Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Raising Hackles

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog that enjoys breaking down cheesey 80's metal videos! I am your Aqua Netted blogger, Mr. Frank!

We have a guest writer on The BLOGshit for this installment. The catch? They aren't going to discuss writing. They are going to discuss Ratt's definitive rock video, Round and Round. That can only mean one man, Douglas Hackle, author of CLOWN TEAR JUNKIES will be joining us to give the ultimate break down of Ratt's 1985 video of Round and Round, one of the crowning achievements of MTV's heyday.


As a special treat, Douglas Hackle also appears in the newly published installment of Tall Tales With Short Cocks, Vol. 4!  Listeners to the Books, Beer and Bullshit Podcast may recall our review of Tall Tales Vol. 3. This new collection is chock full of great names in Bizarro Fiction and could prove to be the best collection of 2013! We implore you to check this and Clown Tear Junkies out.

So watch the video along with Douglas Hackle and pause at the appropriate time stamps in the video breakdown below.

0:02 - What would you like more than anything to be in that silver bowl?

Mashed potatoes and gravy. Nah, scratch that—I changed my mind. A miniature
version of one-hit-wonder, Canadian rapper Snow performing his hit song “Informer”
(accompanied by a miniature, dancing, batwinged, fetal polar bear cub with a Chicken
McNugget for a head.)

0:17 - Would you rather sport Stephen Pearcy's hair style for one month or have your entire
wardrobe consist of Stephen Pearcy-cut shirts for an entire season?

Alas, although it pains me to admit it, I think I actually had that hair style at one point.
Folly of youth and all that. So I guess I’ll go with the Stephen Pearcy-cut shirts. I’d just
avoid going out in the sun while wearing them, lest I get a really stupid looking tan line,
what with those necklines going all the way down to the bellybutton.

0:43 - Does this video still hold weight if Uncle Miltie isn't in it?

Uncle Militie exits the house and, consequently, the video rather early on—right at
about the 1:07 mark—after he decides he can no longer endure the loud rock music
being played by Ratt up in the attic. But, however briefly we get to see the man, Milton
Berle remains a powerful cultural, psychological, political, and aesthetic force in
the video. Even after he leaves the premises accompanied by himself in drag (Uncle
Miltie was doing that sort of shit decades before Eddie Murphy ever thought to do
it), his presence is still felt through the duration of the video, all the way up until its
denouement. The director of the video achieves this enduring presence-through-absence
effect, this lingering atmosphere of power-through-gender-obfuscation, using a film
editing technique borrowed from early 20th-century German expressionist cinema. The
technique is known only by its untranslatable German name: rechtkaftfahrzeugerung-sesellschaftensschutzversichhaftpflichtversicherungrechtkaftfahrzeugerungsesellschaften 
agungschwindigkeitsbegrenzün. Indeed, apropos of this technique, many believe “Round
and Round” represents the finest modern example of it usage, or as French philosopher
Michel Foucault once declared, “Un, deux, trois, Pepe Le Pew, Francois-Pierre-Jean-
Claude, Le Freak C’est Chic, bon appétit, crème de la crème, Van Damme, soup du jour,
faux pas, French fries yum yum, Savoir-Faire is Everywhere, Pierre!!!!!!!!!!!!”

1:08 - Do you think synchronized rock moves need to make a comeback?

Man, I don’t even know. What I do know, however, is the only thing that is quite
possibly more bad-ass than a good old-fashioned Duran Duran table flip is busting
through the goddamn ceiling, falling onto a table, and sticking your guitar is someone’s
face while shredding that shit like mozzarella cheese, yo. Take that, ya fancy-pants,
richy-rich assholes!!

1:26 - Is that Pee Wee Herman’s bicycle in the foreground?

No. However, that bike is on display at the official Ratt Museum, which is located in the
city of . . . of . . . my imagination. *hangs head in shame*

2:00 - As a juggalo yourself, do you think these guys have too much make-up on or not quite

Frank, do your homework before you do these interviews: I’m a bruggalo. Or a
juggaroni. Or…or…or something. Regardless, I believe that federal law should require
U.S. citizens, even babies (especially babies) to wear clown make-up 24/7/365. So to
answer your question, not nearly enough.

Breaking Bruggalo

2:23 - Has there ever been a more convincing look of utter satisfaction in this medium before or

There has not. Nor, I daresay, is that look likely to be bested in the future. Nor would I
restrict the claim merely to the medium of music videos. That facial expression may very
well be the most convincing look of utter satisfaction ever to be filmed anywhere. That
butler my dog.

2:27 - Is it true you are working on a similar entrance for all your book signings?

As I indicated in my answer to the “synchronized rock moves” question above, nothing
quite says “Hello, here I am—betta recognize, bitch!” like busting down through a ceiling
while playing a blaring electric guitar. That as an entrance for a book signing? Aw, hellz

3:02 - Have you ever considered writing a bizarro piece based solely around the setting of this video?

No. However, the song “Round and Round” seems to get referenced in at least every
other short story I write, regardless of what the story is about. The song is even
mentioned in my contribution to the latest volume in the Tall Tales with Short Cocks
anthology series from Rooster Republic Press (Volume 4—the ebook version was just
released on 12/16). Yes, these days it’s difficult for me to pen a short story and not
mention that song. (See below for more on this.)

3:13 - Is it the song or the video that does it for you?

Neither. I think the whole Hackle-“Round-and-Round” phenomenon is the result of
nothing more than an irrational compulsion. It’s what Edgar Allan Poe called “The Imp
of the Perverse”: i.e. the irrational desire to do something self-destructive specifically
because it is self-destructive. In other words, I know I should not reference the song
“Round and Round” in my short stories, I know that absolutely no good can come of out
of the practice, therefore I continue to reference “Round and Round” in my short stories.

3:20 - Remake the band using only people from Rooster Republic Press (bonus points for
creating a stage name for each.)

Lead Vocals – Douglas “D is for motherfuckin’ Douglas” Hackle

Lead Guitar – Arthur “I’m too cool and pretty for Facebook” Graham

Drums – Etienne “How the hell do you pronounce my Frenchy, fancy-pants first name?”

Bagpipes – John “Da Loch Ness Monsta” McNee

Bass Guitar – Danger “Um ... Danger Slater??” Slater

3:58 - Do you like Ratt at all outside of this song?

No. Aside from the song “Round and Round,” the only music I can stand to listen to
nowadays is this defunct Estonian-Indonesian trio that played a mixture of various jazz
styles, baroque classical, Hindustani classical, Celtic-funeral-doom-grindcore-death
metal, noise, psychedelic funk, punk-prog, bluegrass, unhip hop, post-1997 acid techno,
pre-2006 Euro trance, proto-2013 Eskimocore igloo anti-pop, and sampled authentic
whale song. This band didn’t even have a name. What’s more, all three band members
promptly committed suicide after recording there first and only album. I’m the only
person who has ever heard said album. Yeah, what can I say—I’m cooler than most folks.
I’m sorta hardcore.

Douglas Hackle

Douglas Hackle is the author of CLOWN TEAR JUNKIES published by Rooster Republic Press. Here is some wonderful praise for that book:

“Hackle may be the best absurdist story writer working today [...] I enjoyed this book more than

any other book that I've read in a long time." - Bradley Sands, Author of TV Snorted My Brain

"He sits up there with his pen and paper or word processor or baby seal skin and razor blade

(or whatever fucked-up instruments he uses to write stories like this) and he tells us the kind of

tales we didn’t even know we were thirsty for in the first place. The kind of tales that matter,

in their own weird way. The kind of tales that make reading a joy." - Danger Slater, Author of


"You walk away [from Clown Tear Junkies] with a clear feeling of how odd Doug Hackle is.

It's almost like finding an anonymous notebook in the halls of a high school that was dropped

by someone who wrote these twisted little things never intending anyone else to read them. But

share them he did!" - Ray Fracalossy, Author of Tales from the Vinegar Wasteland

Also, Karen Brissette, the #1 reviewer on Goodreads in terms of votes—and she's #1 by an

extremely large margin of votes at that—weighed in on Clown Tear Junkies. Here is what she

had to say:  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/755536483

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