Steampunk’s been declared dead, or about to die, many times. Most often, it is when some aspect of the mainstream, whatever that is, picks up some pieces of Steampunk. Suddenly totally “unhip” people know the big secret, and you can get some Steampunk stuff in your shopping malls. And everyone thinks this is the end of the world. So I’ll let you in on the forbidden Lore, the knowledge of the Illuminated Masters, the hidden truth:
There is no Steampunk secret.
There is no Steampunk secret. Steampunk, as I discussed other places, has no hidden Masters; in fact, it has no Masters at all, just some people who do a lot of it and make interesting things.
“An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is to become a Benighted Slave.”
~Robert Anton Wilson
Sure, you can find a wrong way to do anything – every time I hear a Reeses commercial that says there’s no way to eat their snacks, I get a perverse purge to attempt to absorb it into my body using my fingers for osmosis. But honestly, would even the Reese’s company consider that wrong? Especially if already paid for their damn candy bar. If that’s what I want to do, I may not actually ingest the thing, but I’m getting fair use out of it.
You could, I’m sure find some way to do Steampunk wrong; there infinitely creative ways for human beings to mess up if they really want to. You could claim that your pet cat is a working 747 jet airplane, and I think most of us will generally agree that you are not correct. But if you work hard and your feline wants you to pick her up and run around your place making jet engine noises and claiming to be a passenger aircraft, then we will at least recognize you’re trying, and while we probably wouldn’t buy tickets for that flight, we would find it adorable.
Likewise, you can take a chicken burrito and claim that it is Steampunk and, if you really want to be proud of yourself, you can watch the rest of us try to figure out what the hell you mean. But that’s not really being wrong, that’s just intentionally messing with people’s heads. If you have some way to tie that burrito into the vast world of what Steampunk could be, then dammit, I see no reason why even that couldn’t be steampunk, given a bit of ingenuity and a sincere desire to create something that others would appreciate.
How do you kill Steampunk? You can’t; it’s not something that “lives” or “dies”; it’s something that we create and keep creating. That is its own special vitality, and it comes from all of us.
How can you do Steampunk wrong? Only one way I know. hose who tell you that their way is the only right way? Those are the only ones were definitely doing it wrong.
Jeff Mach Events