In what has (apparently) become something of a series on Steampunk culture, I decided to offer up for your viewing a pleasure an article I found particularly interesting. It’s called What’s With Steampunk by Gary Moskowitz.
I always find outsider opinions of Steampunk fascinating. Even the inane one’s can offer something for us to think about, if just to illuminate the inability of people to understand subcultures. This article, however, is a respectable overview of Steampunk from the outside. It explores our roots and the recent boom in Steampunk as it becomes familiar to a growing audience.
What’s With Steampunk is all about trying to make sense of Steampunk. Where did it come from? Why is it so ridiculously popular right now? Will it ever become mainstream?
I think Mr. Moskowitz has some interesting observations and answers that are worth your attention to read for yourself. I particularly enjoyed its conclusions:
“Steampunk is not just a look, but an embrace of a nearly mythical era of mad science and weird contraptions at a time when most people rarely use their hands to make or discover anything.”
The latest edition of Steampunk Magazine is one which focuses on the politics and identity of Steampunk. Challenging questions like how or if Steampunk is political, how we understand and interpret our inspirations, and the “scene” of Steampunk is only the beginning of very serious questions a new subculture must ask itself. What does being a Steampunk imply about who we are and what we believe? Why does it matter? Is there a unifying Steampunk identity?
It’s not often that a person can take an active role in the discussion and shaping of one’s subculture. Most are too old and well established that when you adopt a label like “Goth” or “Prep” or “Punk” there are certain things assumed about and ascribed to that person. Steampunk is too young to have these conventions imposed upon its practitioners quite yet, but there certainly seems to be a desire to understand who we are and why we do what we do.
To answer this demand, the makers of Steampunk Magazine have put together The Great Steampunk Debate, a forum for all things culturally Steampunk. Here, you can read the insight and opinions of Steampunks from all over the globe as we try to make sense of our subculture and try to find some unifying parts that make us all inextricably Steampunk. It is certainly more than just polished wood, brass bits, and watch parts, but what exactly is precisely for the debate to decide.
Join the forum and chime in or just read what others have to say. Either way, I know you will find something here which will intrigue you.