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Author Topic: Steampunk isn't Punk...  (Read 20895 times)
Cory
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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2007, 06:19:40 am »

You can't buy Steampunk... Therefore, ALL Streampunk books, movies/DVDs, comics, video games and websites are not actually Steampunk, by definition.

*chuckle*
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kiskolou
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« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2007, 07:03:40 am »

Patasapian, although i'd much rather have a giant steampowered vampryowatchamacallit, my love for crows is soooo deep that i would own one over almost anything. Of course, it's a personal thing for me.
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2007, 07:13:09 am »

You can't buy Steampunk... Therefore, ALL Streampunk books, movies/DVDs, comics, video games and websites are not actually Steampunk, by definition.

*chuckle*

HERE HERE!!

*applauds*
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2007, 07:16:59 am »

Patasapian, although i'd much rather have a giant steampowered vampryowatchamacallit, my love for crows is soooo deep that i would own one over almost anything. Of course, it's a personal thing for me.

Would it be a clockwork crow?
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The Infernal Mr Adams
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2007, 07:18:00 am »

A VAMPIRE SQUID!!!?? ARRRRRRGH!! Shocked

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampyromorphida
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2007, 07:23:13 am »

A VAMPIRE SQUID!!!?? ARRRRRRGH!! Shocked

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


Indeed it is... The perfect natural form for the ideal amphibious airship......mmmmmm someday...
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TheClockWorkWasteland
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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2007, 07:27:42 am »

Quoting Cory: "The idea that Steampunk is supposed to be some kind of DIY counter-culture grounded in a rejection of modern technological values of planned obsolencence and whatever is a relatively recent phenomenon that wasn't even in the picture as little as 6 years ago (on the contrary, a love affair with obsolete technology, fashions and scientific theories is a fundamental part of Steampunk)"

I see your point.  If the above was a fundamental aspect of steampunk, we'd all be better off calling ourselves luddites.

One thing I really enjoy about many people who identify as steampunk enthusiasts is that they don't completely buy into the countercultural ideals which most subcultures/scenes/whatever emphasize.  This is wonderful, because as we see, many of those ideals are simply ideals, never reaching the fruitful heights to which their proponents aspired.  Observe the hippie movement, observe the punk movement, etcetera.  I've heard some very good arguments that claim that the counterculture is a myth.  The primary reasoning behind this is that while they may appear to challenge dominant social norms and conventions, cultures of rebellion actually perpetuate the "system" (meaningless term that it is) that they want to change.  For instance, you hear about the co-option of subcultural fashions, often lamented.  This is a reasonable and predictable progression that will nearly always occur.  This is because our market is not based upon uniformity or conformity; our consumer market is instead based on distinction, even rebellion.
In my opinion, the bottom line for anyone interested in culture-jamming, "dropping out," or straight-out rebellion, is neither to stop spending, nor to spend differently.  Instead, the only way to do this is to stop earning and sever all economic ties with the rest of society.

I don't want to do that.  I'm a strong proponent of social change, of using practical strategics to achieve better living for people.  I just don't think that steampunk is The Way to do that.  For me, I discovered the term while looking up some of my interests, and "steampunk" became a term merely to express shared interests. Like all of my interests, it helps me to engage in the process of life, hopefully to create some positive change through my actions. It's also simultaneously entertainment, inspiration, aesthetic, and in the end it really doesn't matter because if the term never existed, I'd still be doing much of what I am now (except I wouldn't be on this forum). 

« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 07:29:50 am by TheClockWorkWasteland » Logged
The Infernal Mr Adams
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2007, 07:34:01 am »

A VAMPIRE SQUID!!!?? ARRRRRRGH!! Shocked

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


Indeed it is... The perfect natural form for the ideal amphibious airship......mmmmmm someday...


I'm completely horrified by the idea of that thing wrapping its tentacles around me and sucking out all of my blood...but other than that, you're right! ....that would make a capital Amphibious Airship! Cheesy
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Fantômas
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2007, 07:47:09 am »

Quoting Cory: "The idea that Steampunk is supposed to be some kind of DIY counter-culture grounded in a rejection of modern technological values of planned obsolencence and whatever is a relatively recent phenomenon that wasn't even in the picture as little as 6 years ago (on the contrary, a love affair with obsolete technology, fashions and scientific theories is a fundamental part of Steampunk)"

I see your point.  If the above was a fundamental aspect of steampunk, we'd all be better off calling ourselves luddites.

One thing I really enjoy about many people who identify as steampunk enthusiasts is that they don't completely buy into the countercultural ideals which most subcultures/scenes/whatever emphasize.  This is wonderful, because as we see, many of those ideals are simply ideals, never reaching the fruitful heights to which their proponents aspired.  Observe the hippie movement, observe the punk movement, etcetera.  I've heard some very good arguments that claim that the counterculture is a myth.  The primary reasoning behind this is that while they may appear to challenge dominant social norms and conventions, cultures of rebellion actually perpetuate the "system" (meaningless term that it is) that they want to change.  For instance, you hear about the co-option of subcultural fashions, often lamented.  This is a reasonable and predictable progression that will nearly always occur.  This is because our market is not based upon uniformity or conformity; our consumer market is instead based on distinction, even rebellion.
In my opinion, the bottom line for anyone interested in culture-jamming, "dropping out," or straight-out rebellion, is neither to stop spending, nor to spend differently.  Instead, the only way to do this is to stop earning and sever all economic ties with the rest of society.

I don't want to do that.  I'm a strong proponent of social change, of using practical strategics to achieve better living for people.  I just don't think that steampunk is The Way to do that.  For me, I discovered the term while looking up some of my interests, and "steampunk" became a term merely to express shared interests. Like all of my interests, it helps me to engage in the process of life, hopefully to create some positive change through my actions. It's also simultaneously entertainment, inspiration, aesthetic, and in the end it really doesn't matter because if the term never existed, I'd still be doing much of what I am now (except I wouldn't be on this forum). 






Invention is a spirit before it is an act. One does not have to be an inventor to be posessed of an inventive spirit. The thing to me which sticks out and says "hello" to me the most is this spirit.
Steampunk,  let us not forget is itself an invention and WE are it's inventors.
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Datamancer
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« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2007, 07:51:40 am »

I like what was said about the "punk" being the "twist" of it (whoever that was...VP? I dunno I'm too tired to properly source). I guess that's how I always saw it too. "Punk" might not be the best word for it, but since it's the catchiest of the titles we've had thrown at us, I think we can slap some semantic/idealogical superglue on it and make it work. I think, for me, the "punk" end of it was always closer to "hacking" in abstract ethic.... Resourceful and clever technical inventiveness applied to retro tech and lightly sprinkled with a scientists "allegiance to truth and discovery" angle.
"SteemhaXorz?"
I dunno, at least that's the aspect I always focused on....the DIY/tinkerer angle...but that's kind of my whole schtick so naturally I'd bend the phrase to my preferences.

The ren-faire cosplay angle of what's being called steampunk just all seems so....silly to me. Sure it's fun for a minute...and I even have my one requisite steampunk photo... but the whole thing smacks of way too much posturing and contrivance for me to take it any more seriously than anime/star trek cosplay or civil war reinactors or whatever.
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« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2007, 08:22:46 am »

OOoooh...Steamhacker.....I like that...
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Datamancer
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« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2007, 09:10:56 am »

It's been a long, long time since I read The Difference Engine (I remember being rather disappointed by it), but one thing I found endearing was the term "Clacker" that they used.

In spite of its rather questionable cultural etymology, I do like the ring of "Steamhacker".

Two others I've come up with and use every now and again are "Contraptor" & "Cogwizard", but they havent caught on.
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yaghish
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« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2007, 12:50:35 pm »

Quote
But look at the stories in Les Voyages Extraordinaire for example, those aren't exactly rebelling against anything.

Exaclty. And it wouldn´t come to my mind to call it steampunk. Look, nothing against such stories, I happen to like them, but I just can´t call it steampunk.
 
As far as steampunk and make it into a lifestyle: I think that´s nonsense. Neo-Victorian maybe, steampunk: no. There is no use in it (whom are we fighting by wearing antiquated fashion?), genres from literature are not meant to be a lifestyle. And if, where are the steampunks? I only see the bad guys around here, those that bully their servants around, the poshy slavekeepers, the doomed upper class.

Quote
It also harkens back to a time when manufacturing was the mainstay of western economies

I don´t agree. Even if steampunk might be considered Victorian, one of the ideas behind steampunk is that modern techniques, and especially mass production, are made common. Cheap industrial clothes from the colonies for all, but mass production can also be chique nouveau.
After all, Steampunk is part of speculative fiction, where the "What, if...?" question is the most important. What, if plastics were common in 1880´s fashion? What, if the transistor or the chip had been developped in 1800? What, if aeroplanes made cheap import and fast traffic from and to the colonies possible?

Quote
Steampunk can't really be punk because really it's pre-punk.
It was invented a decade after punk, so what is your point? That steampunk should be a historical correct reflection of the nineteenth century?

Quote
It's a philosophy centered in the old Greek virtue of Ingenuitas,the human impetus to invent and to innovate which was embodied by the Greek god Mercury
I don´t agree on that either. If (steam) punk is something related to Greek mythology, it has to be about Prometheus, who stole the fire from the gods (and every harm caused by this: see Frankenstein, among many others).

Quote
The term is 'edisonade'.  There were some pretty consistant features of an edisonade novel.  The protagonist was a clean cut, intelligent, but misunderstood young inventor.  He or she (mostly he) worked with technology that was just a bit beyond what was currently available, but was still within the realm of believability.
I like the term Edisonade here. It does fit better to what I see on this forum than steampunk does.

However:
Quote
we're not as attracted to the dystopian punk future as to the victorian past with its warm glowy nostalgia
I don´t know whom you refer to with "we", but the dystopian punk future is something I certainly am attracked to in my art (not as a lifestyle, though). I don´t like the faked nostalgia of the Neo-Victorians either, because it has nothing to do with steampunk, IMHO.
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« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2007, 01:14:15 pm »

Quote
Quote

Quote
The term is 'edisonade'.  There were some pretty consistant features of an edisonade novel.  The protagonist was a clean cut, intelligent, but misunderstood young inventor.  He or she (mostly he) worked with technology that was just a bit beyond what was currently available, but was still within the realm of believability.

I like the term Edisonade here. It does fit better to what I see on this forum than steampunk does.

How aboput "Teslarian" instead, many of us are not fans of that Edison fellow.

I would be proud to be called a Teslarian Contraptor.

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« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2007, 01:31:55 pm »

How aboput "Teslarian" instead, many of us are not fans of that Edison fellow.

I would be proud to be called a Teslarian Contraptor.

Hear! Hear!

Sorry, had to be said.  Wink I will immediately change my title to Teslarian Contraptor, even though Electrosteam Isotope is less than 24 hours old.

A most excellent suggestion Mr. von Slatt. *thumbsup*

C.S.
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« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2007, 02:07:57 pm »

Steamhacker, you say? Hmm....has a very nice ring, that one. From now, call me a steamhacker!
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« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2007, 02:26:13 pm »

Steamhacker, you say? Hmm....has a very nice ring, that one. From now, call me a steamhacker!
The only issue with that term as seen from here is that 'hacker' isn't from the proper period AFAIK. Call me a Teslarian Electrosteam Contraptor if you like.  Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2007, 02:57:23 pm »

I think a great deal of overemphasis is put on the "punk" part of Steampunk.  To me, the word is whole and atomic - not a mix of the meanings of the words "steam" and "punk".  You may even have noticed that I always capitalize the word Steampunk.  To me, Steampunk is a mishmash of taking the bits we like about the Victorian era, the present era, fiction, and a healthy addition of adventure (both in spirit and action) and strength of character.

I think it is all too much to do with the fact that "punk" to me speaks of wild-haired rebels burning pictures of the Queen and putting safetypins in uncomfortable places.  I do know that to others, the word "punk" is more about concienciously rejecting commercialisation and expressing responsible individualism.  In that case, I can see the "punk" word seeming more appopriate.  It's all semantics, anyway!  *grins*
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Andy_W
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« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2007, 03:07:52 pm »

Well if we have trouble defining the genre, it's no wonder Hollywood has a probelm producing Steampunk films.
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Cory
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« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2007, 04:08:46 pm »

And for the record, I wrote this entire post whle listening to the soundtracks of rides at Disneyland ^_Q      

Cory which ones?? I have quite a collection myself

Sorry, I shouldn't have let this one slip by...

While at Disneyland, I picked up the 2-disk 50th Anniversary CD, as well as the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and Enchanted Tiki Room/Jungle Cruise disks. The rest I've pretty much just been downloading. For example, while typing that I was listening through a set I had just SoulSeeked that included yodellers and polkas from the Matterhorn, the Mad Tea Cups track, an older Mark Twain Riverboat narration (saddly not the current one, which is my favorite), and the Primeval World segment of the Disneyland Railroad. I also managed to download The Story and Song of the Haunted Mansion, with Thurl Ravenscroft narrating... Though nothing quite beats his performance on the Pirates of the Caribbean record where he sounds raving drunk through the whole thing.   
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Benza
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« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2007, 04:39:05 pm »

I disagree that the DIY aspect of Steampunk is important purley because I can't DIY anything for shit. I'm a soft skinned pussy that would probbably kill himself if he ever attempted to do anything in a workshop. The only thing I see Steam Punk as is an art style, shit with cogs and crap. It looks rad and thats about it really/
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Cory
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« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2007, 05:24:37 pm »

There is a definite strand of elitism to the proposition that some kind of rugged, DIY ethos is the sum and substance of Steampunk, on account of not everybody having the ability to cobble things together in a workshop. Accusing others of being posers and insisting that you cannot "buy your way in" to Steampunk is a fundamentally wretched imposition on what is otherwise a perfectly fun and harmless love affair with obsolete technology and fiction about it.   

And it's even funnier because this particular interest is fixated on the time and technology that originated with the Industrial Revolution and the birth of mechanized mass production. Give me a break and leave the elitist Punk nonsense at the door! 

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Jake von Slatt
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« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2007, 06:30:56 pm »

There is a definite strand of elitism to the proposition that some kind of rugged, DIY ethos is the sum and substance of Steampunk, on account of not everybody having the ability to cobble things together in a workshop. Accusing others of being posers and insisting that you cannot "buy your way in" to Steampunk is a fundamentally wretched imposition on what is otherwise a perfectly fun and harmless love affair with obsolete technology and fiction about it.   

And it's even funnier because this particular interest is fixated on the time and technology that originated with the Industrial Revolution and the birth of mechanized mass production. Give me a break and leave the elitist Punk nonsense at the door! 



Whoa now! I've seen nothing but encouragement and offers of help for the DIYer contingent here,  certainly no elitism!  I don't think any of us are saying that you HAVE to be handy to be Steampunk, but we DO want what we do included!
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Andy_W
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« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2007, 06:35:21 pm »

Now now Ladies and Gents, fingers on lips! Breath.
We don't want any blown gaskets or ruptured valves now do we.

 Roll Eyes
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2007, 06:37:25 pm »

What it really all comes down to is that like it or not. Steampunk already has a definition. I mean the genre isn't exactly new. It's been around officialy since the mid 80's. It's over 20 years old at this point (unofficialy it goes back to the 60's and early 70's).

There is no need to redefine it.

I am excited, and delighted to see all of these people that take it to heart with their hobbies, and tinkering. But please, please, please don't try to redefine the genre to fit your hobbies.

Let's put it this way... tinkering and creating Steampunk looking gadgets isn't steampunk. The gadgets themselves may be very Steampunk influenced, and in some cases actually function using only parts that were available in the 19th century. But the actual act of tinkering and inventing isn't itself "Steampunk". It's tinkering, inventing, crafting, welding, smithing, or whatever other -ing suffix activities you may prefer to refer it by.

Now to clarify, I'll take my project as an example. Vernian Process isn't Steampunk (yes you may be shocked to hear this coming from me). I've had time to mill over it, and I used to say how my project was Steampunk music. But in reality, all it is, is music that was made to acompany Steampunk stories. So in essence my music is Darkwave/Trip-Hop/Post-Punk with a heavy dose of Neo-Classical. I guess you could say that the act of creating the music isn't Steampunk at all (I mean I use a laptop for cripes sake), but the end product is in my opinion more often than not representative of the genre.

Now take that idea and apply it to your crafting. See the parallels? Does my point make more sense now? I hope so.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 06:45:06 pm by VernianProcess » Logged

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