Vlog #3: Steampunk

I just remembered that I intended to make a blog post about every new video. I`ve obviously been neglecting that. Sorry about that. But here I am, writing! At least it`s something right?

So my fourth video was about steampunk, a topic quite close to my heart. And in this blog post, I`d like to go a bit deeper into steampunk.

I`ve known Steampunk as a term for roughly 2,5 years now, through a friend who said I should look it up, considering my interests. Ever since, I haven`t really let go of it anymore, although my interests are still broad (or should I say: all over the place).

Roughly one year after I discovered steampunk, I was realising Steampunk in general was, bit by bit, being picked up by the mainstream audience. We never did get known quite as well as, say, hipsters, which is something I`m glad for, as I would never want the same treatment hipsters get.

But, that doesn`t mean steampunks don`t get their share of, how shall I call it…criticism. We don`t get much trolling and/or hating over at the forum I frequent, which I`m sure is 100% thanks to the amazing moderators there who ban most of them before they even get so much as one toe in the door.

In the rest of the world though, there are no such amazing moderators. And in that world, while steampunk is most of the time viewed as something awesome and cool and pretty amazing, there are definitely a lot of people who think of it as stupid or silly or childish or “just Goths who discovered the colour brown”.

I think that`s oversimplifying things though. Sure, there are a lot of us who wear a lot of brown, but there are so many other colours present!

In all honesty though, yes, a lot of us tend to be on the childish side of things, and yes we`re definitely silly, but that`s the whole point of it all.

At least from the side I`m used to, steampunk is supposed to be something silly, it`s supposed to be light, entertaining, an escape from this everyday reality. Although that doesn`t mean I can`t go into it deeply.

And just in case you`re wondering: no, most of us don`t hate this modern day and age. In fact, there are a lot of us who wouldn`t want to live in any other age than now. This current world has amazing technology, we`re incredibly connected, the possibilities are endless, and most of us would not even be steampunks if it wasn`t for the modern times.

This, however, does not take away that we feel there`s something lacking in this world. For all of its inventions, its creativity, its technology, there`s something missing. The problem is probably in the sleekness of it all. Everything is the same, all products are sleek and grey and undecorated. Like MrFergeson said in a comment on YouTube: “It’s like technology gained more function but lost its soul in the process.”

This comment rings true of the Steampunk thought: we like modern technology, but we miss the ornate details, the soul so to speak, that used to be everywhere. A lot more detail used to go in making technology as beautiful as possible, sheer works of art to look at and marvel at and to put on display, no matter what it was.

Something similar has happened in society itself: a lot of manners have gone, people aren`t treated the same anymore. We don`t even greet each other anymore on the streets, too immersed in our tiny screens. The gorgeous handwriting of old has gone, the attention to detail seems to be lost, together with the attention for other people around us.

With all of that, society`s sense of adventure has also left us. What with television, movies, YouTube, games, you name it, we can carry our own bubble of entertainment with us everywhere. Technology is developing so fast we can hardly keep up, yet no one seems to care about the wonders of how it`s all possible.

And how marvellous it is, to be able to fly across the globe in the span of half a day, to connect with people from all over the world with just one click, through signals send all the way to space and back again. It`s a downright miracle, and not one anyone would have expected 200 years ago. Yet we take it all for granted.

What Steampunk does, is find some of that wonder again. Maybe not all of it, but a part of it. We can marvel at amazing technology, and strive to make our own (whether realistic or fantastical). We play with time, we play with technology, we play with fashion, and all of it boils down to a wonder about the world around us. And then we share all that knowledge and fun with everyone else who`s interested.

No but really, go to one of the bigger Steampunk forums like Brass Goggles, open a random discussion, and see how much knowledge, how much wonder, is in that one conversation. Name a topic, and there`s bound to be at least one person who knows plenty about it and is perfectly willing to share that knowledge.

And there we have the core of what I like about steampunk: it`s a community of intelligent, knowledgeable people who like to have fun and share things, in the most awesome way there is.

And I wouldn`t have it any other way.

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