Monday, July 9, 2007

Cogs

"The behemoth lay in low curves on the ground, silent. The sun glinted off of its slick blue and white carapace, making a ghostly reflection of itself on the close-cropped grass."

Some days, I wish we could return to the style of the 40's and 50's. Sweeping curves, high gloss two tone paint jobs, lots of chrome. Technology was the new thing, and absurd and occasionally useful devices were everywhere. Gas was cheap and the cars were big, decadent symbols of the booming American economy. The future was sunny, populated by friendly robots who would help around the house, atomic powered airplanes that would fly from New York to Paris in an hour, and happy loving families.

I wonder what is so comforting about fantasies like this. Why is steampunk becoming a more mainstream (well, at least closer to it than most tech culture) aesthetic? It is a particularly odd time to revisit the straitlaced and psudo-scientific Victorian culture as we are currently attempting to create an enlightened scientific culture. The DIY crowd has also seen a resurgence, as outlets such as "Make" and "Instructables.com" tell you how to make things you never even knew you wanted to make. Is it simply that our technology has crossed a threshold, where the average person has so little comprehension of what is actually the basis for the tools they use that they need to track back to a time that can be understood? Or is it some other reason? Currently, I have no solid conclusion about the causes of this societal shift, or really any hypotheses for that matter. It is something that I think should be looked into at some point, hopefully by someone more versed in sociology than myself.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Steampunk is legit. I've stumbled upon some of their stuff. We should make a steampunk house, all old but hella high tech.