This has got to be one of the best scenes in the Robocop movies and film history EVER!

Robocop was the beginning of a long line of fantasy cyborgs to begin in popular culture. The idea of creating a half human half machine to create the utimate superhuman has always fascinated scientists. The very idea of it is supposed to make a super human who is physically superior and void of unnecessary spontaneous emotion. Cyborgs are always created for a reason bigger than their own personal needs. Let’s face it, its is a clear indication that cyborgs are only greedy capitalist bosses’ fantasies where they don’t have to deal with the nagging human resources department in their companies and deal with the “human” side of makin’ money.

Vacation? Paid leave? Terminal illness? Salary increase? Not for me……no thank you sir!

I suppose the fantasy of having humans/labour entirely under your control and your reason is any boss’s dream machine…literally.

The best Robocop film was Robocop 2, directed by Frank Miller who was still a good comic book writer back then. The whole film has brilliant scenes, and questions the ethics of turning poor ‘ol Officer Murphy into a cyborg of 100 kgs of metal.

These movies were done in the 80s when most movies plots portrayed capitalism and corporate greed in the most extreme ways. Even in the beginning of one of the movies, besides the police department being a monopoly, the greed gets so bad that there are power stations smack bang in the middle of the Amazon jungle.

Talking toys? Already training young minds to admire robotic slaves under their will perhaps…

When Robocop came out, I don’t think many down here in South Africa even knew of the subliminal plots and commentary on U.S capitalism. I think most adults saw it as a kid’s thing and kids thought it was damn cool. After all, we call traffic lights robots…’cos they think for themselves…just like people duh! I can’t blame South African society for this, after all we only really got television in the 70s (censored no less). We were, and have always been, somewhat behind technology and the availability of it to the general public. Hence, things like cyborgs and computers are always a bit of a mind boggle and something that belongs on “Mannemarak” in the minds of our parents and previous generations. In those days, abominable ideas such as cyborgs were a violation of the very religious society South Africa once was. 

It will be years before our grandparents stop thinking a computer monitor is a T.V screen.

It’s 2012, and South Africans are still having difficulty having access to cheap, unlimited internet. Never mind, the complete failures of providing basic electricity to the masses.

Mannemarak: “Besoek ek die aarde eenmaal ‘n week!

Op my planeeeeeet, wil ek alles weet

en wat ek weeeeet, sal ek nooit ooit vergeet!”

‘Cos every spaceship should be covered in Paddywax tin foil

I guess Mannemarak was and is as close to South Africa’s technological leap thus far, even though he was an Afrikaans speaking alien who explored the local ‘potlood’ (pencil) factories and what ‘potjiekos’ was made of. I guess him and his cardboard computer (named “Kompie”) could be accepted in old South Africa, as long as he wasn’t aired on a huilige Sondag (Holy Sunday) and seen as nothing but a heathen alien not of the Good Lord’s creation.


Here you can watch Mannemarak in all his “not-so-innocent diabolic technological” glory:


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