Being a little behind in my reading, I just finished Kevin D. Williamson’s great article on public art (“Vandals and Scandals”) in the February 24 issue. I would like to ask the author for his take on Detroit’s RoboCop-statue funding via Kickstarter. By way of background, in 2011, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to make a RoboCop statue from the 1987 iconic movie, which takes place in Detroit. The nonprofit Imagination Station raised $60,000 online, and a ten-foot-tall statue is on its way to a Detroit-based bronzeworks.
Page W. H. Brousseau IV
Kevin D. Williamson responds: Now that Detroit itself has succeeded in realizing the horrific dystopian future of RoboCop, building a ten-foot-tall statue of the character seems a little beside the point. But the model behind the RoboCop tribute — a private nonprofit raising money from RoboCop fans via Kickstarter — is precisely the right one. It has been corrupt and backward political institutions and semi-political institutions, from the Detroit city council to the automotive labor unions, that have transformed Detroit from the nation’s most prosperous industrial city into the current pit of squalor and neglect that it is. If anything is going to rescue Detroit, it will be collaborative entrepreneurial projects, both in the for-profit world and in the nonprofit sector. Maybe the RoboCop statue is not the most important of them — okay, scratch the “maybe” — but it is an example of the right sort of thing to be doing. As for the work itself — de gustibus, etc.
Sexual Expression First
I almost cried when I read Mary Eberstadt’s piece (“Progressivism’s War on Winners”) in your March 10 issue.
At one point in her article, she answered her own question: “If today’s progressives really care so much about the poor, why not cease and desist in their enthusiastic efforts to obstruct such manifestly good works?” Her answer pointing to “the ideological desire to put sexual expression first” is to the point, of course, but unfortunately it also answers another question, which I heard stated rhetorically recently: “Why is a woman’s right to abortion more important than a baby’s right to live?”