Fads #9: Lust for Lowbrow

In the 1970's, the working class was king. The entire decade was basically a celebration of blue collar culture: custom vans, CB's, southern rock, trucker movies, denim clothing, rednecks both real (Billy Carter) and imagined (Dukes of Hazzard), tube tops, beer, and Burt Reynolds.

It is my opinion that no one personified this decade better than Philo Beddoe (Clint Eastwood) in Every Which Way But Loose (1978). This badass was the ultimate 1970's masculine role model. A far cry from the ideal man of the previous decade...

...That honor belonged to James Bond. Suave and stylish, 007 was the very definition of 60's cool. Bond personified the cocktail drinking ladies man. Everyone from Dean Martin to Tony Curtis took their turn acting like him, and your average Ward Cleavers of the suburbia dreamed of being like him.

Then came the 1970's. PRESTO! Rich, slick and suave was out. Poor, blue-collar, and rough-around-the-edges was in. Boomer males preferred the faded denim jacket which smelled slightly of pot to the pressed dinner jacket their father's used to wear. And this is where Philo comes in...

"Take this job and shove it" was the 1970's creed, and Philo epitomized it. He went from job to job, drinking beer at the Palomino, picking up chicks, and beating the shit out of anyone who messed with him. He liked country music, drove a truck, and could live off the land. Add to this, an orangutan friend who leans out the window to give the finger and you have the penultimate in American manhood.

Who was the ultimate hero of the following decade? I'll give you a hint: he's the governor of California.


  1. You forgot the flip side which was spawned by the dark side in the 70s...disco...personified by Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Fabrics made by Dow Chemical, music that made you want to rip your eardrums out, and men in 4" heels doing bumps in grinds in public.

    Tony Manero meet Philo Beddo. Philo Beddo meet Tony Manero. Gentlemen, let the fight begin.

  2. I have to compliment you on yet another accurate analysis of the 70's. Burt Reynolds, Chris Christopherson, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood doing their thing.

  3. tattered and lost-
    Was Manero the flip side or the exact same character living in the inner city. Still poor, still gettin' the chicks, still getting in fights, still resistant to authority. It's an interesting thought.

    I would say the Anti-Philo would be rich, impotent, weak and an upstanding member of society. Instead, I think the showdown should be between Philo and Hugh Grant.

    And thanks to Chaka. Analyzing the 70's is indeed my shtick.

  4. Schwarzeneggar was the ultimate hero of the following decade??? Wrong, my friend. No, the ultimate hero of the 80's was Rob Lowe. Sorry, Gil.

  5. You are absolutely right. Tony Menero and Saturday Night Fever are absolutely the urban side of the exact same trend.

  6. While I'm really into Bond, Dino & the 60's, I do love the 70's. Guys like Eastwood are awesome.