Yesterday, in my tirade about Sarah Palin, I made the assertion that her incorporation into Steampunk symbolism was an absolute impropriety. I said that combining Palin and Steampunk didn’t respect any element of what political Steampunk stood for.
Politics in Steampunk is something of a touchy subject for some people. They want this to just be cosplay. They don’t want politics complicating the matter or their effort to have fun. And I can understand that. Politics is messy and divisive. Few people agree on all aspects of politics, and rather than drive a rift into a social group, many just avoid politics.
I’m not that type of person. I think politics is an important lens through which we interact with and understand the world. It is through the understanding of out political present that we are able to shape a better future.
When I first encountered Steampunk, it was through Steampunk Magazine, an overtly political publication. Through my initial introduction, I assumed that all of Steampunk was political. I’ve since learned otherwise, but I still hold very dear to my heart the notions that formed my initial conceptions of what Steampunk would mean to me. As a lifestyle Steampunk, Steampunk and politics are inseperable.
So today’s highlighted organization helps to frame some of what I think is political Steampunk. It’s an organization called Adbusters, and they aim to fight consumerism. Their mission, as stated by their website is:
We are a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century.
Here’s the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) version.
Fight corporate consumerism. Change the world. Be a Steampunk.