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Author Topic: Generic Diesel Punk Discussion  (Read 22406 times)
von Corax
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2011, 05:21:38 am »

When I think of Dieselpunk I'm thinking russian vehicles.
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Those are kinda cool. Any idea what these two are for?
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(I can identify at least the purpose of all the others.)
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NicholasTheRed
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« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2011, 10:52:57 am »

Are there DP clothes that don't have anything to do with WWII?

On this side of the pond there are a lot of people who take inspiration from prohibition for their dieselpunk outfits.  Rum Runners, G-men, Flappers, dames and dolls.  Crooked union leaders, mafiosos, and the feds.  And instead of the beloved steampunk tea rooms there are the speakeasies.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2011, 10:59:17 am »

Are there DP clothes that don't have anything to do with WWII?

On this side of the pond there are a lot of people who take inspiration from prohibition for their dieselpunk outfits.  Rum Runners, G-men, Flappers, dames and dolls.  Crooked union leaders, mafiosos, and the feds.  And instead of the beloved steampunk tea rooms there are the speakeasies.

Thanks for clearing that up. In my ignorance DP = WWII and army. The way you mentioned, there are many ways to "do" Dieselpunk.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
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« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2011, 01:25:29 pm »

     I actually have been considering making a story about dieselpunk G-men during the formative years of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but that is off the topic.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 02:31:52 pm by Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz » Logged
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
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« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2011, 02:44:31 pm »

     I don't really like the story idea I came up with for that anyways, so I won't make it.
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Atterton
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« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2011, 05:59:33 pm »

This isn't dieselpunk, but rather in the category of things that look 30's-like. Both the Batman and Superman animated series featured art deco buildings, airships and people wearing period clothing. It's how things should look today, not a pair of low slung pants in sight.
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« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2011, 10:22:51 pm »

Bicyclebuilder: Not all the dieselpunk stuff has to do with the war. Look at Sky Captain as mentioned earlier.

This. My husband is more of a Cold War-era collector. A lot of the stuff he has is from the 80s (Afghanistan campaign). He doesn't have any USSR gear from WWII.

Spliting hairs here... Once you get into the Cold-War and post atomic bomb it's Atomicpunk.
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2011, 12:00:05 am »

Without the science fictional aspect, isn´t it really just militaria? Plenty of people who owns old uniforms and equipment. My high school history teacher even owned a pair of tanks.
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NicholasTheRed
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2011, 08:02:57 am »

I wonder if anyone has done anything with the civilian conservation corps on the dieselpunk front yet?
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2011, 08:15:25 am »

@NicholasTheRed: I'm typing this while you are posting. I think WWII militairy is the easiest way to "be" Dieselpunk. Just like it is easy to "be" steampunk just by wearing goggles and a modded Nerf.  Grin I'm just kidding, but my guess is that there are Dieselpunks that want to create their own unique character. What better way is there than to think outside the box?

I guess when the question is:"what is Dieselpunk?" you would get the same arguements as when the question is about Steampunk. It's just what you make of it. I used to think Dieselpunk was all about WWII but there are many ways besides militaria. Batman and Superman are great exaples. In that line, the incredible hulk would be Atomicpunk, right?
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2011, 09:42:56 am »

Steampunk is a pretty girl in overalls and goggles covered in grease, oil and soot.
Dieselpunk is a pretty girl in overalls and goggles covered in grease, oil and engine smoke.

They're not too dissimilar.
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2011, 06:57:02 pm »

 Mad Max has got to be the best example of dieselpunk..the post apocolyptic future rather than the Golden Age of Flight years. Grab a Punk and slice a few tyres for body armour, plenty of leather, mohicans, and that dash of fetish gear with a splash of diesel...perhaps some pyrotechnics and some Crashes. Fantastic Smiley
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Samuel Crowe
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« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2011, 07:28:26 pm »

Mad Max has got to be the best example of dieselpunk..the post apocolyptic future rather than the Golden Age of Flight years. Grab a Punk and slice a few tyres for body armour, plenty of leather, mohicans, and that dash of fetish gear with a splash of diesel...perhaps some pyrotechnics and some Crashes. Fantastic Smiley

Not anymore. Dieselpunk now refers to the period directly following Steampunk to the around the dropping of the first atomic bomb, 1920-ish to 1945-ish. It use to be called pulp or science fiction, but it's meaning is more due to Steampunk being roughly defined. Mad Max is more post-apocalyptic or cyber-punk now.

You can avoid the military in Dieselpunk. I lean more towards it because it was a time when ingenuity was able to cut through red tape. They had floating tanks, not because they were water tight but because they added canvas and some propellers.
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2011, 07:48:56 pm »

Mad Max has got to be the best example of dieselpunk..the post apocolyptic future rather than the Golden Age of Flight years. Grab a Punk and slice a few tyres for body armour, plenty of leather, mohicans, and that dash of fetish gear with a splash of diesel...perhaps some pyrotechnics and some Crashes. Fantastic Smiley

Not anymore. Dieselpunk now refers to the period directly following Steampunk to the around the dropping of the first atomic bomb, 1920-ish to 1945-ish. It use to be called pulp or science fiction, but it's meaning is more due to Steampunk being roughly defined. Mad Max is more post-apocalyptic or cyber-punk now.

You can avoid the military in Dieselpunk. I lean more towards it because it was a time when ingenuity was able to cut through red tape. They had floating tanks, not because they were water tight but because they added canvas and some propellers.

Meanings can be universal and interchangeable. Steampunk covers a broader spectrum than just merely the Victorian age where aesthetical inspiration is concerned. It makes more sense in calling Mad Max Dieselpunk because they are covered in diesel and are more punk than  someone wearing something inspired from that 'Golden Age of Flight' era. Its too obvious to pass it off as merely post apocalyptic. Afterall, World War One was an apocalypse historically and The Golden Age of Flight progressed from that dark age! Before it entered another apocalypse! And so Mad Max enters another apocalypse from world war three and so on!
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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2011, 08:33:04 pm »

Spliting hairs here... Once you get into the Cold-War and post atomic bomb it's Atomicpunk.

There really is no need to split hairs at all Samuel.  Whether we call something dieselpunk, steampunk or cyberpunk really depends upon the overall flavour rather than the provenence of individual parts.  Many steampunks use modern items in their projects, outfits and builds.  These do not automatically make them atompunk.

It is not possible to make a definitive statement of "pre 1918 (or 1914 for some commentators) is steampunk, 1918-1945 is dieselpunk and 1945 onwards is atompunk with cyberpunk being the present and a dystopian future thereof."  There will always be people who blur these lines or use pieces from the other "eras" for their projects.  Want to use a dieselpunk "sidehat" in place of a glengarry with a victorian style tunic?  Why not? It is still steampunk if the overall feel is steampunk.

Consider for a moment that steamtrains were the dominant form until well into the atompunk period and indeed the German army famous for its Blitzkrieg and panzers was actually predominantly horse drawn.   In the film version of 20000 leagues under the sea the Nautilus is also suggested as nuclear powered. Electric cars actually outnumbered petrol cars in the late nineteenth century etc.

It is all fantasy anyway.  Nothing really defines a "...punk" (not even the power source) the overall effect suggests where we can categorise it but does not compell it to be so categorised.

Looking at the two Soviet vehicles pictured I believe the first to be an ICBM carrier/launcher and the second to be a mobile searchlight unit.
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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2011, 09:35:59 pm »

Let´s just call it retrofuturism.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
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« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2011, 09:55:34 pm »

     I'm not trying to completely seperate diesel from the rest of retrofuturism, I'm just trying to assert that it is a subgenre within retrofuturism. I also understand that the exact eras for each can vary. On my personal timeline steam is 1820-1918, diesel is 1918-1945, atomic is 1945-1970, and cyber is 1970 to the present. However, I understand that others may disagree. For example, one might argue that everything atomic powered is technically steam-powered, or that steam-powered generators in coal-fired power stations is still our primary way of creating electricity.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:09:10 pm by Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2011, 10:04:10 pm »

I don´t see the need to focus on propulsion mechanisms anyway. I would say what is important is the change in scientific views, the change in technology and to some extent the change in who are the main world powers.
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« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2011, 10:09:09 pm »

 I always considered the cultural zeitgeist of such eras or nouns (such as dieselpunk) i.e art and fashion. Steampunk is a modern subculture riddled with modern ideas and it dribbles with science fiction, contemporary and past concepts. So it doesnt really matter as its all interchangeable for our art movement! Smiley
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« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2011, 10:11:48 pm »

Wasn't Talespin a loose remake of "Tales of the Gold Monkey"?

Tales of the Gold Monkey - Opening CreditsDQ
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« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2011, 10:22:56 pm »

The city in Talespin is supposedly also based on the one in a 1930s movie called Only Angels Have Wings.
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« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2011, 10:29:06 pm »

Not suggesting you were Fritz.

Samuel has however made a couple of statements which are quite categorical in their flavour.  The problem with categorical statements about a fictional genre or even worse a subculture is that people will always dispute them and prove you wrong. (Accepted one response was to Andrew being categorical about "the best dieselpunk"...)

These comments are aimed at participants in general...

The best way to annoy steampunks etc is to TELL them what is and is not part of THEIR thing.  I am afraid no-one has that right.  One can express personal opinions - "for me I like my dieselpunk to include nothing post 1945" for example. One cannot say "dieselpunk is" since one is only a personal arbiter and not the arbiter of the genre.

When we look at a subculture then you are on even shakier ground.  Subcultures are all about social groups.  If a group of people self identify as steampunks and then choose to all turn up to a meeting wearing WW2 style uniforms etc they are still steampunks.  They may just be expressing themselves in a way you might not choose to.

Atterton's comment about using the title "retrofuturism" is a sensible one.  It is however unlikely to catch on globally very quickly due to the popularity of the term steampunk.  For many steampunks the other titles are little more than "roadsigns" to different fashions within steampunk. Trying to use the principal propulsion power as the defining aspect (based on a joke reference by an author in 1987) is a pretty futile gesture so I am with Atterton on this one.

Even so discussing dieselpunk as a flavour does allow people to express ideas and creativity.  The 1920s speakeasies, gangsters etc (for example) has an immediate feel that is easy to assimilate - a sort of visual literacy if you will - as dieselpunk. It is easy to differentiate this visual literacy from the classic steampunk imagery.  Even so this does not mean there is a fixed boundary.  A gentleman in blazer, shirt, cravat and boater could easily walk into either setting as could his friend in smoking jacket and fez,  and both would fit in perfectly in both settings.

Talk overall feel, talk flavours, (even use the term zeitgeist if you want)* talk elements you particularly like but don't delude yourselves into thinking you have the single factual truth because you are simply deluding yourself.

Mad Max as an excellent example of dieselpunk?  Absolutely right for one person who feels inspired by it. Not applicable for someone else who's preferences differ.  Both are right.  Argue until you are blue in the face guys but you will just generate ill feeling and neither move on the discussion nor help yourself enjoy the creative retrofuturistic worlds as much as you might.


(*Unfortunately I am not sure this is a good term since it really refers to the spirit of the age - steampunk ifor some may be inspired by the "zeitgeist" of the Victorian era but actually has it's own contemporary spirit or zeitgeist.)
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« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2011, 10:36:30 pm »

This isn't dieselpunk, but rather in the category of things that look 30's-like. Both the Batman and Superman animated series featured art deco buildings, airships and people wearing period clothing. It's how things should look today, not a pair of low slung pants in sight.
This...
Without the science fictional aspect, isn´t it really just militaria? Plenty of people who owns old uniforms and equipment. My high school history teacher even owned a pair of tanks.
And this...

In general:
Steampunks, and as this thread shows dieselpunks also, have their own special variant of "fan myopia".  In this variant the desire gather one's favorite things under a single umbrella is very strong rather than to see your favorite things as varied but united by your own personality.  This is a natural thing for the passionate and enthusiastic.

A tip to help: The "genre-punks" are often oddly-named and varied areas of interest, but three traits seem to be invaluable when attempting to identify them...
1.) A science fiction element (or magic with a distinctly science-y flair); otherwise it is just history
2.) A "retro" element from the perspective of the viewer; in the case of a future or fantastical setting, resemblance to a past era is usually enough
3.) A dominant form of technology that will help give a name (steam power, diesel engines, etc.); others may exist, but one stands out in some way
Now, this is by no means to say that this is a hard and fast checklist.  It certainly is not.  But as  parameters go, they certainly seem to help.
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« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2011, 10:41:10 pm »

(*Unfortunately I am not sure this is a good term since it really refers to the spirit of the age - steampunk ifor some may be inspired by the "zeitgeist" of the Victorian era but actually has it's own contemporary spirit or zeitgeist.)

 Zeitgeist must be a good word to explore what goes on in steampunk or dieselpunk. Especially for those who role play because they may adopt the mannerisms and taste of such periods. Its not absolute as steampunk and others besides are here in the now, the present point of time where we have our own spirit of the age. But retro fashion styles and even retro engineering to integrate with the new is also integrating spirits...hence zeitgeist...the flavour/essence of an era!
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« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2011, 11:06:10 pm »

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on that one Andrew.

The zeitgeist of the Victorian period also included an urge to master nature, a drive to force christianity upon non believers "for their own good" and institutionalised racism and sexism.  I do not see any of these as part of the of the majority experience of  contemporary steampunk as a subculture. 

I do however recognise that they may appear in fictional works etc set in an "alternative victorian world".

3.) A dominant form of technology that will help give a name (steam power, diesel engines, etc.); others may exist, but one stands out in some way

We need to remember this is a bit chicken and egg though.  The name was a joke - Jeter pulled the word "steam" out of the air to replace "cyber".  It could easily have been "Victoriapunk" or "Telegraphpunk" or something else iconic and not even necesarily a technology.

Quote
That is by no means to say that this is a hard and fast checklist.  It certainly is not.  But as  parameters go, they certainly seem to help.
  I think the fact that people will argue for and against shows quite clearly that whilst these parameters may help some they also hinder others.  There will be some people (particularly newcomers) who won't use an item believing it to be from the "wrong" punk and thus hamper their own creativity and expression.  Not really helpful then is it?
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