Why robots?

“The great mystery is why robots come off so well in science-fiction films when the human characters are often so astoundingly wooden.” John Podhoretz

I realized one day that I had a deep and abiding fondness for the robotic. Not real robots, necessarily, but things that are reminiscent, evocative, or referential (reverential?) to robots.


Perhaps it was my childhood of Buck Rogers reruns, Star Trek reruns, Jetsons reruns, Lost in Space reruns, and of course, Star Wars.


There were so many lovable robots running around. Rosie, C3PO, R2D2, B.O.B. and Vincent from The Black Hole, KITT, Twiki – they were all so idiosyncratic, so loyal, so smart.

The day it struck me was the day I started listening to the Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”. I was on the platform of the 2nd Avenue station, waiting for the entirely unreliable F train, edging farther from the distinct smell of urine that permeates the 1st Avenue end of the station, and these lyrics suddenly woke me up from the 2am, Brooklyn-bound stupor…

Oh Yoshimi, they don’t believe me
but you won’t let those robots eat me
Yoshimi, they don’t believe me
but you won’t let those robots defeat me

Those evil-natured robots
they’re programmed to destroy us
she’s gotta be strong to fight them
so she’s taking lots of vitamins

‘Cause she knows that
it’d be tragic
if those evil robots win
I know she can beat them

Oh Yoshimi, they don’t believe me
but you won’t let those robots defeat me
Yoshimi, they don’t believe me
but you won’t let those robots eat me

Right then and there I knew that I should start this blog. And that is the answer. Why robots? Why the hell not!

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2 Responses to Why robots?

  1. BennyR says:

    ah, robots… usually so nice and compliant.Until they start growing up, leaving the nest, thinking for themselves. Then they must be stopped.I’m talking about robots, right? Am I?

  2. ed m says:

    snowmen yearn to be robots. check this out, by david berman…Yesterday the robot had been asking him about snowmen.He asked if they had minds.No, the caretaker said, but he’d seen onethat had a raccoon burrowed up inside the head.”Most had a carrot nose, some coal, buttons, and twigs for arms,but others were more complex.Once they started to melt, things would rise upfrom inside the body. Maybe a gourd, which was an organ,or a long knobbed stick, which was the spine of the snowman.”The robot shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

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