Thursday, February 21, 2013

Steampunk is getting hip... and so far it's not a good thing

Well, Steampunk is in the Urban Dictionary, and it's not very pretty.  Though parts of the definitions are quire accurate, some are just ridiculous.  Suddenly "Medieval Steampunk" constitues all speculative fiction set in the Middle Ages?  We "love fiddly gears and shiny metal things?"  We're all goths that discovered the color brown?  My personal favorite is definition #5:

"A delayed afterbirth of all the lame subcultures spawned in the 1990's, because everything has to evolve into a trend and everyone needs to feel they can wholeheartedly ascribe to something."
Well I'm thoroughly insulted now.  (If you aren't by now, just read definition #8.)  Seriously?  I suppose that to those fabulously intelligent and well-informed people who wear their hats backwards and their pants down around their knees, Steampunk would be lame.  But if Steampunk is lame, I sure-as-hell don't want to be cool.  All that these definitions have in common is that Steampunk is a subculture.  As for the rest, well it does include speculative fiction, and it does involve costumes which can occasionally resemble goth clothes, and Steampunk machinery relies heavily on gears, but I can't help but be distressed by some of these definitions.  Perhaps I'm taking my Steampunk-ness too seriously.

I suppose there is a positive side to this.  Eight high school hipsters with too much time on their hands posted definitions of Steampunk on Urban Dictionary.  That means that people actually know what Steampunk is, or at least they're heard of it.  And now that it is on Urban Dictionary, it's bound to peak the interest of even more people.  So perhaps there is no such thing as bad publicity.  Time will tell, as it always does.

The Lonely Alchemist

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