There's a song title that comes to mind, "All of My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys". In a way, that's true for me. Bruce Willis in the extremely violent and profane Die Hard had to get the job done under adverse circumstances with what he had available, yippie ky yay. Video game hero Duke Nukem was a bit of a cowboy in that shoot-em-up. So were Indiana Jones and James Bond, to some extent.
In real life, General George S. Patton (I want to stand up at the mere mention of his name). He knew about courage in the face of fear, and getting the job done.
Ronald Reagan was considered a political cowboy by his detractors because they considered him reckless, but he got the job done as well. Those landslide elections kind of put his political enemies in their place, huh?
Uh, sorry, Kid Rock. Your "Cowboy" song doesn't fit here.
By the way, have you ever noticed that people use "redneck" as a derogatory term? Of course you have. What do rednecks have to offer?
First of all, "rednecks" are considered to be from the south for some reason. Yes, I know that Jeff Foxworthy says that being a redneck has a "glorious absence of sophistication", but in the broader usage, a redneck is a southerner with values that some people don't like. However, I do like the stereotypical redneck values. The good values of "rednecks" are often the same as those of cowboys.
By the way, I sort of disagree with Alan Jackson's portrayal of the "southern man", because it implies that a northern man doesn't have those same values. But — why is it that I don't see many of those values proclaimed in the North? (Or in rock music, for that matter?) Is it my imagination? Someone needs to explain it to this former Michigan boy living in upstate New York.
Charlie Daniels has something good to say about rednecks. Here are some highlights:
What this world needs is a few more rednecksThis part gets a "yee haw":
Some people ain't afraid to take a stand
What this world needs is a little more respect
For the Lord and the law and the workin' man
We could use a little peace and satisfaction
Some good people up front to take the lead
A little less talk and a little more action
And a few more rednecks is what we need
I was raised on beans and cornbread
And I like my chicken fried
Yes, I drive a pickup truck
And I'm full of American pride
I keep a Bible on my table
I got a flag out on my lawn
And I don't believe in mindin'
No one's business but my own
...it's a shame ole John WayneJohn Wayne didn't think an actor could run for president. And then cowboy actor Ronald Reagan did it. Ironic and hilarious, I think. The Duke supported him.
Didn't live to run for president
Back to Charlie Daniels:
What most people call a redneck"How does this make you a cowboy, Uncle Bob?"
Ain't nothin' but a workin' man
And he makes his livin'
By the sweat of his brow
And the calluses on his hands
Now you intellectuals may not like it
But there ain't nothin' that you can do
Cause there's a whole lot more of us common-folks
Then there ever will be of you
I was coming to that.
It's the values and the concept. I believe in hard work, success, being able to speak the truth, being a man of honor, solving problems and the basics of "right and wrong". I don't know about hayburners (horses), campfires, herding cattle and branding, and I won't pretend to be a cowboy in the truest sense of the word.
I'm not stupid; I don't believe that cowboys are perfect. And I don't pretend that I've "got it together" myself. Maybe I'll even become somebody that I like by the time I'm fifty.
So, yes, I think there's a bit of cowboy in me. And "redneck" values. Now, 'scuse me while I whip out that Trace Adkins CD that I got for Christmas.