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Author Topic: Steampunk isn't Punk...  (Read 20894 times)
Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #100 on: February 28, 2007, 08:04:13 pm »

I don't really see that much of a contingent of people that are claiming Steampunk has to be DIY. There were just a few isolated incidents, but to address your last post heresyoftruth:

We all support that you enjoy tinkering with brass and cogs, and other old world items, but the whole point of bringing up this definition was so that people realize that Steampunk isn't just about brass and cogs, and other conventions of that nature. It's about an aesthetic. I will disagree with whoever above said that Steampunk doesn't have to be Victorian. Because it really does. That is the whole point of the genre. It's a celebration Victorian anachronisms.

Just look at it like this:

Let's say a DIY person makes two seperate objects, but with the same parts.

The first object is a steam powered toaster, with some art nouveau decor added to it.

The second is a steam powered toaster with some art deco decor added to it.

The first one would qualify as Steampunk, the second would not. Not to say that both inventions wouldn't be great fun and interesting. Just that in order for the toaster to qualify as Steampunk, it MUST show some kind of victorian influence.

Or else it's just a steam powered toaster.

Once again, I will reiterate, that you guys that tinker and invent wonderful DIY contraptions are all welcome to take part in the Steampunk culture, but just don't assume that anything you build (because you use classic materials) will automatically be considered steampunk. If it doesn't meet the requirements, than it's just a neat invention that happens to have a classic design sensibility.

Regardless of whether or not you guys feel that Steampunk is too restrictive if it's only set in the Victorian era, that is really just too bad. Because that's exactly what it is. You can't change it. But you can come up with your own new (insert silly name)punk styles.

I really think we should all abandon the term Steampunk, and stick with Anachronistic. That term could encompass any time period.

(I sure hope I'm not contradicting myself here).
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« Reply #101 on: February 28, 2007, 08:08:22 pm »

I wonder how much of the contention in this thread can be traced back to 80's punks vs. new romantics (mods, goths, whatever) rivalries? I'm certainly not accusing anyone on this board of consciously cultivating such contention, I'm just curious if some of those old experiences and definitions are subconsciously influencing us?

I think it's more tracable back to people who want it to be Punk vs. people who don't give a damn about Punk.

The latter group - which came first, incidentally - is perfectly fine with tinkering around with stuff if that's your fancy. That's great, and I actually like the idea of buying some of your guys' wares. Some of us in the latter group are even down with progressive ideas like voluntary simplicity (as opposed to Yagish's admitted "you can't buy your way into Steampunk because, actually, I personally don't have enough money to buy Steampunk stuff and it makes me jealous"), socialism, the 4-R's and Green Capitalism. Spiritual and environmental stewardship are important to me as well.

But I think I can safely speak for at least myself and VP when I say that we don't have much patience for Punk scenesters who are trying to change what Steampunk is to suit their sensibilities. If you want to focus on the Dickensian underclasses versus the Vernian voyages, that's perfectly alright. If you're more into tinkering with gadgets than with visiting Disneyland, that's also perfectly alright. But spare us this business of essentially labelling people posers because they're not Punk, aren't interested in Punk, have never been Punk and don't give a damn about Punk.

Steampunk is a subgenre of Science Fiction, not a subgenre of Punk! Steampunk never was a subgenre of Punk, and God willing, it never will be a subgenre of Punk.
 

Cory and VP--
I do hope that I have not caused either of you offense or undue distress.
I certainly do not wish to imply that steampunk is a subgenre of punk.
And I certainly am not interested in labeling anyone as a poser. Were I to engage in such a comparison, especially with you two esteemed gentlemen, I am sure it would be myself who would be found wanting.
I mean look at the "playing dress-up" thread. You two look the part far more than I. (by-the-by Cory I love your hair in those pics, combined with your gauntlet augmentation, you look to my eye, the epitome of steampunk)

The two of you are actually two of my favorite posters here. I enjoy what you have shared immensely. It's no skin off my back if you careless about punk. It in no way diminishes your contributions. I am not advocating that all steampunks be Punk. How boring.

I am interested in the history of ideas and aesthetics, and perhaps have meditated on such in way which has caused me to be misunderstood.
Yes, steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction, or at least started as such.
I think Gibson and Sterling's Difference Engine, while certainly not the first or best example of the subgenre, did much to form the modern definition of steampunk. And I think in this work, there is some influence of the cyberpunk motto: "The street finds it's own uses for technology." To me that is a punk statement. Does it define steampunk?
Not by a long shot.
Does it influence steampunk?
I think so.
So do a great many other memes.
For instance the traditions of alternate histories in Science Fiction and comic books.

As I stated earlier, I see the punk in the steampunk equation as standing for an X-factor. It allows one to tack all sorts of anachronisms and phantasies onto historical Victoriana.
I am not interested in seeing scenester punk elitism being one of these tacked-on anachronisms, however.
Really, that scares me at least as much as it does you.
But I also don't want to see steampunk become just Victorian historical recreation.

I want to see Victorian styled robots, rayguns, and the like.






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« Reply #102 on: February 28, 2007, 08:19:43 pm »


Once again, I will reiterate, that you guys that tinker and invent wonderful DIY contraptions are all welcome to take part in the Steampunk culture, but just don't assume that anything you build (because you use classic materials) will automatically be considered steampunk. If it doesn't meet the requirements, than it's just a neat invention that happens to have a classic design sensibility.


I just find that these quasi ultimatums on what is and is not is kind of silly. I will continue to do what I do. I care little for artificial social boundaries. I care little for contrived separations designed to block in people's creative nature. The simple fact is, when someone builds that steam toaster, even if it's decorated in an 'out of period' manner. Someone will still post it to a steampunk community because it was in it's essence a steam toaster. There will be a discussion on it's decorative merits, but it will still be considered a neat anachronistic device.

Specifically,
Once again, I will reiterate, that you guys that tinker and invent wonderful DIY contraptions are all welcome to take part in the Steampunk culture,

Why thank you for allowing me into your club, despite my likeness for working with my hands. I hope you don't mind that I would have continued to do what I do regardless of anyone's welcoming me, or not. I care little for whether or not I am in style, or a part of any group. I know what I like, and I do that because I like it. I am just glad to find other like minded individuals. Whether you like it or not, there will be folks like me who aren't too interested in restricting anyones choices, but instead will be very supportive for anything that sparks creative free thinking regardless of decoration.

Like I have said, I am very glad to find common ground with others. The idea that I can find other like minded tinkers that happen to have a punk background (or not), that like brass and rivets makes me think for the first time in years, that I would like to take a trip to actually meet them. That in itself is unusual in my life. I am grateful to Tinkergirl for starting this forum, and giving me that.

In the end we will probably never agree. I will be too enamored of the steam toaster, and the craftsmanship that made it to bicker on it's decorative qualities. I concede to that 'agree to disagree' theory of things, and am going to go back to my tinkering.
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #103 on: February 28, 2007, 08:37:07 pm »

<---- (Beats Head Against Wall)

I don't think you understood my point at all. For one thing there is no such thing as some exclusive steampunk club. No one owns a genre of fiction.

I wasn't saying that I gave anyone permission to do anything, I was just saying I support it.

Furthermore it isn't a quasi-ultimatum, it's a solid definition of a genre that is older than I am. It has nothing to do with stifiling your creative output. It has nothing to do with boxing you into any kind of social boundaries. All I ask is that you accept the fact that Steampunk as a term requires two things. Victorian Anachronism.

Just because it doesn't meet those two thing doesn't mean no one wants to hear about it or see it. There are many things that aren't exactly Steampunk that appeal to the majority of Steampunk fans.

And to address one sentence in your reply that sums up everything:

There will be a discussion on it's decorative merits, but it will still be considered a neat anachronistic device.


EXACTLY!! Anachronistic! But not Steampunk! It lacks that aesthetic, so therefore it isn't Steampunk. But once again (and for the millionth time) don't think that by me saying that something you made isn't Steampunk detracts its value, or worth to this community (I say community refering to this board).

Maybe Amanda and Andy could start a new section pertaining to "Steampunk Friendly" posts? I think that would solve alot of the misunderstanding going on here.

Oh and for future reference, please leave the sarcasm at the door when converseing here. We are all mature adults (or mature teens). There are plenty of other forums where sarcasm runs wild and as we all know nothing good comes of it but bitter attitudes, and angry reactions.

I hope this makes sense!?  Undecided
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #104 on: February 28, 2007, 08:43:07 pm »

Hey man, I pretty much agree with everything you said, and just to clarify, I have no problems with Punk. I just like people to seperate the suffix from the genre. Hell I like a lot of classic punk music, even some bands like The Adicts took a bit of an old world approach to their style and sound.

I also didn't think anyone was labelling anyone as a poser. That was Cory's assessment, not mine. I agree with him on a lot of topics, so we get associated in most of our statements I think.



Cory and VP--
I do hope that I have not caused either of you offense or undue distress.
I certainly do not wish to imply that steampunk is a subgenre of punk.
And I certainly am not interested in labeling anyone as a poser. Were I to engage in such a comparison, especially with you two esteemed gentlemen, I am sure it would be myself who would be found wanting.
I mean look at the "playing dress-up" thread. You two look the part far more than I. (by-the-by Cory I love your hair in those pics, combined with your gauntlet augmentation, you look to my eye, the epitome of steampunk)

The two of you are actually two of my favorite posters here. I enjoy what you have shared immensely. It's no skin off my back if you careless about punk. It in no way diminishes your contributions. I am not advocating that all steampunks be Punk. How boring.

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Jake von Slatt
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« Reply #105 on: February 28, 2007, 08:55:47 pm »

I actually rather enjoy sarcasm.

I just went to google and did "define:steampunk" and it returned only two references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

and the curiously named site:

www.christianfantasy.net/glossary.html

Neither is The OED and thus I believe the meaning of Steampunk to still be in flux.

The 2021 edition of the OED may very well read something like this:

Steampunk; 1. A subgenre of speculative fiction 2. An aesthetic movement of the early part of the 21th century characterized by a do-it-yourself ethic 3. A popular style of music of which Vernian Process is the most notable artist 4) A candy bar consisting of a plum pudding center with a chocolate coating produced beginning October 2012 by the Cadbury corporation.


« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 09:04:44 pm by vonSlatt » Logged

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arcane
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Steamcrunk. WHAT?


« Reply #106 on: February 28, 2007, 08:58:28 pm »

Steamcrunk?




Yeeeah! WHAT?
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Charleson Mambo
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« Reply #107 on: February 28, 2007, 08:59:08 pm »

Alas, we are such an international crew, we might be forever squabbling over the protections of certain areas where friends and family abide.

I believe that that argument would pale in comparison to the one over which system of measurement to use to built the steam-bots, Imperial or Metric?


Charleson Mambo

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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #108 on: February 28, 2007, 09:01:17 pm »

ByJ, You guys are so silly! LOL

I love your definition VonSlatt  Tongue
Though i think according to most sources Abney Park tends to appear before VP. Which is odd considering Robert told me that my project inspired them to take a more Steampunk approach.

Steamcrunk hahahahaha... oh I have so many ideas now.  Wink
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 09:03:16 pm by VernianProcess » Logged
Jake von Slatt
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« Reply #109 on: February 28, 2007, 09:02:46 pm »

Alas, we are such an international crew, we might be forever squabbling over the protections of certain areas where friends and family abide.

I believe that that argument would pale in comparison to the one over which system of measurement to use to built the steam-bots, Imperial or Metric?


Charleson Mambo



British Standard Whitworth of course!
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arcane
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Steamcrunk. WHAT?


« Reply #110 on: February 28, 2007, 09:03:36 pm »


Steamcrunk hahahahaha... oh I have so many ideas now.  Wink


Victorian gentleman clothing with goggles and grillz? I say, bling bling, old chap
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #111 on: February 28, 2007, 09:05:33 pm »

I don't think Cory was labeling anyone as a poser, either. I believe he was advocating against it, in fact. And I whole heartedly agree with that stance.



Steamcrunk?  Shocked

Now my brain hurts!
 Wink
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #112 on: February 28, 2007, 09:17:30 pm »

Oh yes I know that, I was saying that I didn't agree with cory's idea that anyone was labeling anyone else a poser.

I don't think Cory was labeling anyone as a poser, either. I believe he was advocating against it, in fact. And I whole heartedly agree with that stance.



Steamcrunk?  Shocked

Now my brain hurts!
 Wink

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ClockworkDragonfly
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« Reply #113 on: February 28, 2007, 10:11:28 pm »


[/quote]


You know ...there does seem to be an obvious solution here which no one sems to be looking at...


and that is, that the DIY'ers would probably not mind selling their creations, and those who would like to purchase said products could do so, and then they would be supporting not only the subcultural community (which might give them a good feeling) but the DIY folks would receive the respect they are certainly do for living life a tad off the beaten path, and then this could all be resolved.

is that a mad mad notion?
[/quote]

Quite mad, dear sir... and in so being, absolutely perfect.
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Cory
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« Reply #114 on: February 28, 2007, 10:23:18 pm »

I just find this attempt to lay down boundaries about who and what is acceptable to be more disturbing or not. 

Actually, that's what I'm in a tizzy about: people trying to put a boundary around Steampunk by saying that only Punks can be actual Steampunks... That you can't "buy your way in" to Steampunk, that Steampunk is all about "DIY, not mass produced, one of a kind" aesthetics.

My definition of a Steampunk is actually exceptionally broad: A Steampunk is someone who likes the genre of Steampunk.

And even then, my deffinition of Steampunk is very broad... I actually disagree with Josh on this one: Steampunk can be set in any time period so long as it mirrors the technology, themes, settings or characters of Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances. Some of my favorite Steampunk styories take place either in fantasy or modern settings, and Hell, I wrote a whole article on Gerco-Roman Steampunk.

It's the placing of artificial barriers on Steampunk to satisfy the Punker-than-thou attitudes of certain individuals that I'm against.
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heresyoftruth
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« Reply #115 on: February 28, 2007, 10:40:39 pm »

I just find this attempt to lay down boundaries about who and what is acceptable to be more disturbing or not. 

Actually, that's what I'm in a tizzy about: people trying to put a boundary around Steampunk by saying that only Punks can be actual Steampunks... That you can't "buy your way in" to Steampunk, that Steampunk is all about "DIY, not mass produced, one of a kind" aesthetics.

My definition of a Steampunk is actually exceptionally broad: A Steampunk is someone who likes the genre of Steampunk.

And even then, my deffinition of Steampunk is very broad... I actually disagree with Josh on this one: Steampunk can be set in any time period so long as it mirrors the technology, themes, settings or characters of Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances. Some of my favorite Steampunk styories take place either in fantasy or modern settings, and Hell, I wrote a whole article on Gerco-Roman Steampunk.

It's the placing of artificial barriers on Steampunk to satisfy the Punker-than-thou attitudes of certain individuals that I'm against.

Then we are in complete agreement. I would hate to see those not DIY inclined not be a part of things, as I would hate to exclude someone because they did Greco-Roman steampunk versus the victoriana that is more common. I care very little who was 'punk' and who wasn't. (Actually when I had my giant mohawk,  stompy boots, and jacket, I would have punched out anyone that labeled me a punk. Labels were just a way to oppress folks, dontcha know. I know, I was a funny kid. It was a long time ago. I still wear stompy boots, though.)

Do you have a link to that article? It sounds fascinating. I would love to read it. I like the different settings. It will also make my husband very happy. He loves that kind of thing. Is it along the lines of the clockwork machinery the Romans had? I watched a special on that, and fell in love.
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Cory
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« Reply #116 on: February 28, 2007, 11:49:15 pm »

The Greco-Roman Steampunk article is on my site, in the "Articles" section. Just click on the link in my signature, provided I haven't exceeded bandwidth again today ^_Q
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kiskolou
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« Reply #117 on: March 01, 2007, 12:11:55 am »

That's the thing, i haven't noticed anyone trying to be, "punker-than-thou".
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« Reply #118 on: March 01, 2007, 12:18:57 am »

That's the thing, i haven't noticed anyone trying to be, "punker-than-thou".

I think, my friend, you have hit a hole in one. It's the reason this topic is overwhelmingly confusing to me.
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #119 on: March 01, 2007, 12:30:58 am »

That's the thing, i haven't noticed anyone trying to be, "punker-than-thou".

There were some rumblings, I forget which thread, and will force myself to forget who said, some things about not being able to buy one's way into being steampunk, that accoutrements MUST be DIY...

Some of the comments bemoaning a day when steampunk accessories might be stocked at Hot Topic, hinted at, or could have been construed as hinting at similar attitudes.

Many other misunderstandings (at least on my part) have exacerbated this thread from there.

As I now understand it, the thread title was meant to refer to the fact that steampunk need not be solely DIY
based, and that the DIY element is actually a new phenomenon to an already existant fan community.

Is that about right?  Huh



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fmra
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« Reply #120 on: March 01, 2007, 12:39:49 am »

I have this sinking feeling that a few master prestidigitators have whipped a little nothing into a big something in this thread.  Driving many of us to need more laudanum.  But that's only my reaction.
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #121 on: March 01, 2007, 12:41:59 am »

That good sir,

is precisely correct!

(Pssst.. this was a response to Honky-Tonk Dragon's previous post)

But yeah the thread did get derailed somewhere along the line.  Tongue
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 12:54:49 am by VernianProcess » Logged
Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #122 on: March 01, 2007, 12:50:30 am »

 Embarrassed
guilty as charged.
 Embarrassed

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fmra
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« Reply #123 on: March 01, 2007, 12:55:07 am »

It is interest to note that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right half of the body and vice-versa. 

In eerie coincidence, the thoughts of my own brain seem to have exchanged Dexter for Sinister when manifested in life... I quite don't understand reality sometimes...
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #124 on: March 01, 2007, 12:59:11 am »

It is interest to note that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right half of the body and vice-versa. 

In eerie coincidence, the thoughts of my own brain seem to have exchanged Dexter for Sinister when manifested in life... I quite don't understand reality sometimes...

I have experienced similar sensations, yet I draw the concluscion that reality doesn't quite understand me.
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