Robocop- a lesson in American philosophy

The other day, I downloaded Robocop.

It was so spectacular, that I have decided to do a review of the movie.

Synopsis: Robocop is a half-man, half-machine, whose body was so badly destroyed by some bad guys, that the only way to save him was to make the rest of him a machine. But they didn’t just make him a machine, they put in cool gadgets like guns and a visor that comes down when it’s time for him to be bad-ass. Just like on KBC, his pink brains are always being shown off as doctors work on it and talk all that gibberish that is meant to make us understand that whatever they are doing on that brain is some serious stuff to do with neurons and what not.

Now let’s get to the so damn American themes:

America fixes a lot of shit:

So, America in the future will still be occupying parts of the Middle East. They will be keeping the peace, but will still have to contend with suicide bombers who spend most of their time screaming in Arabic. If you have watched the movie, it was essential that the plot briefly touch on Iraq or wherever they were (maybe Afghanistan) . If America did have the technology to create those peace-keeping robots, fat chance that they would use them on American soil without first testing them on suicidal infidels…drones anyone? But my point is, even come 2050, Hollywood predicts that America will still be the world’s big brother. What say you Putin?

So the movie teaches us that if you meet this thing, as long as you keep your hands up and speak english, the robot will not attack you. A poor guy was holding a knife…and it got him blown to bits… a knife…what an OVEREACTION!

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is an American symbol (despite his biologically Syrian roots). He represents persistence, hard work, smarts and individualism- all ideals perpetuated by Hollywood and intercultural communication books authored in America, and Scarface (the movie). It’s a fact, don’t argue.

There is a Steve Jobs in Robocop, this guy:



A brilliant, oldish bully of a leader. A guy who must get things done no matter what. A guy who is bigger than his company (Omnicorp) that changes the world. In other words, Omnicorp is the next Apple in 2028 (which is when the movie is set). I assume that many have romantic notions of Steve Jobs being benevolent, charming, nice, angelic, cuddly etc. I say it’s unlikely. Steve Jobs conned Wozniak (the perpetually forgotten co-founder of Apple) of $2,500 years before Apple, and there seems to be evidence of him being a little bit of an overbearing control freak. It is likely that Steve Jobs was a little bit of an asshole, just like his character in Robocop. Assholes will change the world.


In 2028, China will still be the cheapest source of labour, as evidenced by the fact that Omnicorp set up its lab there. Chinese people will still be mostly rural, and their work in the rice fields will be frequently interrupted by emotionally scarred robots running through water while miraculously managing not to electrocute the whole of China.

Capitalism will destroy the world

Capitalism, America and the world’s economic god, will destroy the world one day, and by the world we mean America. Because as mentioned, in 2028 (more like 2080 if the technology in this movie is anything to go by), China- that represents the rest of the world, will still be a rural outsourcing outpost, and the world as we know it, will start and end in America.

Natural hair for black folk will be approved

If you didn’t know it, there are still often political debates about natural hair in America. The afro is still a political statement. The chief of police ( a black corrupt woman with no real role in the movie) has an unkempt yet fashionable afro. The kind that a whole lot of urban kikuyu women (and Mexicans like Lupita)  have in Kenya in 2014.


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Travelling is reckless. It’s like drugs. It alters your senses, gives you crazy withdrawal symptoms, makes you think you are something you are not, makes you imagine things. It makes the bizarre normal, and the normal bizarre. They don’t call it a high for nothing.

When I got home-after 2 years (I know it’s a short time) – my friend asked me what I would blog about. I gave her an answer I no longer remember. I knew inside that she was right, there would no longer be anything to blog about. No sources of inspiration, like when you see someone has a pet flamingo, and another a mistreated hamster named ‘Hamlet’. I didn’t want to admit that I felt that I had nothing to blog about anymore.

Either way, I settled into the status-quo. I opened my wardrobe, took out a suit last worn in 2011, and looked at how badly it fit. It used to be so fashionable. Now the legs were too loose, and the blazer too long. It was like a borrowed suit.

Even my camera protested. No inspiration was found. There were no new mountains to see, no perfect moments, only the boring familiar. There was no eagerness about life, there was no eagerness to shamelessly capture every moment because I was no longer travelling.



bouncer/ticket seller


It didn’t help that the status quo wasn’t working either. I wasn’t (still not) getting any jobs. When travelling, you get knocked around but there’s always something to look forward to. You miss your bus and try sleep on the street corner, because tomorrow will be a good morning. Your stuff gets stolen, but you laugh because they didn’t take the undies. You save money, waste it on visa rejections, then end up talking to a prostitute that reminds you of a friend of yours. (I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but it wasn’t in a bad way). When you’re travelling, you roll with the punches and punch harder. Travelling makes you feel invincible.

So, without my drugs, I could not write and I could not take pictures- I was made mellow like a castrated dog. I think it’s very cruel to castrate dogs. I think it takes something away from their personality. Is that true? Can any vet confirm effect of scrotum/ovary removal on personality? I assume it’s true, because we once had a VERY boring bitch from KSPCA that had had its ovaries removed. That was the most miserable looking, zero personality dog I ever met. To make it worse she was a boring all-white colour. She walked with her neck drooping, and she never even growled, she never barked. She just was, she let life dictate the terms. I will never castrate a dog if that’s what happens.

Like that poor bitch, I walked with my eyes on the ground. I began to trudge through. I refused to be excited, I decided to be practical, to be realistic, to be ‘mature’. I didn’t pay attention to myself, what I felt, what I wanted, I decided to be well-behaved…I decided to survive…to abandon my drugs…

My head was down, but my thoughts never left me. I saw that the suit didn’t fit. I saw in the mirror something that I didn’t remember from 2 years ago. Something new, yet familiar. This thing haunted my sleep- it showed up in memories of the past 2 years. I remembered the exhilaration of setting goals, climbing mountains, learning new things, fighting new battles- even if was only the battling of finding long strands of hair (not mine) in the toilet. I remembered experiences and people endured, situations bested, situations learnt from.

I woke up..I discovered, that I didn’t travel to get reckless, I travelled because I am reckless. I take chances, I do stupid things, I think I am invincible, sometimes I think it’s God telling me I am invincible with Him, other times I just think it’s the universe, or Him making the universe do it.

I’m high all the time, and therefore I can take pictures and write all the time, because when you jump off the cliff, in that rush before you crash into the water, you always notice something new – the sound of the wind, the sight of your feet in the air under you, the sensation as your arms are lifted to your sides, the seconds that pass, the water rushing up to meet you, the rumble of the water as you go under, the first breath you take, the rush.

I’ve been here, but I feel like I am truly back. Here’s to the next year of adventure!


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