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Author Topic: Is Steampunk a Conformist Subculture?  (Read 3224 times)
RJBowman
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2015, 02:28:19 am »

If I were going to imitate an actor's English accent, I would go directly to the source: Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
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Arabella Periscope
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Edwardian summer


« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2015, 03:28:58 am »



To be too idiosyncratic in dress makes strangers very uneasy, because until they know you, it is a visual warning of mental illness to wear your camisole undone or have your trousers falling down; that is, until famous people started to do it.

 A subculture has to be collectively nonconformist in order to share in its expressions of individual eccentricity while reassuring the general public that a representative is not a single dangerous maniac in a plague mask carrying a horrendous post-apocalyptic weapon and wearing dragon-skin armor-plating.

As it is, people can just jeer nervously and tell themselves that it is a mildly nutty Steampunk enthusiast.
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Kenneth: 'If you're so hot, you can tell me how to say she has ideas above her station.'
Brian:'Oh yes, I forgot. It's fairly easy, old boy.
Elle a des idees au-dessus de sa gare.'
Kenneth: 'Idiot.  It's not that kind of station.'

Terence Rattigan 'French Without Tears.'
Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2015, 06:42:44 am »



 Is the young gentleman  clock enthusiast who caused a controversy  by  taking a homemade  clock to school non conformist ??

 or just  grievously misunderstood?   [ shame on his school and local police  Embarrassed ]

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/muslim-boy-arrest-clock-sparks-outrage-150916143739052.html
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2015, 09:24:31 am »



 Is the young gentleman  clock enthusiast who caused a controversy  by  taking a homemade  clock to school non conformist ??

 or just  grievously misunderstood?   [ shame on his school and local police  Embarrassed ]

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/muslim-boy-arrest-clock-sparks-outrage-150916143739052.html


[mod hat]
I don't want this to turn into a political discussion so I'll place my opinion within spoiler and hope it stops here - I think this pretty much sums it up
[/mod hat]

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 09:30:37 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Clym Angus
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« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2015, 10:07:45 am »

Texas doesn't serve the world when it comes to dumb people. They are all over the place.
And if I were going to corral all the dumb in the world, Texas wouldn't be big enough.

Anyway we are off topic. We know the outside world has some strange views on things and uses hear say when presented by knowledge vacuum. This thread is more concerned with if this state of affairs is endemic to human behaviour and we just swap one set of rules for another when we join a sub-culture.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2015, 10:20:20 am »


Anyway we are off topic. We know the outside world has some strange views on things and uses hear say when presented by knowledge vacuum. This thread is more concerned with if this state of affairs is endemic to human behaviour and we just swap one set of rules for another when we join a sub-culture.


The problem is that humans are social creatures. This pretty much demands interaction with others and a sharing of ideas, which inevitably leads to commonality.  For me "non-conformist" is an absolute statement, like an asymptotic limit in mathematics.  Like saying "zero" or "infinity."  No one is perfectly non-conformist.  No one is perfectly conformist. If the group's values limit your individuality too much, then you just move out of the group.  I've seen it happen with members at Brassgoggles. Some people felt too constrained here - I won't mention any names.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2015, 10:31:25 am »

I wouldn't say "swap" a set of rules, but rather adopt a set of values.  You can add and substract values to the set.  Like saying your values are: A=( Brass, DIY, Survivalism, Conservationism, Politics) and the groups values are B=(History, Brass, Victoriana, DIY).  For some people the intersection of A and B is enough to keep them at Brassgoggles.  For others, the intersection of A and B is too small and they simply leave the group for another set of values, like C=(DIY, Politics, Survivalism), which might satisfy their expectations better.  Are humans naturally adept to adopting or evolving a set of values?  I say yes, again, because we are social creatures and need that skill to survive.
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Captain Lyerly
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« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2015, 09:37:23 pm »

Considering the broad range of projects, outfits, stories, and what-not that each of us has seen, it is difficult to even define Steampunk - as an example, some folks capitalize the 'p' in Steampunk! - so conforming to an amorphous, indefinable concept seems, to me, not just non-requisite, but nigh-on impossible.  Yes, there is the whole Glue Some Gears On It thing, where someone new to the scene thinks that wearing brown and sporting a pair of goggles is the entirety of Steampunk, but they usually get past that fairly quickly.

So, no, I don't think we are an overly-conformist subculture; I think it is nice that we enjoy our differences, and draw from such an extremely broad demographic - from the coglings to those in their 70s, and all around the world.


Cheers!

Chas.
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Captain Sir Charles A. Lyerly, O.B.T.
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Athanor
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Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2015, 07:02:25 am »

Yes indeed, we are all individuals.

       Chorus: "Yes, we are all individuals!!"
       Lone voice in the background: "I'm not!!"

               From "Monty Python's Life of Brian."
               ..... as if you need me to tell you .....

Athanor.
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"Truly I say to you, he who seeks, shall find. And quite often, he shall wish he hadn't."

              - Elias Ashmole Crackbone.
Caledonian
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the dragon's called Salmacis


« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2015, 08:03:24 am »

Yes indeed, we are all individuals.

       Chorus: "Yes, we are all individuals!!"
       Lone voice in the background: "I'm not!!"

               From "Monty Python's Life of Brian."
               ..... as if you need me to tell you .....

Athanor.

if we're starting on quotes:
"thousand people, thousand voices, thousand people and one crowd, thousand people thousand choices"
           ~from Fiddler's Green's "we don't care"
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"Crazy pseudo-scot living in a fantasy world"
Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2015, 02:35:44 am »

It seems that way to me. It took me a while to figure it out but I eventually realized that for 90% of steampunks the 'punk' part is a being used ironically and most steampunks are more into emulating the conservative upper crust villains from SP fiction than they are the mad scientist revolutionary protagonists.
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GCCC
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« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2015, 03:10:54 am »

I suppose that for some, the steam part is more important than the punk...

However, at the (admittedly very few) conventions I've attended, the workers and inventors seem to outnumber the upper class (at least until that night's ball). Could your observation be a function of the places/people you've been/encountered, as is mine? In my area the feel is definitely more blue- than white collar.
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Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2015, 03:20:44 am »

I was talking about philosophy, not costume.

Steampunk as a club often seems to me to be attempting to out establish the establishment.

As for being more "steam' than punk it think a strong punk influence is required in order to get to actual 'steam' as on a practical level most of the real steam applications are illegal, dangerous and usually rely on a punk mentality to accomplish unless you are the owner of your own engineering company.

In the end steampunk as a whole is not interested much in either steam or punk and is in reality more interested in Neo-victorianism than anything else.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 03:26:54 am by Shadow Of The Tower » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2015, 04:20:02 am »

It seems that way to me. It took me a while to figure it out but I eventually realized that for 90% of steampunks the 'punk' part is a being used ironically and most steampunks are more into emulating the conservative upper crust villains from SP fiction than they are the mad scientist revolutionary protagonists.


Well!  To what do we owe your visit Mr. Tower?  Welcome back. Long time,  no see! Are you still living in the same place?

For newbies present,  I used to have the most interesting debates with Mr. Tower some time back.  In fact, the most energetic arguments I ever had at Brassgoggles.co.uk.
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GCCC
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« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2015, 05:00:45 am »

I was talking about philosophy, not costume...

Where else does one "see" this philosophy but in the costuming and other visual/physical manifestations of Steampunk? I'll agree that neo-Victorianism is prevalent in our modern literature, but it seems (to me, at least) the punk aspect is dominant in our art and our music.

It may be that I'm not following your concept of the expression of the philosophy, but outside of just talking about it, how does the philosophy reveal itself if not in the clothing, arts, literature, and music, all those things that help to define a culture?

For newbies present,  I used to have the most interesting debates with Mr. Tower some time back...

So, don't hold out on us; what are your thoughts regarding his comments?
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Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2015, 05:02:51 am »

Dang....I hoped everybody would have forgotten me by now.

Actually I've been re-reading "The Diamond Age"  and the characters talking about about "The damn Vickies" made me wonder if this place was still going.

Yep. Still living in the Tower, although very little new has happened on it, a descent into poverty and debt on the part of the landowners has led to me to conclude that any further investment here would be a bad idea and so mostly I've been working on stuff I can take with me. Haven't had a chance to start on it yet but the new master plan is to buy a old school bus and convert it into a mobile home and go in search of better lives when the time comes.

Mostly I've been working on vehicles. I decided production vehicles where too expensive, relied too much on irreplaceable little black boxes, and where just too boring so I built my own with the idea that if I built it from the ground up then almost by definition I would be have to be able to repair every part of it, of course, like all projects it took longer than I expected and cost more:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

And then of course, I ended up starting another project, one that took exactly as long as expected and although it had virtually no initial expenses has the potential to cost millions:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 05:24:11 am by Shadow Of The Tower » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2015, 05:14:48 am »

Good to see you.  Nice family.  Nice skulls too!  Grin
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GCCC
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« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2015, 05:15:19 am »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Love the hood ornament!

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That is one happy baby. Congratulations!
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Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2015, 05:21:24 am »

Quote
Where else does one "see" this philosophy but in the costuming and other visual/physical manifestations of Steampunk? I'll agree that neo-Victorianism is prevalent in our modern literature, but it seems (to me, at least) the punk aspect is dominant in our art and our music.

That really does say a lot (to me at least) about the state of "steampunk."   Costume and music do not constitute a philosophy, they can be part of it, but by themselves they are just art. There used to be (probably still are) debates on if steampunk was anything more than an aesthetic. I can see that for you at least, that debate was settled.


Quote
It may be that I'm not following your concept of the expression of the philosophy, but outside of just talking about it, how does the philosophy reveal itself if not in the clothing, arts, literature, and music, all those things that help to define a culture?

Taken from wiki:

Philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.

"Just talking about it" Is a big part of it actually. Even just looking at which subjects are allowed and which are verboten can tell you a lot about a culture for instance.

Of course, there is always the kind of person you are and the kind of life you live if you want more tangible examples.

If you look at the second from the last post on the stickied "steampunk as a subculture thread" You can see an answer that I posted three years ago on the subject.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 05:22:59 am by Shadow Of The Tower » Logged
GCCC
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« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2015, 06:10:56 am »

I don't consider the debate "settled" at all; it's an ongoing discussion, as evidenced by this and other threads. To grow, one requires self-reflection. The fact that this topic keeps popping up suggests that we are a contemplative group, and thus we continue to grow.

The definition you provided for philosophy actually tends to reinforce my earlier thesis, in that the aesthetic arises from the philosophy. And, I concur that talking about the philosophy is a big part of it. Is that not what this, and similar threads, are ultimately about?

I read the referenced post as suggested. Well-reasoned and thought out, and I applaud your commitment.
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Von Ponkster
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« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2015, 07:01:57 am »

Most of England, nevermind the rest of the UK, does not speak with an "English" accent either...  Huh

Mind you, I'm a Geordie (a native of Tyneside in the N.E of the UK) so even talking posh 'R.P' (as the queen speaks), I still sound 'northern'.  Grin

I'm a Brummie (from Birmingham ,England) who has lived in the NE Scotland for the last 20 years so my 'English' accent is dodgy at best - I think if I was going to put on a Steampunk accent I'd probably go for sounding like the Kaiser Cheesy
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coil spung cog driven valve lifting steam spurting musical instument maker.
Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2015, 08:05:34 am »

Quote
And, I concur that talking about the philosophy is a big part of it. Is that not what this, and similar threads, are ultimately about?

It is.  But I think overall, the answer to the original question is still yes.


Quote
The definition you provided for philosophy actually tends to reinforce my earlier thesis, in that the aesthetic arises from the philosophy.

Perhaps. But it seems that for the majority that philosophy is "I think things like brass goggles look cool" so the paint some plastic goggles with brass paint...or taken a step further, they actually make some brass goggles with real brass and glass, but the core philosophy that I think most are conforming to is still "Brass goggles look cool"

The aesthetic IS the philosophy in this case.

Its a fashion choice for the sake of fashion, a fairly victorian idea in itself.

Now, If someone believes that modern sunglasses are either weak, easily broken commodities, or expensive machine produced products imported from foreign countries that are only even accessible because of the temporarily cheap price of energy and decides to make their own pair of protective eye ware, possible out of brass because of the ease of working with it and its corrosion resistant properties, then I would say that yes, that aesthetic is arising from a philosophy.

The end result may be the same but say if you ask these two people why they are wearing brass goggles you will get very different answers. More interesting if you ask them how they feel about say, the trans pacific trade agreement (although you wouldn't be allowed to even have that discussion here) you would probably get very different answers as well.

Quote
I don't consider the debate "settled" at all; it's an ongoing discussion, as evidenced by this and other threads. To grow, one requires self-reflection. The fact that this topic keeps popping up suggests that we are a contemplative group, and thus we continue to grow.

Its possible. I haven't visited this site in over a year. What I remember though was a rather conformist point of view here and one that I would call more neo-victorian than steampunk, at least going by the definitions found in fiction.

It seems as though people may enjoy reading about steampunk fiction but in practice what the actually want to be is neo-victorians.

Perhaps that could be a description of steampunk,

Steampunk: a type of fiction enjoyed by neo-victorian enthusiasts.

Steampunks themselves, defined as the people who follow the aesthetics and philosophies put forward in steampunk fiction, may not actually exist except as a tiny minority.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2015, 12:43:25 pm »

We're doing this again are we? Cheesy
(where did I put my Soco Inglês?)
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GCCC
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« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2015, 09:06:03 pm »

We're doing this again are we? Cheesy
(where did I put my Soco Inglês?)


Girding our loins, are we?  Wink

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Shadow Of The Tower
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« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2015, 10:48:19 pm »

We're doing this again are we? Cheesy
(where did I put my Soco Inglês?)


Don't worry, I probably won't be around for more than another day or two and you guys will be able to get back to the status quo and be left in peace for another year.
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