Why Steampunk will stick around (while the West collapses)

Clockwork Century: Here’s a great blog about one person’s take on why steampunk will last. I think they’ve tied the airship rope down nicely. This is exactly what attracts me and why I resonate with the SP ethos.

This is a sample (IMHO the best political insights start  half way down blogpost)

“(1). Steampunk comes from a philosophy of salvage and customization, and (2). Steampunk’s inherent nature is participatory and inclusive, yet subversive.

And now, enlarging to show detail.

(1). Steampunk’s philosophy of salvage and customization is not only very timely here in the early twenty-first century, but it’s a conscious backlash against a Western cultural tradition of waste, disposable consumer goods, and the banality of mass production.”

Check it out– lots of good points. And here’s a pic from somewhere I forget that exemplifies this ethos.

steampunkcdplayer- upcycling

steampunkcdplayer- upcycling

Cure for Lumbago ;-)

Step right up folks. That’s right, Professa Uncle Festa’s patented “Snake Oil Replacement” cures lumbago, toothache, warts, back-pain and gammy leg. Made from the highest quality Di-Hydrogen Oxide, this formula is twice as effective as Dr. Bill William’s Snake Oil. So why settle for second best? Ahem, I advertised these while winning a costume award at the Firefly/Serenity fund-raising event on the weekend. A jolly good time.

All good Steampunks need this product. Just 2 gold coins. Gold-pressed latinum not accepted.

Prof. Uncle festa's snakeoil

Prof. Uncle festa's snakeoil

Prof Uncle Festa Snake Oil Label

Prof Uncle Festa Snake Oil Label

The anti-mindless-plastic-consumer Punk ethic in Steampunk

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how mindlessly plastic consumerist Western society has become, and how human relationships and creativity are suffering because of this. Every generation seems to have its cultural form of people-oriented creative outlet. The 60s had hippies, the 80s had Punk, the 90s Goth, and now there’s Steampunk. Some counter-cultures are more angry and some are more happy. I like Steampunk because it emphasises positive inclusive community, creativity and the DIY ethos that rejects becoming just another plastic cog in the global corporatist marketplace. A great short vid on this theme is by Douglas Rushkoff- on this page:

http://www.steampunkworkshop.com/life-inc-douglas-rushkoff

A steampunk personality- GD Falksen, wearing the automotivator-1

A steampunk personality- GD Falksen, wearing the automotivator-1

We need healthy rejection of the worst elements of modern mass-consumption sameness- This image says it all really 🙂

Manifest Fashion Panel

Well it was a fun day out at Manifest (the Melbourne anime/manga convention).  A group of us well-mannered and well-costumed Lolitas and Steampunks were interviewed on a fashion panel about our clothing choices, colours etc. Fun :-). Here’s yours truly and Connie, the other Steampunk on the panel with me, having our photos taken by the admiring hordes :-)! I mean, how many Gothic Lolita pics can people take! We certainly spiced things up a little.

New Steampunk friend Connie and yours truly

New Steampunk friend Connie and yours truly

How to make a Fairy House

Q. What do you make a 3 year old god-daughter who loves fairies and is having a birthday soon? Answer: A fairy house. I saw the idea on another steampunk or Victorian technology site, can’t remember where, and thought I’d have a go. This one is quite a bit different but has the key idea of a light behind a silhouette of fairies inside a jar. Silhouette jar scenes were a cool Victorian invention, using either candles or electric light.

dasd

Lit up. Looks great with flashes

Step 1: Gather the bits you’ll need- an old box which you’ll need to stain and lacquer a nice Jarrah/Redwood colour, an old bottle/jar that is already “frosted” (or you can “frost” it with a light spray of white paint inside,) a lace doily, an old torch 3v or 4.5 volt lamp, an old TV remote control, an old switch, a set of party glasses with flashing red and blue LEDs, some electrical wire, and a few screws and washers. (You could buy the bits but I used almost all second-hand or bits hanging around).

Step 2: Cut off the battery part of remote control and wire up to old switch and torch lamp – the lamp goes up into jar middle (you can see them in the photo). Pull out the LED flashing lights and battery parts from glasses and install also from under the lid up into the inside of jar (see pics). Find some fairy design ideas and cut out of black paper or painted card, and stick to inside of jar. Add cute butterflies to box. Attach doily to jar and screw down to box. Add some screws and bits and a nice name plate. Oh, I glued the top of an old pearl earing onto the LED flasher switch to cover up the modern tech.

You'll need the flashing LEDs and battery compartment

You'll need the flashing LEDs and battery compartment

Paint the screws brass colour. Voila, it’s done.

Some fairy in forest silouettes

Some fairy in forest silouettes

An old jar makes a great fairy house

An old jar makes a great fairy house

The battery compartments and switches all wired up

The battery compartments and switches all wired up.

Torch lamp and LEDs installed under where jar goes

Torch lamp and LEDs installed under where jar goes

Camberwell shopping expedition

We had a great day shopping for more Steampunk things at the Camberwell markets.  I found a nice case to build my old laptop into, plus some nice little ornamentation thingys, and Laena bought several coats. We met up with Kate and Connie but I couldn’t find Dr. Watson anywhere. (Forgot to take a group photo, oh well, we’ll just have to *go again* soon ).

Our daughter with choker I made

Our daughter with choker I made

Prof. Unclefesta still can't work out Norwegian twisting rulers

Prof. Unclefesta still can't work out Norwegian twisting rulers

How to make a steampunk raygun – part 2

Ladies and gentlemen, now that you have completed Step 1, it’s time to re-size and connect the relevant parts. Because we are building a raygun to defend against Venusians rather than Martians, we need to re-size the polarising ethereal disperser and then gas-weld it to the front of the longitudinal energy modulator. (Don’t be confused because those parts look like an boiled-egg-stand and a candleholder, that is merely a coincidence). Similarly, connect the longitudinal energy modulator to the energy chamber. See pictures below…

You may want to see Part 1 beforehand.

Please note that this is copyright text, from Chapter 3 of  “How to Defend Yourself from Ethereal Invaders from Mars, Venus and Beyond”- soon on sale in better bookstores. Full plans can also be delivered by Airship direct to your door for a minor fee.

Resizing

Resizing

Attaching

Attaching

My 35 year old home-made Crystal radio and a strained back

Well it’s in need of a bit of tender loving care and maybe a paint job, but here’s one of my earliest DIY projects- a real working radio, powered solely by the electro-magnetic rays 🙂 ie no power source. It’s 35 years old at least, maybe almost 40 (hey I was young once). Pretty primitive but it worked (and still does). You can hear AM stations faintly.

Haven’t been able to work on the raygun or other things because I strained my back 8-(

But now its better so I’m looking forward to more cutting and welding!

Anyway, here’s the radio pre-cleanup and paint.

My first crystal radio

My first crystal radio

Like being a Goth without scaring your parents (or kids!)

Why is Steampunk so popular? I love this article. I think it highlights some really significant cultural trends and how people are responding creatively. It makes me think that in a sense, Steampunk is the new version of what the DIY music scene was in the early 90s. Well that’s my thought. So here for your delectation and amusement, another bit from this great article…

“3. LIKE BEING GOTH WITHOUT SCARING YOUR PARENTS. A lot of kids in today’s steampunk music & style scene used to identify with the goth aesthetic — and are pleasantly surprised to discover that normal adults seem intrigued by this new thing rather than alarmed. Well, yeah. People think of goths as weirdoes who take vampires too seriously, and therefore they can’t help being worried on some level that a crazy goth might, you know, want to make them bleed. Whereas steampunks are — what? Weirdoes who take pocket-watches too seriously? What are they gonna do, vehemently tell you what time it is?”

Full article: http://weirdtales.net/wordpress/2008/09/17/five-thoughts-on-the-popularity-of-steampunk/

In some of us older steampunk’s cases its a matter of “Like being Goth without scaring your kids”! In 2002 for a week I wore black nail polish, and it nearly did my kids heads in 🙂 And the people at the church I was pastoring at the time just looked on in disbelief. My techno DJing they could just handle, but Goth! Anyway, seize the day.

A picture of some steampunk ghostbusters I found somewhere

A picture of some steampunk ghostbusters I found somewhere

Another beautiful-looking Steampunk movie

Hmm, not sure when this is coming out but it looks cool. “1884: Yesterday’s future” by Peculiar pictures. Oh I do love steamtrains and airships 🙂

Some basic info is here  : http://www.peculiarpictures.co.uk/page2.htm

a screentest image

a screentest image