The t-shirts are getting more ironic by the day (the best one I saw was a t-shirt with a t-shirt on it, which I think is far more hilarious than the lame-o shirt with Abe Lincoln dressed like a pirate, but whatever) and I guess I'm not the biggest fan of the artwork (not much of it can compete with the stuff that Meagan draws anyway).
More steampunk jewelry and art and stuff, though. It is fucking ridiculous - the speed which that trend is hurling into the mainstream - they've got Victorian-buttoned boots and fake vintage gaslamps at fucking Target.
I'm not saying that people are gonna deck themselves out in corsets and goggles and tailcoats (I wouldn't, that's for sure, but I do wear a recycled clockgear necklace every day because it's fucking awesome) because that's for the extremists, but pretty soon we're gonna have T-shirts etched with armillary spheres and everyone is going to get astronomical compass tattoos. You just wait. Oh, and don't start with me about how clocks don't have steam so they're not steampunk - it's the philosophy behind building the gears, and you fucking know it.
I mean, it's been around forever, but are all those steampunk and gadgetfan believers going to be pissed when their style edges more obviously into pop culture (books, movies, fashion)? It's gorgeous stuff sometimes, but (much like the vampire business) the point is that it's a ruthless, romantic fringe movement. Steampunk is about savage changes at an astounding rate, it's about exploring the smokey, nostalgic corners of your brain where your mind is racked and pinioned together and finding a reflecting mind out in the ether of fiction - which is really, really, really, in all honesty, extraordinarily hard to do. It gives substance to a brutal, lush reverie without trivialization.
How are all of these fantasies going to retain that element of escapism when they're imitated to the point of irrelevance? Is it more important to share that arcane fantasy with someone who'd never experienced it, or more important to protect the idea and keep it safe from those who would cheapen the value you've personally given it?
I mean, that's applicable to any trend.
There are works of art, and they mean something to people. It should be shared - but it should be understood first.
...I want to find all those fantasy books that I just overly consumed and fed off of in high school, and now I don't remember any titles or authors.
Later Addition, Because I'm Embarassed That I Wrote This: I don't want anyone to think I know what I'm talking about here. I really don't know much about steampunk from a social perspective. I never followed it or sought it out, but after seeing all this shit on Etsy and stuff, I started looking it up online. I was like, "This looks like it came from those books I used to read. Fucking awesome." And then I discovered it was this entire genre of wonderful crap that all these people were crazy obsessed with, and then I thought about genres losing momentum, and how sad it is, and how some things are specialer when they're kept secret.