WASHINGTON, August 13, 2013 — Don’t get me wrong. I like modern technology. However, steampunk has its own mesmerizing charm that often feels more realistic than clean, futuristic and modern tech.
I think if the world goes into some post-apocalyptic future where all our fossil fuels and modern technologies run out and fall to their demise, we might need to go back to those good old steam-powered machinery, which I personally don’t mind at all. (Zombies and other creepy creatures, however, are definitely less welcome.)
It was in 1987 when K.W. Jeter, author of the novel Morlock Night, came up with the term steampunk to describe a new sub-genre of fiction where steam (and not electricity, gasoline, nuclear reactors, or any other energy source) brought about our “present” technological advancements. The result is a highly stylized design that is at once futuristic and old.
Since then, artistic inspiration from this literary genre has infiltrated almost every facet of pop culture and daily life including movies, anime, cosplay or costume play, and even cars such as those called “Rat-Rods” (which I’m thinking of writing about eventually).
Among my favorite embodiments of such artistic inspiration is this Ironman cosplay, re-invented steampunk style.
Interestingly (and rather ironically), steampunk also broke through the vapor-“smoking” population, with people modifying their pipes and e-cigarettes to look like steampunk devices.
While we’re on the topic of mods, laptops and other gadgets were also customized to look all steampunk. (Mine will soon be underway.)
But of course, when we talk about pop culture, we cannot leave movies out. Steampunk has already been featured in a number of films, including Will Smith’s Wild Wild West, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and so much more.
I haven’t watched Franklyn or Steamboy, but people tell me these films have a ton of steampunk in them. I’m definitely going to look for these movies soon.
Finally, the Rat Rods, my personal favorite. I think they still carry that steampunk feel even if in actuality, they run on gas.
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