Question, Queries and PosersIt has been suggested that I should sell my hats. The problem is that I have absolutely no idea what to charge for them. The hats themselves are costume hats and the embellishments on them I had either made or purchased at retail. So my questions are, hypothetically speaking, if you were in the market for a hat such as these, how much would you be willing to pay for them? Basically, based off of what I do, what would you all consider to be fair market value for them?Help!See More
On the Moon with J. NasmythI have just added a post to my blog at Net Advance Retro which might be of interest to some of you. It concerns the work of the Victorian artist/engineer J. Nasmyth, who used plaster models to make astonishingly life-like photographs of landscapes on the moon.See More
Amelia & Alice Lost in Prague!TRavel writer Amelia Owen Kibbey and best friend Alice lost in a zeppelin on route to Prague! For more details visit:…
Special HatsI am in the process of creating some special hats for Halloween. The first is what some people have called my "Mr. Bones" hat. That's me in it, BTW. Do you like?I enjoyed putting this one together so much that I made for my wife. Hers has much more to it than mine.It even has a tail.Opinions? :-)See More
The Aether Chronicle #18: Now You Can LIVE in the Steampunk World!Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Steampunk Online Game Designer Interviewed by Kevin SteilNew Steampunk Film In The Making!Amelia Own Kibbey Lost on Route to Prague!The Lastest Seamswaddle by Tropple E. ArmitageChronicle%20%2318.pdfTo Subscribe to The Aether Chronicle, simply click the link below to The Chronicle Archives and "Follow" the Discussion.http://steampunkwriters.ning.com/forum/topics/reign-of-giant-octopus-plaguing-london-comes-to-an-endSee More
BooktrackI was invited to turn my blog into a 'booktrack' this past summer and am wondering if anyone else has done this? Kinda a neat platform -- would be great if we could get more 'steampunk appropriate' sounds in there. :) Cheers!See More
The Phineas Frakture Fantasy Fan-Cast-ic Contest! at The Adventures of Phineas Frakture Facebook PageOctober 15, 2014 at 12am to November 16, 2014 at 12amANNOUNCING THE PHINEAS FRAKTURE FANTASY FAN-CAST-IC CONTEST! October 15th – November 15th 2014 In anticipation of the upcoming release of my second book: The Adventures of Phineas Frakture - Steam Wars, I am holding a contest on Facebook to win signed copies of both The Adventures of Phineas Frakture and TAoPF – Steam Wars…plus original artwork of Phineas himself! THE CONTEST: Cast the main cha...racters of The Adventures of Phineas Frakture in a real life TV series (preferably on the BBC). Write down who you would cast as Phineas, William, Abigail and Mrs. Popkiss. The actor can be living or dead...whoever you feel would best fit the role. Extra consideration will be given for casting peripheral characters such as Agent Thorne, Dr. Molondi, Ashira of Atlantis, etc...and for those who have been following Steam Wars on Bigworldnetwork.com, any of the main characters from those stories. Photos of the main characters can be found in your copies of The Adventures of Phineas Frakture or on The Adventures of Phineas Frakture Facebook page (but you don't have to be limited by those references if you don't want to). To enter, simply 'like' The Adventures of Phineas Frakture page on Facebook and post your cast in the comments section. In the case of duplicate entries, the first posting will have preference. Everyone is welcome to enter, but only one entry per person. The winner will be chosen by me, the almighty author, and will be determined by the best combination that makes me say 'WOW...that's perfect' or any other epiphany-like statement. The winner will be announced through The Adventures of Phineas Frakture Facebook page on November 20th and prizes will be delivered upon the release of Steam Wars by Bigworldnetwork.com (the winner will need to send mailing information upon announcement of their victory).See More
Recently, the peer-reviewed journal Fashion, Style & Popular Culture (Volume 1, Number 3, 1 August 2014) published an academic paper titled Victorian gear heads and locomotive zealots: Vicarious nostalgia, retro-futurism and anachronisms of Steampunk and Dieselpunk authored by Professor Jessica Strubel of the University of North Texas. According to the summary on the web site:
This article explored the histories of both Steampunk and Dieselpunk with a focus on their dress behaviour and musical preferences as related to the ideologies of these groups. Particular attention was paid to both group’s fixations on nostalgia for periods outside of the individual members’ living memories and how this nostalgia is a feature of their consumption experiences. The article also addresses the anachronistic use of the word ‘punk’ in the name of each of these groups. There is an obvious incongruity with the naming of Steampunk and Dieselpunk because they are shameless consumer cultures with no obvious political inclinations. Although Steampunks and Dieselpunks do share the DIY aesthetic of the traditional punk subculture, their styles have been prefabricated, neatly packaged and made available for sale on any of the many websites devoted to providing the quintessential Victorian or diesel-era garb.
This paper is important for it’s the first published peer reviewed academic paper about dieselpunk. That being said, I have concerns about several key conclusions drawn. I will start with what I consider the three most serious concerns and then address several issues that, while aren’t as serious as the others, still deserve attention.
The Punk Evolutionary Tree
“To those who say that I can’t have been a real or true punk, let me reply in the words of Geoff, one of my own informants, that ‘there is no such thing as punk’ (just as there is no such thing as hippy, mod and teddy boy), and therefore no basis for the distinction between real and pretend. Punk is what you make it. Paradoxically, this is the essence of punk, and only ‘true’ punks realize this.” - David Muggleton, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, at University College Chichester and author of ‘Inside Subculture: The Postmodern Meaning of Style’.
According to Professor Strubel, in dieselpunk “the use of punk is misleading” because the participants in the genre “lack the outrage and nihilism” among other characteristics of the participants of the 70’s Punk subculture. She points out that the 70’s Punk grew from the anger and angst of the working class youth of that time. They saw nothing good in the past and no hope for the future. The 70’s Punks were political dissidents and strongly anti-consumption. Whereas, dieselpunks find a great deal of positive in the past, specifically the period time circa 1920s – 40s (‘Diesel Era’), and strive to combine it with the best of our contemporary society. In doing so, we hope to build a better future.
Of course, the readers of my blog know that the dieselpunk community didn’t choose the punk suffix. ‘Dieselpunk’ was a term created by Lewis Pollack in 2001 for promoting his RPG Children of the Sun.
Professor Strubel’s conclusion that the ‘punk’ suffix is misleading is based on a faulty assumption. Dieselpunk is NOT a descendent of 70’s Punk. The dieselpunk theorist Bernardo Sena (writing under the penname of Mr. Piecraft) laid the idea that it is to rest back in 2009 in issue 5 of the e-zine The Gatehouse Gazette:
"Perhaps it is best to accept that the “punk” suffix added to these literary genres developed not out of the same sense as the punk musical scene, but out of the actual definition of the term. Punk referred to a label given to antagonize anyone who was seen as rebellious or anti-establishment; mostly designated to the younger generation, basically one who would go against the grain of society."
Dieselpunk is a distinct branch of ‘punk’ that happens to share a common linguistic ancestor with 70’s Punk subculture. A good comparison would be in the way that Modern Humans share a common ancestor with the Common Chimpanzee but we’re not descendants of the Chimp.
Punk Evolutionary TreeRecognizing that dieselpunk is not descended from 70’s Punk prevents the mistake Professor Strubel made in concluding that the use of the word ‘punk’ in dieselpunk is misleading.
Renaissance Rather Than Nostalgia
“Nostalgia is a very complicated subject for me. I'm attracted by nostalgia but I refuse it intellectually.” - Miuccia Prada
In her paper, Professor Strubel explains that nostalgia is a “preference for an idealized past when one was younger or even before birth”. A mistake she makes is stating that the dieselpunk genre exhibits a fixation for nostalgia and that we glorify the Interbellum period as well as gloss over the dark side of the era such as the Great Depression.
I’m certain there are some individual dieselpunks who feel a wistful yearning of nostalgia for the Diesel Era but that’s not the heart of the genre. Tome Wilson, owner of the web site dieselpunks.org, best explains the role of the Diesel Era in dieselpunk:
"A dieselpunk must learn the past, but should be wary not to chain himself to it in the process. We strive to create a future that not only meets the achievements of our grandfathers, but surpasses it with achievements of our own. It is not enough to live in the shadow of another generation; we must find our own path, achieve greatness and inspire others to do the same."
In addition, the organization I’m associated with, North Texas Dieselpunks, often have presentations about the dark events of the time. We’ve had presentations on the Holocaust, the Dust Bowl and racism just to name a few. While at Octopodicon 2013 in Norman, Oklahoma, John Wofford, a co-host with me on the Diesel Powered Podcast, and I gave a presentation on the ‘dark side of dieselpunk’.
Dieselpunk doesn't look at the past with nostalgic eyes but with eyes wide open.
Apolitical and Consumer Cultures
As it states in the abstract, Professor Strubel argues that dieselpunk along with steampunk are “shameless consumer cultures with no obvious political inclinations”, which differs from 70’s Punk.
Strubel is right that the dieselpunk genre lacks the extreme political anarchy of the 70’s Punk subculture. In addition, while I wouldn’t call dieselpunk a "shameless consumer culture", I would agree that dieselpunk doesn’t contain a philosophy of radical anti-consumerism. However, I believe these two criticisms are irrelevant for several reasons.
First, I would go back to the fact that dieselpunk is NOT a descendant of 70’s Punk. Political radicalism and anti-consumerism are not essential elements to the source word.
Second, I would point out that there have been several subcultures that either lacked a radical political position or were anti-consumerism.
According to historian Joshua Zeitz, the flapper subculture of the 1920s lacked any form of political inclination. Moreover, he documented in his book Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern that the flapper subculture was heavily consumer based and was constantly the target of Madison Ave.
In addition, I can’t help but note the mods subculture of the early 1960s. According to Paul Jobling and David Crowley, though the mods were “fashion-obsessed” they were “never just ‘a passive consumer’ nor someone who merely absorbed his stylistic sources unquestioningly. Rather, the pastiche of mods style was both self-conscious and self-effacing, and it transformed the original object of desire ‘at every level of the mod experience’”. (Graphic Design: Reproduction and Representation Since 1800, Manchester University Press, 1996)
I find it interesting that Strubel references Ralph Lauren and Jean Paul Gaultier's Diesel Era-themed styling as a critique of dieselpunk on page 379. Of course, Ralph Lauren was incorporating Diesel Era fashion into his style back in the 1970s and I honestly doubt he or Gaultier have even heard the word ‘dieselpunk’ much less marketed to us. I would point out that the mods had their own fashion designers with Mary Quant and John Stephen so any involvement by fashion designers isn't relevant.
While dieselpunk differs in many important aspects from the flapper and mods youth subcultures, I think they serve as useful examples how the lack of political radicalism/ anti-consumerism in dieselpunk is a non-issue.
Dark Humor and Mobsters"No one knows what it's like, to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes". - The WhoI was a little surprised when on page 385 I read what appears to be a criticism of dieselpunks.org "celebrating" the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In my opinion, one shouldn’t be shocked to find that a phenomenon such as dieselpunk that prides itself on being dark should find dark humor in the ironic fact that one of the worse mob hits of the 1920s shares the name with a fluffy holiday focused on romance.
In addition, Professor Strubel appears critical of the dieselpunk fashion trend of mobsters, though I don’t recall any cases in which such fashion was encouraged as Professor Strubel stated in her paper. As she points out in the paper, the oldest surviving use of the word ‘punk’ is of a ‘Young Hoodlum’. In my opinion, it’s only logical to see the spirit of ‘punk’ in the archetypal Prohibition-era mobster.
An Exaggerated Death
On page 390, in addressing the rise of other genre-punks (Clockpunk, Renpunk, etc…) Professor Strubel wrote, “As the Steampunk and Dieselpunk movements phase out…” I found this statement rather odd since dieselpunk is not only alive and well but also growing. If we use the date of the origin of the word by Pollock as a guide, then we’ve already lasted longer than the 70’s Punk subculture, which began around 1971 with the Creem article by Dave Marsh and ended in 1979 with the death of Sid Vicious. In addition, according to Google Trends, the numbers of searches with the key word ‘dieselpunk’ are five times what they were in 2008 and the numbers are still growing.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the death of dieselpunk is an exaggeration.
A New Phenomenon
I think that Strubel makes a valid point that dieselpunk doesn't fit the classic youth subculture. I would point out that dieselpunk crosses generation lines. In fact, dieselpunk has a strong appreciation of older generation such as the Greatest Generation of World War Two. This certainly different from the Baby Boomer slogan of “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Therefore, dieselpunk is certainly not youth oriented.
I don’t know how sociologist should classify dieselpunk. Dieselpunk and the other genre-punks certainly appear to be different phenomenon than we’ve seen in the past.
There is a definite need for an academic study of dieselpunk. Though flawed, this paper by Professor Strubel was a good start. I hope that someday she reexamines our genre from a new perspective.
Interview with steampunk author Tina ConnollyAirship Ambassador interview with steampunk author Tina Connolly,about her latest book, Silverblindhttp://airshipambassador.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/connolly1/See More
25% of women at comic/pop culture conventions report being sexually harassed
(Source: Bitch magazine)
13% of people attending comic conventions report having unwanted comments of a
sexual nature made about them at conventions. 8% of people of all genders reported
they had been groped, assaulted, or raped at a comic convention. (Source: Game Skinny)
53% of all transgender/ non-binary individuals reported verbal harassment in places
of “public accommodation”; this includes hotels, restaurants, buses, public spaces.
LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBTQ people. Transgender people were 1.67 times as likely to experience threats and intimidation compared to LGBTQ non-transgender survivors and victims. (Source: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs)
Track #YesAllGeeks & follow-up on Facebook
On Harassment Awareness & Prevention:
On Gender, Race & Disability in Fandom
Panelist credits/ contacts:
Diana M. Pho (moderator) – BeyondVictoriana.com & Tor.com / @writersyndrome
Robert Anders, RN, NP-C
Emily Asher-Perrin – Tor.com / @use_theforce_em
Marlene Bonnelly – youtube.com/ilikecomicstoo / @ilikecomicstoo
Mikki Kendall – @karnythia
Kaye M – @gildedspine
Thank you to everyone who participated on the panel and online! If you have a resource you’d like to share, drop a comment below or tweet to #YesAllGeeks!
Filed under: Announcement, Conventions Tagged: New York Comic Con
"New Blog Post: Our newest Adventure, The Dreadfuls is out now! http://nickvalentino.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-dreadfuls.html"
To Rule the SkiesTo Rule the Skies, the debut novel from Michael Tierney is now available on Amazon for Kindle, iTunes for iBook, and Smashwords for many other formats. Coming soon in paperback!Professor Nicodemus Boffin, late of the University of Edinburgh and protégé of the great Michael Faraday, serves as the Scientist General of a British institute to further scientific knowledge and technological advancement for Queen, Country, and Empire. Boffin and his crew travel the world aboard their advanced airship Flamel on a voyage of discovery. In desperate times, however, Flamel is called upon to perform “extraordinary duties”. Boffin is tasked to search for the cause of the sinking of HMS Bellerophon, the Royal Navy’s flagship which was carrying a secret cargo from Canadian Colonies to London. He must uncover who or what is behind the disaster before rising tensions between long-time transatlantic enemies, Britain and the United States, bring the two nations over the brink to all-out war.The first installment in the Airship Flamel Adventures!See More