The Metal Minute Awarded 2009 Best Personal Blog By Metal Hammer Magazine

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kings of Cool

It's always interesting to look back at sports and media idols that you grew up with and how they might've influenced your life in a positive manner. I suppose you can't always find a direct connection between individual behavior and specific role models, but often you can, and it's made a bigger deal about these days than it ever was, probably because we as Americans have lost our innocence, so much that I think we're starving for positive figureheads to glom onto. When the facade of the Oval Office hints tyranny, when your favorite athlete will likely be traded or bail out due to salary issues or when a CGI figure has more integrity than a human actor, well, that kind of sets it, I think. Coolness is both overt and subjective, and very few people in the camera's eye genuinely have it anymore. You know I'm right.

I feel as if Generation X may have had the last of the great kings of cool. Okay, so we didn't have a James Dean or a Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King. Those were all people of their time and age in eras of social change and turbulence. In a post-Vietnam America, you might say us kids had it pretty durned easy. The adults were out of their minds in polyester and beneath the roving eye was a very raunchy underground that might've rivaled the roaring twenties, but on the surface, we Gen X'ers had some of the coolest of the cool throughout the seventies and the early eighties. Some taught morality, some taught that knowledge is power, others just elevated the bar to something else we wanted to be in life. Reggie Jackson was no Mickey Mantle, but he certainly carried the American Dream on his home run swing--even if his candy bar was ass. Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys showed the meaning of dedication and hard work, both constantly in championship runs and both representing America with class and honor.

But the seventies particularly was a bit of sensory overload within the context of the limited outlets we had...I mean, we were still in the land of UHF and VHF! We could get Soul Train, Hee Haw and Scooby Doo and somehow it was more than plenty. Why? Because they were cool. So with that being said, I submit for your approval, some of the Kings of Cool, from a Gen X'ers point-of-view...



Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.....sit on it!




Easy Reader, this his name...uh uh uh...readin' readin' that's his game...uh uh uh




Chicks dig him...



Anybody whose best friend is a walking carpet is alright in my book...



B.A. but a pussycat heart...

13 comments:

Metal Mark said...

Where's Uncle Jessie at?

dschalek said...

What about Snake Plissken?!

Layla said...

Uh, this chick digs Hans Solo way more than Erik E. He tried to pick up on me in a bar in LA once (I was like...24, we're talking ancient history). Anyhow he was not very nice...lets just put it that way.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Mark, that made me laugh. Dschalek, Snake's a good choice. He was badass.

Layla, sorry you had a bad situation with EE. That puts a sour note to things. There was a time when us kids would either rock, scissors, paper or actually fight to see who got to be "Ponch" when we played CHiPs as kids...

Mike said...

How about Michael Knight?

On My Watch said...

can't forget Chief Brody from Jaws.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Ah yes, Roy Scheider is definitely a king of cool, good call, Watch. Mike, you can have your point too. I'm sure if we really sat down and yakked out the kings of cool, we'd fill this page up.

rene said...

I will like to know the name of the series from that black actor that is in a police uniforme. I remember very well the series but dont remember the name. I hope somebody can help me.
Thankssssssss.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Wow, Rene, do you remember what era of time that might've come from? I'm thinking Hill Street Blues, but nothing else is striking me at the moment.

rene said...

Ray, i think i watched it on the tv back in the very early 80s. I remember him always on a police bike together with a white guy on an other bike driving on the highways in the USA. I realy loved those series but i dont remember the name of it. It was not HILL STREET BLUES Ray. I hope you or somebody else can help me.
Hail.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

interesting, that really does sound like CHiPs with a white guy and a Latino riding the California highways....I wonder if you mean that one

rene said...

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, IT WAS CHIPS. I just checked it on the net. Increible RAY. I am very happy to finaly know the name of the series. I am going to look if it came out on dvd. Thanks again for all your help Ray, i realy appreciate it very much.
Take care and have a nice weekend.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Alright, cool, and that's Ponch on my picture set for this entry, played by Erik Estrada. We thought he was the coolest as kids. Happy hunting! Glad I could help. Peace...