Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

This is not trolling or an attempt to put folks on the spot but, at the end of the day, what are you hoping to do as a DP? 

Dress up?  Collect antique "man jewelry?" (Cufflinks, tie tacks, pocket watches, etc...) Hang out in a speak easy drinking bad hooch?  Compete in Zoot Shoots?  Just play RPGs?  Reenact WW I or II?  Catch Spanish Flu?  Sit quietly behind a computer and do nothing?  Own an antique car/plane/whatever?  Volunteer at a living history site or museum?  LARP?  Illustrate a DP graphic novel?  Furnish a DP man-land?  Wear a Fedora every day?  Have lunch at a 1930s diner every day?  Play online DP games?  Go to DP conventions?  For that matter, what would an ideal DP "convention" look like and include?  (Train ride, cruise, Model-A road rally, ?)

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Dieselpunk is something I like, it is not my identity.

I understand what you mean by not considering DP part of your identity.

What has your interest in DP led you to do so far?  What DP activities would you like to do? 



Atterton said:

Dieselpunk is something I like, it is not my identity.

Well, I've always been interested in the era. Though in terms of film, I seem far more partial towards stuff from the 1930s than the 40s (though I'm trying to get myself to watch the classic film noir movies of the post-ww2 era). It's not something I made a conscious decision to do, it just was, ever since I watched my first Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy movies as a kid, I wondered what it would have been like to live at the time.

What I want to do as a DP is create my own DP-themed world. I want to write novels, illustrate those novels, create art and stories within it. I just wish I had more time...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/05/harrison-ford-plane-crash_...

At 71 years of age crash landed a WW II era military airplane, sustained minor injuries, and makes Fedoras look cool. He's doing DP right.

Writing this dark diesel story Ive been brainstorming with a friend.

I also love retrofuturistic aesthetics in general.

Certainly, you are aware that the example behaviors/outcomes you listed will provoke not only responses, but reactions. Nevertheless, this is a good question. I'm sure that there is a whole range of levels of commitment to dieselpunk. What Atterton said is likely true for many people interested in the culture, but many others likely identify far more deeply with it.

Personally, I like the idea of exploring many elements of the historical period on which Dieselpunk is based, but I'm also interested in it as a science fiction phenomenon. Also, as a musician and subculture enthusiast, I have a long standing attraction to punk, as music, as culture, and as an adjunct to social movements.

One of the things that drew me to punk music was the energy and focus it seemed to have in common with earlier jazz, surf, and rockabilly music; energy that stood in sharp contrast to the prevailing musical escapism of the 1970s,  the "mellow" narcissism of pop, and the cocaine fueled egotism that pervaded in the aftermath of the hippie era. Richard Hell, the Clash, the Damned, and the Talking Heads were a breath of fresh air after a decade of Air Supply , the Doobie Brothers, Kiss, and all the disco I can't identify. Punks wanted to DO THINGS.

Eventually the punk sensibility crept into writing, and began to influence science fiction. I had always been inspired by time travel stories and alternate histories (both plausible and fanciful), so Steampunk seemed like it would be a good fit for me to explore, except that playing with paleo-imperialist archetypes isn't my idea of a good time, so I like the stories but the subculture not so much. Although I like many elements of the goth esthetic, the exploitation trip seems a little too comfortable. My taste in art, literature, and  music is more modernist. (Give me Art Tatum or George Gershwin over Stephen Foster, James Joyce,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dashiell Hammett over Tennyson, Edith Wharton, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Empire State Building over Big Ben, a train over a stagecoach, and FDR over Grover Cleveland.)

We cannot really be modernists though. But Dieselpunk allows us to activate a sincerity, optimism, and sense of purpose that, while tempered with postmodernism, is really metamodernist. We can have text, subjects, and all of the good things that postmodernists could not have, if we are willing to recognize that they have limits.

WHAT I WANT TO DO is create music, stories, and art that inspire people to overcome adversity, stand up for their rights, accept responsibility beyond themselves, and find solutions to problems. But "it don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing." We ought to be having some fun while we're at it.

And I wouldn't mind a Hybrid Packard sedan with Pandora radio and a particle beam weapon (for responding to rude motorists:) )

Before I can tell you what I want to DO as a dieselpunk, let me tell you what I get OUT of dieselpunk. 

Inspiration! That's the number one thing I get from it. 

So, what I do with that inspiration is to take some of the things I see on this site, and on others like it and other media, and integrate parts I love into my art, which is mostly metalworking, mostly building bicycles, with a few other things as well.

Hello Ed,

I did not intend to aggravate people but the first thing that you do when you walk in a dark room is flip the light switch. 

Your dream car reminded me of something years ago.  I was assigned to a hospital on a research base working with CPBWs.  One of the techies had a "substance issue" and was brought into the emergency room.  I was not really a med type but, along with a few other not-so-dainty soldiers, was occasionally called to help with special situations.  Even after the thorazine kicked in he kept repeating: "Sheep go poof.  Pigs go sizzle-sizzle-crackle-crackle." 

I do appreciate the posts gentlemen.  SP is a tricky phenomenon to wrap your head around but DP seems to be a significantly different mind set.  As I see it, many people seem to forget how short these historical eras were and than many people lived through both and then some.  It would be nice to recover some of the style and durability in our disposable world. 

I am a collector (OK packrat would be a better term) so DP has been an excuse to hoard clothes, cufflinks, tie chains, watches, antique guns, etc...  It would be nice to use it more like the Zoot Shoots which are unlikely to ever be held in Alaska.  I am surprised how reasonable antique cars have become compared to new cars (and I hate new cars) but most antique cars are poorly suited to Alaskan winter driving. 

(Needs a running board.)



Ed Lacy said:

Certainly, you are aware that the example behaviors/outcomes you listed will provoke not only responses, but reactions. Nevertheless, this is a good question. I'm sure that there is a whole range of levels of commitment to dieselpunk. What Atterton said is likely true for many people interested in the culture, but many others likely identify far more deeply with it.

Personally, I like the idea of exploring many elements of the historical period on which Dieselpunk is based, but I'm also interested in it as a science fiction phenomenon. Also, as a musician and subculture enthusiast, I have a long standing attraction to punk, as music, as culture, and as an adjunct to social movements.

One of the things that drew me to punk music was the energy and focus it seemed to have in common with earlier jazz, surf, and rockabilly music; energy that stood in sharp contrast to the prevailing musical escapism of the 1970s,  the "mellow" narcissism of pop, and the cocaine fueled egotism that pervaded in the aftermath of the hippie era. Richard Hell, the Clash, the Damned, and the Talking Heads were a breath of fresh air after a decade of Air Supply , the Doobie Brothers, Kiss, and all the disco I can't identify. Punks wanted to DO THINGS.

Eventually the punk sensibility crept into writing, and began to influence science fiction. I had always been inspired by time travel stories and alternate histories (both plausible and fanciful), so Steampunk seemed like it would be a good fit for me to explore, except that playing with paleo-imperialist archetypes isn't my idea of a good time, so I like the stories but the subculture not so much. Although I like many elements of the goth esthetic, the exploitation trip seems a little too comfortable. My taste in art, literature, and  music is more modernist. (Give me Art Tatum or George Gershwin over Stephen Foster, James Joyce,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dashiell Hammett over Tennyson, Edith Wharton, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Empire State Building over Big Ben, a train over a stagecoach, and FDR over Grover Cleveland.)

We cannot really be modernists though. But Dieselpunk allows us to activate a sincerity, optimism, and sense of purpose that, while tempered with postmodernism, is really metamodernist. We can have text, subjects, and all of the good things that postmodernists could not have, if we are willing to recognize that they have limits.

WHAT I WANT TO DO is create music, stories, and art that inspire people to overcome adversity, stand up for their rights, accept responsibility beyond themselves, and find solutions to problems. But "it don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing." We ought to be having some fun while we're at it.

And I wouldn't mind a Hybrid Packard sedan with Pandora radio and a particle beam weapon (for responding to rude motorists:) )

http://www.dieselpunks.org/forum/topics/the-high-seas-time-travel-c...  DieselPunks are at the top of the inclusion list next year.  I might even buy a zoot suit. 

Already as a teenager in the 1970s, I developed a strong interest in the music of the swing era and in Film Noir movies. That made me quite different from my high school buddies and from the general youth culture of the time. However, the desire has not faded. Dieselpunk is just a label I adopted for that desire, but I didn't join a specific community. As I mentioned in another discussion, there is an essential difference between dieselpunk and steampunk that is also relevant here. While steampunk is a rather new movement that emerged some years ago as a spin-off of the goth scene, dieselpunk has already existed for decades. There have always been people loving swing music, Film Noir, and art-deco design. Just nobody called them dieselpunks. The nice thing with dieselpunk is that it brings together people with that desire and encourages them not to hide.

For my everyday life, being dieselpunk means to integrate art and design elements of the diesel era in my modern life. I have no specific dieselpunk outfits but always wear shirts and jackets, also in my leisure time, in cool weather combined with a traditional (i.e. long) trench coat or a long wool coat. I do not even own any T-shirts or sweatshirts. However, apart from a fedora style panama hat on hot summer days, I do not wear fedoras on a daily basis. It simply attracts to much attention on the street. Another aspect of my outfit is that almost all pieces are either black, white, or grayscales. This has nothing to do with dieselpunk but is rather a personal desire influenced by the 'Cayce Pollard style', which is also shared by my wife. Together with the retro-style pieces, it makes us a couple people often look at on the street. The only exception is the city of Leipzig in Germany, which is known as the world capital of the goth scene. There, black is present everywhere, so we just blend in.

Our contemporary culture provides a lot of features that fit perfectly into the dieselpunk pattern. I very enjoy this. Examples are modern technology gadgets in retro-style design, electroswing music, and industrial style furniture and room interiors. It is this funny mix of old and new that separates dieselpunk from pure nostalgia. In the near future, I plan to move from a rented appartment into a condo, for which I plan a retro-style interior that follows the dieselpunk approach. So, my life will become even more dieselpunk than it already is.

Fedora, yes! Convention, in the future yeah, one that hosts awesome early 20th century vehicles, some modified, old robots and masked men. But writing would be the goal for me. I already write one on Wattpad (Down jersey Drive-shaft), and would love to come up with more...

This is an interesting, and a reasonable question, but it is somewhat difficult to answer. I tend to be more of a watcher than a participant. I, like some others, find inspiration in DP, and being a child of the 60's era, DP is more 'accessible' a concept than SP (tho I certainly appreciate that, too). I enjoy the designs of cars, appliances, and illustrations from the 30's and 40's, and the way in which DP enthusiasts interpret them. As a part-time artist and full-time car enthusiast, I especially like the automotive and mechanical influences - I built a '51 Cabover with a diesel engine 5 years ago. I also have a head full of DP-related artwork to produce, if I ever get back to my acrylics and canvases.

That's what I really want to do, and this site is a constant inspiration to me.

~Bruce

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