05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why is Steampunk so Popular?

As most of my readers and acquaintances know, this last weekend was the 3rd annual Gear Con in Portland, OR. As usual I attended along with my husband. This year not only were there great costumes, but all three days held martial art classes concluding in an exhibition. The highlight of the weekend was the concert by Abney Park Saturday night, but I'll leave that to my post on the 29th.

One of the workshops I attended was an author panel and one of the questions asked, "Why do you believe steampunk is so popular today?" came up. One author said something along the lines that the Victorians were dealing with financial difficulties, as well as social and ethical questions and linked it to what we are going through now. I had never really thought that through before but as soon as she spoke I realized she was correct. People are looking into the past to try and figure out what to do about the future. The Victorian period was such a large and very fast growth of not only technology but social and ethical thought.
In the late 1800's if someone called for help it was socially and morally expected for you to go help them. The same was true if someone yelled, "Stop that man". Technology grew so fast that in a matter of a couple of years transportation, how people communicated with each other, and even fashion and civil rights were drastically different. Sound familiar?
Today we've seen the music industry go from cassette tapes to CDs to MP3s. The book industry hasn't gone through as much transitions, but it has gone through a major shift to include electronic books. We can now take people who are not astronauts into orbit and have wireless networks built into a jet. What else might come to pass?
Tesla developed several designs of generators that people could build and operate without a lot of money, the radio and even a device the size of a small box that could shake his whole house and then the neighborhood.

What would you like to see happen in the future?

I have more photos of GearCon 2013 posted to my website


Paty Jager said...

I find the whole concept of Steam Punk fascinating. Putting two worlds together and coming up with a society that is rooted in the past yet with technology of the future.

Fun post, Mae!

maepen said...

Thanks Paty. It is so much fun to hang out and especially to see the outfits people put together.

Amber Belldene said...

Mae, that's a great insight! I am doing research into the early 20th century right now, and I am continuously astonished by all the discoveries and theories that came into being at that time. I have characters that study psychology and neuroscience, industrialists pioneering a modern energy system. And the roles of the sexes and class differences were collapsing, but still entrenched in society (still are, maybe!). I agree--its a fascinating time!

Samantha MacDouglas said...

Mae, what a great post! Very thought provoking. Great photos too. Thank you for sharing.

maepen said...

Hi Amber and Stacy. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Amber look up Nicola Tesla. He did a great many things and was a very prominent person during that time period. I'd be happy to help out with your research if you need anything.

Sarah Raplee said...

Great post, Mae! You are so right about the similarities between the Victorian Era and the current era. People are struggling to adapt.

Judith Ashley said...

Interesting post, Mae. I see similarities between the Regency era and my early years (1940's and 50's in particular). Interesting the similarities between the Victorian era and now...

Your enthusiasm for Steampunk is palpable. So glad you're publishing your stories!

maepen said...

Thanks Sarah and Judith. You girls have been a big motivator for me.

Bonnie said...

I love the pictures and the post. I never really thought about why so many people were into Victorian times. Every year my mom drags me to a Victorian tea. They usually show under wear or shoes or even mourning favors. It's really interesting.

maepen said...

I'm jealous Bonnie. :) We have a little tea I'm looking forward to put on by a local sewing guild. I love being able to ask veteran costumers how I can improve.
This year I learned how to make patterns fit my size despite what size the pattern is for.
Isn't it interesting how fashions change and yet stay the same?

Diana Mcc. said...

I enjoyed your post, Mae! Love the pictures.