This could actually develop into a rant or an inflamatory speech.
So, what does it mean to be a steampunk?
For me it’s more of a question what does it mean to be a German steampunk. Most steampunks I know are from North America or the British Isles and thus draw their inpiration from the reign of Queen Victoria and the time of the Civil War onwards.
For Germans it’s a little bit more tricky, if only because some of us still think we were the bad guys of the 20th century. Take a look at what happened elswhere (Boer War, Trail of Tears, The Great Leap foreward, you get the picture). Everyone has some skelletons in the closet and it’s god damn 120 – 63 years ago. I was not around, my father wasn’t around why should I feel guilt? Of course I still could have chosen to base my steampunk persona, my look etc. on some British gentleman, I did not.
I am firmly rooted in early Imperial Germany, the Emperor of my choice is Friedrich III and I am not going to call him by his anglicized name in this blog. My skies are filled with Zeppelins, not airships, and Germans certainly are not Huns.
The particular time period offers so much from a German perspective: Graf Zeppelin invented the, well, Zeppelin, Germany industrialized quite heavily, there were so many inventions by Germans at the time and so many brilliant scientists. Why not add some weird, steampunk science to the picture?
I have chosen to modify the look and feel of Imperial Germany for my personal Steampunk Æsthetics. Why should I use British or American? Steampunk is partly based on the workes of Jules Verne and the protagonist of Journey to the Center of the Earth is German, so the grand old master obviously had no resentiments, why should I?
After all, my Germany, highly romanticized and very weird, very steampunk, will never go to war over some squabble in the Balkans, and why bother with colonies when there’s the æther waiting to be explored…
So I’m an officer of the Kaiserliches Zeppelinkorps. I love my country and I love adventure. With an advanced Zeppelin design, the world and the Æther is ripe for exploration!
Lang lebe der Kaiser!