25 June 2008

A Hessian Session

Due to the marginalization of suburban, teenage male culture through a campaign of conformity from our largest media monopolies and public schools, it is now more important than ever to pay homage to our proud hesher traditions. What defines a hessian? No, it is not a mercenary from Bavaria in this context, but rather a lifestyle well-suited for males who came of age in the 80s and 90s. These youngsters would often be seen riding around on BMX bikes with Ratt T-shirts while setting off bottle rockets at the local 7-11. The musical and cinematic tastes of this demographic was superlative in its own right, and a dominant cultural paradigm has yet to supplant this unsung piece of Americana.

The Hessian Studies Institute of Los Angeles seeks to chronicle the history of America's young dirt-lipped Heshers, and they also define the seemingly nihilistic message into a broader contemporary perspective. From their "Lifestyles and Values" page:

Hessians values are deeply rooted in Romantic idealism, characterised by quality not quantity. Hessians seek to transcend life by living in harmony with nature. Metal music is part of the Hessian lifestyle, not the definition. In the vein of Faust, those that want the sensation of power can find it in metal. Nihilism is a tool of thought, not a destination; fifty years of depression, rebellion, beer, weed, whores and gore evaluates as a life experience that sums to zero. Hessians seek to travel beyond where metalheads will not go. Knowledge, power and worldly experience rank far above the pleasures of the body.

Where hessians seek rebellion from the establishment, our current youth avoid independence to conform to the branding schemes of the mainstream. This is like a needle through the heart for me personally, as angry youth are the creative force behind our greatest music, art, movies, and culture. Indeed, the hessian lifestyle of cynical commentary on dominant themes existing in society is a prominent force behind the blogosphere. To honor our Hessian heritage, here is a humble tribute set to Hammerfall's "Stronger Than All".

Of course I did see some teenagers eyeing my pickup truck today while I was at the Jack in the Box. Hopefully, they wanted to throw some thunderbombs at me or have me buy them some beer. If that was the case, there would still be hope for America.