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Captain's Blog, Stardate 092023.11: A Deeper Dive into the Gears of Steampunk: Aesthetics, Philosophy, and Millennium FANDOM BAR's Steampunk Night

Captain's Blog, Stardate 092023.11: A Deeper Dive into the Gears of Steampunk: Aesthetics, Philosophy, and Millennium FANDOM BAR's Steampunk Night


Fandom FactoidThe MFB is a zeppelin inspired by the Steampunk worlds, as a "vessel to take you to Your Fandom!"

Steampunk: a term you've likely heard, but what exactly does it mean? As we gear up (pun intended) for one of our biggest nights of the year —what better way to prepare than to delve into the incredible world of Steampunk, which is so much more than cogs and top hats. Films like "The Golden Compass" and books like "Mortal Engines" are classic examples of Steampunk in modern media.

Historical Context

Steampunk draws heavily from the Victorian era—a time known for its remarkable technological advances, like the steam engine and the telegraph. Yet, it also incorporates elements that are purely speculative, or what Victorians might consider futuristic. Think of "Wild Wild West," the 1999 film that marries western elements with Victorian tech.

Fandom Factoid: Did you know that the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" comic series blends Victorian-era characters with Steampunk elements? The series unites fictional characters like Captain Nemo and Dr. Jekyll, all set in a steam-driven world.

Visual Aesthetics

Steampunk is immediately recognizable: gears, cogs, brass, leather, and plenty of flair. From intricate gadgets like ornate pocket watches to elaborate costumes that include goggles and vests, Steampunk revels in the complexities of machinery, and gives a nod to the era that heralded modern engineering. The costumes often seen at conventions take inspiration from a blend of historical periods and speculative fiction.

Philosophical Underpinnings

Beyond the cogs and corsets, Steampunk serves as a critique of both historical and modern cultural norms. By fusing elements of the past and the future, Steampunk poses intriguing questions about our relationship with technology and industrialization. Works like "The Difference Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling delve into alternative histories with Steampunk elements.

Fandom Factoid: The airships in the "Final Fantasy" video games were inspired by Steampunk aesthetics. These flying vehicles serve as a central transportation hub, emphasizing the blend of old and new technologies.

Steampunk in Modern Day

Today, Steampunk is everywhere—from movies and TV shows like "Penny Dreadful" to fashion and home décor. It has moved beyond a subgenre of science fiction to become a cultural aesthetic that influences various aspects of daily life, even inspiring events and conventions dedicated solely to Steampunk.

Why Steampunk Matters

Steampunk serves as a unique lens through which we can critique and appreciate both the past and the present. Its romanticized view of history mixed with elements of fantasy and futurism allows us to ponder what could be and what has been. Books like "Perdido Street Station" offer a gritty look at a Steampunk world filled with political nuance.

Fandom Factoid: The world of "Bioshock Infinite" is deeply rooted in Steampunk influences, from its visuals to its political themes. The floating city of Columbia exemplifies the genre's whimsical yet thought-provoking architecture.

Steampunk Night at MFB

So whether you're a long-time Steampunk aficionado or new to this fascinating world, we invite you to join us on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, for a night of Steampunk wonder! Enjoy live music from THE MIDNIGHT CABARET, vendor stalls, and our latest cocktail and mocktail creations. Feel free to don your corsets, gears, and all the brass you can muster. And remember, 'Cosplay or not, Let's Fandom!'