But, two years later, I have an MA in steampunk and postcolonialism, and things are starting to look really cool in the steampunk world (as evidenced by the roundtable interviews you've been seeing!), and not only that, but I'm back to reviewing and thinking out loud for at least the next few months.
Steampunk postcolonialism has been doing great things for me. Everytime I do a Beyond Victoriana presentation at a con, people always want to talk to me afterwards. It's even more rewarding when it's a POC who's now gung-ho about exploring their own background (that favour Ay-Leen did me has been passed on!). Not only that, but steampunk's provided me a useful vehicle to think through issues of identity, race, marginalization.
I don't like everything I see in steampunk: lots of the literature's still same ol', same ol'; steampunk conventions are little cornucopias of consumerism; I still have to have the same old arguments with racists and racism-apologists who think that the imperialism inherent in so many of our systems today is A-OK because that's the way things worked out, hey? So get over it! (ahaha fuck you no).
But even that I can think through. Because steampunk is so many things, watching the steampunk subculture is even more of a slice of North American society that one mightn't see anywhere else, and not only that, the creative element of the entirety of steampunk combined offers a glimmer of hope, a light in the wall to a different world that is better. With hopefully fresher air. (It means that others and myself make a lot of noise and create a lot of dust digging / smashing out that wall.) (It is very hard rock, ok?)
So... I guess I will share with you a list of things that I've learned in the last year or so, from reading and writing and blogging and conventioning, and even costuming. Some of these are general life lessons, but which really hit home for me in the steampunk sphere:
- I cannot build anything worth shit.
--- This is why I still do not have any actual silver goggles.
- The vest makes a great silhouette, and a kind of armour.
--- Always buy clothes a little loose and let the vest handle the rest.
----- Damn, I put on weight fast.
- People get very antsy when I swear.
--- This may then devolve into whitesplainin'.
----- A decision will then have to be made whether I want to bother.
------- The answer is usually no.
- Packing will NEVER GET EASY (and I am a very seasoned traveler who knows how to pack light).
--- Made more difficult with a different outfit every day / night.
----- Blogging is a great way to procrastinate from packing.
------- Packing is a great way to procrastinate from something else.
- Always check local weather before packing.
--- The States is warmer than Canada.
----- California is warmer than New Jersey. Even though I went to Cali in spring and NJ in summer.
- 'Tis probably a good idea to find out someone's relationship status before hitting on them.
- A hotel room with double beds can fit a lotta people.
--- Helping each other dress and make up is fun.
- Even the awesomest, sweetest people can say and do intensely asshole things.
- Distance does not damper friendships.
- For whatever reason, I am pretty fucking lucky to be hanging out with very cool people on a regular basis.
Enough maudlin', back to work! Hope ya'll stick around for the next year!