May 08, 2008

Return of the Gunslingers

I MUST SAY I was rather pleased to see an article, in today's edition of The New York Times, which reports on the emerging popularity of the "steampunk" subculture. Living in the provinces as I do, I had not realized that steampunk -- which combines modern-day technology with the fashions and mannerisms of the late 19th century -- had made the move from science-fiction literature to an actual subculture. But that said, I approve of it.

I realize this may come as a surprise to Loyal Rant Readers. After all, I have settled well into my chosen lifestyle, that of a traditionalist, curmudgeonly Midwesterner, albeit one with certain decadent weaknesses (like sashimi) internalized during a period of high living in my twenties. Consequently, my idea of fashion involves buying a new power tie. But as a traditionalist, curmudgeonly Midwesterner -- one who often looks upon the foibles of this modern age with a mix of cynicism, shock and despair -- I find much to like about steampunk culture. For one thing, there's this quote from Mr Giovanni James, a devotee of the subculture:

"“I’m so sick of baggy pants hanging off your bottom,” he said. “This is more refined. It goes back to a time when people had some dignity. It’s a new day.”

I mean, I don't know about you, but in my book, any subculture which encourages stylish dress -- along with wearing neckties and bowties as a matter of course -- can't be a bad thing.

Also, on a related note, I understand that a certain subgroup of young people in New York are eschewing modern mores for the joys of family life -- to the point where one magazine has dubbed them "New Victorians." Why, there might just be hope for the kids yet.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 8, 2008 10:15 PM | TrackBack
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