STEAMPUNK: A ludicrously superficial introduction with way too many links.

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

The latest counterculture to arouse public disdain and/or feigned apathy is "Steampunk," which is accused of being more of a fashion statement than an actual intelectual stance:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l52lclr8kd1qca2d4o1_500.jpg
and
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l2qrzvJdg31qavo6bo1_500.jpg
and to a somewhat lesser extent
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kXnVoQ9ZFkQ/SQHMoCVDVgI/AAAAAAAAFmk/mRibk9VL58...
and
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l6dns68JhJ1qca2d4o1_400.jpg

The guys dress equally goofy:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathaninsandiego/3754260082/in/gallery-4258...@N03-72157624024369393/
and
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nAmQLWq7QRI/SdDSBmvDW9I/AAAAAAAADIs/8fnIAyMvYM...
and
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3455/3750481299_2433002924_o.jpg

The concept - such as it is - is admittedly whispy thin: What if electronics and the internal combustion engine were never developed, and so technology had to progress using steam and stuff, and so everything looks like a prop from the old Disney 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. That's admittedly super-dumb, and it's basically just an excuse to mix-and-match victorian stuff with bondage gear in more-or-less random ratios.

Dumb or no, as a design aesthetic they produce some beautiful stuff. They tend to be rather obsessed with clockwork stuff, too:
http://ablogtoread.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/bf44_1.JPG
and

http://cache-02.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2008/05/steamviolin0.jpg

and there's a fondness for the needlessly complex
http://ablogtoread.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/bf44_1.JPG

http://ablogtoread.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/bf44_1.JPG

But I do really like the aesthetics when they take something modern and make it old, like this laptop: http://dominicholden.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/stupid_computer.jpg and this monitor stand http://bookaccessories.sc7.biz/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/steampunk-comp...

and so on.

Curiously, it's not just the geeks like me that are doing this: There just seems to be an element of people who like brass and big clunky never-existed technology as a kind of rebellion against the all-too-simple blandness that is modern life. And also corsets and goggles, I guess. Go figure.

Anyway: apart from the weirdows at SF conventions and clubs, there's also movies, music, artists, novels, you name it. Some chick on my site just pointed out that some fashion designers have included some of the more clockworky stuff in their designs of late. http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l10liaaTeH1qa6vr1o1_500.jpg

So: basically just as vapid as punk and goth for just the same reasons, but thing is: I find I dig it a whole lot. I find this appeals to me a bit (Though I'll never do it) just mainly because I read a lot of victorian crap when I was a kid, and it's a bit more colorful and less gloomy than the groovie art death chick/dude thing that's been going on for a while now. Also, I have a thing for tall thin brunette chicks in tophats (The Republispouse has one!), but you probably knew that already.

This is one of those things I'd hoped to spend more time covering on the site over the last couple years, but time and tide were always against me.

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