Reel Rumble: Is RoboCop More Man or Machine?
We don’t always agree on the happenings in the entertainment industry and we like to make our beefs public. There's no denying that RoboCop is part man and part machine, but it's unlikely that it's evenly split. Which part dominates his makeup? Fight!
RoboCop is a man through and through. Just because OCP took the Murphy scraps and encased them in a half metal/half bendy plastic shell doesn’t change that fact. If I had solid evidence that Murphy’s penis was still attached my case would be strengthened, but there’s no telling what else Clarence and his gang did to the shot up carcass. Let’s assume for this rumble that there is no penis, or testicles. They wouldn’t be necessary on a cyborg. He doesn’t make pee pee.
RoboCop’s face is flesh and blood. Sure, it’s creepy as shit when he takes his mask off, but it’s still human. If it weren’t human, it wouldn’t make you do a triple-take. You ask yourself, “Where the hell does the face end and the helmet begin? Is it right where the ends meet or is there some skull hidden behind the metal?” It’s the age-old cyborg conundrum, except Murphy started out as a full man and his parts were manipulated. He wasn’t built from scratch like Bishop in Aliens.
Even though RoboCop may not have a penis, he knows shooting at a penis is the best way to get a street thug to let go of a helpless woman. You can program a machine to conceive that, but it’s my feeling that RoboCop was working on male intuition. No directive could be as strong as a man’s physical and emotional attachment to his balls. RoboCop didn’t even have to process. It was one to the nuts through that woman’s skirt and she was free.
RoboCop’s, or Murphy’s rather, memories of his family totally tip the scales in the “more man” direction. If anything, OCP would want those nagging personal flashes out of his operating system. It’s a glitch – flashes of his soul breaking through the code. A machine doesn’t take a tour of its vacant home while images of its wife and kid replay in its mind’s eye. It doesn’t give a shit about its wife and kid. It only knows what it’s been programmed to know. It only realizes what it’s been programmed to realize. RoboCop has some deep-seated issues he needs to work out with a RoboCop therapist. God knows OCP isn’t concerned about his mental RoboCop health.
Speaking of OCP, let’s move to Dick Jones. That guy’s a major dick. And RoboCop finally realizes it. Unfortunately his programming won’t let him do what his human side is telling him needs to be done. He wants to choke a bitch so bad but can’t. That is until the directive to not harm his maker is deleted by the OCP President. Then it’s on like Donkey Kong. He shoots the shit out of Dick Jones like only a RoboCop that’s more man than machine could. The machine part is responsible for pulling the trigger, but the man part is responsible for all the vengeance behind it. You can tell RoboCop gets satisfaction from it too. A machine would be like, “Cool. Next job.” But RoboCop relishes in the fact that he got to eliminate a bitch.
You stupid son of a bitch.
I can’t believe we’re even having this argument. RoboCop is a machine, and anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding himself. I do like how you immediately bring up the fact that he doesn’t have to have a penis, as if that was going to be the crux of my argument. Even I’m not that shallow. We’re talking humanity vs. machine, not a Y chromosome and a pair of testicles. But for the record, I do agree that his penis was probably gone. First off, he was shot all to hell. Second, why would the scientists leave it on. And thrid, RoboCop 2 had a robot penis, if memory serves. Maybe I dreamed that part. But I digress.
At any rate, yes, he has a human face. Big deal. The question of where the face ends and the helmet begins is irrelevant. If I hooked a piece of steak up to my Roomba, it wouldn’t be a cow. It would be a robot with a piece of steak on it. Much like RoboCop is a robot with human parts. You yourself call it a “cyborg conundrum.” I’m not saying he’s not a cyborg, or that he’s all robot. All I’m saying is he’s certainly more machine than man, and he sure as hell isn’t human.
You claim that RoboCop is expressing human emotion and “male intuition” when he shoots a rapist in the crotch. While I, as a human, would love to shoot a rapist in the crotch mid-rape, that proves nothing. After all, robots process the situation at hand and determine the most efficient course of action. When it comes to stopping a rapist, no method is more efficient than shooting his dick off. That’s science talking. And when it comes to the leftover memories of his family, big deal. They basically used his brain as a hard-drive in order utilize his knowledge of law-enforcement. The family memories are simply leftovers they failed to delete. They are like a ghost in the machine, if you will. The fact that OCP hasn’t perfected their methods does not mean that RoboCop is human. It simply means OCP sucks at making cyborgs.
But these arguments can be set aside, because it all comes down to freewill. Humans have it, and robots don’t. You know who else doesn’t have it? RoboCop: that’s who. Throughout the entire film, Murphy (or should I say “Murphy’s corpse”) never violates his four prime directives, which are to serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law and to not act against OCP executives. As you point out, he is only able to shoot Dick Jones after Jones had been fired, rendering the 4th directive irrelevant. His actions were not motivated by vengeance. He was simply fulfilling his directives. Even if he was able to enjoy the killing (which is impossible), he had no choice in the matter. He could not act against his programming. He has no free will, which means he is nothing more than a machine. Up yours.