted
to bankrupt the town, tear it down, and build a gated community called
Delta City. RoboCop stopped this from happening on three separate
occasions. Without his efforts, the world would have been deprived of
Barry Sanders, Eminem, and the 119-loss Tigers of 2003. That he did this
on a city paycheck, turning down multiple chances to start his own security
consulting firm, is even more commendable. Considering Rocky Balboa got a
statue in Philadelphia for losing a boxing match, why shouldn't Peter
Weller be immortalized in bronze and iron for saving a major American
city while also participating in valuable cyborg research and
The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now. Our team tracks newsmakers and opinions across the entire media spectrum: newspapers, web sites, television, radio and magazines.
But we do more than just collect information. By synthesizing, analyzing and summarizing what’s out there, and adding new information when we can, we are a news engine that gives you a quick and valuable account of the issues of the day.