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Author Topic: Is Steampunk Becoming Too Mainstream?  (Read 48155 times)
BrethrenAndBetrayer
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« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2008, 02:25:02 pm »

Thinking about it now, if it does go mainstream, there is of course the good possibility that there will be a worldwide outbreak of kindness and decency. There would be the few exceptions, but still. I hope for this or other previously mentioned outcomes.
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« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2008, 03:06:55 pm »

Quote
The "mainstream" includes people who go to the history section of their library and slice out pages to decoupage on a pocketbook.

They might carry the purse twice before it is set aside and allowed to deteriorate.

That is NOT who we are.

I'll agree that this sort of thing concerns me a bit.  It is one thing if something that would have been junked anyway gets cannibalized for jewelry or housewares or whatnot; it is quite another to tear apart something that would have been a valuable antique in its original form.  Most steampunks I have encountered know the difference; what they are doing is more along the lines of refurbishing or recycling things that would have been junk, to make valuable new items.  Most of "us" know that if there's any question, one takes the item in for an appraisal.  (Many antique shops are glad to give an item a quick glance at no charge).  The "mainstream" includes people who, through no fault of their own, don't know any better; they are inexpert at refurbishing, they won't know if the pocketwatch, say, is a valuable heirloom or a piece of junk best taken apart for its gears (note that whether or not it works is not the deciding factor).  These are the same people who would decoupage antique book pages onto pocketbooks.

If large numbers of such people discover steampunk, it is going to get harder for both SPs and antique buffs to find good old stuff.  By definition, such things are in limited supply because you can't actually make new old stuff; only refurbish existing old stuff or make new stuff that imitates old stuff.  Both of which SPs do in spades, but they usually make the effort to do it well.

I'll say about the made vs. bought issue that it is a good thing if quality stuff appears on the market for SPs and others who can't make their own (some have the skill but lack the tools or the space; also, not everyone can have every skill).  It shouldn't make any difference whether one has homemade goggles, military surplus goggles, or no goggles at all, as one poster indicated.  It's the tearing apart of quality items, both new and old, to make unused schlock that would concern me.

I'll also point out that SP isn't all about the stuff, though it is the stuff that would be most likely to go mainstream.
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« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2008, 03:56:15 pm »

However, I'm detecting a growing trend here of "if you made it yourself you're steampunk, if you bought it you're a commercial poser" (implied, not stated outright, of course, we wouldnt' be that rude.)  You have to have some sympathy for those in our community who have little skill at making things, or are specialized in our making of things.

Ahh,and there's the rub...  I did not intend to imply that people who don't have the skills to make things aren't steampunk.  Nor do  I consider anyone a commercial poser.  I don't have certain skills, and those I do are not always helpful.  But I like the well made whether I made it or someone else did.  I can't speak for anyone but my self, but if I met a "steampunk" with a lot of nicely made items I would ask them about them.  If they purchased them I'd be curious to know where, as a good source for quality items is always worth having.  If they made them I would be even more impressed, and would ask them about construction techniques.  If instead I met a "steampunk" with some poorly made items I would still talk to them, and I would be interested in where they got them.  If they bought them I would suggest some other sources, or offer to help them with manufacture of things that I can do fairly well.  If they made them and I had constructive advice to offer I would, but I would be more impressed with someone who had tried to make some stuff and did "good enough" than with someone who had bought "good enough".

I realise that most people don't have the skills/space/equipment to make everything, or even much.  But that doesn't mean that they can't appreciate the well made.  I prefer the self made because it shows the skills, but I have no problem with well-made commercial products.  And the poorly made, cheap products also have their place.  Myself, I don't sew (other than buttons and leather projects), I have a strange selection of tools and don't always have what I would need to do what I want (skills or tools).

As a good example of where I know I have a lack of skills, I've recently finished two holsters for my stepdaughter.  They're hand made, with a rose design carved into them.  I did almost all of the work, but my wife is much better at painting than I am.  I would have painted the roses with one colour, and allowed the shape of the leather to provide any shading.  Instead I passed off the holsters to my wife after I had done most of the work and she painted the roses.  The colouring is superb and brings the three dimensional aspects of the leather out even more.  But I couldn't do that.  And I know that I can't, so I rely on my wife for the aspects that she is good at on my projects.  Does that make me worse?  No, I know my limitations and I work around them by using alternative methods or out-sourcing. 

Z.
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« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2008, 04:42:33 pm »

That is exactly what communities are for, yes?
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« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2008, 07:23:41 pm »

Although I'm new to SP, I still worry about this going mainstream, only because of the fact that, for me, I tend to wander off when I start seeing the same thing everywhere. Thinking about it though, there are so many different aspects of SP, that it's highly probable that that couldn't happen. Completely off topic example(I'm a car nut), I've loved the Nissan Skyline ever since I saw it in Gran Turismo 3. As it's popularity grew, it eventually became THE car, then made its way into 2Fast2Furious, and it just blew up, its everywhere. Now when I see it, I'm kinda like "yeah, that's neat, but I've seen it before, a hundred times." The point. I just don't think it's possible for SP to lose that wow factor, simply because there are just so many different facets to the aesthetic.

What I would LOVE to see go mainstream is the culture part of SP. The respectfulness, the constructiveness, the genuine kindness, and the ability to resolve conflicts without going into all out flame wars.

So, in essence, I think that if the SP attitude goes mainstream along with the aesthetics, the world would be a much better place.




(snip
on a related note, there's a movie of Journey to the Center of the Earth with nicholas cage coming out soon. Are we excited, or horrified? (or both?)
(snip)

I believe its <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373051/">Brendan Fraser</a>. And, I personally, think it looks like a great bit of fun.
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« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2008, 07:27:58 pm »

But a bit of a butchery of the book...
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« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2008, 08:05:09 pm »


(snip
on a related note, there's a movie of Journey to the Center of the Earth with nicholas cage coming out soon. Are we excited, or horrified? (or both?)
(snip)

I believe its <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373051/">Brendan Fraser</a>. And, I personally, think it looks like a great bit of fun.


ah, yes, brainfart on my part. Similar sort of action star, brendan fraser's better looking, nicolas cage is probably a better actor...  That's what I get for not looking things up before talking about them Tongue

yeah, cheap poorly made stuff definitely has its place, like being affordable and accessable to us poor college students.  If I could afford well made things I would have them, but I don't, so for the most part (except a few things acquiried as gifts, inheritance, or exceptionally lucky thrift store finds) I don't. 
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« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2008, 08:20:12 pm »

Here is the article I mentioned earlier. Remember, it is simplified as it's written for high schoolers. I'm debating publishing it at all, honestly...
_____________________________________________________________________________________

The beats in the 50s—these writers gradually became entirely mainstream—Jack Kerouac, anyone? The hippies in the 60s—we all know that tie-dye t-shirts were being sold in malls by the early 70s. The disco culture in the 70s—it moved from a fringe (and almost entirely gay) fad to the forefront of pop culture. The punks in the 80s—they began as anti-disco and anti-traditional rock’n’roll radicals, and were gradually accepted throughout the 1980s. The grunge movement in the 90s, exploding into the mainstream with the huge success of Nirvana. And now, in the new millennium, indie rock and the fashion and culture associated with it. Throughout postwar American history, subcultures have been absorbed into the mainstream; their radical ideals diluted and warped (and thus accepted) and their aesthetic commercialized.

But we’re looking forward—so, what’s the next big thing? Steampunk.

Steampunk is, simply put, neo-Victorian science fiction. First and foremost, steampunk is a literary subgenre. Writers like K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock pioneered the genre in the 1970s and 1980s. Jeter coined the term in order to describe works which, like his, were set in the Victorian era and imitated Victorian science fiction by writers such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.

The ‘steam’ part of steampunk comes, obviously, from the dominant form of power in the late 1800s. The ‘punk’ portion, however, comes from the way that steampunk literature uses science fiction to identify and criticize social injustices in the Victorian world that mirror those in the modern world.

Steampunk literature has gotten more popular in the present, with authors like China Miéville keeping the genre relevant.

As a literary genre, steampunk can claim a rather unusual accomplishment—it has spawned its very own subculture. Steampunks wear waistcoats (vests), tailcoats, top hats, vintage military wear, and pinstriped pants; accessorizing with gears, pins, patches, spiked belts; and every steampunk owns a pair of old aviator’s or welder’s goggles. Essentially, they look like post-apocalyptic Victorian gentlemen and –women.

Steampunk as a movement is not at all political, though many individual steampunks call themselves anarchists or socialists. In addition, most steampunk literature is decidedly liberal, pointing out the economic injustices inherent in the Victorian-era brand of unregulated capitalism and the social injustices inherent in late-19th century high society.

Politics aside, the steampunk aesthetic has recently popped up more and more in popular culture. The bestselling “His Dark Materials” series by Philip Pullman features steampunk technology and content, as did short-lived Joss Whedon TV series “Firefly”, along with the popular work of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, a popular comic book series that was later made into a film, deals with Victorian adventurers interacting with various science fiction characters—Dr. Jekyll from “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and the Martians from H.G. Wells’s “The War of the Worlds”.

Steampunk has its hands in music, too. The most prolific of the few steampunk bands is Abney Park, a goth band who have rebranded themselves as steampunk, singing about adventures on zeppelins and selling handmade leather swallowtail safari vests. Musical collective Vernian Process has released an album and is working on another. A few dozen smaller bands are labeling themselves as steampunk, as well.

Items influenced (even if unknowingly) by steampunk aesthetics have been showing up in major chain stores, as well. Target recently introduced a wall clock surrounded with aged gears. Clothing stores are selling waistcoats by the hundreds. It seems that steampunk has the greatest influence in fashion, with older double-breasted styles, military cuts, corsets, long skirts, and

The internet is abuzz: widely read webcomics Questionable Content and Married to the Sea have recently mentioned steampunk. Several communities on popular blog site LiveJournal are devoted to various aspects of steampunk. SteampunkMagazine.com has published four free issues for download. The forums of British steampunk blog Brass Goggles (brassgoggles.co.uk) has over 4,000 registered users and many more readers.

Thus, steampunk now has a presence in every aspect of American (and British) culture, making it different from other subcultures, which are usually based in music. In addition to this, steampunks rebel by dressing up—in contrast to the hippie ideas of rebelling against established fashion norms, this movement rebels by returning to antique aesthetics and adapting these to their liking. Rather than the sneering brutality of the original punk movement, many steampunks say that, “The only worthwhile rebellion is being a gentleman.” Because people are familiar with the aesthetic and the fashion has no potential to offend anyone, steampunk’s transition to the mainstream would be rather quick and painless, more a matter of enough people discovering the movement than a slow acceptance.

Though one aspect of steampunk could present a bit of a bump—it’s intelligent. Even on internet message boards, generally hellholes of unintelligible gramer nd speling, steampunks (at the very least try to) spell flawlessly and use words that would send most trend-followers to the dictionary. One has to be well-read to keep up with a steampunk’s references, and sharp to match their wit.

In that steampunk is both highly intelligent and has footholds in various mediums, it is entirely different than any subculture to previously be thrust into the mainstream. It is likely that the vast array of examples of steampunk that are already widely known will make the transition from fringe to mainstream easier, but the intelligence and radical politics of many steampunks could make it more difficult.
________________________________

The process that occurs after a subculture is co-opted by the mainstream does not vary from example to example. Indie rock, for example, became the purpose of the lives of hipsters across the US seemingly overnight. Shortly after, the fashion associated with indie, such as distressed jeans, slip-on shoes, and striped shirts were deemed “cool” (read: moneymaking) by stores everywhere. The music was only briefly in the spotlight, but the fashion has remained. Similarly, when the Sex Pistols thrust punk into the mainstream, the movement’s revolutionary politics were no longer of consequence, but its fashion was soon written up in “Vogue”.

One could replace the music of the previous examples with literature and have steampunk. If the mainstream were to pick up on steampunk, it is probable that its fashion would be deemed stylish and any of its ideas about technology or the importance of DIY would be quickly discarded.

It may be in five years. It may be in ten. It may be next month. But steampunk will be incorporated into the mainstream, and it will be the first time in the lives of many teenagers that we can witness the process, from beginning to end, firsthand. So if you find yourself buying a bustle skirt or a tailcoat at Urban Outfitters sometime, remember that being a gentleman was rebellious way back in 2008.

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« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2008, 08:25:52 pm »

I think if steampunk goes "mainstream" i would at first take advantage of it (as per my previous post) but if i came across some "steampunks" with none of the manners and sense of wonderment at the world that the people of this forum have... well... if there were too many of them, and their attitude is too yobbish... i may be carted of in a "self hugging jacket" frothing at the mouth and raving slightly.
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« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2008, 08:32:31 pm »

The thing with all of these threads--we're assuming it's Going to go mainstream.  Is this really a foregone conclusion? There are a lot of other things in the fringes right now that are a lot more likely to become widespread than Steampunk is. 
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« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2008, 08:41:53 pm »

I, for one, look forward to it emerging into the mainstream. We might see a wave of dapper clothing and well-mannered youth rebelling against that brain-eating bulldada emanated by idiot's lanterns all across the globe. I marvel at the possibilities.
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« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2008, 08:48:13 pm »

Personally, I like to envision steampunk as meme with the potential to positively alter "civilized"(as of late, distinctly un-civilized) society in a significant way. As to the fashion aspect, all fashions hit the mall eventually, in some respect. It would be wise for the worried to batten down the hatches now, before the wave breaks o'er the bow.

Humbly submitted for your approval.

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« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2008, 08:57:58 pm »

Personally, I like to envision steampunk as meme with the potential to positively alter "civilized"(as of late, distinctly un-civilized) society in a significant way. As to the fashion aspect, all fashions hit the mall eventually, in some respect. It would be wise for the worried to batten down the hatches now, before the wave breaks o'er the bow.

Humbly submitted for your approval.



Hear hear!
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« Reply #63 on: July 04, 2008, 09:28:11 pm »

I'd like to *internationalize steampunk because I'm fascinated with the era and the idea of mixing it with science.  For instance, 19th century Japan and Siam are both great locations to study and use as settings for steampunk stories and multimedia.

I sympathize with the fear of mainstreaming this culture because I actually noticed a degradation of goth when 9/10 students in high school dressed in black and made it interchangeable with EMO.

Sooner or later steampunk will evolve and let's hope that people who are sincerely devoted to the community, not businesses, helps steer its advancement.
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« Reply #64 on: July 05, 2008, 12:19:34 am »

I have one main concern about steampunk going mainstream - and that's only if it happens "overnight"

Basically I haven't worn anywhere near enough SP-type stuff to work, and if it goes mainstream before I do, I'll look like I'm just following fashion...

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« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2008, 02:28:25 am »



Quote
"Goggles don't make the Steampunk, it's Steampunks who makes the goggles"

I LOVE this quote! Fantastic.

Agreed, that's an excellent way of putting it. However, I'm detecting a growing trend here of "if you made it yourself you're steampunk, if you bought it you're a commercial poser" (implied, not stated outright, of course, we wouldnt' be that rude.)  You have to have some sympathy for those in our community who have little skill at making things, or are specialized in our making of things. I, for instance, am good at making jewelry, but all my attempts at goggles have come out not good enough to wear, so I still wear my military surplus goggles instead.  And I can't really sew, so all my clothes are found/assembled from pieces found in thrift stores and (occaisionally) mainstream stores.   I definitely agree with the sentiment that making things rather than buying them=good, but  no one can make everything they wear. Or rather, some people probably can and I have an insane of amount for respect for them, but they are, on the whole, rather rare. 

Well please read the post that went with the quote:

I don't think it really matters if a bunch of people are investing their time into doing stuff themselves (ala "Steampunk) or not. If your concern is about impostors using the title "Steampunk" to justify their actions, then don't be.

Remember "Goggles don't make the Steampunk, it's Steampunks who makes the goggles"

Or in other words:
People going out and paying money for some cheap mass produced artifact for the only intention of calling themselves "Steampunk'. Will only embarrass themselves when the real deal Steampunk comes along and asks them a question about how they did it. While a real deal Steampunk may/may not have built the device themselves, they have at least taken the time to understand the work as well as the complexities of how it could be made.

So mainstream, or behind the scenes. IF your Steampunk, you're Steampunk no matter what. You can like what you like regardless if it's mainstream, cool, the shizz-nizz, or whatever.

It's more than JUST making something.
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« Reply #66 on: July 05, 2008, 02:47:12 am »

I survived goth going mainstream, and I am still a goth after all these years. I didn't just roll my eyes at the Hot Topic kids though, I actually went out and did my best to teach the kids so they could actually express themselves with the fashion rather than the fashion directing them.

I already see so much Steampunk DIY, and people doing what I did back then. That is the secret, the style should appeal to you because of something within you, not because it's trendy. Poseurs are those that are directed, not influenced but directed, by outside forces to follow a fashion; because they think it will make them cool. People who belong are those who come to a subculture because it speaks to something internal. Sometimes true believers just aren't exposed to the calling of their hearts till they get exposure to it, so it's not really something I look forward to but the mainstreaming of steampunk might not be all bad.
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« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2008, 06:19:24 am »

As I've already spewed forth my own thoughts on the subject at hand in several earlier threads, I'll not repeat myself here - others have the matter well in hand.

Instead, let me offer this simple toast to the future (as I see it) of Steampunk:

"To the subversion of the mainstream!"

Warmest regards,
Prof. D. P. von Corax
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« Reply #68 on: July 05, 2008, 07:16:00 am »

I don't think goth is dead, my personal easthetic is it's self a mix of goth and steampunk. I belong to another forum, where its much like this one. People don't act snooty, and they generally voice their opinion in a grown up manner. Even young adults my age, most of the people i know on the other forum make their own stuff. Or they find cute things in mainstream stores, and modify or accessories it till it fits there style. So it's not that goth is dead, because there are still many people that are "real goths" as supposed to trend seeking sheep.

If it goes mainstream like goth did then at the very least we'll find some crappy cloths that might make good patterns.  Cheesy

proof that goth isn't dead, and some still make there own stuff.

http://antimonyandlace.yuku.com/topic/8742

http://antimonyandlace.yuku.com/topic/1706

http://antimonyandlace.yuku.com/topic/8772
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« Reply #69 on: July 05, 2008, 11:44:39 am »

It's more than JUST making something.

Depends on who you ask...If you ask me, it was a genre and aesthetic before it was anything else.
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« Reply #70 on: July 05, 2008, 01:51:11 pm »

The thing with all of these threads--we're assuming it's Going to go mainstream.  Is this really a foregone conclusion? There are a lot of other things in the fringes right now that are a lot more likely to become widespread than Steampunk is. 

Absolutely what I'm thinking. The combined membership of brass goggles, the steampunk fashion LJ, and Gaslamp Bazaar, (to take a rough indexing) can't be more than a tenth as many people as the hardcore Trek communities or the most peculiar of fetish groups -to name a few. Now we have paraphernalia they don't, we don't attract negative stigma, and more readily bleed into subculture than them, hence the potential for mainstream attention. Really, though, we are still SO TINY at the moment. I doubt a poll of a thousand streetfolk would turn up more than a handful who have even heard of the term steampunk. There also seems to be a lot of seeing steampunk where we want to: retrofuturism is a very common meme all on its own, has been for decades, it was even evident in parts of hippy culture (just look at the Beatles post-Sgt Pepper's).
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« Reply #71 on: July 05, 2008, 03:23:08 pm »

Quote
Really, though, we are still SO TINY at the moment.

This is an excellent point.  To some of us, the subculture/aesthetic/what-have-you appears to be growing by leaps and bounds because we just discovered there are many others; in my case, for instance, three months ago the "steampunk subculture" appeared to comprise approximately four individuals.  We gravitated toward one another because we shared the same tastes in films, books, comics, games, and clothes; we also all wanted to look and act like nineteenth-century gentlemen (or ladies) of science, though that was a fairly costumes-and-conventions sort of thing with us.  When I found the larger group, it sure looked like it had grown my several orders of magnitude overnight, because for me, it had.

(I'm still trying to get one of my friends onto BG, but he "doesn't have enough time".  That didn't stop me!  Cheesy  Another has since moved out of my state and I would enjoy seeing him on here, but he doesn't have much aethernet access).

But it hasn't grown that much; a few articles and wiki items have brought a few more of us out of the woodwork, is all.  It may be growing percentagewise, and thus appear to be exploding in popularity, but it does still remain small.

The main change I've seen in the mainstream is that in the last few weeks if I've gone out dressed SP I've had strangers say "oh yeah - steampunk!" rather than just give me the strange looks I'm more used to.  This is probably the result of those same articles and wiki items.   
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 03:24:53 pm by Nikola Tesla » Logged
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« Reply #72 on: July 05, 2008, 04:06:54 pm »

I think that this is a very good point. I am one of those such individuals I think. Primarily, it was a friend who got me into Steampunk. I have many interests that could be considered Steampunk, but I had never heard of it as a subculture. With some prodding, I researched Steampunk and, here I am. For me, I've been into Steampunk a lot longer than when I first "discovered" it recently, but I just had no idea what to call it.

Now, I have more knowledge and also like-minded individuals with whom to share.
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« Reply #73 on: July 05, 2008, 09:31:06 pm »

Dear Hawkes-Leggett,

I was perusing your article, and I caught a couple of errors in your paper that you should address if you do decide to publish it:

Quote
... corsets, long skirts, and
You missed the ending of your thought. Your paragraph may be otherwise complete.

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... unintelligible gramer nd speling,...
It's "grammar and spelling." I didn't notice any other spelling errors, but I am not an expert at spelling, myself. Not to mention that I was not paying attention to the spelling until I caught this line....

Sincerely yours,

Doctor Z-kun.
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« Reply #74 on: July 05, 2008, 11:27:25 pm »

The thing with all of these threads--we're assuming it's Going to go mainstream.  Is this really a foregone conclusion? There are a lot of other things in the fringes right now that are a lot more likely to become widespread than Steampunk is. 

Absolutely what I'm thinking. The combined membership of brass goggles, the steampunk fashion LJ, and Gaslamp Bazaar, (to take a rough indexing) can't be more than a tenth as many people as the hardcore Trek communities or the most peculiar of fetish groups -to name a few. Now we have paraphernalia they don't, we don't attract negative stigma, and more readily bleed into subculture than them, hence the potential for mainstream attention. Really, though, we are still SO TINY at the moment. I doubt a poll of a thousand streetfolk would turn up more than a handful who have even heard of the term steampunk. There also seems to be a lot of seeing steampunk where we want to: retrofuturism is a very common meme all on its own, has been for decades, it was even evident in parts of hippy culture (just look at the Beatles post-Sgt Pepper's).


Very true.  Victorian influenced things slip into modern fashion things every couple of years--I remember a big surge of it when Moulin Rouge came out as well.  Also,  the vests (waistcoats) gaining popularity isn't from us, it's from those same indie kids. 


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"Goggles don't make the Steampunk, it's Steampunks who makes the goggles"

I LOVE this quote! Fantastic.

Agreed, that's an excellent way of putting it. However, I'm detecting a growing trend here of "if you made it yourself you're steampunk, if you bought it you're a commercial poser" (implied, not stated outright, of course, we wouldnt' be that rude.)  You have to have some sympathy for those in our community who have little skill at making things, or are specialized in our making of things. I, for instance, am good at making jewelry, but all my attempts at goggles have come out not good enough to wear, so I still wear my military surplus goggles instead.  And I can't really sew, so all my clothes are found/assembled from pieces found in thrift stores and (occaisionally) mainstream stores.   I definitely agree with the sentiment that making things rather than buying them=good, but  no one can make everything they wear. Or rather, some people probably can and I have an insane of amount for respect for them, but they are, on the whole, rather rare. 

Well please read the post that went with the quote:

I don't think it really matters if a bunch of people are investing their time into doing stuff themselves (ala "Steampunk) or not. If your concern is about impostors using the title "Steampunk" to justify their actions, then don't be.

Remember "Goggles don't make the Steampunk, it's Steampunks who makes the goggles"

Or in other words:
People going out and paying money for some cheap mass produced artifact for the only intention of calling themselves "Steampunk'. Will only embarrass themselves when the real deal Steampunk comes along and asks them a question about how they did it. While a real deal Steampunk may/may not have built the device themselves, they have at least taken the time to understand the work as well as the complexities of how it could be made.

So mainstream, or behind the scenes. IF your Steampunk, you're Steampunk no matter what. You can like what you like regardless if it's mainstream, cool, the shizz-nizz, or whatever.

It's more than JUST making something.

I read the whole post, my comment wasn't directed purely or even primarily at your post, but at the overall attitude. 
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