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Author Topic: Ottens message to all of us...  (Read 7513 times)
Nadya Lev
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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2007, 11:13:19 pm »

I'm at work so I can't make this post long, so I will just post 2 crucial points:

1. yaghish, I am in full agreement that there is an over-emphasis on British Victoriana in the steampunk world as of now. There is so, so much more that can be imagined. There was a completely different political climate happening in every country at the time, and those countries had their own technologies, their own fashions, their own ideologies, and it would be interesting to see how that gets re-imagined by good steampunk art, both in terms of different countries' responses to British imperealism and on their own. I am looking forward to seeing more of that, and contributing to it. 

2. You mentioned the art that you make in this thread, but I have not seen you post any of it. Maybe I missed it. Is there a link to where I can see some?

3. It's really a shame you think that your "Steampunk Erotics" thread was hijacked by me and others, because I really thought it was an interesting thread with a lot of lively discussions on different topics, some of which were generated by you and others contributed later on - body image yeserday today and yesteryear, how humans may have evolved physically in the past century, Victorian sexual devices, etc. A lot of people responded to your points, a lot of people raised new ones in relation to what you wrote. The fact that a thread generates lively discussion where people go on tangents and multiple topics are raised is the sign of a good thread, and you should be proud of making a thread with such discussion! And hey, I've made posts to this community before that had 0 responses too, though I thought I was writing about the steampunkest things ever. You never know how things will go when you post something. Smiley

It's obvious that people here are interested in what you have to say, though they may not all have the same perspectives as you. I personally could not ask for a better environment in which to post than that.

Hey, that was 3 points. AND, it ended up being long. Damn!
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2007, 11:25:47 pm »

yes you failed on both counts Nadya Lev, and you will now have to duel... um...  a small rabbit, to regain your honnor. I shall be the rabbit's second. Oil Guns at dawn? or this new fangled penumatic oil ball system?
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« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2007, 11:45:03 pm »

I think the thing about the British slant, is that to most people (at least those who aren't well versed in world history in the Victorian era), think of England when they think of the Victorian era (hell it is the "Victorian" era after all).

Though honestly Romantic Science Fiction has it's roots in France mostly.

But I am far more interested when stories veer to other places around the world. As I've mentioned now (and I might as well just post the premise of this instead of reiterating it in every thread) a few times, the game I'm working on involves every area of the world to some degree. The Central American countries have technologies based on their Aztec, Mayan, Incan, etc. ancestors. Africa has the Zulu Empire and their fleet of airships (inspired mostly by Mr. Moorcocks vision). Australia is a horribly dangerous prison wasteland/frontier country, that no civil Victorian citizen would want to tread into. Italy has become the Vatican Empire who are intent on spreading catholicism (forcefully at times) with their fleet of cathedral airships. The Russians are a strong force as well, and are remaining mostly neutral. They become allies throughout the course of the game.

But you see the thing is that like all good "Steampunk" stories, my world is almost entirely ficticious (but set on earth). Therefore giving me the freedom to do things that weren't plausible in the real 1890's.

Yaghish, I think one thing you need to realize about Steampunk, is that to most people it is all about Alternate History. Not about the actual horrors that the real people in the 19th century faced. Steampunk is escapist fiction. If people want to read about actual conflicts, and travesties, they can go read a history book.

In my world, people of all walks of life can be given the opportunity to take part in huge world altering events.

What I don't get was the whole Americans ruled in that time period point that you made (though I may be misinterpretting your post). I'm pretty sure the major nations of the world all had a good deal of influence, not just america (who was still a rather small empire at the time). As far as I can tell the major world powers were England, France, Russia, and Prussia. With other nations following closely behind (including the U.S.).
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Nadya Lev
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2007, 12:03:17 am »

Yaghish, I think one thing you need to realize about Steampunk, is that to most people it is all about Alternate History. Not about the actual horrors that the real people in the 19th century faced. Steampunk is escapist fiction. If people want to read about actual conflicts, and travesties, they can go read a history book.

I think yaghish is making the valid point that he sees too much of an emphasis on happy alternative history that glosses over the darker aspects of those times. Your response juxtaposes "alternative history" and "actual horrors" like they're opposites, but one can have "alternative horrors." A good example of that is the luddite rioting at the end of "The Difference Engine." Steampunk doesn't have to be escapist. It may be for most people, but it doesn't have to be.
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kiskolou
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2007, 12:54:59 am »

Why can't we all just realise that not everyone is the same! I like darker, punky, steampunk. There, i said it. But i do not believe that it is "truer" than, say, cory's kind. And i don't expect cory to call himself something else, because steampunk has no true definition. Everyone on any side that says otherwise is WRONG. I don't care how long the word has been around, it didn't have a true definition in the beginning either.
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« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2007, 01:11:27 am »

Yaghish, I think one thing you need to realize about Steampunk, is that to most people it is all about Alternate History. Not about the actual horrors that the real people in the 19th century faced. Steampunk is escapist fiction. If people want to read about actual conflicts, and travesties, they can go read a history book.

I think yaghish is making the valid point that he sees too much of an emphasis on happy alternative history that glosses over the darker aspects of those times. Your response juxtaposes "alternative history" and "actual horrors" like they're opposites, but one can have "alternative horrors." A good example of that is the luddite rioting at the end of "The Difference Engine." Steampunk doesn't have to be escapist. It may be for most people, but it doesn't have to be.

Well yes and I agree, maybe I should re-word that.

Because I also enjoy the darker side (I mean I do have a Steampunk project that falls under the darker spectrum of music after all). But even the darker grittier stuff, tends to be escapist. Or at least portraying conflicts that never happened, or eliminating conflicts that did happen.

I also didn't mean Steampunk has to be anything (but Victorian in theme, and Anachronistic in nature). It just tends to be more often than not escapist. Most people I've met like Steampunk, because it isn't real, it is something entirely up to the imagination.
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Nadya Lev
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« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2007, 01:31:40 am »

I also didn't mean Steampunk has to be anything (but Victorian in theme, and Anachronistic in nature).

I don't agree. I really don't think it has to be Victorian+Anachronistic to be steampunk. To use an example that came up in a conversation I had this weekend, why can't it be a dystopian future in which some catastrophe has set us back technologically and culturally, in which we've run out of fuel and have to rely on steam power? Why can't that be steampunk, because the original cyberpunk authors who playfully tossed around the term steampunk rigidly placed it in the Victorian era? I think not. Trust me - they'd be the first to approve.

Nadya
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Andy_W
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« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2007, 01:54:28 am »

Fiction is indeed escapist but it is as a reaction to reality and as such based on derived from reality.

Subjects like the cotton mill trade and the use of the poppy tend to be brushed over when folks are going out dressed up in there latest costume or working on their most recent build, it is not of their concern, perhaps it should be, it could provide more depth to their thought process when designing. I suppose a parallel could be drawn with todays world society we all know bad things go on in this world, do we do anything about them, probably not, we just keep on doing what we have always done. We accept the good and forget/ ignore the bad. 

All points of views are valid, everyones.
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I also dont think it has to be locked into the Victorian realm - VP you use a synth don't you?

I will not be locking or splitting this thread as it is raising some good points.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2007, 08:57:38 am by Andy_W » Logged
Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2007, 01:59:58 am »

Quote
To use an example that came up in a conversation I had this weekend, why can't it be a dystopian future in which some catastrophe has set us back technologically and culturally, in which we've run out of fuel and have to rely on steam power?

Well to give you an honest answer, I would call that Post-Apocalyptic, because that's really what it is. Which already has a solid and accepted definition.

I mean sure it has "Steampunk" elements. But by setting it in the future (with the background you used as an example) it kind of automatically gets labelled as post-apocalyptic.

It's really kind of pointless for me to debate (not argue) this, as I have had a pretty firm definition for almost 20 years as to what Steampunk means, and I'm not about to change it. Though I'm fascinated to see what people do within it, and their different interpretations of it.

Once again let me reiterate (as it's apparently very easy to miscommunicate on the internet), that just because I don't think something is steampunk, shouldn't affect someone elses view of it. Nor should it mean that I don't like it. Lord knows I love post-apocalyptic stuff. The Road Warrior is one of my all time favorite films. Just like I love a lot of Pulp, and fiction set in Ancient times. the only Sci-Fi that I don't usually find that interesting is futuristic space stuff.
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2007, 02:07:51 am »

I also dont think it has to be locked into the Victorian realm - VP you use a synth don't you?

Well yes, all of my instruments are from a laptop. So the tools are indeed modern, however I like to think the execution, and presentation is quite anachronistic (and very Victorian). A melding of both modern technology, and classic sounds. With a thick layer of atmospheric effects, and subtle nuances. But it is still "mostly" inspired by the Victorian era. Sure I have some songs that stray from this theme, but I don't advertise those songs in particular as "Steampunk themed".  Noir is a good example. That's 40's Jazz influenced, with samples from a bunch of Film Noir movies. Nothing even remotely Steampunk about it. Then their are my more rock influenced pieces like "The Fading Rain", which is just a fun Post-Punk number, that happens to feature strings, and other out of vogue instruments.

Honestly when I create my music, I try not to limit my pallette, if anything I do the opposite, and try to expand it with every song. I have plans on releasing a Hip-Hop track, with a local MC rapping about the social conditions of Industrial Revolution England. I also am working on a classic 60's ska/reggae song that will feature out of date instruments.

Those are just two examples. But I think you see my point?

For those that will argue the Victorian era as being an important component to a Steampunk release, I urge you to take a pek at the wikipedia entry on Steampunk. That has been debated for a few years now, and finally a conclusion was decided on. Go check it out.
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« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2007, 05:33:29 am »

I don't feel very welcome here. There is a certain person high in rank here that keeps getting back at me because I refused to welcome his website in the now ill-fated Steampunk Webring (nobody here wants to join a project someone not part of the in-crowd has started, would you?) (how can anyone be so childish???). There are obviously some friends of him who back him up, without knowing what was the case. Nobody bothered to ask me about my decision, instead the person in question and friends left the forum on which this took place without any respond. Cowards.

Wait...huh? are you talking about me?
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« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2007, 05:57:47 am »

I feel that Otten's message is true. And, while I haven't been here more than a week (the forum is rather new, anyway). I feel the need to agree...We should all, to a lesser or greater extent, attempt to get along with one another, regardless of one's ideas, or definition of what steampunk is. Vernian Process, has stated their opionion several times. I am not one to judge, and feel some people fit better into one category, others may not..I feel it unnecessary and rather foolish simply to decide "who is" or "who is not". Who am I to judge? If you say, that you are steampunk. So be it!
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2007, 06:14:14 am »

My whole point was never to say who is and who isn't anything. My point was to say "what" constitutes Steampunk in media. Not in a person. I mean that's pretty straightforward, if you like Steampunk, and it's related genres (and feel like applying a genre of Science Fiction to identify yourself), than by all means... who's to say you aren't Steampunk?? Certainly not me!

Personally I'm not Steampunk. I may enjoy almost all of the Steampunk media I've found, and even create my own, but that doesn't define me. I had the same issue with other scenes that I am involved in (or was when I was younger).

People would ask me if I was a Goth, or if I was a Punk Rocker? I would say... "Well I'm me. I like all of those things, but to call myself any of them, kind of pigeon holes me into certain limitations of what I can and can't be into." I don't want that, and I'm surprised other people feel the need to classify themselves in such limiting terms.

For instance if you tell someone your a Goth (or in my case a Goth DJ), then those people assume that you likely love Marylin Manson, The Cure, Evanescense, etc. and hate hip-hop, techno, ska, new wave, pop, etc. But I love all of those things, so I just tell people I'm a DJ who likes all kinds of music (including Goth, but not Marylin Manson or Evanescense).  Tongue

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OHebel Wring
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« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2007, 07:20:33 am »

I think that one needs to fall back to the original def. of SP as being a genre of literature.

They pretty clearly defined it as Victorian-Based Alternate History (steam) featuring Man-vs-Society themes (punk).  Based on this definition and a label I had proposed earlier, I will state again that nobody "IS" steampunk.  They are steampunk enthusiasts, steampunk fans, etc.  You can say someone's outfit is steampunk, their attitude is steampunk, their lifestyle is steampunk, but I would actually argue that you couln't say that they themselves are steampunk.

based on the above-stated definition.

ok, you can all hate me now.     Shocked
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kiskolou
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« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2007, 07:34:39 am »

oh, we don't hate you. It' very true...
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Andy_W
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« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2007, 08:56:59 am »


I originally said i was not going to lock or split this thread, however I think everyone involved has had said what they have needed to say.
If anyone has issues with other board members please PM each other first to avoid misunderstandings.
 


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