googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Steampunk Part 2

Steampunk Part 2

     Recently I was looking at the web site for the Steampunk troupe, The League of S.T.E.A.M. They reminded my of The Charlatans, the “living theater” Victorian Age Rock & Roll band / acting troupe that launched the Hippie Movement of the 1960s.
    Steampunk’s philosophy is the “what if” (an old theater exercise) the technology of today developed on the same course it seemed to be on in the 1800s. Even the 1900s up to the time just after World War Two.
    The astrolabe was a mechanical device that dates back thousands of years. We were a world of metal and leather and gears and pulleys and tracks and steam powered (hence the Steam in Steampunk) and although we had electricity since the late 1800s, it was not the all encompassing power source it is today. Steampunk imagines the world of Jules Verne’s futuristic novels where the future, our world, is a logical evolution and machines run the world. These machines may incorporate electricity and be powered by electricity but the workings are still mostly mechanical. It also imagines if the fashion of 1880 survived until today. Romantic, but not too likely.
    Watching some Steampunk videos make me suddenly realize what a strange left turn we made after World War Two. Maybe the Roswell conspiracy buffs have something after all, when you think about it. The road we were on was as the Steam Punks say yet somehow and terribly sudden we went from steam and metal to electricity and plastic. Gone are most “working parts”, replaced by circuits and transistors. Steam was replaced by petroleum, a natural evolution, but the use of electricity seems to be taking over and it’s pretty alien if you think about it. Even a student of mechanical engineering would have a hard time understanding how a home computer works, or the microwave oven or a fax machine. The moving parts have been replaced but some kind of magic made of plastics with their own life force.
    Guys today, guys old enough to remember when, lament the time when one could work on his own car. It was a mechanical device and by just carefully looking at it a mechanically inclined individual could eventually figure out how it worked and how to fix it or improve it. Now you need a computer scientist to give your car a tune up. It would be unimaginable for someone living in the Fifties to believe that someday we’d all be driving cars made of plastic. Imagine what a watch maker from the past would make of the electronic powered digital watches of today with no springs or gears. When you think about it, the technology of today doesn’t seem a natural evolution but rather an alien, perhaps reversed engineered technology. Thanks Steampunk, for showing us where we are.


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