A couple weeks ago I was hanging at Salt Creek with Ted and Tim. Ted asked me if I was going steampunk and I said no, but I should have said yes. The thing is, I'm a Neo-Victorian, a formalist and a stoic, but personally I think a lot of that will get expressed in my evolving style which is somewhat steamy.
I first got a taste of Neo-Victorian ethics from Neal Stephenson's 'The Diamond Age', a decade or so again. I have since reread the book and much of what sounded stunning then made simple sense the next time. My second dousing came from another aesthetic tangent, which was inspired by the assemblage of Tom Sachs. The third pillar of this emerging way came out of my growing attraction for some pop culture, from the original Sherlock Holmes books and then into the two Guy Ritchie films plus a healthy dollop of Downton Abbey with a not inconsequential dose of Stephen Fry's Jeeves & Wooster. Yeah I know it's House but I can't remember his real name. I think the final two nails for me is my growing appreciation for bespoke maker stuff, and finally if not most importantly, the revolution that is for me Dickens' Bleak House.
What's currently top of mind is filling in the martial education I didn't receive from this society. I would like to have the patience for swords, but carrying is going to be troublesome. So it's going to be short blades and Aikido for the near term, as well as precision rifle. On the daily I am still in the throes of excitement over EDC, and am evolving my kit as appropriate for my gearhead/hacker/maker profession and my Western American sensibilities. I hike. I backpack. I camp. If we'd had game out this way, I'd be a hunter. If we had streams, I'd be a fisherman. As it stands we have ocean, so I'm a body surfer. The bottom line is I'm a regular outdoorsman and that will play into the ultimate style. There's also a heavy streak of intelligence and spycraft in my personality. Cloaks are my style. Obviously I am a writer and coder - so there are my indoor martial skills.
I think all of this coalesces for me in a kind of Old School Tactical. Finally I have gotten tired of most things carbon fiber and that whole Oakley vibe has soured. I'm more apt to be satisfied with low cost materials and replaceable parts. Except for my iPhone. But a kinetic watch with Zulu straps? Bang on. Repurposed Altoid tins? Yep. Black leather boots? Amen.
My steampunk idol would be Teddy Roosevelt and although I've not yet read so much of Rudyard Kipling and of adventures in the Raj, I'm expecting some freebooting spirit to be alive in what comes next for me. While I'm currently reading the Aubrey Maturin series as well as my first overview of Kafka (The Castle), there is something about the eras of discovery between those two periods that has my interest. You see in the Age of Sail, most everything made was made bespoke but subject to divine rights. By Kafka's time, the pendulum toward attempting to manufacture everything for the masses and its attendent bureacratic hierarchies had destroyed what was golden.
This fits for me into the establishment of a new web of trust among the Alternative Slice that will be the foundations of the first post-national collective. The question is how it will manage in a world of sovereign currency. I suppose rather like the black markets.