I have used that song, and the video (which has scenes from the awful movie) in presentations and classes. The song is a fascinating look at a particular slice of 1970s-era American culture, particularly white, rural, male culture. I sometimes juxtapose it with Shaft or something like that, as that film captured a different aspect of the time period, though there is some intriguing cross-over between the two things.
I particularly find it interesting that when “Convoy” came out, the good ole boys we now associate (perhaps unfairly, perhaps not) with extreme right-wing authoritarianism were instead rocking a very anti-establishment vibe, including viewing the cops and the National Guard as risible obstacles to be brushed aside. I guess they also shared the disdain for authority we see today, but there was a much more genuinely populist and inclusive tone back then–I mean, they let the eleven long haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus join up! Wouldn’t happen today I bet.
This is probably a topic for P&R, but I’m fascinated by this trend. I noticed it within my own extended family the past decade or so, who had always been very anti law enforcement. There were moonshine distillers and runners in multiple branches of my family tree, all well before my time obviously, but their antipathy for agents of the law trickled down through the generations. I’d still hear stories about my great-great uncle or whoever evading (or doing more nefarious things to) officer so-and-so and these tales were always told with pride. The shifting sands of the culture war, I guess.
They were groovier times (for some) but I think it’s less about what you’re for, and more about who you’re against.
It still flips pretty much from moment to moment. When the cops support the right, the right supports the cops. When the cops oppose the right, the right opposes the cops.
The rhetoric changes with the occasion. One minute civil liberties are the most important thing, and the next it’s law and order. No one seems bothered by the inconsistency.
They hate the ATF, and they hate the FBI, but they love ICE and Homeland Security, all of which are federal agencies trying to enforce the same collection of laws. It’s just that the first two are seen to target people they like, and the second two are seen to target people they don’t.
It’s not about values or supporting something, it’s about hurting people they don’t like, and crushing anyone who wants to stop them doing it.
That seems likely, and the change from positive politics (we support X) to negative politics (we oppose Y) seems to be an important shift, though I’m sure to some extent it has been going on for a while, if not forever. I do recall though, anecdotally, that there was more celebration of things folks supported to go along with the condemnation of things they disliked back then.
Yeah, modern long-haul truckers are no different, really. They talk a good game about freedom, the open road, and being independent businesspeople, while “backing the blue” and supporting the troops, but the same Trump hat wearing trucker will curse all highway patrol after getting a ticket.