I had an even better time at the Steampunk World’s Fair than I expected. I got to meet some amazing people, reconnect with old friends, and generally feel like I wasn’t just wasting my time all those years ago when I was editing SteamPunk Magazine. Because steampunk actually has a fairly strong and growing contingent who views the whole thing as more than just an excuse to dress up funny. Plus, we all got to dress up funny.
While I enjoyed What Time Is It Mr. Fox and Frenchie & The Punk (both exampled below), I think the show was really stolen by Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, not the least because two of my friends are in it. I’ll have videos of them online in the next day or so, with any luck. I’ve never really been able to give a good example of what I think steampunk music should be, (Sorry, Abney Park, I like some of your music but it doesn’t scream steampunk to me.) but now I do. And I should have realized it earlier: crazy marching bands acting like a bunch of punks while playing acoustic instruments, getting enough of them together to really be raucous.
And of course there was a labor rally run by a steampunk Emma Goldman, counter-protested by some rich gentlemen.
There were discussions on intersectionality and steampunk, cultural appropriation, race, gender, class, and all sorts of things that really do need to be taken seriously.
But I was most impressed by the people. I’m too used to being around cynical, grumpy anarchists these days and it was refreshing to meet earnest, engaged, political people who weren’t embarrassed to put skeletal steampunk ravens on their shoulders and talk one day about how to make cheap stuff look cool and then, the next, why we need to fight.