The inspiration for Lamont Johnson’s film was, of course, Tom Wolfe’s legendary 1965 Esquire article about famed stockcar racer Junior Johnson (“The Last American Hero is Junior Johnson. Yes!”). It’s a great piece and the whole article is right here. Please read it…it’s fantastic. Articles like this one and films like The Last American Hero make me momentarily forget about red-state attitudes and even inspire admiration for the vitality of working-class types and blue-collar culture. They make me briefly ashamed of having used terms like “redneck.” It’s not genuine Americana that I hate — it’s the degraded, stupid-ass, hee-haw stuff peddled by downmarket opportunists and turned into corporate-brand jackoff diversions like The Dukes of Hazzard TV series and motion picture. What galls me is that most consumers out there don’t even know what genuine backwoods Americana is — they just know the Happy Meal-kind that corporations have sold to them.