Sunday, October 7, 2012

Poll Question: Has Steampunk jumped the proverbial shark?


A while back I was enduring an offshoot of the television show "Say Yes to the Dress" (can't recall the name of the show at the moment), when the lead fellow of the program said he was going to do a "Steampunk wedding".  I was a bit more intrigued than I might usually be regarding such a show, but must admit, I was a tad disappointed at what passed for a Steampunk gown, which culminated in using old utensils for the bride's topper.  When I say disappointed, I am referring to what seems (at least to me), the use of the genre a prototypical "quirk and strange 'topic of the week' for a number of entertainment endeavors".  I was unable to locate said episode of the show, but as luck would have it, I came across another endeavor, titled "Bling It On", where a Miss Amanda (aka, Miss Belladonna Belleville) engages in a yeoman effort to explain basic concepts regarding Steampunk to the show's main designer.  Alas, the designer / host seemed to have an "octopus is dancing on my head" gaze... but I speculate condensing Steampunk into a soundbite of length was a bit much to take in at that point (as I'm unfamiliar with the "nuts-and-bolts" of the production of this particular show).  I did sigh a bit during the video, and again was stymied in my efforts to find the full episode (a Google / TLC search resulted in a baker discussing a cake - not quite the result I was hoping to find).

With this in mind, I suppose its time trot out the well-worn trope of "Has Steampunk 'Jumped the Shark'".  As I haven't run a poll question in quite a while regarding perceptions on this topic, so I'll do so now... has it been over exposed in the general media?  I realize most involved in the genre are not concerned about the perceptions of those seeking to make a quick dollar (e.g. using it for a television episode, or as a passing curiosity), which is quite fine, but as one who enjoys reading Kondratiev wave theories (even for topics beyond macroeconomic theory), I do wonder where the genre might stand in regards to it.  I've been prattling on a bit, so allow me to continue to the simple questions:

Question 1:
Has Steampunk "Jumped the Shark" (has it reached its peak of popularity)?
No = well, no, it has further growth and potentially even more adherents in the future
Yes = the genre's popularity has peaked, and it has begun a downhill slide
Not quite sure = not quite sure if it has peaked or not

Question 2:
How long would you speculate Steampunk, as a genre, will continue to exist?
A few more years = it may be headed towards a decline
It will be around for at least a decade = self explanatory
It has established itself as a solid genre = again self explanatory

I'll certainly be looking forward to the outcome of the poll, which I shall keep open until the end of the month!

3 comments:

Eco In Black said...

1. Has steampunk jumped the shark?
No. I think Steampunk has huge room to grow, particularly in visual arts, music, and a greater showing of division of sub-groups.

2. How long do I speculate Steampunk, as a genre, will exist?
2 parts:
As a pop lit genre: a few more years.
As a trackable subculture of the West: at least a decade (but probably longer).

Camryn Forrest said...

Has Steampunk "Jumped the Shark" (has it reached its peak of popularity)?
No, it has recently become more visible and as a result, often misinterpreted. But it has not yet reached any peak of popularity, it is growing.

Question 2:
How long would you speculate Steampunk, as a genre, will continue to exist?
I believe it will remain as a trackable subculture indefinitely. As a reaction to the plethora of technology, which we use, but do not understand, steampunk gives an outlet to handcrafting, to simple machines, and to a time when form and function blended superbly. It is just beginning.

Steampunk Princess said...

Has Steampunk "Jumped the Shark"?

No.

How long would you speculate Steampunk, as a genre, will continue to exist?

It has established itself as a solid genre BUT like any genre, I believe it will come and go in popularity.