FF51 - RoboCop

Intro by John Roderick

It should be clear by now to regular listeners of this program which war movies Adam added to the list. Two of your hosts are taking the premise of this show seriously and one of us just wants to spooge all over the muscle man action movies he loved when he was 9 and his best friends were two bowling pins he found at the dump. He literally squeezed at the very mention of Paul Verhoeven and I think it's because he knows for sure he is going to get to see boobs. But I can and do bag on Adam all day and that is not what these intros are meant to do. Primarily they are meant to bag on Ben but he is an innocent party here, so I am going to try and make the case for RoboCop being a war movie, if for no other reason than as an intellectual exercise.

You never know when you are going to be tied to a chair and forced at gunpoint by a weepy-eyed villain to make the case that Bagger Vance is a war movie. You have to be prepared for any eventuality! Well, let's start with 1987: See, Reagan loved things that went boom and he'd been rattling his saber throughout the early 1980s while Brezhnev and Andropov matched him in both brown suits and ICBMs. This felt like an almost-war, one we could lose at any moment. Konstantin Chernenko was the last of that old guard and he died in 1985, leaving a new generation of young leaders in charge of the Soviet Union. Did you know that Gorbachev was the first Soviet general secretary not born under the rule of the tsar? Well, it is incredible to imagine that he was both the first and last truly Soviet leader!

Anyway, Reagan was pushing his Strategic Defense Initiative or Star Wars and Tom Cruise was zooming around on a Kawasaki Ninja, making the U.S. Navy popular with high schoolers and the whole country was kind of on a war footing. The Pentagon was engorged on hyper-expensive technology that didn't work and the big defense contractors were answerable to no one, funded by the black budgets of government agencies no one had even heard of. The fictional Skynet debuted with The Terminator in 1984 and by 1987 seemed prescient, as it does still now thirty years later.

The biggest crisis though was domestic. This is the era of American decline, the Rust Belt, the death of the city. In 1982 the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to 19% to stave off inflation after a disastrous decade, which made American manufactured goods super-expensive on the export market while foreign goods were cheap. Cash flooded into the economy, but it was all flashy investment money while the big industrial cities of Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh etc. all screeched to a halt and fell apart. It happened surprisingly fast!

The energy in America switched from The Deerhunter world to the Gordon Gekko one. Assets were leveraged, gobbled up, spit out and the money went to Wall Street and to Hollywood and the impenetrable boardrooms of defense contractors in California, Maryland, Virginia, and Seattle. Intercity racial tension, long exacerbated by white flight and now compounded by the lack of work and the crack epidemic, made downtowns feel like battlegrounds to anxious middle class suburbanites. The decline, the anger, the intractable poverty, and the crumbling infrastructure made it seem like we had already fought a war and lost, even as we were being told we were winning.

So: To understand RoboCop is to recognize this transition. The Cold War was already waning, but had always been by definition and abstraction: a war with no real fighting, conducted by spies and economic sanctions and small proxy wars and Mutually Assured Destruction diplomacy. The urban war was the more deadly one. Reagan defunded social services, precipitating crises in mental health, homelessness, elderly care, education and a dozen other things. Corporations were becoming state actors, privatizing once basic public services as for-profit enterprises and a class of nihilistic ultra-rich were just starting to build the technology and media systems to consolidate their wealth and positioning it as much against a desperate and ragged underclass as a foreign invader.

All the vapid anti-intellectual media garbage that we suffer under today got its start in this climate. The evangelical eyeshadow money-orgies and the Donahue incest weep-fests, the South will rise again, trucker car jump (?) fantasies and the hump-your-leg Jersey Shore Hair Metal. They were all dumbing us down hard and fast. So Verhoeven in all his Dutchness pulled a deft sleight of hand here. He intuited that half of America felt we were on the verge of war against downtown drug crazies and motorcyclists and breakdancers and black women who weren’t deferential enough at the DMV while the other half was certain war was looming against cigar-chomping globalizing urban renewal fat-cats and cigar-chomping generals sitting atop mountains of skulls and cigar-chomping cigarette company pseudo-scientists poo-pooing acid rain and anyone else that ever chomped a cigar and sat on a mountain of skulls.

So Verhoeven gave us both enemies and he put them in cahoots, which is kind of what Trump did. Well, if you haven't seen RoboCop before you probably have some preconceived notions about it and heaven forbid you should think it was bad. Graphic violence is an understatement. The film received 11 X-ratings before enough cuts were made to give it the R-rating shown in theaters. The violence is comic book dumb, but it is gnarly all the same. To audiences at the time, who hadn't seen two dozen Marvel properties trivialize the death of millions, it was visceral. For some reason movies of this time really wanted criminals to make crazy eyes and laugh like hyenas and act with irrational disregard for human life, I guess so moviegoers didn't start sympathizing with the criminals.

But in the case of RoboCop? Well, he was a cop. He was a good cop in spite of being a robot cop, unlike the other robot cop. Robot cop is going to put an end to corruption and criminality as soon as he gets his guns calibrated and as soon as he gets back in touch with his human feelings. I won't bore you recapping the ins and outs of this movie about a robot cop as much as Adam wants me to because it's all there in the name. RoboCop. Is it a war movie? God no! No! Not by any definition no matter how hard I try, but Adam comes and makes those big puppy dog eyes and sometimes brings me breakfast sandwiches, so it makes it in just under the wire. Today on Friendly Fire we ignore directive 4 as we discussed the Paul Verhoeven 1987 masterpiece RoboCop.


B: Welcome to Friendly Fire, the war movie podcast that is here to serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law, but also a secret fourth thing. I'm Ben Harrison…

A: I'm Adam Pranica…

J: and I'm John Roderick.

Is this a war movie?

B: Is this is a war movie?

J: No, it's not a war movie!

B: Somebody does say: You work here for a living, so that kind of makes it seem like a war movie. It is definitely about the war on crime and the war on drugs, but I feel like it is too deep in that milieu to actually be a good comment on them.

J: That's the thing: It is about things that already aren’t war movies either. It is three kisses away from a war movie.

B: It is like a craven defense contracting company that is trying to militarize the police and that's a big issue.

A: It feels a lot like Aliens in that way. OCP is the Weyland-Yutani of this Detroit universe and I think there are eerily prescient things going on here in the early 1980s that are telegraphing some contemporary problems.

B: A lot of things happened in the 1980s that telegraphed contemporary problems!

A: Yeah, turns out! Would you rather work for OCP or Weyland-Yutani if you had a choice?

B: If you work for OCP, your your job safety is largely based on whether or not people are building their robots correctly.

A Yeah, you do now want to attend the wrong board meeting at OCP.

B: You would think that it would be the safest place in the world, but it is not!

X-rating for violence, the tone of the movie

A: This is one of the scenes that that gave the version we saw the X-rating.

B: As of this recording, the version that Amazon has streaming on Prime is the unrated/X-rated Director's Cut and there is some speculation on the Internet about whether that is a mistake. It has previously been pretty rare and pretty hard to find and it is just out there streaming for anybody that has a prime account right now and it is very bloody, it definitely ups the ante based on the already pretty extraordinarily violent original.

J: It was extraordinarily violent and pushing the boundaries for sure, but that X rating still felt punitive at the time and so much violence in movies has happened since then. What makes the violence so graphic is that there is a lot of gore, there are bits, there is matter flying around, this man is truly exploding, but 30 years later we have seen so many terrible things in film that although it was graphically violent, I am not sure about that X rating.

B: Yeah, there is nothing in this that is worse than Saving Private Ryan’s beach storming scene.

A: However, there is a cruelty in this film in its depiction of violence that most war films don't have. One of the worst parts of the boardroom scene is the guy begging for his life and trying to hide and the rest of the board members throwing him out into the open. The same thing happens when Murphy is ostensibly killed. There is laughter from the people who are shooting him and I think there is something about that cruelty… I don't know what it takes to get a a violencr X-rating, but I have got to believe that the capacity for cruelty is a part of that, right?

J: That is a good observation!

A: It really sets the tone! This is Paul Verhoeven's first American film, like: ”Wow!” Talk about throwing a bloody gauntlet to the ground! He is here!

J: The word ”tone” is the number one thing I Am still trying to grapple with. I saw this movie in the theaters and was thrilled by it then. This movie came out when I was 18, just for context: Were you born yet, Ben?

B: 1987? Yeah, I was a bouncing four-year old boy.

J: That's wonderful! So I took a break from babysitting Ben and went to the movies.

B: No wonder I have so much shit to work through with my therapist every week I have suppressed memories!

J: I took a break from bouncing Ben on my knee and I went to see RoboCop and I loved it, largely because the tone was so crazy. It was among the most violent and cruel movies you could possibly see, but also cartoonish, the humor was so black, it was prescient, like you say Adam, with the television commercials, and the kind of cruelty throughout the whole culture that was depicted in the film, which is like: ”Come and get you a new sport heart!” It all just seemed like: ”Wow! This is the future!”, and it is maybe impossible for you guys to imagine, but at the time the Ford Taurus was a brand new and super-exciting-looking futuristic car. It had only just arrived on the scene and we hadn't really seen very many Ford Tauruses. They used some really early Ford Tauruses and it looked like the future, like: ”Wow!” It was our immediate future. Now they have used the Ford Taurus as cop cars for a decade and a half and it just looks like a used car lot. At the time it was that car!

B: These are the cars you see in movies getting destroyed by other cars because they were so cheaply had.

J: Right! Most of the time when you would go to see a Science Fiction movie and they tried to make cars look like the future, they just took some Pintos and zip-tied some plastic fenders on them and they were future cars. These looked like real cars, they were real cars. The problem watching it now is just that I can't place that tone. My whole experience of the movie was tonal in a way.

Morality during peak 1980s drug war

A: It feels like we are watching a lot of films now that deal with moral relativism and this is another one. Ostensibly the character's goals in this film is the eradication of crime, which is noble goal-making right there, but the depiction of the people in this boardroom whose job it is to come up with technologies that help make that possible, as well as the depictions of these criminals are terrifying! They are different sides of the same coin and it is the real cops that are the only good guys in the film. Normal cops, human cops.

J: The criminals are without mercy and the corporate boardroom guys are without mercy.

A: Does the old man have mercy? Do you think that you feel like at the end he was good the whole time and he is just a man being manipulated by the people sitting around him at the table?

J: He is a man that became a billionaire as a defense contractor. He is the Republican country club guy. (B: He is nice Dick Cheney) He is nice compared to the coke-driven ambitious younger executives, one of whom is 30 and one of whom is 50, but if you made a movie about him, he is not Tony Stark, or maybe he is old Tony Stark.

A: Tony Stark would be more than a little disappointed in the demonstration of ED 209

B: I am sure he would have some really terrific quip about it!

J: He would quip the shit out of that!

B: The moral side of this movie is really interesting because this is peak drug war 1980s. The bad guys are bad not just because they do murders and rob banks, but because they sell drugs. It seems almost like what you would hope a legalize drugs situation would look like. They have a very clean factory that seems to have good quality control stuff in place…

A: … a wine sipping floor manager…

B: … that is depicted as just as bad as anything else they do and they are not specialized at all. The guys that runs the massive cocaine distribution operation is also personally doing hits, leaving grenades in people's houses. The cruelty in that scene where they gunned down Murphy is depicted as being part and partial of the kind of criminality that they are engaged in. I think that in the 1980s it was really easy to see drug dealer as evil and that would be a totally uncomplicated idea, at least it seems that way watching this film.

J: This is right in the middle of Miami Vice land and cocaine is recognized as a bad drug and a big part of that is because it inspires so much violence. These are the go-go-1980s and cocaine is the moral retribution for living a life of pure excitement. These were also the Reagan years and the ”Just Say No!” mentality was ”Sure, do cocaine, have sex, go dancing, but it will catch you in the end and you are going to pay the price, you are going to go to cocaine hell and you are going to die in a hail of bullets!”

B: You are going to be in a weird smelting factory, dying in a hail of bullets.

J: Or dying covered with toxic waste because karma is gonna get you!

B: Because doing cocaine is morally wrong.

J: Not that cocaine is morally wrong, but it is a symptom of moral decay. The cocaine doesn't make you do it, but cocaine is a symbol of power and money in the 1980s. Power and money corrupt a person and cocaine is just what makes them dead-eyed in the end. At the end of Scarface it isn't the cocaine that has made him a mad man, but that is just a symptom of the corrosive influence of power.

A: It is interesting that drug use in this film is depicted by those who are in power and the criminals are mainly seen as being arbiters of violence. They are not enjoying the drugs, but the drugs are for the rich white people.

B: You can't get high on your own supply. That is one of the Ten Crack Commandments! Remember Kurtwood Smith's famous rap song The Ten Crack Commandments?

A: Speaking to Kurtwood Smith: The reason he wears the glasses is because Verhoeven thought he looked so much like Heinrich Himmler when he did. Big head, little glasses, Heinrich Himmler!

J: He is a strange villain.

B: He wouldn't look out of place in that boardroom.

A: Kirkwood actually went out for the role of the old man and he was recast.

J: Again: Tonally strange. He communicates a smart cruel guy, but he is so much crueler than he is smart. He does not appear to have a big plan, but spends the whole movie just wallowing in senseless violence. He is a good negotiator, but he got that kind of violent negotiating.

A: Up until the moment where Dick Jones says: ”I know you want out of this game, but check it out: New Delta City is going to be here shortly and you will have exclusive drug dealing rights there, does that keep you in the game?” It takes an hour to get to that point as far as figuring out Boddicker's true motivations.

J: That is a proxy for the idea that was coming online in 1987, too: The U.S. government is behind the drug game. They were selling drugs to buy arms to support fascist revolutions in Central America, all that Iran Contra business, it was the first real mainstream understanding that what had been happening in the inner city was not just passive on the part of the powers that be, but the drug epidemic was not just being tolerated but there were bigger tentacles.

Setting the movie in Detroit, removing the racial component from the drug war

A: Why do you think it is important that this film is set in Detroit in 1987? This is a city any time that I am unfamiliar with outside of reputation.

J: Detroit was the poster city for industrial decline and urban decay. It was one of the cities that burned throughout the 1970s. They did terrible things in Detroit in terms of attempts at urban renewal in the 1960s and part of that was that they slammed a freeway right through the heart of one of the most vibrant African-American communities in the United States that had been a cultural epicenter and the white bosses of Detroit absolutely lost any sympathy with the African-American community. The death of Martin Luther King, the death of Malcolm X, this is all along with the decline of the American auto industry and the steel industry, it created a cauldron there where there wasn't another city that suffered as much as Detroit, but it is a weird weird film in that there are very few African-Americans in the movie. There is the sergeant in the police department, and there is the one bad guy that has the Joker laugh…

B: … and there is the one lowly board member…

A: Johnson!

J: Yeah, the kind of suck-up board member. Especially inner city Detroit is a largely African-American community and so it had to be a real choice and it felt like a very 1980s choice, a very 21 Jump Street choice, in that we were trying to depict, and when I say we I mean we in the 1980s who were making films, me and Paul Verhoeven, we were trying to depict gang violence, but there was a lot of fear around depicting gang violence or drug violence as also racial war.

B: It is why every home alarm commercial has a blond guy with two days of stubble sneaking around in the bushes outside your house.

J: Exactly: Here comes bad guy, but we are not racist.

A: Here comes Greg!

B: The second you go down into the streets with RoboCop and he is going around fighting crime right as the tip of the spear, the convenience store with a doddering old white couple running it, all of that stuff rings false.

J: Here is Chad, the liquor store holdup guy.

B: We have lived experience that tells us that there are not that many shitty urban convenience stores that are run by people that look like that, which is not a qualitative assessment of that, but it is just the truth of it.

J: My feeling is that for Verhoeven arriving in the United States with a Dutch sensibility this was the high-minded approach, to portray inner city Detroit and drug violence as a thing that was just happening between whites. I think in 1987 that was seen as an enlightened way of depicting it, which you wouldn't do later because starting with Boys in the Hood it became clear that there were other filmmakers that were ready to look at the drug conflict as one that also had a large racial component. Verhoeven was like ”Hey, I'm from the Netherlands, I'm an enlightened guy!”, but now you watch it and you wonder what a weird cartoon this is.

The reception of Verhoeven’s satire

B: That is tonally true of a lot of his films: His sense of satire is is very confounding to the American sense of satire. Starship Troopers was received as an earnest movie in America and then he was like: ”No no! It was supposed to be a send up of Naziism!" and everybody was like: ”Oh, it is actually pretty good in that case!” I think this suffers from the same confusion. A lot of people watched this movie like: ”Fuck yeah! RoboCop! Cool!”

A: As soon as a cut of this film was done they were like: ”Well, we need to screen it for police officers in the event that there is some sort of mobilization against the film.” What surprised the filmmakers about how it was received by police officers is that they fucking loved it because this is a film that depicts the proportionality that they are unable to wield in their jobs. This proportionality runs through this film the entire way, there are no half-measures in terms of what is visited upon other people. Bob Morton is killed with a grenade in his house. Murphy is not just killed in that warehouse, he is totally destroyed, just like the guy in the boardroom. I would have expected a Dutch stoicism mentality to how these conflicts are depicted, but Verhoeven here and throughout his entire career is not about that.

J: At the same time it is very curious that RoboCop himself never engages in vengeance because of his directives and that is what appealed to cops so much: RoboCop is trying to arrest people, trying to stop crime and be a good cop. There is a lot of vengeance in this movie, all the people that we want to see receive vengeance do in spades. It is very gratifying to us, these people are bad, they should suffer some karmic retribution, and they do, but never at the hands of RoboCop himself.

A: These criminals also do not play the criminal justice game of when they are caught they give up, but these criminals die because they don't! There is never an opportunity to put cuffs on them and stick them in the back of a cruiser. No one goes out that way.

J: Again because of this mid 1980s feeling that crime and criminals had lost their moral compass and society had lost its moral compass. We are living now in a world of Make America Great Again, but this is not the first era to have those sympathies running through the middle class. In the 1980s there was already a feeling that the 1950s were a halcyon time when people obeyed the law and by the 1980s we had this urban decay. Now we have Make America Great Again and their idea of what is wrong with America is that the suburbs have lost their way an d half of the white population of America has gone crazy. In 1987 it was much more that the inner cities had lost the plot and we needed to return to that era of law and order and maybe the way to do that is robot killing machines.

A: Interesting that the only depictions of suburbia in this film are the empty house that Murphy returns to after his wife and kid already left.

J: One of the spookiest scenes in the film with that robot real estate agent. I am looking at houses right now and they still have real life real estate agents in our contemporary time.

B: Urg, gross!

J: Future listeners of Friendly Fire decades from now may think that is so weird.

A: Are you just there for the cookies?

J: No, I just go through because I'm lonely. I like talking to real estate agents. I'm not really looking for a house, I can live in my car. I'm like ”Yeah, the third bedroom is kind of small. Will you talk to me?”


J: I really loved the character of Miguel Farrar. I loved his acting and I loved his character and I wondered as I was watching this how different Aliens would have been if he had been the Paul Reiser. Paul Reiser really made Aliens, but Miguel Farrar had such an arrogance and 1980s confidence, a character we saw a lot in the 1980s, the ambitious, slick, young, shiny-suited Wall Street character. You can't tell whether he is the ultra-hero or the ultra-villain through half of it because he is cruel to RoboCop, but he also loves RoboCop.

B: He is very excited by Robocop and also presumably he had a hand in the first three directives in addition to the fourth. The first three directives are surprisingly good considering that he came up with them. Obviously a socialist didn't design this robot and build its moral compass.

J: Can you imagine a socialist robot cop? Boy, how many directives would it have? 40? Do not perpetuate the class system!

B: So not visit state violence upon at-risk communities.

J: Super-effective robot cop!

A He would just be sitting on a park bench, looking at the little ducks.

J: He would be standing in the middle of traffic, refusing to make any bold motions like telling anyone to stop. ”I can’t tell people to stop, it is not within my power!”

Moral relativism, capitalist corporations vs drug cartels

J: Bob Morton is the center of the moral relativism of the movie. There are times when you are very sympathetic to him. He is ambitious, he wants power, but he does not want power over Detroit or civilization, but he only wants power within the corporate structure. Obviously the cops hate him.

B: He is not a Bond villain, he is just an ambitious corporate douche.

J: He is not like his boss who wants to destroy old Detroit, build a new city, and populate it with new drug dealers.

A: I don't think Bob Morton allies with Boddicker either, that is never going to be his endgame. I think you are totally right about that, that is what makes Dick Jones the fucking worst guy in this film. He is willing to do all those things, he does want that kind of power!

J: He is a villain and it was so hard to determine where to fall with Miguel Farrar. I was sad to see him go because he was both the fun center of the movie and you wanted to see his version of RoboCop play out, even if it meant that he was going to end up as executive vice president of OCP. Where would the company go in that direction? It would be a flashy consumer products defense contractor company and not one that was socially engineering a new harsh realm.

B: I don't know, having the base of knowledge that I have about the drug war and the hand that the Reagan administration had in the way these specific kinds of drugs became available in our country and the forces at work in South America that enabled the cartels to become so stupendously powerful, it feels impossible for me to look at this company and look at a cartel as being terribly different types of organizations. They are entirely motivated by making money and they occasionally do illegal things to that end. In the case of cartels it is obviously much more explicitly illegal, but Ronnie Cox retains a hit man to kill somebody that is just a business rival of him in this movie and I don't think that that is a normal situation at a normal American company in 1987.

A: You didn't work at Chrysler, though, Ben! At least we don’t know that.

B: Lee Iacocca was just having people offed all the time?

A: Another thing I love about this movie are all the subtlety of Lee Iacocca Elementary for example. They really create this corporatized world!

B: This movie indicts the one and the other, but it doesn't seem to compare them at all. I don't know, it rings a little false in that way to me, but maybe that is just my own personal bias about these kinds of issues.

J: There is a weird thread in the movie that is critical of a third thing and a big part of the history of the United States, the idea that we can socially engineer some vision of a utopia. We are not very laissez faire about how communities organize and develop and this is true on both the right and the left. Politically we are anxious to intervene in communities in order to produce what we hope to be a better future. On the left we are intervening all the time, primarily socially, through what the curriculum of schools are, the great society of Lyndon Johnson, affirmative action, buzzing, which are attempts on the part of the left to redress inequality, but it is a form of intervening in what is happening and it is the idea of creating a better world. On the right it usually takes the form of more law enforcement in order to create more security and safety for the middle class, more intervention, order versus justice. The left likes to regulate, the right feels like less regulation, which in itself is its own kind of intervention. This movie is conscious of that and Detroit is the perfect microcosm of it. I see Ben where you would look at the drug cartels and the corporations as purely profit based…

B: … and seeing them as a both a symptom of the kind of capitalism that we practice, where to a certain extent a lot of money can be a shield against law enforcement.

J: When you look at Dick Jones (John first says Kirkwood Smith, but corrects himself later) and you look at the old man, they never give a soliloquy about it, but it is intrinsic to the idea of new Detroit that they are also trying to create an Utopia out of the ashes of what they see as a failed city. It is not purely that they are motivated by profit, but they see an opportunity to profit from a giant social engineering scheme and they are proud of themselves for their plan to create a new Utopia. That is what is interesting about Miguel Ferrars character: He has very little interest in Utopia, but he is just interested in his cool thing and in his position within the company. Kirkwood Smith is clearly portrayed as the worst side of capitalism, but only because we never hear his speech about how he envisions the future. It is implied and I definitely feel that Verhoeven is making a comment on it. The idea at the time, the ”Greed is Good” mentality, that happens when you deregulate and you let investment banking and you let developers take the reigns, they are not immoral, they have a morality, it is trickle down economics, if the rich get richer it lifts all boats. They see themselves as as crusaders.

Method acting

B: What do you guys think would be the situation for me in Delta City as a platinum medallion?

J: Your feet would never touch the street. You would leave your air conditioned high rise, getting into your air conditioned Taurus, taking your right out to Detroit International Airport.

B: Just looking forward to that!

J: Platinum Ben they call him!

A: You would be doing a lot of coke off of bitches chests!

J: The one gal’s green leather matching motorcycle jacket and miniskirt? That is burned into my retinas!

A: There was a lot of method acting happening on set and around the set.

B: Did anybody Brando in this movie, Adam?

A: They called these women bitches one set. That is an unfortunate story.

J: Did you hear the story of Kurtwood Smith? His mother named him Kurt, but she didn't feel that it had enough flash, so she just tacked wood onto the end. Kurt Smith was not quite cool enough and she liked country music and so she put wood on the end. He has speculated that he may be the only Kurtwood in the world, although Kurtwood feels like the name of a Midwestern suburb. ”Come on out to Kurtwood!”

A: A country music festival.

B: Great Star Trek guy, as is Ronnie Cox.

A: What do you make of the relationship between Murphy and Lewis such as it is?

B: When they first meet in the precinct it almost seems like they are setting it up that they are going to have a really competitive relationship where he shoves her out of the way and gets in the driver's seat and says ”I always drive when I'm breaking in a new partner!”, even though he is the one that is new to the precinct, but then he gives this sheepish smile that makes it clear that he is just joking around and that it is not really his personality and they like each other instantly.

Which characters are sexualized

A: I never expected Murphy to be as cute as he was in this film the first time I saw it. He has got a lot of cute charisma.

J: He does, and as soon as Nancy takes off her helmet in that police station we all fall in love with her because she is the alternate universe Meg Ryan, but her electric smile when she meets Murphy and she's like ”Hey!” and he's like ”Hey!” and you hope they get married.

A: It is right after she kicks that guy's ass…

J: … and that is total Verhoeven. This is the first movie with a scene in a coed locker room where everybody is naked.

A: How would you like that to be your Leitmotif? Coed Locker Room! You know what you get with Roderick!

B: Still working on coed locker room. In the last movie we watched there was the scene where she is dying her pubes and that guy just walks in, like ”Hey, just in here, dying my pubes!”

J: It is hid thing. But Nancy Allen like throughout the film she is the capable androgenous partner, but also extremely feminine. Paul Verhoeven loves beautiful women and likes to feature them as bad-asses, but also he doesn't shy away from putting a little vaseline on the lens.

B: Not ashamed of his male gaze.

A: They go through some lengths to de-sexualize her because they gave her seven haircuts before they finally reached a short enough length to where they were happy with how she looked. It is interesting who they choose to sexualize in this film.

J: One of my favorite Kung Fu movies is Seven Haircuts.

A She is as sexual as you have made her out to be, but it is the scientist characters who are hypersexualized in this film.

J: Oh yeah, they are all trying to fuck each other. Nancy Allen had to be somewhat desexualized because her love interest is RoboCop, who has no genitalia.

A: He may have a giant fucking desert eagle of genitalia.

J: I am pretty sure that Nancy Allen's love affair with RoboCop has to be fairly chaste. She is a sister to him, she cares for him, she is a nurturing figure, but at no point can she put her arms around RoboCop and plausibly say like ”Oh RoboCop!”

A: Weren't they always going to be work-husband and work-wife, though? Murphy is married and has a kid and they were always going to have that relationship only.

J: Well Adam, that is so sweet of you as a married guy to be like: ”I mean, they are married! They would never have any sexual tension!”

A: I’m familiar with the idea of having a work-wife or a work-husband.

J: In your case it is Ben!

A: I have a lot of needs, John!

J: I know. you do!

B: I can fulfill the need of Adam to do bits.

J: That's why when you take Greatest Generation on tour you guys have a curtain over the front of your table.

B: We always stay in the one room with the king sized bed.

Who survives in the end?

A: Louis saves his life in the end and I don't think that is an accident. You would expect that Boddicker’s comeuppance would be utterly and solely RoboCops doing, but that is not a survivable situation without Lewis. She does a ton of work to make that death possible. She arguably has the biggest Kaboom in that scene by blowing up Ray Rice's character in the turret.

J: But we don't see her at the end, we see RoboCop at the end. She took seven bullets or something and is laying in a mud puddle. She makes the kill shot, and those wounds are going to get infected. We don't see her at the end and we don't know if she survived. There is a moment when RoboCup says: ”They can fix you up!” when it is suggested that we might see Nancy Allen RoboCop at the end.

A: That sounds like punishment when it comes from his mouth, right?

B: The risk of somebody else being made into RoboCup seems pregnant in this movie and it was never addressed. Maybe that is what they do in RoboCup 2, I have never seen it.

J: I never saw it either. Nancy Allen is in RoboCup 2, so I guess she does survive.

B: I think Danno Herlihy is also an RoboCup 2. The old man makes a comeback.

A: The old man lives in the end. Do you think he accidentally knows or totally knows that the only way to extricate Boddicker from Directive 4 is by firing him?

J: I don't know. He fires him with an awful lot of ”This is the best line in the movie.”

B: I wanted RoboCop to then have to go down and like make sure the paperwork was finalized in the human resources department before coming back up and wasting him.

Special effects not holding up

A: This is one of those scenes, one of many, where for as great as the RoboCop suit is, there are a lot of effects in the film that don't really last the test of time and it is curious to me that for a film that came out right around the time of Aliens, I feel like the Aliens effects do in a way that this film does not.

J: You are talking about the total claymation ED-209?

A: Yeah, the stop motion at 209, everything in that boardroom, also the skyline looks all matted in awkwardly.

B: It is probably just a big photograph that they put on a psych.

A: There are some panels of the window that are exposed differently than others though in a weird way.

J: I feel like that has a lot to do with the fact that this movie had a small budget and a hard time getting made. It did not seem to film executives at the time like a summertime feel good movie and they I think they made the entire movie for $13 million.

A: Verhoeven did something so shrewd in this film: He waited to shoot Murphy's death last, they ran out of budget runway and he was like: ”Well, we don't have a movie unless we depict the death of Murphy!” and the studio was like: ”Alright, fine! Go shoot that death of Murphy scene!” and that is how he was able to afford it.

B: The thing in this cut that I think is the most awesome that is not in the cut that most people have seen is the pan around Murphy's head and it is an entire prosthetic Murphy. In an unbroken shot you get to see him in 360 degrees and then Kurtwood Smith blows a hole in his head and the blood splatters out the back of it. It is maybe the best effect in the movie.

J: It does not seem like a survivable wound. If we had seen that in 1987 in the movie theater, that wound is close enough to the Kennedy assassination in terms of what it did to his head, I think that would have been the most shocking special effect in the movie. I don't know how we would have reacted to that at the time as filmgoers. Now I am speaking on behalf of all filmgoers in the 1980s.

B: That is what you are here for. You do see the evidence of where the bullet entered when he gets the helmet off toward the end, that star pattern on his forehead.

Real nurses and doctors

A: I'm sure this won't surprise anyone to know that all the trauma nurses and doctors in that room were real people and not actors.

B: You mean in the E.R. scene?

A: Yeah, they are all just adlibbing plausible trauma lines.

J: I kept waiting for George Clooney to lean in.

A: George Clooney is Miguel Ferrer's second cousin.

J: Yeah that's right! Miguel Ferrer, you wouldn't know it, but his mother is Rosemary Clooney and his father is Oscar-winner José Ferrer, he is Hollywood royalty, and you didn’t see him in enough movies.

A: Pretty cool! He is really great in this movie. That scene in the bathroom might be my favorite scene of his, where he is talking shit about Dick Jones.

J: He is clearly intimidated by him, but at the same time just right back at him.

A: That's the line! Dick Jones basically grabs him by the back of the head and you know he is scared, but he is playing the kind of scared that is trying not to look scared and trying to look brave instead. That meta-acting that he does in that scene is really spectacular.

B: It is a fun scene with a couple of great actors. I like seeing these dudes and stuff.

A: Plus you get a guy zipping up before finishing pissing, to get out of the bathroom. That was fun!

B: Yeah, the punch-in on the damp spot on his crotch is pretty funny.


I was looking for a natural place to slot this in, but I didn't find one. You guys want to hear something that distracted a nerd on the Internet in this film? ”The Shell oil station where Murphy confronts Emil shows corrugated garden hoses spooled around a steel wheel as hose coming from the gasoline pump. No gas station in history has ever used such a setup with spooled up hose full of gasoline and exposed in the open, as it would be directly against several OSHA regulations regarding the dispensing of gasoline.”

J: Hear, hear! This is the first Internet pedant that I can really get on board with!

B: I don't think that is true! I think you have agreed with like 30-40% of these.

J: I like my gas stations to be OSHA compliant.

B: Yeah, it would have been nice if it was OSHA compliant. That is pretty amazing! It looks like they have an actor in that suit very close to a big flame ball. I don't know if they actually did it or if that is a comp, but it looks perfect!

A. They had seven different RoboCop suits in this film, one of them was made specifically for this scene and was bulked up with fire retardant, but yeah, there was a guy in that fire wearing that suit.

J: Wow. That suit which is largely made of plastic. Pretty crazy!

B: Apparently they thought of Schwarzenegger for the RoboCup role originally, but he was too big and they thought that the suit would look really stupid if they made it big enough for Schwarzenegger.

A: Good decision, I think it would have!

J: Peter Weller at this point was most famous for appearing in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, which was a cult film of the mid-1980s (B: …and a bad film!) There were a lot of people that were on Team Buckaroo Bonzai, I was very against Buckaroo Bonzai, I was not Team Buckaroo Bonzai, I was Team Hate Buckaroo Bonzai. When he first arrives on screen in the movie I went ”Bleeeeh!” and I didn't like his face throughout the film. You know what did, Peter Weller! You made Buckaroo Bonzai, it is unforgivable! But when he appeared on the film this time, I had the same reaction that Adam did, like: ”Oh, he is a beautiful boy! Look at him!” He is slight and he is pretty and he is sly, he does a lot of good face acting and then he immediately goes into the suit. The rest of the time he was doing so much characterization with the choreography of that character, the way that he would turn his head, (B: …the way he kind of pops and locks…), so I thought he was really great in that he made that suit come alive. He still doesn't get a pass for Buckaroo Bonzai.

B: There will always be that blemish on his permanent record!

Police culture

J: It is such a strange mishmash because the police station is completely pre-modern. They don't have any technology there that wouldn't be present in Hill Street Blues. They are just cops, they have body armor, but they just have normal guns, they don't have any computers even on their desks.

A That is a great point! You walk outside the police station and it is glass and chrome, but inside it is like Cheers.

B: William Gibson on the outside, Cheers on the inside.

A: Was that your high school superlative, Ben? William Gibson on the outside?

B: Nobody was inside me in high school.

J: That was a weird setting because we are living within the film in this world where they can rebuild a man into a robot and you can get an artificial heart that is Nike branded, and yet policing is still a strange prehistoric culture.

B: The premise of policing goes totally un-interrogated in this movie. I don't know that this is the movie to take a close look at whether the underlying fundamental principles of policing are good or bad, but it does just present all police as being basically good people that want to get paid a fair wage for their work and serve the public trust.

J: They are busting drunks and are threatening to strike. What a 1970s theme that runs through the police culture!

B: Maybe this is a European theme? Maybe Verhoeven was like: ”Why aren't they talking about striking all the time?”

J: Yeah, why aren’t they bringing their tractors in the middle of Paris? But is was super weird because it would have been so easy for him to futureize the police department also, give them heads-up displays and put all that future technology. Maybe he didn't because he wanted RoboCup to stand in contrast, an interesting and clearly intentional choice.

A: That Sergeant character is so interesting to me for having to straddle that argument. He on the one hand is leading a group of officers who are struggling and dying all the time every day. He is hearing them talk about strike and yet he is the guy who has to say ”We are police officers and we don't do that!”

J: It is the beginning of a paranoia that we actually really saw take place during the Iraq war, which was the corporatization of the police and the military. That was super-revolutionary at the time, that the police sergeant was taking orders from a boardroom guy and the boardroom guy never even for a second hesitated to act like the cop worked for him.

B: The corporate prison and the corporate security force are now totally standard parts of our reality and that is something that OCP prides itself on being great at.

J: Right! The Blackwater element, where it is like: Half of the way we are going to fight this Iraq war is through these private companies, like the war in Rhodesia, they are just putting armies on the ground.

A If you had to make this decision and the decision was: You get RoboCop as he is in this film in the beginning, not as a human but the realized RoboCop out on the streets doing patrols, and a predictable outcome of that is the end of crime in a couple of weeks, do you stick him in a Ford Taurus and let them loose on your city?

B: No, because that is not how crime works!

A: I know that is not how crime works. I am trying to ask a fantasy question here. Say he is real!

B: I grew up in Oakland, I just can't get behind this!

J: The principle of good policing is that police officers be empowered to make on-the-spot decisions that take into account the truth of the moment. You can't have policing or courts guys that have strict guidelines right. This is like sentencing minimums: A lot of these are Reagan-era ideas. This is ”Three strikes you're out!”, an attempt to remove the human element. When you use these principles you get police officers that walk into situations and they are by the book in every instance, but they escalate problems, they create more trouble as a result of walking into situations without bringing context.

B: And then when you have a prison system that is entirely punitive and does not give any credence to the idea of reforming or providing opportunities for people that would enable them to not be at the business end of the law enforcement apparatus. It is a self-perpetuating problem!

J: The conservative argument against rehabilitation, against judges that make personal determinations, against cops who are members of the community is that it produces a culture that is soft on crime. It is a national problem, that police departments have an internal culture that sees the population not as themselves, but as a separate entity that they are policing like they are herd dogs or something.

A: It is unfortunate that a consequence of powerful jobs is that people who seek power are those that would most like to have them.

J: Although the power that is afforded police officers is entirely institutional power. They don't have any real personal decision-making authority in a lot of these situations. They are just going by the book. Obviously they have the power to pull their gun out and make a decision on the fly whether to shoot a guy 50 times with those police guns that have 50 bullets in them. Did I say 50? I meant 15.

B: Maybe they get the extended clip, who knows?

J: The desert eagle extended clip!

Movie guns

A: That scene on the shooting range was fun, right? When everyone realizes that one of the cops at the range has that kind of firepower, that was a dressed-up automatic pistol that they used. They bolted down a bunch of parts to it to make it huge. Originally RoboCop’s gun was going to be the Desert Eagle that you see earlier on in the boardroom and they thought it looked too small in RoboCop’s hand.

J: The biggest of all the guns: too puny.

J: There is a whole subculture of people that fetishized movie guns, the Blade Runner gun being the ultimate movie gun.

B: I heard some guy talking about the Han Solo blaster and how all of the parts on it are from some really specific camera that you can buy. You can find this camera on eBay and modify whatever the basic gun was to make it look exactly like Han Solo’s blaster.

J: That is a whole world. Adam Savage has built probably 15 versions of the Blade Runner blaster, each one an evolution of it because for a long time all you had was what was on the screen, there were no extant blasters available and then one appeared and then another appeared. It is a whole culture, although I don't know anybody that has got the Robocop super gun.

A: The anti-tank weapon Boddicker is able to produce for his gang later on is one of the moments of artillery ecstasy in war films, the idea that you have got that kind of cannon that can just blow up an entire porn theater. They are having so much fun in that street!

J: When they blew up that porn theater, I was like. ”There's fucking 50 guys in there! That's not cool!” If you walk around blowing up abandoned cars, that is fine, but that porn theater had its lights on. That was not an abandoned porn theater.

A: Boddicker was not going to let someone else have his car and this kind of car vanity is kind of a thing that I understand. Boddicker thinks that he is the only guy who got the 6000 SUX and then the guy in the beret rolls up and: ”Hey! This is great, right? We are car buds!” No, they are not!



B: Should we rate this fucker?

A: This is the best part of the show, right? The part where I devise a customized rating system based on the film we just seen.

B: It is the best part for you!

J: I'm not sure it's the best part of the show!

A: The only thing I get to do. It is the way I am depended on. Like a Reebok-brand heart I am the mechanical soul of this thing we are doing.

J: That is right, you are one of those pumped up tennis shoes.

A: In the movie Robocop there is a device that crosses in between worlds, a device that both accesses a computer, but anthropomorphizes a middle finger when necessary to either flick a guy off or stab a Boddicker in the neck. It is both weapon and utility and emotion. And so RoboCop’s metal middle finger and the number of them between 1 and 5 is going to be the rating system for RoboCop. This metal middle finger arrives at a crucial time. It is the moment right after RoboCop has the bad dream and starts to realize that he might be Alex Murphy and so he goes into the server room, jams his middle finger into the computer and starts looking up files. He does this a couple of times, but the most crucial time is when he finds out that Boddicker was the instrument of his human version's death. I understand that people do not believe RoboCop is a war movie and that is pretty clear in a number of areas, but I think one of the things that is objectively true is that RoboCop is a great movie. I love it personally! I love all the little details with News as Entertainment, those 5 minute Newsbytes that combine the most horrific of news and also the most benign. The medical device commercials that it seems we see during every commercial break now. The deification of the corporation to the exclusion of anything else. I love it. It's dark and it's violent and it's terrifying, but it's so much fun and funny. That's one of the things that we didn't discuss on this episode of the show, which was just how much comedy there is in this film and I think it's intentional comedy. I love RoboCop. I don't have much love for the sequels, but I'm going to give this 4 metal middle fingers.

B: Big, big score! I'm not quite as hot on this movie as you are, Adam. I agree that it's fun and funny and I think that it is a pretty impressive movie given the budgets and all that, but I don't really connect with the main character that much. It has a tough time humanizing him after he is in the suit and it tries to make this idyllic life that he feebly remembers, something that you can get your fingertips into as far as identifying with them. Once he is RoboCop I didn't care that much about what happened to anybody after that. It feels like the movie is almost over at that point and as a critique of corporatism or the militarization of the police or the way that corporations and the powerful are working hand in glove with the organized criminal elements in our society, it falls apart when I take too close a look at any one part of it, so for its funniness I'm a fan, but it sets out to make some pretty big points and I don't think that it makes them and it also isn't a character that I hold that much love for in my heart. I give it two and a half middle fingers.

A: Pretty different sides of this one, me and Ben. What about you, John?

J: This is the ultimate pork chop movie by your guys’ definition, something that you could put on if you loved it as Adam does and watch it periodically to blank out on. That is evidence of what you are saying, Ben, which is that it fails as a social commentary if you watch it that way. If you just watch it as a fun adventure, and there is a lot in the movie, the cartoony elements and the cartoon violence and you can watch it where the bad guys are just simple bad guys and the good guys are simple good guys and maybe that is a credit to the satire. For me it is an incredible document of the 1980s and watching it just evokes so many 1980s memories. All the surfaces are 1980s, the temperature of the room is 1980s, the fashion, the haircuts. It is the 1980s idea of the future, which is that when you go to a dance club, everyone in there will have mohawks and dog collars. It was the idea that was really true then, which was that Punk Rock and the style of Punk was going to be what all futures looked like. If you watch movies that try to depict the future, there are always two guys with a mohawk, but as far as a movie goes, the tone is so hard to grab onto. It feels that the satire is condescending, but honestly: At the time that worked! Those TV commercials that are interspersed, incidentally the female newscaster is Leeza Gibbons from Entertainment Tonight. It was so on the nose. I end up right in the middle with 3 R2D2 style pointy metal middle fingers and one green leather miniskirt motorcycle jacket outfit covered in cocaine.

A: Much like the films can't be compared to each other, your rating for an individual film can't be compared to me or Ben's rating of that film. That's great!

Who is you guy?

A: It feels like a film with a lot of possible guys, but who is your guy, John?

J: My guy is the lady scientist with the really big blue 1980s glasses who is so excited by the technology, so into RoboCop, kind of loves him, She kisses him on New Year's Eve, she is the prime exemplar of what you were saying that the scientist seemed to be having a crazy party on their side of the equation, she is the one that notices RoboCop is having a dream. Every time she was on screen I just gravitated to her as an actor. Her 1980s hair-up blue glasses scientist thing where she looked like she was in a David Lee Roth video and was going to get up on a school desk at some point and take down her hair and take off her glasses. ”Oh wow, you didn't realize that she was beautiful! Amazing! What a transformation!” She took off her glasses. The actress is Diane Robin, but it was hard to find her name because as big of a character as I felt she was in the movie, she wasn't featured in the credits.

A: She has got some Tawny Kitaen vibes!

J: She really does, and I was especially enamored with Tawny Kitaen this time in my life in the mid-1980s when it was peak Kitaen.

A: That is hard to say, almost like spoiler alerts.

J: When Tawny Kitaen was rolling around on the hood of a jaguar, and you're like: ”Wait a minute! I had respect for you before, why are you with the White Snake guys? This seems weird, it seems like a step beneath you, Tawny Kitaen!”

B: My guy is the other time in the movie where somebody gets caught saying something impolitic with somebody behind them. It is officer Kaplan in the coeducational dressing room for the cops saying ”We should strike! Fuck them!” with the sergeant just standing right behind him. I am always that guy in real life.

J: Where you finally get up the nerve to say something bold and then the boss is right behind you?

B: Except unlike him I don't then back it up with a self-assuredness when I get caught. That was my guy, how about you Adam?

A: I'm going to make my guy Johnson, the OCP exec who isn't totally good and not totally evil. He is always there as a conversational foil with perople like Bob Morton. He also makes some real cartoonish choices with his facial expressions that I really like. In that first boardroom scene, the camera just finds his face. He is almost like a Kenan Thompson level of ”find him reacting to things”. The cherry on top of the entire film is after RoboCop wins and Dick Jones has been thrown out a window, Johnson's cartoonish thumbs up to RoboCop as he leaves is such a spectacular catharsis at the end of this thing. You aren't really sure what you've seen, you aren't really sure whether to take it seriously or not, and that thumbs up doesn't really help, it happens right before the smash to credits in such a way that he survives a film that it seemed impossible that he would, as a junior executive, as a black character in an action film in the 1980s. He makes it all the way, he outlives everyone, he might be the new VP of OCP.

J: Sure, he looked like the ultimate red shirt when he walked into the elevator at the beginning of the movie.

A: He survives because he makes some choices outside of facial expression. He doesn't stick out in such a way that makes him a target for ED-209 or makes him a target for Boddicker later on. He is also a counselor to Bob Morton in a very good way. I liked his use in this film and so Johnson is my guy for that reason.

B: Speaking of the smash to credits, that is such a weird cut, right? RoboCup turns and starts to walk away, but he is not even off-screen before they just cut to Helvetica text that says ROBOCOP in all caps. What the hell?

A: It is one of the great cut-to-title musical score action film 1980s tropes. Everything works together in that moment to deliver those final chills when you get up out of the theater and leave. I love that moment.

B: It is clunky and bad.

J: All of the typeface… The opening of this movie: It is so hard to take anything seriously with the weird like bolted-together metal font. No!

A: Isn't it crazy that this film spawned a multimillion dollar toy product line?

J: RoboCop as a deliverer of objective justice. Probably this movie played so well with cops because he just got to do everything right. He saved the innocent, he delivered justice to the cold unfeeling baddies, it is just exactly what a kid would imagine a robotic cop could do.

B: I was a little kid at the time and I have very intense memories of seeing commercials for RoboCop toys and Aliens toys when I was a kid and just being totally at sea in terms of understanding what they were. They didn't seem to be from a cartoon that I had access to and I obviously wasn't allowed to watch either of these movies when I was 5 years old. I saw those commercials and I was like: ”What the fuck is this even?” I guess there were some parents that were making this stuff available to their kids.

J: These were the grownup cartoons. This is the first iteration of grownup entertainment for a generation of people that didn't intend to grow up. I was 18/19 years old and desperately still wanted to be playing with GI Joes, because adulthood seemed so uncool. The yuppies before me were the original Spiderman-comic reading people that also never wanted to grow up. Here came the toys, here came the tie-ins and I bet you a lot of parents bought RoboCops for their kids where the kids didn't see the movie, and it was mostly because the parents wanted to play with the RoboCop after the kids went to bed.

B: Never even thought of that!

J: Taking out revenge on that guy that cut them off in traffic that day. RoboCop killing you. Pew pew pew!

A: You are not a man of many impressions, John, but you do have that RoboCop ready to go!


Next movie

A: Why don't we see what film we are watching next? Maybe it is another Paul Verhoeven film, but probably not.

J: Wouldn’t that exceed our Verhoeven limits?

A: Let's just watch two hours of coed locker room footage.

J: Verhoeven's supercut of just all their gratuitous breastesses in his films where he is trying to indicate that in the future that little bit of public nudity won't be any kind of big deal, but in our present it is a really big deal because he really wants it in every movie.

B: I have randomized the list so it is going to be one of the first 100 on that list.

J: Here we go! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

J: The thing about the 100-side die is that it just rolls and rolls. Okay, it is number 24!

B: Number 24, oh, interesting! It is a World War I film by Stanley Kubrick from 1957: Paths of Glory. Just to let people in behind the curtain, we actually recorded our World War I remembrance episode in between RoboCop and Black Book, so World War I is really on our minds lately and this is supposed to be a really splendid film and there is some really famous camerawork in this movie, tracking shots of Kirk Douglas and stuff. Adam, you added this to the list, do you have any thoughts on it or was this just part of your moment where you scraped the Internet for all war movie titles?

A: I added it to the list because this is a Kubrick that I haven't seen!

J: Then it came from your love of Kubrick? Nice! I have not seen that either.

B: Yeah. This is going to be new for all of us. I'm really looking forward to it.


B: Alright, this has been another educational episode of Friendly Fire. Usually we will review war movies and we will be back on that next week. We will let Rob take it from here. For John Roderick and Adam Pranica, I have been Ben Harrison and to the victor go the spoiler alerts.

R: Friendly Fires is a Maximum Fun podcast hosted by Adam Pranica, Ben Harrison and John Roderick. It is produced and edited by me, Rob Sheltie and our theme music is War by Edwin Starr, courtesy of Stone Agate music. Our logo art is by Nick Dittmore. If you would like to continue this conversation online, why don't you use the hashtag #friendlyfire or you can go discuss the show over on Facebook or Reddit, we got plenty of spaces for everyone to talk there. You can find Ben on Twitter @Benjaminahr, Adam is @cutfortime and John is @johnroderick and I am @robkschulte. You can leave us a rating and review on your podcatcher of choice, that is very helpful, or head on over to MaximumFun.org/donate to support the ongoing production of the show. Thanks so much, we will see you next week.

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