The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

While I know a few people that like the genre, but have ill feelings for the word punk, some of us love and embrace it. I'm interested in what some of you see the punk being, how you define it and apply it yourself.


I think it would break the point of being punk if there were a set of rules or definitions to it on it's own, but that doesn't mean we can't have our own ideas, only that none of them can be wrong!


I fell in love with Steampunk when first introduced to it, I grew up with a love for life in history, being born into re-enacting, and it mixed so well with my love of fantasy as well. But one of the things I love most, and it sort of defines the punk in it for me, is the fact that you can rewrite history. There's so many things the human race has done (and still does) that is horrible in the past, and if you want, you can write that out of the word, you can pick and choose what stays in your version and what goes. If I want to be living in the 1800s, I can choose to do so without slavery, or race classes, or whatever I want. I can have equality be more realistic than it is in today's age! Or I can make the class differences vaster, or even differing.


I guess what I'm saying is the punk for me is changing history.

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Replies to This Discussion

The only thing I didn't really like about that punk was the push for rude behaviour. I loved the fashion, the attitude, the music, but I don't know, I think people can have the attitude, and still have some manners.

Well said.

I like the punk only for the break away from what is mainstream now. Steampunk for me, allows for dressing sharp, speaking refined, bringing history of what never was to the present with a historical theme. Wish is why I enjoy it so much. I could be dressed as a dapper gentleman 1880 explorer, holding a steam powered plasma cannon, on the hunt for the victoriasaurus regina, all the while sipping a Red Bull.

It does not give me some sort of leeway to make an a** of myself with deviant behavior, but rather explore my imagination that is often halted by the perceived limits I put on myself. That and its just fun.

I like the article, though it does bring up a whole 'nother debate with the comments against anything mass produced. I don't think mass production is a problem, it was part of what gave the industrial revolution it's success, but losing your individualism to it is.
This was wonderful and delightful to read! I especially agree with the last few sentences.

I think it would be refreshing to see a bit more punk in the steampunk movement.


Most people start with a victorian look or an elegant goth look then add brass and gadgets.  This gives a very elegant look. 


I think it would be interesting to start with a punk look (the original punk - torn jeans and safety pins, etc.) and add touches of victorian elegance to it.


Not to replace all the wonderful steampunk outfits out there but to add to the diversity of what we have.

You mean like this? Photo Credit by Curious Josh Photography
Yes, that looks very punkish.

This is what I'm talking about...bad-a**!  Well done.

I saw the topic and decided I had to reply- particularly because this reminded me of something a friend of mine is going to do. He's enjoys the punk aesthetic and has been trying to incorporate it in his outfits. He's got a bit more progression to go, but he expresses it by having his mohawk up at times (it's actually pink this month for the Steampunk Breast Cancer Awareness support I am doing). He also puts band patches on the back of his vests and all forms of creative types of things to do with his outfits.
He's still looking to progress them further, but it's just his style of Steampunk.

Yes.  One of those old-fashioned lccks with the hole round at the top and a truncated pyramid below.  The brass keys, with their T-shaped blades that turned the lock mechanisms, would make dandy earrings. 


And oh, do I indentify with the inability to pull off that lean and hungry look!  Wearing non-conformist clothes in late middle age doesn't make much of a statement.  It simply appears like you're either slipping into Alzheimer's or you no longer care at all how you look.


Besides, punk was a sort of depressed, dark reaction to the the fact that the 60s hippies and political radicals hadn't managed to completely change the whole world.  So might as well enjoy futility and meaninglessness.  Since the aforementioned groups had done so well with outrageous behavior and dress, the punks really had to go to some lengths to find something even worse.


So SteamPunk punk would be...?  Tarnished brass, broken goggles, ripped and faded black denim workers' clothing.  Complete with the chemical stains and burns recalling the combustion by-products of Wm. Blake's "satanic mills."  And a filthy, bloodied white cap in honor of those whose heads were smacked by Pinkerton goons breaking up the picket lines of the IWW.


Maybe carry a semi-empty bottle of cheap gin.  Once so useful to the ruling class for keeping the masses too messed up to organize.  And used by working people to make tolerable the horrid, boring, repetitive tasks of their jobs.  Same for various opiate-laced patent medicines-- that sure parallels the punk phenomenon...    





Shoe button hook through the nose.  Stolen pocket watch, case smashed, hanging from a slice of cravat fished out of the garbage.  Handlebar moustache, dyed with henna and copper sulfate.


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