Assembled ladies and gentlemen of the Gaslamp Society For Love and Craft,
I know what lies deep in your heart.
I know what lies deep in your heart because it lurks in my cockles as well.
Some nights, I will admit, when I slip off my brass monocle and set it atop my leather-bound copy of The Time Traveler’s Atlas, a pang of ill humor may quaver through my organs. That is the dread quivering of doubt. It is the slow and gnawing prickling of a life devoted to a passion that demands ever more from my soul, drinking my energy and sapping my youth.
You have felt it too. Even the most devoted among you knows it and its insidious creep, like a fog atop the streets of London.
For how can I account for the long nights spent in my tinker space, straining my eye through my brass jeweler’s loupe to better adorn my cowboy boots with ornamental and dynamic gearwork? What if all of the practice sessions, perfecting the sound of my klezmer Clash coverband, were in vain? Has my zine app with its period-accurate printing-press typeface and its tintype gif-conversion, been an orderly but wasteful inkspill, meaningless in its infinitesimal trickle among the milky, cold expanses of the greater and uncaring universe?
Cast away your doubt, comrades, for it is a cruel devil’s trick, no more substantial than that fleeting thought I have had about moving out of my parents’ pool house. It is the monkeychatter of a society in the lustgrip of shimmering self-love, of a society who would rather round the edges and sand down the bolts that made our history great.
Steampunk is not dead. It has only just begun!
I look around at you and see such innovation.
Julio Vernez and his Steam Punk Santa Sleigh! Behold his robotic reindeer: Dashon, Dancilus, Truax, Prancibus, Vixit, Tardis, Lolita, Etsy, and Amanda Palmer!
Mary Shelley Duval and her charming Victorian Teacup terraria!
The Zombiedroid Parade, with its lumbering automata and their taste for brain-cogs!
These are not the products of some fad, ye assembled.
They are the very articles of greatness!
What we have here are pure expressions of ingenuity, of consequence, of consideration.
Make no mistake about it. In such a young field, we are the Titans. Our struggles will become legend, as the heroes of old. The battles we have discussed–Thaddeus Q. Tesla’s rightful battle to mount his mechanical spider wheelchair on Portland’s city buses, or the Permitting Wars that beset the Zeppelin Waterpolo LARPers of Cincinnati–those very battles will fallow the fields for future warriors. Our names will ring out at Burning Man and at Comic Con.
The charming songs of future music-box houses will praise our deeds!
And someday we will gain the greatest honor! We will ascend, as the Olympians did, to the very peak of our craft, our greatest hope: to show up in the background of a Katy Perry music video!