Hogan, killer of men and eater of hearts. Alongside Mr. T, Chuck
Norris and David Hasselhoff, he's one of the people who have fuelled
the fires of internet hilarity to the point where we need to worry
about the digital equivalent of the greenhouse effect. And yet, after
years of subpar Photoshops and weary blog jokes there's still a few
drops left in the mustachioed lemon. Mr. Hogan is after all quite the
renaissance man, and there is just so much to grab onto when attacking
the subject. His body of work is after all not limited to the decade
he spent pretending to dropkick people pretending to be supervillains
in some sort of explosive redneck pretend sport that only appeals to
children and communities who have just grasped the concepts of fire
and the wheel (and are currently experimenting with setting their
wheels on fire and racing each other to the river). He has also
released albums, featured in an animated show and starred in movies
and sitcoms, and currently he's got his own reality show, which is
absolute televisual gold. Hell, he's probably got cookbooks out there
so you can combine all his slamtastic food products in ways that will
give you energy to run around and piledrive communism until the cows
turn to burgers. And on top of all that, he's a rock video genius.
When Hulk hooked up with the Wrestling Boot Band and released the
Hulk Rules, it became abundantly clear that he could neither
freestyle about wearing shades and looking at tits nor croon sweetly
about tag teaming with dead kids. The man has the musical range of a
tunnel excavation. So I guess we can forgive Hulk for not actually
singing on Rick Derring's rockercoaster Real American. Now, before we
dive into this piece of music video history, I have a piece of
information that might shock and upset Hulk's die-hard fans. If this
applies to you, you might want to place your monocle on the table
before reading on so you don't splash Chablis all over your copy of
the New Yorker: Hulk is a bit of a right-wing conservative. The flag
kind. In fact, the first thing you'll see in this video is a series of
stars jumping out of the good old stars & stripes and straight into
your face while you're treated to a series of childhood photos of the
gentle giant himself.
Actually, that's not completely true. The very first image you see is
a piece of black and white stock footage of people cheering. Stock
enthusiasts will be glad to hear the director of this video uses every
opportunity he gets to push the stock button and roll a hilarious clip
of biplanes crashing into barns, buildings being demolished or people
crashing their bikes into breakaway brick walls.
Intercut with the stock footage is a collage of some of Hulk's most
triumphant moments in the ring, most of which involve punching André
the Giant in the gut. And to subtly keep the patriotic message of the
video going, Hulk rocks out in front of a flag and plays his flag
guitar while the lyrics describe exactly what a real American is:
"I am a real American
Fight for the rights of every man
I am a real American
Fight for what's right
Fight for your life!"
So, let's see... flags, fighting, crashing bikes... that pretty much
sums it up for America, right? Ah, but you're forgetting something.
American history! A montage featuring historical figures like George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Sitting Bull and Martin
Luther King flashes by, only to linger on a close-up of the Vietnam
Veterans' Memorial Wall. Which is kinda poignant, summing up a
nation's history like that by listing its greatest leaders and
ideologists only to end up on the atrocities of the Vietnam war, one
of the largest stains on the country's history. What sort of comment
could Hulk and Derring be making here? Well, let's have a look.
In a bold move, the rock geniuses cut straight from the names of those
fallen in Vietnam to Hulk rocking the fuck out in front of pink
fireworks. I'm not really sure what the message here is, but it sure
is potent whatever it is. Hulk's still not done with the historical
Ah, three central images from American history. The flag raisers of
Iwo Jima, Hulk Hogan carrying a flag into the ring to fight a guy
dressed like a Russian and Armstrong planting the flag on the moon.
Hogan's never been one for cold wars, so he deals with Communism his
own way: having one guy represent an ideology and then pretend to body
slam him. I guess it's no surprise Hulk wins the epic fight, but what
follows the bout is one of the most explosive political gestures ever
performed: Hulk Hogan headbutts Communism.
That's right. What do you need words for when you can simply pick up a
flag and fucking headbutt the Soviet Union? Governor Schwarzenegger,
this is the public relations guy you're looking for. Well, that's
another couple of aspects from the American identity down. But what
about the US geography? What about the endless grain fields and
landmarks? Sea to shining sea and all that? It's time for Hulk Hogan's
roxpress across the 50 states.
And you better believe the man rocks everywhere. He rocks the White
House, he rocks the Grand Canyon, he rocks the Superbowl, he rocks
Rushmore, he rocks Manhattan, he rocks the Hollywood sign, he rocks
both the Libery Bell and the Statue of Liberty... if it's in America,
he rocks it.
Towards the end of this sequence, Hulk is standing next to Washington
Monument while making quite the suggestive motion with his axe. This
sets off the most phallic 20 seconds ever witnessed by man or beast.
Missiles rise across the screen penetrating the American flag, Hulk
rides his hog while dreaming about cowboys and pretending he's
shooting a gun - all intercut with images of war and weaponry. You
know that scene in Dr. Strangelove where the guy is riding the atom
bomb? That's like an ocean of vaginas compared to Real American.
By now, Hulk's pretty much defined everything that constitutes a real
American, so it's time to comment on some current events (which I
suppose would be the Gulf War) and wrap the video up. In his regular
non-verbal way, he does this by forcefully crumpling a photo of a flag
burning activist and then ripping his own shirt, which is Hulkese for
"exclamation point". He is then shown triumphantly exiting the ring,
handing over a flag to a young boy in the audience on his way to the
wardrobe. But before leaving us entirely, Hulk shares his wisdom and
"TRAIN, SAY YOUR PRAYERS, EAT YOUR VITAMINS! BE TRUE TO YOURSELF, TRUE
TO YOUR COUNTRY,
BE A REAL AMERICAN!"
Hey, if Hulk Hogan says it, who are we to argue? In short,
American might be the most awesome rock video ever created. It's a
mockery of everything it tries to celebrate and a reflection of
everything that's wrong with the West today, and is blissfully unaware
of all this. It's as hollow and shallow as the "sport" that made Hulk
famous and mistakes "political expression" for "punching a piece of
cloth with your head". It's an absolute classic to be watched and
cherished by every real American out there.
Click here to watch the Real American
Click here to see the Hulk Rules album