The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
December 11, 2019, 10:48:30 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is Steampunk under attack? Again?  (Read 250 times)
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« on: November 24, 2019, 08:50:26 pm »

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

I'd urge you to take a look at the last few articles regarding Steampunk's alleged "demise" in Mr. Nick Ottens 'Never Was Magazine. One thing I noticed on the last year or so on my Twitter feed, was a barrage of references to one particular article published in Mr. Ottens' Never Was Magazine in April. Some were re-tweets by. Dieselpunk folk and others by former Steampunk people, and some were directly by Mr. Ottens announcing the article itself (since I guess he's in my feed of followed people).

April article on Never Was Magazine
https://neverwasmag.com/2019/04/who-killed-steampunk/

What called my attention was the sheer number of tweets, issued months after the article had been published. We've had dirt thrown at us in the past. That's not news. Countless folk have declared Steampunk, "uncool," "out of touch", " racist, " and in the most ridiculous accusation it was said Steampunk was stealing Prada's sartorial genius and claiming it as our own (Numi Prasarn's "Steampunk Stahp! Or the Appropriation of Prada" published in Jake Von Slatt's The Steampunk Workshop.

Mr. Ottens makes the rightful point that politics, when injected into Steampunk has a distinctly gangrenous effect, basically rotting the Steampunk medium that was infected, until its predictable demise occurs. But the Numi Prasarn article was not political, and it is, by far, the most entertaining, and I made sure to write a rebuttal commensurate to the level of the accusation (my rebuttal on Slatt's blog was erased, I think, so I include our response here at Brassgoggles.co.uk):

https://steampunkworkshop.com/steampunk-stahp-or-prada-not-steampunk/
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,40119.msg853414.html#msg853414

So this is not a new process, and I should not be surprised that the attack was published within the retrofuturustic movement arena...

But what is strange to me is that most of the attacks I hear from today seem to be tied to the April article of Never Was Magazine - From people tied to the sister movement of Dieselpunk or from former Steampunk brethren, as opposed to people with political agendas just joining the community, or outsiders, like it tends to be the case.

This feels different, with the latter attacks most prominently coming in the form of vitriolic commentary by Diesel and Steam folk following the mentioned articles. What's up with that? You didn't make it as a Steampunk? Or your Steampunk life is over and now you're going to help bury it? Has anyone noticed the same process in other platforms like Facebook (I don't do Faceplant myself) ?

Now Mr. Ottens has published this article below, I guess as a Thanksgiving gift of sorts?  Mr. Ottens himself takes a very neutral stand, but unequivocally implies that Steampunks are burying their head in the sand, ignoring the reality of their moribund subculture along with the rabid political correctness enforced by some in opposition to the real racism and misogyny that does exist in various venues like conventions and such. Like an overdose of antibiotics (political correctness from social justice warriors) for a patient suffering from flesh a eating bacteria  sepsis (apologism, colonialism, misogyny), eating away at the body of Steampunk, there is in fact very little to declare "alive" in us.

That in fact seems to be the central thesis of the short article. We are in denial, or so it seems of our moribund state. Please call a priest (or shaman, whichever might be your case) and make peace with the universe.

I will post the link here and let our members read it and make up their minds on their own. Who knows? Maybe I'm just getting senile (I'm technically still Generation X  Roll Eyes and  Mr. Ottens, I assure I have nothing personal against you or your magazine. I'm just expressing the impression I'm getting from this process in the media...

https://neverwasmag.com/2019/11/nothing-to-see-here-steampunk-is-doing-fine/

Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. Ottens... I guess?

At your service,
Adm. J. Wilhelm
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 08:52:09 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Ottens
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain


nickottens
WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 12:58:36 am »

Thank you for sharing the article, sir!

Your metaphor of an overdose of antibiotics is an apt one to what I think is the situation we're dealing with.

I might be a little pessimistic, but the reason I keep banging on about this is that I fear many steampunk old-timers dismiss the worry altogether (the sticking one's head in the sand thing) and keep doing what they're doing - while it is deterring new people from joining or even convincing some to turn their backs on steampunk, perhaps seeking refuge in dieselpunk or something different altogether.

This is how a small, motivated faction can succeed, if the rest of us remain complacent.

I'm not saying they don't have a point. As I write in the article, steampunk was always going to have some problems with Eurocentrism, racism, misogyny and other bigotries that should have remained in the nineteenth century but didn't. It's a question of how you set about to remedy such problems, though, and I fear we're seeing an overreaction.

Reasonable people in the center, who agree there's no place for such things in steampunk, but who also believe that most of the time mistakes are made in good faith and people can be persuaded to change their ways with a gentle nudge or a quick history lesson, need to be heard in this debate.
Logged

NEVER WAS MAGAZINE: Exploring a past that never was.
Synistor 303
Officer
***
Australia Australia


Zenyna Ironbracker


« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 04:53:16 am »

This sounds like a storm in a Splendid Teapot to me... Steampunk is an art movement, not a political movement and so should be allowed to run its course without the sabre rattling, which is obviously required to start some kind of pseudo-debate about whether or not Steampunk is dead.

Steampunk is neither dead nor alive just as cubism and impressionism are neither dead nor alive. Art lives on long after the squabbling dies.

However, if Mr Ottens feels he needs to create a bun-fight to get more attention and or readers (?) then he should go right ahead. Jobs in the media are scarce now, so creating a scene to get your magazine read is good for your bank balance. Perhaps it was written out of fear of having to find a real job?

(And full marks for managing to drop sexism and racism into Steampunk - I’m sure some of your ‘younger’ readers will be suitably outraged.)
 
Logged
Antipodean
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 07:16:18 am »

Here - Here! to those above
Logged

Did you just go PSSSSSSST at me or have I just sprung a leak?

I'm not retreating, I'm advancing in another direction.
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 08:00:45 am »

Mr. Ottens, has it occurred to you that perhaps this is not only a natural cycle, but one that must take place regularly? And a cycle that will take place out of phase depending on which country or region you observe? Why does it have to be this tremendous tragedy about right VS left wing, or post-colonial politics killing Steampunk? Why is this the end of Steampunk? I find your point of view somewhat narrow minded if not hyper-localized to the English speaking world.

I will offer a much less nefarious alternative: If you are aware about the movement's evolution, Steampunk by nature is multi-generational, unlike many other movements that favor one particular age group. But it wasn't always that way. The original DIY and Goth crowds who joined the movement 20 years ago were obviously younger back then, and by the mid 2000s Steampunk was very much growing. But not only did the first wave of non-literary Steampunks age from youth to middle age, but much older people began to learn about the movement and joined in. That's how you suddenly got your children and your parents to go along with you to the Steampunk picnic in the UK, or the Steampunk convention in the US. Please consider for a minute that at one point or another, the younger generations will diverge and get bored about the whole Steampunk affair. Teenagers live at a very different speed from adults. For them time passes at a much slower rate, and thus what happened 5 years ago, looks like ancient history to your children, whereas you barely notice the change. You may want to spend the next 20 year dressing as a Steampunk, but your teenager simply won't think the same way. He's got a life of his own.

Is it not possible that the younger crowds simply got tired of the Steampunk fad and want to see something new like Elven Fantasy or Wizard Students? I've met co-workers who never saw The Matrix. When I told them they should see the movie they reacted with disgust. "What is my age?" one of them asked sarcastically. I must admit the reality that as a Gen-X, my "cool" is no longer. Michael Stipe now looks like an old curmudgeon.Teens today have to deal with a completely new reality in which even gender itself is being redefined. There's so much stuff out there to see. Could you entertain the notion that the congruence of generations in Steampunk just happened for a passing moment, like the beats of sound waves interacting with each other? I postulate that well developed Steampunk movements in First World countries have peaked and a generational divergence of opinions within the movement has already happened and likely will occur cyclically, at "generational frequency," so to speak. People will drop the fad to go to the next one, only to come back later. Check back in 20 or 25 years from now, that seems to work for music as well as aesthetics for anything "retro." Brassgoggles, admittedly may not be around. But I don't think my life as a Steampunk aficionado will come to an end immediately because of that (Is that heresy what I just wrote? Get over it and do something if you want to keep it!)

I understand the process whereby politics can spoil a movement. Let me make clear that is not a wrong conclusion, just an old and narrow view of what happens to the Steampunk movement globally, and most importantly does not determine a final outcome. So I'll postulate further that the concept of Steampunk transcends generations and is greater than any of our feeble organizations, be it blog, vlog, forum, convention, or live social event. Sorry, you're not as important as the movement you promote.

Classical music is not dead. Neither is Baroque, Renaissance or Medieval music. Each one of those was called "a fad" at some point. And fads are meant to be adopted, used and then dumped unceremoniously, until someone finds it again decades later. Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons was derided by contemporary critics as a forgettable "gimmick," and rumor has it that by Mozart's time JS Bach's written music was treated as garbage (toilet paper even!). The other day I was watching a video about ancient Scandinavian music. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but I'm sure there's plenty of organizations dedicated to the curation, reproduction and study of every single style of music ever played, no matter how esoteric. Beethoven is not a fad now, but neither is his music dead. Why can't Steampunk be the same as Agatha Christie styled mystery novels or medieval armor studies? What makes Steampunk so unique that it MUST die now? What movement actually dies, never to come back?

We, at Brassgoggles have survived multiple attacks, from all sorts of directions, by a multitude of ideologues, all of whom left empty-handed. I assume the same thing happened elsewhere. But that didn't happen only in 2019 or 2017, 15, or 13. I remember having that argument in 2010! Steampunk Magazine was highly controversial back then! And yet according to your thesis, one would expect such vitriolic attacks would have stopped Steampunk dead on its tracks long ago. But did it? The political gangrene argument explains a localized death but does not explain how, around 2011, there was an expansion of Steampunk outside of the UK and English speaking world in general. I assume that was possible for the simple fact that history, culture and politics differ in other countries. For example, here at American venues we've had our bloomers tied in a knot forever over the presence of guns and gun rights in Steampunk venues. That's a very American argument. I remember around 2009 when I joined Brassgoggles reading in amazement how American Steampunks argued over and over about the right to bear arms at conventions, as if it concerned every Steampunk who came to the forum from any part of the world. Other countries won't have that same political argument, and most likely will have their own brand of political arguments that could sour the party. I guess some things are universal, Socialism, Anarchism, Totalitarianism... But they don't have a 2nd Amendment to fight over.

Look at the time period around 2010. I postulate that upon death at one place you will find life elsewhere. In 2010 Steampunk, already touted as "old and tired" by some hardliners and criticized by others of "going mainstream" (eg Justin Bieber, 2011),was actually exploding into the underground scene in Latin America. About the time I joined the first Mexican Steampunk forum, I got to witness the breathtaking speed with which it expanded into Argentina, Chile, Brazil, you name it, the Spanish speaking world was on fire.

http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,29562.msg650616.html#msg650616

Those Steampunk folk were very young. They were all connected by Internet by newly installed cellular and optical networks. The kids were very different from the middle aged English speaking Steampunks in the UK and the United States. In Mexico, guys tended to be college aged, and coming from the Metal and Goth crowds. The girls tended to be high-school aged and come from the Lolita movement. Sadly Steampunk Mexico imploded shortly after takeoff mostly due to infighting over what to do and how much to do. They wanted to do too much. Mexico is a big country. The college age students wanted to have a national organisation including conventions, podcasts and even museum exhibits. There were fights over the leadership of the forum, and people fought bitterly until the forum fragmented into various other organizations spread over the country, and by then I had lost interest due to their infighting. No politics in the traditional sense were involved.

The maturity of a Steampunk movement in a given country is generally correlated to the age of the average Steampunk. You will find older people in well developed Steampunk scenes. I suspect that is when politics come into the picture. It is the older-than-teenage crowd, most likely middle aged or golden-aged people who will express interest in political discussion. It's an assumption on my part, correct me if I'm wrong. But if I'm right, then the political gangrene argument is really a generational argument.

I tend to view Steampunk's apparent demise as more of a generational effect. The world will not come to an end and Steampunk will not die. The only people who should be having a screaming fit over this are those who make their living from Steampunk. They will bear the impact of the fad's demise.

And I can tell you from experience that this particular train left the station long ago. Steampunk stopped being a viable business for me back in 2013. The reason was a change in national laws regarding health insurance requirements. Suddenly the average American family had to spend a few hundred dollars more per month to keep the family's policy. That stopped many middle aged women (my primary clientele) from spending on their new found passion, Steampunk. Seventy percent of my income came from the US, and that meant my business became inviable. So politics will not kill Steampunk, but will kill your business!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 08:21:27 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Ottens
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain


nickottens
WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 12:42:23 pm »

This sounds like a storm in a Splendid Teapot to me... Steampunk is an art movement, not a political movement and so should be allowed to run its course without the sabre rattling, which is obviously required to start some kind of pseudo-debate about whether or not Steampunk is dead.

Steampunk is neither dead nor alive just as cubism and impressionism are neither dead nor alive. Art lives on long after the squabbling dies.

However, if Mr Ottens feels he needs to create a bun-fight to get more attention and or readers (?) then he should go right ahead. Jobs in the media are scarce now, so creating a scene to get your magazine read is good for your bank balance. Perhaps it was written out of fear of having to find a real job?

(And full marks for managing to drop sexism and racism into Steampunk - I’m sure some of your ‘younger’ readers will be suitably outraged.)

OK - wow.

First of all, Never Was is a hobby. The magazine is completely free to read and made by volunteers. I pay for the whole thing myself, and have done so for more than ten years (it used to be called The Gatehouse). You're welcome!

As for your claim that steampunk is not a political movement, I agree! That's my whole point. Did you read my articles J. Wilhelm linked? Because if you did, you would have known that - and you would have found a bunch links to people making the opposite argument, that steampunk is political.

Final point: even if you did disagree with me, there's no need for insults, please.
Logged
Ottens
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain


nickottens
WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 12:59:00 pm »

Mr. Ottens, has it occurred to you that perhaps this is not only a natural cycle, but one that must take place regularly? And a cycle that will take place out of phase depending on which country or region you observe? Why does it have to be this tremendous tragedy about right VS left wing, or post-colonial politics killing Steampunk? Why is this the end of Steampunk? I find your point of view somewhat narrow minded if not hyper-localized to the English speaking world.

[...]

And I can tell you from experience that this particular train left the station long ago. Steampunk stopped being a viable business for me back in 2013. The reason was a change in national laws regarding health insurance requirements. Suddenly the average American family had to spend a few hundred dollars more per month to keep the family's policy. That stopped many middle aged women (my primary clientele) from spending on their new found passion, Steampunk. Seventy percent of my income came from the US, and that meant my business became inviable. So politics will not kill Steampunk, but will kill your business!

I, too, remember the political debates of ~2010. Never Was was called The Gatehouse at the time, and we fiercely resisted the politicization of steampunk that SteamPunk Magazine and others were promoting.

That was a different kind of politics, though. They were anarchists and far-leftists, trying to tie steampunk to Occupy and anti-capitalist causes. I thought that was nonsense, but for a while it felt like it was the dominant view.

In hindsight, it's clear the majority of steampunks were simply ignoring these debates. Marcus Rauchfuß pointed out there was scarcely a steampunker among the Occupy crowd. Probably the reason those activists were so loud was that they realized something I didn't: they were losing the argument.

Maybe I'm making the same mistake, and as you say what we're seeing is just a natural ebb and flow of any subculture.

On the other hand, I wonder if we - and others - hadn't resisted the attempt by the far-left to co-opt steampunk in the early 2010s, they might have been more successful?

As I suggested earlier, a minority can be successful if they are determined, and the mood of the moment is with the social justice crowd.

Steampunk isn't the only subculture to go through this. We're seeing this across science-fiction and indeed in society generally.

It's most pronounced in the US. Back home in the Netherlands and here in Spain (where I currently live), these debates are hardly taking place at all. I hear they're not relevant in Germany either. But they are more relevant in the UK - perhaps owing to a combination of shared language and similar politics with the US? I've speculated elsewhere that the reason politics have entered steampunk so viciously in the last few years may be that it's hard for Americans, and to a lesser extent Britons, to separate anything from politics, given what's been happening in their countries. Continental Europeans, in my experience, by and large prefer to keep their hobbies politics-free.
Logged
bicyclebuilder
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Netherlands Netherlands


A.K.A. Scanner Camera Builder


« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 01:48:44 pm »

It seems that every hobby, lifestyle and sport is politicised.
We are so worried about hurting other people's feelings, we throw away our own feelings.

The positive thing is that in the name "Steampunk" there is the word "punk".
From Wikipedia:"...The punk ethos is primarily made up of beliefs such as non-conformity, anti-authoritarianism, anti-corporatism, a do-it-yourself ethic, anti-consumerist, anti-conservative, anti-corporate greed, direct action and not "selling out"..."
And that is the core of Steampunk as well.

So do whatever you want, it is art.
It's ment to stimulate feelings, from happyness, to sadness and also feeling offended.
Logged

The best way to learn is by personal experience.
Kensington Locke
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 05:14:57 pm »

Aside from the recurring argument that the "punk" in steampunk doesn't refer to "punk", where are the political hand-wringing arguments that Ottens speaks of?

It's 2019.  I don't see it on Brass Goggles (which does its best to stay out of politics).  I don't see it on the Steampunk! facebook group.

I don't see it in my local SP community (Houston).  Now there was a time the role-players tainted the well by "just playing their character" meant being a jackass to people.  But that crowd had vanished by the time I got active (2015).

I don't see people promoting Victorian attitudes about race or gender as "the good old days."  Every SP fiction I've read, if it features a bigotry, it's considered wrong by the heroes of the story.

I haven't even seen the Gun topic come up except for Austin Sirkis's 2013 article.

Where are these people making a big deal about anything? I haven't seen or met them in 2019.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 05:31:44 pm by Kensington Locke » Logged
Ottens
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain


nickottens
WWW
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 07:18:08 pm »

    Aside from the recurring argument that the "punk" in steampunk doesn't refer to "punk", where are the political hand-wringing arguments that Ottens speaks of?

    It's 2019.  I don't see it on Brass Goggles (which does its best to stay out of politics).  I don't see it on the Steampunk! facebook group.

    Try Twitter.

    If you're interested, click here or here for a couple of threads.

    I linked to a bunch of political arguments from the last decade in my original "Who Killed Steampunk?" story:


    Here are a few more from the last year or two:


    I don't see people promoting Victorian attitudes about race or gender as "the good old days."  Every SP fiction I've read, if it features a bigotry, it's considered wrong by the heroes of the story.

    There is very little of this indeed - which is why I call the reaction against it an overreaction. People are making mountains out of molehills and interpreting small infractions and mistakes as evidence of structural racism and misogyny.[/list]
    « Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 07:19:55 pm by Ottens » Logged
    chicar
    Rogue Ætherlord
    *
    Canada Canada


    Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

    Chicar556
    WWW
    « Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 09:59:52 pm »

    My General Opinion About Apolitical Anything:
    https://youtu.be/VENtkTJCCkw
    Logged

    The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

    ''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
    Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
    morozow
    Zeppelin Captain
    *****
    Russian Federation Russian Federation



    WWW
    « Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 10:27:04 pm »

    1) Comrades Anglo-Saxons, not take offense, but you there all are gone mad, with their complexes guilt.

    2) I Read an article about politics, as it's all familiar. The same reasoning and arguments.  But we have this stuff at least in the subculture is not particularly climb.
    Logged

    Sorry for the errors, rudeness and stupidity. It's not me, this online translator. Really convenient?
    Melrose
    Gunner
    **
    Australia Australia



    « Reply #12 on: November 26, 2019, 12:28:21 am »

    If a relative newcomer can presume to poke his head up and comment ...
    Firstly, thanks for the original interesting post. I'm as much interested in Steampunk's history and dynamics as I am in costuming up and having a bit of social interaction.
    I followed the links and read the articles, and the first thing that struck me was a contradiction. If SP is sexist, racist or in other ways politically incorrect, possibly the article about SP "appropriating Prada" suggests people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Firstly, the Prada collection came out in 2012. SP is older. Who appropriated who? Secondly, referring to the "genius" of the Prada collection in that article, "The Numi" said the collection was about "posturing and a parody of male power display".
    I have a rule of thumb. If something sounds like it might be offensive, I reverse the roles. I doubt anyone would tolerate a fashion line touting itself as a "parody of female anything". Perhaps The Numi might like to reflect on her own sexism.
    Is SP political? I really prefer it not to be. I'll talk politics with a fellow steampunker or anyone else, as any two people may in a democracy, but as many others  here have said, don't assume an artistic movement is political .
    Then again, art can be political. Look at the works of Goya. Look at the novels which inspire SP. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells didn't shy away from political comment. "Mortal Engines" has a political theme.
    I think the political criticism is misdirected. Wearing a pith helmet doesn't make one an imperialist or a racist, nor imply that one lauds those character types.
    Does a dress with a bustle imply the wearer expects any decent man to go out and colonize at gunpoint, or join battle in some foreign land? I've never seen a steampunked woman hand white feathers to a steampunked man because he's chosen not to wear a uniform.
    Are SP prosthetics belittling people with disabilities, or are they acknowledging that a disability doesn't mean you sit at home, helpless? (Prosthetics aren't always disability related, and pith helmets and electrical rifles aren't only sported by men).
    Now I've wallowed in the dark image of Why the World Doesn't Like Steampunk, my own small local short term experience is the reverse. The gatherings are very inclusive, and I mean inclusive. At no point is anyone marketing a return to Victorian gender or racial biases, just Victorian aesthetics. If a few of us in costume move among the general public, we get interested questions, not mockery. Friends join us, sometimes in their own costumes for the first time.
    I think perhaps the world has less to fear from fun-loving and creative steampunk than it does from the aggresive cries of a minority who assume they are the thought police for the rest of us mere morlocks.


    Logged
    Kensington Locke
    Officer
    ***
    United States United States


    « Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 08:34:55 pm »

    There's always somebody ready to make a mountain out of a molehill.

    I've read the links Ottens supplied.

    Certainly, there are people who are activists actively fighting some battles.  And there's a subset of people who think the Punk in steampunk means Punk.  In a Venn diagram, I'm sure there's heavy overlap with that pairing, but not necessarily with steampunks overall.

    By why mix their activism with steampunk?  its unnecessary. I don't need to dress up as an airship pirate in order to protest something. While the books one reads might inform one's reasons for protesting, steampunk books aren't any better than other books for supplying you with inspiration to fight injustice or inequity. Not when books written specifically about injustice and why you should fight it exist.  But not according to the activists.

    It's not any different than the DIYers trying to define Steampunk as what they do, making stuff, not consumerism.  Which is ironic, because how many of the best of them switch to selling their merch.

    Or the lifestylers, who define it as living every moment in a Steampunk way while dressed appropriately, yet still maintaining their job that doesn't mind their eccentricity.

    Shame on the casual attitude of the rest of steampunk.  How dare they not take it seriously. It must have meaning!

    I put it to you that most of SP does have political Agenda, of far more subtle reach.
    Inclusiveness Begets Acceptance
    We achieve far more good will and learning tolerance by letting everybody in.  I saw an article about the Chic Filet change in their bigoted donating, and the core point the author made is that somebody who didn't like gays was more likely to change their attitude after they met one. You can't do that if you don't let everybody into the party and let them mingle as people, not activists.

    Identifying Historical Wrongs Through Fictional Revisionism
    There's a decent chance now, that somebody wearing a Pith helmet knows what went down in Africa and India by Pith Helmeted people and worked a backstory of a world where that didn't happen. The act of cherry-picking the good parts means sorting through and recognizing the bad parts. Giving people a chance to learn the history and what went wrong as a conversation is better than a confrontation. Most of us know this.


    Logged
    Ottens
    Snr. Officer
    ****
    Spain Spain


    nickottens
    WWW
    « Reply #14 on: November 26, 2019, 09:55:39 pm »

    I completely agree, and I would go further. I don't mind people mixing steampunk and political activism. I don't like it - because for me, steampunk isn't political. But if somebody wants to do that, fine.

    Just don't tell me that's what steampunk is. Don't tell me that steampunk is inherently political. Don't tell me I'm not doing steampunk "right" if I prefer to keep politics out of it.

    (By "you", I don't mean you, of course. Wink)

    I suspect/hope the vast majority of steampunks could live with that as a compromise.
    Logged
    Melrose
    Gunner
    **
    Australia Australia



    « Reply #15 on: November 26, 2019, 11:35:26 pm »

    Inclusiveness Begets Acceptance
    We achieve far more good will and learning tolerance by letting everybody in.  I saw an article about the Chic Filet change in their bigoted donating, and the core point the author made is that somebody who didn't like gays was more likely to change their attitude after they met one. You can't do that if you don't let everybody into the party and let them mingle as people, not activists.

    Identifying Historical Wrongs Through Fictional Revisionism
    There's a decent chance now, that somebody wearing a Pith helmet knows what went down in Africa and India by Pith Helmeted people and worked a backstory of a world where that didn't happen. The act of cherry-picking the good parts means sorting through and recognizing the bad parts. Giving people a chance to learn the history and what went wrong as a conversation is better than a confrontation. Most of us know this.




    Nice succint summary, sir! If people approach SP with acceptance and intelligence, it means ... well, it means we'll do better than a good part of people have throughout history! Wink

    Your link elsewhere in this forum nay be relevant here. If SP doesn't become mainstream, does it matter? http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,35931.175/topicseen.html
    « Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 11:49:34 pm by Melrose » Logged
    Kensington Locke
    Officer
    ***
    United States United States


    « Reply #16 on: November 27, 2019, 01:23:41 am »


    Your link elsewhere in this forum nay be relevant here. If SP doesn't become mainstream, does it matter? http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,35931.175/topicseen.html


    ah yes, very good, thank you.

    Personally, I blog a series on being a Steampunk Gentleman.  Mostly about the paraphernalia and manners and how to relate in modern terms (like hats indoors without places to check them).

    I certainly believe a gentleman should praise in public, but discuss concerns in private.  Unless dealing with a loudmouth meanie, one need not make a scene to send off a Pith Helmetee. I'd argue that one maybe shouldn't even confront them and instead wait to see if their actions reflect cruelty or kindness. 

    Judging a man by his clothes smells wrong. I don't see value in creating a ruckus because of a period hat. Certainly not without learning more about them and their empathy for history, first. Outragists have aimed and struck members of the very demographic they sought to speak out for because they couldn't identify an Asian or Native American in their own cultural garb. A bit of observation goes a long way to understanding.
    Logged
    Kensington Locke
    Officer
    ***
    United States United States


    « Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 01:34:27 am »


    Your link elsewhere in this forum nay be relevant here. If SP doesn't become mainstream, does it matter? http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,35931.175/topicseen.html


    I believe I went off on a tangent and didn't address the question due to Pith Helmet distraction.

    I don't think it matters.

    Renaisance Festivals (RenFairs) is not mainstream.  It's not a sub-culture for all but those who lifestyle it (and probably work it).

    That's OK. There will be a TV show that has an episode that takes place at a RenFair. Everybody will lose their Shitzous over "we're turning mainstream!" But it won't mean it. Just like the episode of Blood Ties didn't make dressing people up as bondage ponies become mainstream. Or the Castle episode with the steampunk club. Or any other cool thing they did on that show.

    It's OK.

    There's always somebody who sees SP for the first time and thinks its cool and buys a lamp.  Or wants to dress up for Halloween.
    Maybe they'll see a gathering of s'punks and talk to them, and decide to join their next outing. Or not.

    As a form of Cosplay, it flatters more body types than dressing up as super heroes or anime characters.  Pieces of the style can be worn at work without feeling weird.

    That's always going to appeal to somebody. It's why Neo-Victorian style crosses over to Steampunk for some people.

    So I'd argue that now that it exists (been defined in some cloudy way), it can't quite ever die.  Somebody is gonna have the artifacts on display in their house. Somebody is gonna dress up for a convention or event or day at the park.





    Logged
    Pages: [1]   Go Up
      Print  
     
    Jump to:  

    Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
    Page created in 0.488 seconds with 16 queries.