The Crossroads of the Aether
It would seem that many in the steampunk world are turning to a Weird West theme. While not a bad thing, my curiosity as to why has been piqued.
Maybe just another way to play dress-up...I dunno. For me, I intend to keep my original persona and costuming efforts. There are some lovely costumes in the mix though!!
It seems to me that there are probably several reasons that Steampunk affecionados are turning towards the weird west themed stuff. I think popular cultural media such as the movie, Wild Wild West, tends to encourage and promote that sort of theme and folks tend to move in trends. I also think that many folks are gettin tired of the same old mad scientist, airship pilot/pirate theme and are exploring the various possibilities. I myself do a kinda western-style monster-hunting preacher in the lines of Van Helsing. I think though that as one gets involved in a theme that over the course of a year to three years, they tend to grow and evolve the theme into something even more unique. It is kinda like being a character in a story that grows beyond whatever their meager origins indicates. When you've come out of the old west and traveled in the shadow lands hunting vampires, or time travelling tourists with a penchant for temporal trouble, who knows what you'll evolve into over a period of time, but evolve you will. One of the biggest elements of the fun of dressing up and getting into character is that you get to start with a base-line theme and grow it over time as you attend more events and get involved in more activities that engages your imagination. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir as you probably well know all of this, but it is a fun conversation and it should prove interesting to see what the opinions on this are. =)
I do understand moving in trends. I have seen some beautiful costumery with the theme. Maybe I am just old and stagnant in my character...I don't know. Maybe I should look into branching out a bit.
Monster hunting is a lovely past time. Vampires make my heart skip a beat...I collect all manner of Vampire memorabilia, including Vamplets dolls. I have been in love with monsters an vampires my whole life...maybe I will take Musette there, seeing as she derived her name from combining characters from 2 of her favorite Vampire series.
You may have just given me a way to evolve my character without really changing her too very much. Of course, a set of fangs may be in order before Dragon-Con...
Bah, old and stagnant in your character, perhaps you might be finding yourself having achieved a level of comfortable refinement that is easy to settle into, but I submit that if you are enjoying your character and the persona surrounding her, then you are still growing her even if in subtle ways. Never-the-less, if you've indeed found a touch of inspiration to sink your teeth into in a new adventurous direction, then huzzah! A new set of fangs may be just the thing prior to DragonCon, though keep in mind, I'll be there... hunting... =)
A challenge ...to hide my true nature !!!! This will be exciting indeed. I tend to blend in rather than stand out in a crowd, pink goggles not withstanding. Inspiration is imminent!! I will see you there, Hunter!!!
I admit to sticking to a weird/wild West theme for a few reasons:
1) I have done cowboy action shooting in guarb for years.
2) My wife is more interested in SP and has attended cowboy shoots in Victorian so....
3) There is a lot of nice and reasonanbly priced period western wear on the market that I like.
4) It was the SteamCon II theme.
5) Excuse to wear guns.
Ah how I am envious of y'all into CAS. I was a competition shooter focusing on IPSC speed guns and the like back in the day, but haven't been involved in shooting sports for many years now. CAS looks like a ton of fun and I've met many very down to earth, good folks in the hobby. Just wanted to wave a hand here...
Hello Deacon Aegis - cowboy action shooting like SASS are notoriously easy to get started in. Many clubs use the "first taste is free" approach and, if you call them in advance, they will often loan you any guns that you need to attend a first shoot. It is polite to bring your own ammo though. Competitions require two single action revolvers, a rifle, and shotgun appropriate to the era. They tend to not only be tolerant of SP clothes but sometimes a little envious.
http://www.mulecampcowboys.com/ This is the big shoot for the South.
Thanks a bunch for the information and links. I will definately look into this. My wife may not be so thrilled since I'm already knee deep into photography and amateur radio, both of which tend to be rather expensive. Hehe. But maybe if I sneak it past as something Steampunk.... =)
Deacon Aegis - When I first started dating my wife she was excited to join in most of my bad reenacting habits except CAS. She disliked cowboys and still HATES The Duke. Her mother on the other hand thought that it sounded great and made her a nice print prairie dress outfit to try and coerce her into going to a shoot. No sooner did we get to the shoot than I got a call that my employee was MIA and I had to run back to my shop. The guys somehow managed to convince her to stay and then called every lady shooter not there to come keep her company. They made fun of my guns that I left for her and loaned her some little girly guns. I made fun of them for even owning little girly guns later. (I mean birds head .32s, really? How huckleberry.)
Apparently she had a blast and when she came home had already decided that she was getting a Marlin 1894 since they have side eject preventing the hot brass from setting her collection of Victorian hats on fire, top break revolvers for the reload stages, and a full choke internal hammer 20 ga side by side. "And what's the NRA groups and how do I become a life member?" was her next question. She still refuses to wear a gunbelt and will use a sash or her ermine muff to stage her pistols at local events so that she does not "look cowboy."
Many people think that they can handle things like heroine, crack, meth, and CAS but get terribly addicted so you might coordinate taking your lady-wife with you to a shoot. I suspect the local shooters will help with some enthusiasm. There is also a lot of wheeling and dealing within the local posses. I have gotten some good deals on guns and relaoding but still can't beleive I passed up a matched pair of Schofields in .45 LC for $600. I am still kicking myself even if they were not nickled.
Take your SP goggles and there always seems to be an unofficial side competition of who is best dressed.
I like the weird west for one reason: dinosaurs!!!
While I adore the traditional British Victorian SP, there aren't m any places in England to hide a lost world of dinosaurs, unlike the vast canyons of the American West.