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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Great article. Thanks for sharing this.
You're welcome. Audelia is a dear friend of mine and I can't brag about her enough.

lord_k said:
Great article. Thanks for sharing this.
In that article, she mentions going against the mainstream, putting value on handmade items and such. Is there any of that which is exclusively punk, and couldn´t also apply to, for example, hippies?

While I don't want to speak for the author (though being that she's a close friend, I have a pretty good understanding of her thinking) the concept of Punk as she presents it in the article does indeed share some of the same values and philosophical roots as the counter-cultural hippies of the 1960's. This is one reason I expect to never see a 1960's era genre punk. That would be like Punking the Punk movement of the 70's through 80's. It would be redundant.

 

Interesting note: Ms. Flint has told me that she's had a record number of hits on her blog since that posts and that the reception has been overwhelmingly positive with some prominent names within Steampunk community endorsing her post.

I have always assumed that the "punk" in steampunk refers to the DIY aspect of the genre more than anything else. The punks of the 70's and 80's did not invent DIY, but they became the epitome of it, through their use of self-promotion, self-stylings, and every other way that they simply relied only on themselves or others like them.

 

From making their own recording studios, pressing their own tapes and records, making their own T-shirts to sell at gigs, this level of DIY became synonymous with the punks, and as long as the steam, diesel, and other *punk movements maintain their sense of Do It Yourself, that's why it needs to stay "punk".

Atterton said:

In that article, she mentions going against the mainstream, putting value on handmade items and such. Is there any of that which is exclusively punk, and couldn´t also apply to, for example, hippies?
Can´t it just stay DIY?

I'm sorry Atterton, but I don't think I understand your question.

 

DIY is indeed important to Steampunk. In fact, it's very important to the degree that Steampunk is more than just cosplay and gluing cogs on everything. Plus, there are those who say that DIY has irrelevant to Steampunk and would love being able to buy all of their Steampunk clothing and stuff pre-packaged at Wal-Mart and imported from China.

I hate to sound negative, but talk like this seems pretty revisionist. When people start talking about "punk" in Steampunk and the DIY spirit that is the essence of Steampunk, it sounds like people are just trying to validate Steampunk. The same spirit that is in Steampunk exists in all sorts of historical reenactment, it's just less restrictive. Then again, Piratical reenactment is all over the place too with "Hollywood" pirates. They have the same sense of DIY and desire for handmade items, they just don't tread into Sciene-Fiction as much. Steampunk is not as unique as some people want to make it out to be. It doesn't have higher and loftier ideals than other forms of costuming and "lifestyles". They don't need to keep defending it or trying to tie punk into either. It's just another way people use to add fun and flavor to their lives.

 

Steampunk just happens to have a wide attraction, and those pulled in like to build up their part of it. If your a punk, your gonna focus on the "punk" and how Steampunk is based on Punk, if you're a writer you'll talk about how Steampunk started as a literary style going back to H.G. Wells, and if you like to make stuff you'll carry on about the importance of making your own stuff. It seems like every new Steampunker starts off their introductory post about how they've been a long time Steampunk before it had a name, as to avoid the appearance of someone jumping on the bandwagon.

 

I never truly appreciate articles like this. Then again, I don't really appreciate when historical reenactors go on about how they're reenacting to honor the past and to educate. If we didn't enjoy it, would we be doing it and not getting paid for it?

 

 

Ms Flint is not trying to "validate" Steampunk or being "revisionist." For Ms. Flint, and many more in the Steampunk community, it's a lifestyle and is a counter-cultural movement.

 

On the other side there are those who view Steampunk as nothing more than Cosplay, LARP and playing dress up in funny costumes with bad English accents. For them the word "punk" is an inconvenience because of its counter-cultural and political implications.

 

Say that you agree or disagree with her. But she's being neither revisionist or trying "validate" Steampunk. It's a legitimate aspect of the genre and a prominent one.

Reread both articles. Diana Vick makes a clear statement as to what she refers to as the "Punk" that is not needed in Steampunk. A.E. Flint does not define what "Punk" she is talking about. Flint seems to detail more clearly what Vick is talking about in her bullet point number 3, "Victorian Re-creation is all you need." Flint seems to waffle between the 70's/80's "punk" and the creative vein that runs through Steampunk. I will agree that the "punk" in Steampunk is what takes it from being farby reenactment to something creative and fun. But, still don't see the 70's/80's "punk" that only seems to be implied in Flint's article. Counter-culture is not punk, punk is a counter-culture movement. Hell, Maoism was a counter-culture movement, and there wasn't anything good about that.

Virgil,

In my opinion, Ms Flint clearly lays out what "punk" is to Steampunk.

My recommendation is for you to contact Ms. Flint directly, which you can do through her blog. Being that she's a close friend of mine I know that she could better explain herself better than I could.

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.

Larry said:

While I don't want to speak for the author (though being that she's a close friend, I have a pretty good understanding of her thinking) the concept of Punk as she presents it in the article does indeed share some of the same values and philosophical roots as the counter-cultural hippies of the 1960's. This is one reason I expect to never see a 1960's era genre punk. That would be like Punking the Punk movement of the 70's through 80's. It would be redundant.

 

Interesting note: Ms. Flint has told me that she's had a record number of hits on her blog since that posts and that the reception has been overwhelmingly positive with some prominent names within Steampunk community endorsing her post.

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