It seems nearly every day I find myself debating with someone on whether Steampunk is or isn’t Punk. People seem all too willing to nit pick definitions of punk and insist that Steampunk has no need for the counter-cultural elements that makes Steampunk more than just an aesthetic and a genre of fiction. Steampunk to them is all about dress up and make believe. It has nothing to do with their realities, and that, in my opinion, is a damn shame because they’re completely missing the point of the subculture.
One person who has definitely not missed the point is Professor Greyshade of San Diego Chrononaut and the Greyshade Estate. His ongoing project in the Greyshade Estate is an effort to live a truly Steampunk lifestyle. Here’s the introductory paragraph of their blog, which explains their undertaking perfectly:
In 2010 a family of four sold their charming little condo in the increasingly fashionable neighborhood of University Heights. With the money they bought a stripped out house in East San Diego previously owned by human smugglers. Their goal was the pursuit of a truly steampunk lifestyle. They are already known in the steampunk community for projects such as the Chrononaut club, Machina Fatalis, and the SoCalSteam list. Now they hope to bring DIY Makerism, self reliance, alternative technology, permaculture, and urban homesteading into their lives in ways their HOA would have never allowed.
This is Steampunk as a lifestyle and philosophy that so many insist does not exist. Professor Greyshade’s article Towards a Steampunk Lifestyle presents their individual notion of lifestyle Steampunk in a beautifully articulated manner and should be required reading for anyone who thinks Steampunk cannot be a way of life or a philosophy. This is one of the many ways in which the Punk in Steampunk is real and alive for the community.
The Greyshade Estate’s blog updates regularly and is definitely worth your attention as an excellent read and an amazing example of the Steampunk Lifestyle.