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Author Topic: "For Goths with money"  (Read 5786 times)
Violet Rose
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« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2009, 05:54:30 pm »

And I am not a Goth, neither do I have loads of cash to flash.

On the other hand in some people's eyes I may not be a steampunk either  Cheesy
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2009, 06:51:18 pm »

Steampunk is expensive as hell!  (And in my mind it bloody well should be.)

That cost, however, may or may not be measured in cashey money.  Skill, work, and sweat-equity all have value and cost as well.  What I mean is, one could pony up the cash to purchase some very cool very steam punk goggles from an in-scene craftsman (just a for instance).  Or one could hunt down a surviving pair of vintage military goggles and buy them for a song off whoever didn't know what they had, exercising their skills and time as a bargain hunter.  Or a differently skilled and inclined individual could make their own goggles from scratch, using parts a techniques of whatever quality fit their budget, skills, and time.

My point is that it really probably is expensive, but you may or may not see this expense as a line item on your bank statement.  It all just depends on how you do it.  And not eveyone who likes steampunk stuff self-identifies as steampunk -- I know I never identified as goth, despite a clauset full of black and a good number of goth CDs crammed among the industrial.  This is right and natural.  But if you're going to do the thing, its going to cost, either in terms of money, effort, skill, or creativity.

Sgt.Major Thistlewaite, from some of the stories and pictures you've shared, one almost gets the impression that you could claim half your life's income as steampunk spending, except that you waive your hand at all that stuff and say, "Ya, but I was doing that anyway."   Wink
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« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2009, 07:10:37 pm »

Not a goth and never was.

I'm kinda hard to describe, a boiling mess of contradictions and internal conflict, hard to pin down into any one particular group.

I think several things lead me to steampunk:
A general love of technology, old and new(the 19th and early 20th centuries were a time of rapid technological development. Telecommunications, flight, trans-continental mass transit, electric lighting.  As a boy I'd imagine what it would be like to live when those developments took place, guess I never fully grew out of that phase Smiley )

A somewhat absurdist sense of humor

The aesthetic quality of wood, copper, brass and iron(frankly, they just look good together)

My sense of honor and personal responsibility has been describe as 'old-fashioned' by a couple of my ex-girlfriends and seems to fit in more with the Victorian era than the modern one.

BTW, I'm currently working a dead-end job so I guess you could say I'm a 'working stiff' steampunk.  Can it be expensive monetarily, yes, but you don't have to wear a $200+ coat just to be a steamer.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 07:15:30 pm by Benzworth » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2009, 08:00:11 pm »

Goth looks to be largely for the young; I'll gladly admit if I'm wrong but it looks like its center of mass is somewhere in high school?  And when I went to high school Goth didn't yet exist, at least not in my town.  We had punks, and I sort of half was one (though I was mostly the science nerd, which limited other options), but I went to this ritzy upper-to-middle class high school where everyone was Ivy League bound and anyone who wasn't a prep or a jock was sort of automatically punk.  And it was the kind Violet Rose describes as leather trousers and expensive mohair jumper punk, or sometimes its watered-down kid cousin called "New Wave".  When Goth came along later in my life, I was sometimes mistaken for an aging Goth, with my late eighties music and my generally black clothes, but I was still too much the mad scientist for that.

Which gets to the expense question.  Old lab coats, welding goggles, button-down shirts with waistcoats (which in America can be found much cheaper by calling them "vests"), all were already part of my collection of materials and hence easy to come by.  Since stuff on my wrists makes me itch, I had a pocket watch from day one anyway.  It cost me absolutely nothing to "become" steampunk; all it took was the Google search (on a school computer!) where I learned the word.  My existing hobbies, previously chosen aesthetic (it sure helps that my family never throws away any furniture.  This computer rests on a desk rescued from a junkyard.  The dressers in my bedroom are also "period" - what period officially I do not know, I call them "Mom-was-in-grad-school period".)  The knick-knacks I'd gathered, where appropriate, already had the "look" - I need only place my collection of antique magnifiers, electronica, and/or my alchemy materials in a more visible location, then convince the landlord that the assembly is in fact not a drug lab.

I'll say there are a few areas where steampunk can get expensive.  If you're into the "period Nazi" thing, where everything has to be made authentically the way it used to be, that can get difficult because genuine period pieces in good condition are a bit hard to find and tend to be priced accordingly, ditto for good "replicas".  If you're really into the clothes horse thing, and wish to dress so steampunk that the same pieces in some other configuration aren't acceptable on the job, you'll have to have two wardrobes, which is (rocket science alert!) twice as expensive as one.  If you're into gadgets but wish to buy them ready-made instead of making your own (thus defeating the purpose, in my eyes, but what the hey), you're going to pay top dollar for them, if you deal with self-respecting artisans.  (This would be why, for most of us, the only ready-made gadgets we have are those that required an actual factory or were specific items we especially admired).

I'll say about the Goth issue (which seems to be a looks-based observation, since I don't remember many gadgets or such among Goths, and it certainly isn't the music - the two genres don't sound much alike, at least so far) that one thing that has happened for me is I've gotten older.  I'll look at the "men's" section of a Goth clothes website, looking for good creative stuff in black, and it's generally "Oh dear, too young for me" - that or I'm let out by not having the belly, ass, or shoulders of a heroin addict.  So it's ix-nay on the Oth-gay.  I'll then go somewhere else and get a plain white shirt and a nice black waistcoat.  So sue me.

There's also the fact that Goth seems to be about a "spooky", "sad", or "melancholy" attitude, which doesn't appear either to be a requirement for Steampunk or to preclude it.  There isn't that "funeral" obsession, just an interest in old things.

I'll also point out that like in many areas, it seems to be more expensive to be a lady than a gent.  A good corset can run several hundred dollars!  Waistcoats and top hats, not so much.  And wearing an ill-fitting cheap top hat seems less problematic than wearing an ill-fitting cheap corset.  In a pinch, regular dress shoes will also do for the fellas - but look at men's and women's shoe prices sometime, you'll see the same discrepancy.  About the only place where it looks like we pay close to the same is coats.

Yiy!  WALL OF TEXT!!! Sorry. Wink
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 08:03:58 pm by Nikola Tesla » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2009, 08:32:01 pm »

I'll repeat something I said to a friend -- for context, we were at DragonCon, watching half of Abney Park payed a pick-up gig with various fans while Cruxshadows looked on, too cool for school:

"Steampunk -- its like goth, but you can have fun without breaking character."
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« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2009, 10:29:40 pm »

I'ld say the Neo-Victorian/Lolita/glamour end of things might be closer to being something for Goths with money, and although the Neo-Vic thing overlaps with Steampunk, it's not neccesarily the same thing.

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« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2009, 12:43:37 am »

Steampunk is expensive as hell!  (And in my mind it bloody well should be.)


Sgt.Major Thistlewaite, from some of the stories and pictures you've shared, one almost gets the impression that you could claim half your life's income as steampunk spending, except that you waive your hand at all that stuff and say, "Ya, but I was doing that anyway."   Wink

Ha! Guilty as charged, Sir! Most of it was before I'd ever heard the term "Steampunk," you see...it was just what I was into...when I discovered that I wasn't the only one who liked wood and brass and Victorian technology, I was both flabbergasted and gratified.

As an aside, could someone enlighten me as to where the "Lolita" thing fits? Nabakov wrote Lolita in the 1950's, it's set in the 1950's, the original movie is very 1950's period...where does the "Gothic Lolita" thing come in? Huh
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« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2009, 01:19:29 am »

Sgt. Major:  In case you hadn't guessed, the term "Gothic Lolita" has only the most tenuous connection with the novel.  It refers to a particular style of Goth women's dress that has a "tragic baby doll" vibe (that's the Lolita part); lots of black lace, pouting, and (pseudo) innocence.  It takes much from the "Neo-Vic" version of the Goth aesthetic, but I think the basic idea is a "violated princess" sort of a thing.

(Can you tell I find such a style slightly ridiculous on an adult woman?)  Cheesy
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« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2009, 03:00:47 am »



I'll say about the Goth issue (which seems to be a looks-based observation, since I don't remember many gadgets or such among Goths, and it certainly isn't the music - the two genres don't sound much alike, at least so far)
Have you ever listened to Abney Park?  Nope, not gothy at all Wink
Sorry to pick on a small point in an otherwise finely detailed essay, but...
I think it's too hard to define steampunk as a musical genre at this point.  Right now anyone can plunk out a song on a Casio keyboard,scrape a stick on an old washboard or strum a  lute and say it's steampunk because they gave it a title like Babbage Opus-The Difference Engine That Could In C Minor. I've heard everything from Weimar Era Cabaret to Tom Waits to Rasputina described as steampunk and they are wildly disparate in style and lyrical content. 

To get back to the original subject line-it's pretty apparent many people who enjoy steampunk do not identify with goth, and just as many goths are not necessarily enamoured with dirigibles and Jules Verne. So that whole "goths with money" bit is really nothing more than a superficial assessment.*

*-'Course that may change when I spend $6000 on a coat from Skin Graft and perform with theremin and old bed springs a haunting ballad I like to call Lamentation On The Electrocution of Topsy The Elephant By The Nefarious Thomas Alva Edison Cheesy
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« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2009, 02:32:03 pm »



I'll say about the Goth issue (which seems to be a looks-based observation, since I don't remember many gadgets or such among Goths, and it certainly isn't the music - the two genres don't sound much alike, at least so far)

*-'Course that may change when I spend $6000 on a coat from Skin Graft and perform with theremin and old bed springs a haunting ballad I like to call Lamentation On The Electrocution of Topsy The Elephant By The Nefarious Thomas Alva Edison Cheesy


Nice!   Grin

And Sgt.Major, my take on the "gothic lolita" thing: a while back grown women (or at least, high school and college chicks) started dressing like "school girls" -- you know, the whole knee socks, plaid skirt, and fake innocence thing.  One way to "angle" one's goth look, rather than say towards the high Victorian, was towards this post-modern school girl look.  But you gotta keep it black, hence the "gothic lolita," creepy little girl with a lunch box look. 

Silly?  Ya, kinda.  But my does one find the look distracting.   Wink
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« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2009, 03:14:05 pm »

Silly?  Ya, kinda.  But my does one find the look distracting.   Wink

Tell me about it...  Wink
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« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2009, 03:32:59 pm »

OK, I get it, sort of... Roll Eyes Like I said before, I never quite understood the whole Goth appeal anyway, although I enjoy Chas. Addams and Edward Gorey. I would also like to say that when I said to me it seemed a little sad and pathetic, I was using "pathetic" in the original sense of the word, which means "evoking sympathy or pity," akin to "pathos," not in the more modern sense, which I gather means "lame or laughable." I often find that I tend to use words in their archaic sense, and am sometimes misunderstood thereby. Comes, I suppose, from reading too many very old novels. Undecided

The Lolita thing reminds me of a joke from years ago, in which a woman in her thirties, with a young child of her own and recently divorced, is trying to "update" her look and get back in the dating game. At the time, that involved mini-skirt, tight blouse, big hair, and knee high "go-go" boots. (Like I said, old joke Cheesy )As she's preparing to go out, her 9 year old daughter comments.."Mommy, you look like a dead teen-ager."
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« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2009, 01:19:43 am »

I confess the term "Gothic Lolita" is far more elegant than the term I had originally heard for it, which was
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« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2009, 04:03:03 am »

I confess the term "Gothic Lolita" is far more elegant than the term I had originally heard for it, which was
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Hmm, I always associated kinderwhore with Courtney Love.  The problem with gothic lolita is it's not exactly something you can wear for a very long time.  Unless you prefer to look like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2008/04/01/2004320894.jpg
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« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2009, 06:01:18 am »

what steampunk is cheap.. well if you make your own kit that is Tongue

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« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2009, 12:46:36 pm »

Surely the "Goths with money" only represents one of the many strands of what makes up steampunk? It may also imply the older generation of goths, those folks in their late 20's, 30's, 40's and upwards who may tend towards a more practical look (once that middle age spread sets in and skin-tight jeans become a real problem Smiley), and of course may have more cash.

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« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2009, 03:02:38 pm »

All I can say is your acquaintance clearly does not fully understand just how wide a net Steampunk throws. Yes there is a Goth contingent, but there are Contraptors, Artisans, Neo-Victorians, Steam Buffs, Mad Doctors and still those who defy categories.

And THAT is why I love this place so much.
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« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2009, 04:47:24 pm »

I confess the term "Gothic Lolita" is far more elegant than the term I had originally heard for it, which was
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I think much of that aesthetic has come from Japan - the country where unmarried women over 25 are past their sell by date and you can buy schoolgirl's used knickers from vending machines...
Myself I am not entirely comfortable with any fashion trend that presents a sexualised image of a pre -pubescent, and which may be seen as glamourising child abuse; but woteva.
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Nikola Tesla
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« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2009, 05:12:06 pm »

Surely the "Goths with money" only represents one of the many strands of what makes up steampunk? It may also imply the older generation of goths, those folks in their late 20's, 30's, 40's and upwards who may tend towards a more practical look (once that middle age spread sets in and skin-tight jeans become a real problem Smiley), and of course may have more cash.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but, for many Goths I've seen skin-tight jeans are "a problem" at any age...

A steampunk look more "practical" than Goth one?  I'd say my way of doing it kind of is; I don't wear goggles and top hats to work, say.  Nor do my clothes bind anywhere or flop in my way when I'm working.  When I typed out as "Goth" that trait made me kind of half-assed.  But there are some who'd say it makes me a half-assed steampunk also.  I'd say it depends on the kind of steampunk, and on the kind of Goth.
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« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2009, 05:26:43 pm »

I thought skin-tight jeans were more an 'Emo' thing anyway. Most Goths I know wear loose bndage trousers and I favour combats or leathers... though, admittedly, the leathers are tight, lace-into affairs. I spent twelve hours in them once and emerged fearing for my ability to reproduce!
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« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2009, 06:15:40 pm »

*chuckle* could be an age thing. There certainly seemed to be a trend for skin tight jeans, flouncy shirts etc. etc in the late 80's and 90's though it all be down to regional (and personal) differences of course. Of course you needed to be rake thin and not be too concerned about reproduction.

For me its now what is practical to wear and sustain the look I want.
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« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2009, 07:33:31 pm »

My mates a punk and he's married to a goth, i'm neither but my wardrobe is almost entirely black or purple, by accident rather than design, i didnt even notice how black it was until a young lady looked in my wardrobe after i took her back to my villa on holiday in the Algarve several years ago. Cheesy
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« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2009, 10:57:35 pm »

Surely the "Goths with money" only represents one of the many strands of what makes up steampunk? It may also imply the older generation of goths, those folks in their late 20's, 30's, 40's and upwards who may tend towards a more practical look (once that middle age spread sets in and skin-tight jeans become a real problem Smiley), and of course may have more cash.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I like the sound of this. I'm in my 40s and my look is not at all practical. Furthermore, I wish to emphasize that nothing has "spread" just yet.  Tongue
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« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2009, 11:14:46 pm »

Hey all --

Just thought I'd throw my two cents into this.  I preface this by saying that I'm a total newbie to all of this!

It's funny..I find that I've always been intensely drawn to all of the elements of Steampunk -- I just had no idea that they co-existed under one catch-all term.  As a musician, I've always appreciated the work of fine craftsmanship of the old school, vis a vis the building of instruments, especially acoustic guitars.  The thing is, I'm not nor have I ever been a goth!  My musical tastes are pretty wide, but I'm more of a jazz, funk, soul, and rock freak thank anything else. 

What I notice about most pursuits, passions, or lifestyles, is that the really great ones have NO ceiling.  If you love Golf, for example, you can get a cheap set of clubs and just learn to hack away, or you can go as high as your budget will allow and spend thousands.  Same thing with music gear!  I have a pretty bad case of what I've heard referred to as "GAS", or "Gear Acquisition Syndrome". I've bought and sold more effects pedals that I can comfortably admit.  But with a few exceptions, the gear I've gotten is either all reasonably priced or somewhat high priced, yet very functional and versatile. But I've never spent a truly INSANE amount on anything.  See, there's no ceiling with respect to music gear either.  You can buy a decent guitar for between 500-1000, OR spend upwards of 100,000 for some vintage, owned-by-elvis, one of a kind piece.  In the end, it's not the gear -- it's the person using it.  I've heard great players play on junk gear and still sound great.  Conversely, I've heard lousy players playing top-notch axes and they've sounded terrible....

I'm seeing that the price of admission to this world of steampunk can certainly be high, but remember: a lot of what steampunk is made up of comes from a bygone era of top-quality materials and hand-craftsmanship.  A big part of the reason why this so-called modern world has us surrounded with so much machine-made, factory built plastic dreck is that IT'S FAST & CHEAP TO MAKE, so that a) more people can afford it, and b) the profit margins are ridiculously high.  But I agree that while it's easy for someone who has lots of money to just shell out for that great Datamancer keyboard and some hand-made wool suits, I find it every bit as cool to troll the flea markets, junkshops, and junkyards to find those under-appreciated elements and transform them into something better.   

As I said, I'm new to all of this, but I admire the inventiveness and dedication of a lot of the people I see here.

And now, you've all gotten me thinking about steampunking the daylights out of my effects pedalboard!

Best, Octavius
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« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2009, 11:22:37 pm »

And now, you've all gotten me thinking about steampunking the daylights out of my effects pedalboard!

That would be on my mind too, had I not just built an ace cyberpunk board and am not keen on rejigging it just yet!
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