Wanted: Attitude Adjustment

How do we expect people to grow to love steampunk as much as we do if we treat them like jerks?

J.P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan chases a photographer away with his stick (Library of Congress)

What I’ve recently noticed quite a lot in steampunk is a sad and worrisome trend. Namely the fact that a lot of new things and newcomers get shot down immediately.

This attitude frankly reeks of elitism, something 90 percent of this international community has been priding itself on that it wouldn’t tumble down that road.

Newsflash ladies and gentlemen, we’re well on the way to become equally bitchy and elitist as the average Lolita community. (No offence meant to the nice followers of said J-fashion, I know for a fact those exist by the bucketloads!)

The approach to someone trying something new, or just joining and making some (common) mistakes, is not to go and bitch at them or moan like some grannie with God-knows-what ailment.

How do we expect people to grow to love steampunk as much as we do if we treat them like this?

How do we expect his movement to continue growing and being diverse if we act like this?

And most importantly, how do we expect people to learn new skills and improve on existing ones if we put them off doing so?

Instead of bitching, moaning and acting like jerks, we should take a good, long look at our attitude toward all things steam and adjust. See how you can help others, so we can all enjoy this thing we love and have a good time. Maybe we’ll even learn something new and make friends along the way!


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Man, all I want is for people to stop calling dieselpunk things steampunk. It’s not exactly helping the movement or art style when we’re always lumped in with ‘that other’ retro-futuristic movement.

I agree with you Hilde. You have said what we have been preaching down in Texas for some time. I am not surprised this is happening, as it is unfortunately human nature, but I am surprised that anyone that tries to tout themselves as experienced or knowledgeable didn’t see what a firestorm erupted when some silly online reporter tried to make a name for themselves by poking fun at newcomers to Steampunk at the Arizona Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention. The best thing that could be said was that hundreds of posts were logged to a single online magazine article totally trashing the idea that anyone can or should rigidly define someone else’s art. It also was a great testament to how many people that are sick to death of elitism and the super Lemming Gene Game of find the “popular kids” in the room and let’s all try to be just like them while we compete to see who can poke their nose up a certain part of their anatomy the farthest as a way to establish oneself in the local pecking order. I personally am actually more interested in Diesel Punk, Steampunk, or Clockpunk styles that show something new, so long as it appears real thought and effort was put into making the final ensemble work well together for the purpose intended. Regardless, that is only my taste, and I actually believe that anything that shows any kind of effort translated into something to wearer feels makes their experience at an event more participation and entertaining, is always wonderful! Let’s get back to basics and return to putting the “Punk” in Steampunk, Diesel Punk, and Clockpunk, as we not only rebel against the trendy, but also as we support the idea of individual creativity as an artistic outlet!

I’ve yet to witness anything resembling n00b bashing in the Steampunk community, but it’s a safe bet it won’t go unaddressed if/when I do. What are we, a bunch of pubescent clods so fearful that we’ll go unrecognized that the only recourse we can take is to find someone not quite as up to snuff as we are and dump on them? Goodness, I thought we’d left that sort of thing in the halls after graduating high school.

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