Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hessian Obsession

Back in the Old Xeroxed 'Zine Days of the early to mid-90's, Umlaut would trade copies with other 'zines from around the country. It was always funny to me 'cause 99.5% of the 'zines were "Punk" and Umlaut has always been Metal; I always thought it was ironic that Umlaut had strong allies at such "Punk" icons as MaximumRockNRoll and Flipside.

I don't think the "Punks" were used to something that was Metal having a "Punk-like" DIY aesthetic combined with a self-deprecating sense of humor. I also think that the "Punks" didn't realize that I wasn't laughing *with* them I was laughing *at* them. Stupid "Punks".

Anyway, there was one 'zine that qualified as Umlaut's kindred spirit in the "Punk" dominated 'Zine world and it was called Hessian Obsession outta Olympia, Washington. The editor Quitty was obviously a "Punk", but he knew Metal and heshers, or as he put it:

"My own obsession with heshers stems from my hessian childhood and formative years. If you ask certain people, they will insist that I am still hessian today, for heshers are like alcoholics in that you recognize that you must accept the fact that you have a disease - and once you quit, you still have the disease but are merely a Recovering Hesher. One Day at a Time."

Recently, I found a copy of Hession Obsession #1 in a box of crap and, although it's 11 years old, I laughed out loud again and again. The issue included such classic pieces as 'The Top 25 Slayer Lyrics Of All Time!', 'The Church Of Paul Baloff', 'The Official Slayer Crossword Puzzle', 'German Metal Primer', and 'Slayer Fun Activity':

Just for fun, try throwing some Slayer lyrics into everyday conversations. Baffle your friends! Shock your mom! Torment the priest!


Q: "Hey, what's up?"

A: "Oh, ya know, ripping apart, severing flesh, gouging eyes, tearing limb from limb."

Q: "Hey, why won't the red light change?

A: "Hmm, gods of the throne must be watching from hell."

Or, create your own!

Other articles included a Hesher's travel experiences in Europe:

"While I was pissing in the nice little Danish bathrooms in the nice little Danish village with the nice little Danish bakeries and the nice little Danish houses - I saw something that totally made up for my way-bogus surroundings: scribbled on the bathroom wall in American-black permanent pen was "Iron Maiden Rules"."

Goddam funny stuff that still holds up, at least for me... and that's all that matters! If anyone knows what happened to the folks at Hessian Obsession let me know.

From Hessian Obsession #1