Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Scripted on March 2, 2010 by Tome Wilson.
Offered to this forum to promote discussion and unity within the dieselpunk community.

The tenets of dieselpunk culture can be understood as follows:


Dieselpunk is not a new and spurious trend.

It grew legs and walked upright as soon as the Greatest Generation returned from the front. It merges our grandfathers' dreams with the freedoms of the ages that came after it. Unrestricted by class, gender or prejudice, we are free to build our own vision of the future and are limited only by our own ambition.

"A guy walks up to me and asks 'What's Punk?'. So I kick over a garbage can and say 'That's punk!'. So he kicks over a garbage can and says 'That's Punk?', and I say 'No that's trendy!"
- Billie Joe Armstrong


Dieselpunks are not interested in historical purity.

Rather than sealing oneself in the dusty coffins of a long dead past, a dieselpunk should adopt the orphan zeitgeist of earlier days and raise it in the modern age. By fusing the past with today, he builds something new that would be unexpected in any age.

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see."
- Winston Churchill


The Greatest Generation is an inspiration for dieselpunks, not a goal.

A dieselpunk must learn the past, but should be wary not to chain himself to it in the process. We strive to create a future that not only meets the achievements of our grandfathers, but surpasses it with achievements of our own. It is not enough to live in the shadow of another generation; we must find our own path, achieve greatness and inspire others to do the same.

"We decided to start our own group because we were bored with everything we heard ... Everything was 10th-generation Led Zeppelin ... overproduced, or just junk. We missed music like it used to be."
- Joey Ramone

"My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso."
- Pablo Picasso


Dieselpunk art desires monumentality.

The hands of our grandfathers were not busy creating fragile trinkets; things meant to expire before the tides changed. They did not lay their foundations on beams of light and hope that others would be there to support it when the darkness came. Like a good parent, the Greatest Generation created objects and ideas that outlived their creators to be loved by future generations. Our reliance on the digital world cannot be trusted to carry our dreams into the future. Our own progress has raced ahead of our need for permanence, and only those that truly realize this will be remembered by tomorrow's generation.

"History is written by the victors."
- Winston Churchill


Dieselpunk art balances form with function.

A dieselpunk does not strive to create the absurd. Instead, his creation blends the desirability and craftsmanship born of years of expert labor with the technological marvels of today. It is not enough to create a wonder in itself. That wonder must excite the lust of the artist while also fulfilling its desired function.

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
- Pablo Picasso


Every dieselpunk is responsible for himself and his community.

A dieselpunk community will form when like-minded people learn to respect the freedoms and works of one another. The community is formed to bolster the efforts of the individual, and to strengthen the foundations of the community as a whole. Like a skyscraper, a dieselpunk should reach for the greatest heights imaginable knowing that he is supported by the experience of those around him, but he should not rely on others to push him upwards.

"My attitude is if somebody blunders into the level of popularity; at least remember the human factor. These guys are still human beings and hopefully still have hearts and if you keep in touch with them rather than vilify them you may be able to encourage them to go in the right direction. What I'm hoping will eventually happen is that they will grasp the amount of power and financial clout that is now at their fingertips and use those as tools to help real people with real things the way punk politics was always designed to do before, but nobody had any money."
- Jello Biafra

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Teddy Roosevelt


A dieselpunk does not seek to gather armies for the purpose of war.

As each dieselpunk is responsible for himself and his community, deterring another from their artistic goals should not be tolerated unless those goals rot the foundations of the whole. A dieselpunk will choose what is best for themselves using experience, rationale and his own code of morals, not by being rallied or prosthelytized.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
- Winston Churchill

"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
- Eleanor Roosevelt


The greatest crime a dieselpunk can commit is not contributing to their own vision of the future.

Dieselpunks are not stagnant consumers. The dieselpunk mentality demands dynamism in thinking and expression. It is not enough to consume the fruits of our father's labor and suckle the milk of our corporate mothers. In order to grow in mind and spirit, dieselpunks and their communities must strive to create a vision of the future using whatever tools they are armed with: the brush, the pen, the camera, or the wrench.

"Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."
- Pablo Picasso

"Better to fight for something than live for nothing."
- George S. Patton

"It's no good being nice and young and naive. There's no good in that at all. You've got to do it all yourself, and you've gotta learn quick. And you can't look for sympathy either."
- Johnny Rotten

"I never worry about action, but only inaction."
- Winston Churchill

"What you don't do can be a destructive force."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"To reach a port, we must sail - sail, not tie at anchor - sail, not drift."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Very interesting,Twizzard. You might find my other blog, Building the Third Way, interesting.
http://buildingthirdway.blogspot.com/

While I've temporarily stopped posting new material but you can look at my archived material linked from the page plus it gives a brief description of the system I advocate.



Twizard said:
Elaborating on my above discussion and responding to Adam's comments. I am in agreement with pro-environment and possibly even pro-business as long as we also throw in pro-people. The key is not to fall into the trap of focussing just on the collective aspect "the masses" or the personal "the individual". Both must be respected in a dynamic manner with admission that there is a truth not opposed to or seperated from logic or our ideas of good but transends it in some way. This could be God as in Paul Tillich's "Ground of All Being" or some inexplicable deep notion of truth that agnostics and athiests may aspire to. You could call it "Communitarianism" or, in my religious tradition "Personalism".

The current discussion in environmental circles about "sustainability" seems to be in this direction, also the Focolare Movement and (possibly) Mondragon. Farm cooperatives, popular in the US upper midwest and plains states with farmers as a pragmatic sollution to competition with agrabusiness, may be another.
Hear, hear! Dieselpunks and dreamers of the world unite; you have nought to lose but your chains!

As you can probably tell I am new here..so hello all! I just took a peek at the io9 site and its comments on The Tenants…My god, It was depressing. I wonder how many people actually did read the Tenants before spewing their “witty” remarks.
The Tenets are being called a Manifesto by some of the posters. Last time I checked a Manifesto did not entail asking others for ideas for changes or additions. Had they read it thoroughly they would have seen that in the conclusion it is clearly pointed out that this is an evolving idea and that any Input is accepted. And I wish people would take a moment to ponder or briefly think about how some of these ideas may be used to better the world that we live in. Its not about resurrecting the past per say…but using the drive our fore fathers had that ultimately launched us into the age of technology that we indulge in and abuse today. Humanity has become lazy as a whole and takes the “luxuries” of modern life for granted. We live but don’t live. We wiz through our surroundings and everyday lives like bees in a hive. The majority of the human race has no concept of slowing down to appreciate beauty and enjoy what surrounds us. There is rarely beauty in anything anymore due to this. The attitude I have seen is “well no one will notice anyway so why bother.” It’s the most apparent to me in architecture; yes some new high rises are...interesting. But it seems to me that for every boring high rise or business building there is always the obligatory lump of smoothed granite in some kind of kidney bean or amoebic shape. A pathetic apologetic nod to Art.
Anyway, my point being is this. In my great grandparents and grand parent’s time everything was made not only functionally but made well and beautifully. Life was slower and more appreciated. I think dieselpunk is an important key in restoring the esthetic and quality of life for all. Why don’t we take the time we save with our “modern conveniences” and do something productive with it. Bettering ourselves and our communities perhaps?
I also wanted to point out that dieselpunk is not just about dressing up and LARP’ing or that sort of thing. I have never nor will ever LARP. (nothing against those who do) For me it’s a philosophy that coincides with all the beliefs and ideas I have had since childhood and that I have developed in my observations and personal experiences..
The one thing I would have to agree with that was said by one poster on that forum. If you are going to talk about it do it. And obviously by posting here and by the action and dedication it takes to run this site, it is being done. And I thank all that have been involved in the creating this movement…
(I apologize for bouncing around from concept to concept. I just got a bit riled up  plus I am in a bit of a hurry. I broke three ribs and it’s a rather hard to sit still for very long)



Larry said:
I see that the web site io9 has posted the tenants.
http://io9.com/5599924/the-tenets-of-dieselpunk-culture

Oh, but if you read the comments people left it's depressing.
It's enough to know that some people did read the post.

What we're doing here is building a community. My ideas may not jive well with your lifestyle, but there are 1,300 other people on Dieselpunks to meet and greet.

If my efforts here help you find one friend out of the 1,300 members here (not to mention the other thousand or so on the extended networks and the tens-of-thousands of lurkers hitting the site every day), then I'm building something worthwhile. If my efforts inspire one artist to dust off their camera, or build that hotrod that in turn inspires someone else, then I'm building something worthwhile.

Not everything made by man needs to be made of brick and stone. It just needs to work, and it needs to inspire.

I agree with all that I have read on this site thus far..I am just happy to have found a place were people of like mind can explore new ideas and share info...It does Jive with my lifestyle..I was just irratated that on the site I did veiw (io9) it was nothing but comments by individuals who had not veiwed or even had taken the time to read anything about it THIS site. I grew up in a town that was very narrow minded and tended to shun new ideas..Some of those posts just struck a nerve with me. But like I said before. Thank you for creating this site and spreading this concept to those who want to create there own (or be a part of) communities that are able to express themselves freely...
Tome Wilson said:
It's enough to know that some people did read the post.

What we're doing here is building a community. My ideas may not jive well with your lifestyle, but there are 1,300 other people on Dieselpunks to meet and greet.

If my efforts here help you find one friend out of the 1,300 members here (not to mention the other thousand or so on the extended networks and the tens-of-thousands of lurkers hitting the site every day), then I'm building something worthwhile. If my efforts inspire one artist to dust off their camera, or build that hotrod that in turn inspires someone else, then I'm building something worthwhile.

Not everything made by man needs to be made of brick and stone. It just needs to work, and it needs to inspire.
First, I would like to say welcome, Battle Angel! Great to have you with us.

Second, I consider myself a lifestyler. For me that means dieselpunk is more than dressing up or LARP but a complete part of who I am.

I'm glad you're with us Battle Angel. Very insightful first posts.


Battle Angel said:

As you can probably tell I am new here..so hello all! I also wanted to point out that dieselpunk is not just about dressing up and LARP’ing or that sort of thing. I have never nor will ever LARP. (nothing against those who do) For me it’s a philosophy that coincides with all the beliefs and ideas I have had since childhood and that I have developed in my observations and personal experiences..
The one thing I would have to agree with that was said by one poster on that forum. If you are going to talk about it do it. And obviously by posting here and by the action and dedication it takes to run this site, it is being done. And I thank all that have been involved in the creating this movement…
(I apologize for bouncing around from concept to concept. I just got a bit riled up  plus I am in a bit of a hurry. I broke three ribs and it’s a rather hard to sit still for very long)



Larry said:
I see that the web site io9 has posted the tenants.
http://io9.com/5599924/the-tenets-of-dieselpunk-culture

Oh, but if you read the comments people left it's depressing.

Thank you Larry! my native language is french, and sometimes I do not get my points across like I want to. I speak english but I also speak russian, german, slavic, spanish ( my cousin married into the panamanian government) Care to buy an Island? I can get you one for 12 grand U.S.:) but thank you for the welcome. Mr larry! I have a dry sense of humor and tend to poke the monkeys with a stick..( aka i like stirring things up:) I have seen alot of the world that alot of people dont get to see ( I was a pro snowboarder) and I love the diversity of our earth.
i have seen the beauty of techno. but as an artist (Yes i am an artist...im too injured to snowboard or ski anymore but I am never to hurt to speak ( i could type it all in french if you want: :P )...thank you again larry..
AM

Larry said:
First, I would like to say welcome, Battle Angel! Great to have you with us.

Second, I consider myself a lifestyler. For me that means dieselpunk is more than dressing up or LARP but a complete part of who I am.

I'm glad you're with us Battle Angel. Very insightful first posts.


Battle Angel said:

As you can probably tell I am new here..so hello all! I also wanted to point out that dieselpunk is not just about dressing up and LARP’ing or that sort of thing. I have never nor will ever LARP. (nothing against those who do) For me it’s a philosophy that coincides with all the beliefs and ideas I have had since childhood and that I have developed in my observations and personal experiences..
The one thing I would have to agree with that was said by one poster on that forum. If you are going to talk about it do it. And obviously by posting here and by the action and dedication it takes to run this site, it is being done. And I thank all that have been involved in the creating this movement…
(I apologize for bouncing around from concept to concept. I just got a bit riled up  plus I am in a bit of a hurry. I broke three ribs and it’s a rather hard to sit still for very long)



Larry said:
I see that the web site io9 has posted the tenants.
http://io9.com/5599924/the-tenets-of-dieselpunk-culture

Oh, but if you read the comments people left it's depressing.
Welcome, Angel, and very well stated. The IO9 commenters seem to reflect the standard lazy rudeness that we have little time for here at DP.org. I find with folks like that, as with road-ragers, the best responce is a polite smile and nod. Nothing irritates the trolls of the world like refusing to let them get you down.
Awe inspiring, simply awe inspiring. As someone who just learned the term Dieselpunk this list is great. I've loved that era for so long but never knew there was an actual name to liking it lol. This really made my day.

Excellent Tome - I just love the ideas of using the past, learning from it and having it inform our future (but I DO love the Fred Astaire dance routines!) - great quotes

Thank you for that wonderfully articulated manifesto!

Hello All,

new to posting but a long timer reader of the site.  Its a great community and i feel honored to be a part of it.

It was reading the the tenets- that is what sold me on the site, just as the aesthetics of Dieselpunk speak to me on a visceral level; the tenets speak of lofty goals that inspire my mind and fill my spirit.

tenets are defined as a principle of belief.  What I like about these tenets is that they can be questioned,debated and supplemented as needed.  The open distillation of ideas through debate is a cornerstone of what dieselpunk means to me.

Dieselpunk is as much about doing as it is about measured thinking.  it is not static, and it is what is needed right now in the 21st century. 

It is great to be here....

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