Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

I know the Steampunk community seems to be constantly talking about the use of the word "Punk" in Steampunk. I've seen some propose dumping Steampunk to alternative terms, such as Gaslight Romance and so forth. Audelia Flint, who writes the excellent blog Trial by Steam recently wrote what I think is an excellent post on the subject. I highly recommend the article. "Why Steam Needs Punk."

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I think that's where Atompunk picks up. The post WWII, cold war, space race, nuclear fear theme.


Virgil Briggs (Samuel Crowe) said:

On a slightly different note, I always thought a 60's cold-war era punk would be fun. I think stoners nowadays with their bongs are already doing the hippy-punk.


It's a hard one to call innit?  

 

I mean to me SteamPunk ends with WWI and Art Deco and DieselPunk begins then and continues on post WWII mainly due to Film Noir and Swing .... and blends into AtomPunk... there's not the same (arguably) definitive cut-off date...

 

To me Atom starts somewhere in the end of the Diesel era and Diesel ends somewhere in the early Atom era (if that makes sense at all)... but Steam ends with Art Deco... and that's the start of sooooo much that became the mainstay of the Diesel era...

 

*shrugs* I'll leave that to the philosophers amongst us.... I'm just here because Prohibition was repealed... 8-D

Indeed! Gets quite confusing.

My heart lies at the 'start' of the Diesel era, although I do have a bit of a thing for nuclear/atomic sciences, so who knows! haha! 


Jean-Luc deVere said:

It's a hard one to call innit?  

 

 

My heart lies with the era of Commando Cody serials and Bela Lugosi/Boris Karloff films (30s) Nothing like Vampire Amazons from the Moon packing Death rays..."Shoot at the string Flash... that will bring their spaceship down for sure!"

 

My head is interested in WWII and the secret weapons of both Allies and Axis powers (40s)... I will pour over obscure books about early jets and rockets

 

My liver is drawn to the Prohibition era of gangsters and speakeasys (20s) ... That was an era when style meant STYLE

 

My butt likes to sit on the Harleys and Indians of the early post war period (50s) I ride a bike btw - but its a Korean copy of a Japanese copy of a Harley - not the real thing LOL! ...

 

Hell there's an appeal in each sub-era but it's a different appeal if that makes sense....

 

As for Atom... well there you have me tripping over myself to sit and watch the most god awful B-grade sci-fi movies ever made... the tackier the effects, the more wooden the acting, the more implausible the 'science', the better I like it...

We discussed a bit about this some time ago. You might be interested.

http://www.dieselpunks.org/forum/topics/timespan-1

Thanx Leviathan 8-D

(I will just stress before I start, this is just my opinion as of present, and as always maybe subject to revision)

Well I would have to say that if there are still people trying to set Steampunk up as some kind of counterculture then they have resoundingly failed!

I'm not personally upset about it because I was never sure that it really quite gelled anyway. I really don't see how something so innocuous got essentially kidnapped by alt culture a few years ago, and suddenly had all this punk diy counter culture malarky stuck to it in the first place. Steampunk initially owed as much to Walt Disney movies and mainstream film, book releases as it did anything to do with punk diy ethics. Just because a bunch of people a few years ago decided that's what it should be about, well who the hell were they anyway?

And now many of those same people having worked their way up into the higher eschelons of Steampunk maker prominence. Have made it quite clear that they they are willing to sell their version of the Steampunk aesthetic straight down the river to the highest bidder no matter who they are. Hmm, well there's counter culture in action for you. Still this is exactly what McClaren did with punk way back when so I guess there is a connection of sorts.

Steampunk is fun. It's family friendly tea and crumpets harmless fluff. Sure it can mean history and philosophy and geography and science and engineering and yadayada, and it's a great way to get people interested, but it doesn't have to mean any of those things, and it never did. Steampunk as an idea, aesthetic etc has been around for decades. And just because a few years ago a bunch of people decided to attach a whole slew of ethics and directives to it, doesn't mean that it's suddenly anything different. There are a lot of people intereseted and involved with it that have nothing to do with counter cultures of any kind, and they want nothing to do with them either. They are decidedly mainstream and conservative in fact, they just like steam engines or trips to the museum or dressing up in Victorian clobber or whatever, and why not?

If you want to go up against the government, or protest and educate about our plastic disposable modern culture, or the fact that people don't understand the mechanics of the world they live in or whatever well that's all very laudable. Or if you just want to feel part of something really underground and 'cool' well that's fine too. But for Gods sake leave Steampunk out of it! it's really not going to give you what you want, and it never ever suggested that it would.

(I will just stress before I start, this is just my opinion as of present, and as always maybe subject to revision)

I like that - I think I should also start some of my posts with that disclaimer/caveat...


And now many of those same people having worked their way up into the higher eschelons of Steampunk maker prominence. Have made it quite clear that they they are willing to sell their version of the Steampunk aesthetic straight down the river to the highest bidder no matter who they are. Hmm, well there's counter culture in action for you. Still this is exactly what McClaren did with punk way back when so I guess there is a connection of sorts.

 

Speaking as someone who actually was a punk rocker in the late 70s.... "HELL YEAH!!!" ...tho' I woulda used stronger language back then....

If you want to go up against the government, or protest and educate about our plastic disposable modern culture, or the fact that people don't understand the mechanics of the world they live in or whatever well that's all very laudable. Or if you just want to feel part of something really underground and 'cool' well that's fine too. But for Gods sake leave Steampunk out of it! it's really not going to give you what you want, and it never ever suggested that it would.

 

In the same way that in the old days of (real) punk as I recall... There were definitely politically active punks (Clash, Poison Girls, Stiff Little Fingers, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, etc) there were just as many that were just damn good fun (Damned, Ramones, Buzzcocks, etc...)

 

The two co-existed and intertwined quite amicably back then... Why not now?  Some combine the aesthetic with a worldview - some don't.... So what?

 

I couldn't give a rat's rear end what another's politics/worldview are... If they are Steamer or Diesel they're a kindred spirit.... probably more so that whoever's name I tick in the ballot box...

 

*shrugs* Some see Diesel as a private way of reclaiming former glory (whether real or imagined) for a country that many feel is on the skids... Some don't...  I'm not from that country so I certainly don't see it that way... but they are just as valid in their view as I am in mine...

 

VIVE L'DIFFERANCE!!!

 

"Let's party like it's 1939"...

Yeah I guess my problem is that I've personally seen quite a lot of examples of how these differing viewponts aren't co-existing in harmony at all. Even with Steampunk's veneer of politeness and good manners., I've certainly witnessed that diminish quite explosively with some individuals haha.

Mind you I did back with Punk as well. I suppose it depends where you were at the time. It grew to be a small war in certain areas (mine being one unfortunately) between the veggie/vegan peace loving anarcho Crass punks. And the nihilistic thuggish booze loving hippy hating, and occasionally Neo Nazi Exploited type Chaos/Oi Punks.

Obviously I do prefer harmonious co-existence, and thankfully that is what I see on the whole. But I have heard some really pompous and condescending statements from certain members of the SP community. Someone was inferring  recently that non makers were the equivelant of a Steampunk Cargo Cult. (although actually I find that idea quite endearing, as I'm still rather fond of some aspects of tribalism)

Still it's not an ideal way to interest new people. And it certainly doesn't come across as open or inviting either which SP supposedly prides itself on being. I think peoples curiosity about DIY ethics etc, need to be piqued and developed through their own interest, not peer pressure and bullying. I do feel it's perfectly fair to say that you really can't consider yourself to be a part of Maker Culture if you don't actually make anything obviously. But although there is a relationship, SP isn't necessarily the same thing.

 

(I will just stress before I start, this is just my opinion as of present, and as always maybe subject to revision)

        Yeah I guess my problem is that I've personally seen quite a lot of examples of how these differing viewponts aren't co-existing in harmony at all. Even with Steampunk's veneer of politeness and good manners., I've certainly witnessed that diminish quite explosively with some individuals haha.


    I can hardly speak authoratively on Steam or Diesel as I'm pretty much a newbie to the 'scene' as such... tho' I've been into all things Diesel for a few years (just didn't have a name to put on it beyond 'eccentric') but I'd like to think I've seen enuff of life to make a general observation...

    ANY 'scene', sub-culture, sporting body, club, pretty much any sub-group of society will always have a couple of little Napoleans (and toadys/hangers on) that carry on like they are God's Gift and that all should not only do as they say, but think as they think - and woe betide any who cross them. Hey! Every workplace and schoolyard  has at least ONE!

    But the bulk of the group tend to regard them as the idiots they are and carry on regardless... maybe making a gesture here or there just to get thru peacefully.... maybe jacking up and just making a nuisance of themselves to the wanna-be 'leader of the pack' just for the fun of it... but by and large everyone knows who the local Napolean is and has a MUCH lower opion of them than said little Emporer has of themself.

    I would be most surprised if Steamers and Diesels are any different..

 

        Mind you I did back with Punk as well. I suppose it depends where you were at the time. It grew to be a small war in certain areas (mine being one unfortunately) between the veggie/vegan peace loving anarcho Crass punks. And the nihilistic thuggish booze loving hippy hating, and occasionally Neo Nazi Exploited type Chaos/Oi Punks.


    Maybe it was different here in Australia... I remember hanging out with the Oi Boys a fair bit over the Vegans (basically because the Oi boys made better home brew LOL!) but always hung crap on them about if the Jews were so sub-human how come they're as successful as the Nazi's said at ruling the world by proxy? Either one is correct - or the other.... you can't have it both ways...

    In the same way I used hang crap on the Rude Boys and the crowd from SHARP (Skin Heads Against Racial Predjudice) saying they were just Mods with Nits (hence the crop)...

    I wasn't liked by some but I was accepted by all... and when all was said and done I accepted all... The scene was too small here p'haps for any SERIOUS in-fighting...

    When their was a gig we'd all be drinking, dancing and partying together in any case... why fight the rest of the time? Stir and needle - HELL YES! ... Fight? - Nah! it rarely got beyond a bit drunken pushing and shoving... Which is pretty minor amongst drunken teens in leather and mohawks LOL!  Any REAL blood letting was more likely to be over who had screwed someone's girlfried than politics, musical taste, worldview or what-have-you

 

Hell! I remember going to see a local Oi band wearing a "POGO ON A NAZI" T-Shirt and going a week or two later to see an Anarchist band wearing white bootlaces (I'm sure Argus understands the symbolism even if others don't) just to BE a stirrer... Got called a name or two - and I did like likewise back - but that was generally as far as it went here...

    ,

        Obviously I do prefer harmonious co-existence, and thankfully that is what I see on the whole. But I have heard some really pompous and condescending statements from certain members of the SP community. Someone was inferring  recently that non makers were the equivelant of a Steampunk Cargo Cult. (although actually I find that idea quite endearing, as I'm still rather fond of some aspects of tribalism)


    *shrugs* I kinda like Tribalism too... I was a maker in the old punk days in that I made my own tartan bondange pants etc (you just couldn't get punk gear in Australia - if you were rich you could mail order from the UK or US - no eBay back then) and I do like people that make their own gear... but not everyone can... *shrugs again* To my mind that's an opportunity for the makers to make a quick cpl of bucks... not exploit - just sell and/or share - so they can afford that extra piece of something to make that special piece for themselves...

    There's ALWAYS been little Napoleons... and I guess that's just one of the things they use to make themselves seem superior.... but only to themselves... no one else much is impressed or cares...

They can be annoying little so-and-so's (oh how polite I've become! LOL!!!) but when all is said and done no one but them gives a rat's butt what they they say or do on their own little private island of Elba...

 

Don't sweat it too much much... let them have their pious little rant and move on as if they never existed... and you be true to yourself and your ideals and beliefs (which from what you've expressed so far I'd have to say I share)...

 

That way you help ensure that the ONLY person who takes them seriously is THEM!

 

*shrugs* Just my 2c worth...

I´m not sure there is anything I can say now, that hasn´t been said better by Argus Fairbrass. I´ll say something anyway, as I was asked to clarify earlier.

 

Flint talks about how we need punk for the DIY aspect, and for being counter-culture. Well, being counter culture is something that could be said about pretty much any subculture, it´s rather the definition of one. DIY is good, and is found in punk. It´s also found in a lot of other things though, so why attach punk to steampunk, instead of hippies, the arts and crafts movement, or any other that has people doing things themselves? If we are to pick a political agenda, why not imperialism, it seems a lot more fitting for the era. Yes, steampunk and punk have two things in common. A dog and a chair both have four legs, they´re still not the same.

 

"Without the Punk in Steampunk, we become nothing more than reenactors or Neo-Victorians....Without the Punk in Steampunk, our subculture has no meaning, no purpose, and no opinion about our world."

 

I´ve done medieval reenactment. This involves people who do fighting, cooking, sew medieval clothes, even make their own weapons if they have the skills. I don´t see medieval reenacment would benefit in any way from having a political agenda attached. It probably has no meaning or purpose and no opinion about our world. Why would it need to?

I enjoyed the Article.

Virgil, your first post on March 14th I also enjoy and agree with many points made within. Your post however on the 15th no so much (this isn't an attack, sorry if it sounded like one).  I think the modern stoner a product of mainstream culture and would there for not be a member of the "punk" ideal.  That said Steampunk has moved itself into mainstream culture, so is it really punk as well?  I'm still saying yes on the merit that many Steamers I've meet are far more interested in the cultural diversions from Victorian age to today and not the fashion, how long this last though is still up in the air.  Both the Goth and the Punk subcultural have been so intertwined with the mainstream that it is more a statement of fashion and music than a counter-cultural decree., hopefully Steam and Diesel Punk can steer clear of the landmines that sunk many of it's forerunners.

 

Jean-Luc, I think your a brother from another mother.

 

By the way, I'm really getting to enjoy the discussions on the site, many creative and intelligent post, even when they don't agree.

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