Why I Dislike Steampunk

I can't even...

I can’t even…

Now, I know that the title of my rant will be a bit controversial to the people who actually enjoy steampunk. Oh well, it’s my opinion and my blog. I can’t be expected to find everything aesthetically pleasing just because others want to shove it down my throat. That’s what it feels like; a bunch of people online trying to put steampunk down my throat and telling me that it’s okay even though it tastes like crap.

The number one thing that bothers me is the fact that it’s just yet another sub-genre of the Goth subculture. Don’t argue with me on the fact because it is. If the majority of the people participating in it listen to Goth music, go to the clubs and act like it’s a secret cabal then yes it falls under that umbrella. When the modern incarnation of steampunk reared its ugly head the uber-goobers from the Goth subculture slid right on over and started dressing in brown.

I’ll admit it, I’ve been an uber-goober in the past. However, I’ve grown up and moved on. The uber-goobers in the steampunk ‘culture’ are out in force. I always see people online telling others how their clothes aren’t good enough, or that they shouldn’t be gluing gears onto things. Maybe they don’t realize that not everybody has a good paying job, or enough time on their hands, to put such a huge effort into how they look. Steampunk, after all, is mainly image based. People can go on and on about the literature end of things, but do you honestly think the a lot of people into it have actually cracked open some Jules Verne books?

Almost ten years ago I had an online confrontation with the lead singer of Abney Park. I wish I would have screen saved the conversation because it was very enlightening. He told me that the reason why the band turned steampunk was to cash in early on the trend. I hope that shot down some of you dirigibles! That’s what it is: a trend. It is an ‘underground’ part of the Goth subculture that people have been getting in on to make some cash. By becoming steampunk people are just trying to latch onto what they think is the next big in alternative culture. It’s the same that happened when a bunch of Goths leapt over to the rave scene in the 90’s. Like the rave scene steampunk has a limited shelf life before it becomes totally mainstreamed. Actually, I’ve seen people claim that it is already mainstreamed. The steampunk jumpers will just hop straight back into the goth subculture from whence they came. Whatever genre of Goth that they were into before will be their home to go back to. Instead of bringing back glow-sticks and repetitive music they will perhaps bring back steampunk water guns and accordions?

Then, there is the whole appeal of it. What appeal? I don’t find steam powered devices appealing, mostly because they look too damn complicated. Also, I don’t like the color brown. You can pry my black clothes from my cold dead hands! Then there are the goggles. No, just no. There are tons of photos online of steampunk chicks wearing brown leather corsets with those damn goggles perched on their heads. It’s like a steampunk machine has stamped them out. I almost forgot, there is also the colonization theme of some it that makes me very uncomfortable. Do these people realize that the only people who had it good during the Victorian age were white men? That without modern technology, and ideas, we would probably still be stuck with segregation and other really terrible things? Do you know what? Let them create a theme park that they can play in that would show the reality of what such an era of time would be like.

That felt good! No, you will not be able to change my mind.

Leave a comment


  1. Panurge

     /  July 29, 2014

    Steampunk is the perfect expression of the Reagan Era–the idea that the pre-’60s past can be “fixed” so that we never have to deal with Those Awful Hippies that Both Sides hate. (Of course, they’re not really “both sides”, just two factions of one side, the Anti-Hippie Party, who have–inadvertently from one side–come together to form the real ruling coalition of Western popular culture, society, and politics.)


  2. I think it’s more like making up a world that never existed and forgetting the nasty parts of the Victorian era. But that’s just me.



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