Tag Archives: Crime

The Cost

thecost

Longreads

Rilla Askew | 2014 | 21 minutes (5,065 words)

When my godson Trey was a toddler growing up in Brooklyn, every white woman who saw him fell in love with him. He was a beautiful child, sweet natured, affectionate, with cocoa-colored skin and a thousand-watt smile. I remember sitting with him and his mom in a pizzeria one day, watching as he played peekaboo with two white ladies at a nearby booth. “What a little doll!” the ladies cooed. “Isn’t he adorable?”

I told Marilyn I dreaded the day he would run up against some white person’s prejudice. “His feelings are going to be hurt,” I said. “He won’t know it’s about this country’s race history, he’ll think it’s about him. Because so far in his young life every white person he’s ever met has adored him.” Marilyn nodded, but her closed expression seemed to say I was talking about…

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What Robocop Tells Us About the Neoliberal City, Then & Now:

Tropics of Meta

Robocop 1987 vs 2014

The recent release of Jose Padilha’s reboot of the RoboCop franchise offers ToM another opportunity to indulge in extreme historian geekiness. As an unabashed lover of the original 1987 RoboCop, I jumped at the opportunity to write a dual review of both films, reflecting on their contrasting messages and cultural commentaries.

Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 version was a masterpiece. No, seriously. Taking place in an unspecified, but not too distant future, the film is set in a dystopic, post-industrial Detroit. The film’s Motor City is riddled with crime and drugs, where police are killed with shocking regularity. The thinly veiled illusion to urban blight during the Reagan years is hard to miss.        RoboCop ’87 is a biting indictment of neoliberal urbanism. The central villain of the film is the Omni Consumer Products (OCP) corporation, whose maniacal plan is to bulldoze the slums (which seems to be most of the city)…

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“Shoplifters of the World Unite” (The Smiths)

Learn to love me, assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow and always
My only weakness is a list of crime
My only weakness is well, never mind, never mind

Shoplifters of the world, unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world, hand it over, hand it over, hand it over

Learn to love me and assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow, and always
My only weakness is a listed crime
But last night the plans of a future war was all I saw on channel four

Shoplifters of the world, unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world, hand it over, hand it over, hand it over

J.W.

“I Fought the Law” (The Clash)

Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won
I needed money ’cause I had none
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won

I left my baby and it feels so bad
Guess my race is run
She’s the best girl that I ever had
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the

Robbin’ people with a six-gun
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won
I lost my girl and I lost my fun
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won

I left my baby and it feels so bad
I guess my race is run
She’s the best girl that I ever had
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won…

J.W.