Steampunk aesthetics and philosophy

Something has gotten into my mind that I think I can post here, mainly because it has some genuine content and might actually with time develop into an essay.

Whilst the aesthetics of Steampunk, to which I have dedictated a whole section of this website, are fairly clearly defined, there does not seem to be a clearly defined philosophy behind Steampunk. At least, there does not seem to be one when compared to, say, Gothic.

So far, Steampunks strike me as an optimistic, inventive and very well mannered lot, but I wonder if this is due to the nature of Steampunk itself. I guess Victoriana on Absinthe holds very little appeal to brutes and nitwitts, so it is a certin kind of people who gets attracted to Steampunk.

I guess all Steampunks are dreamers to a certain degree, longing for a time when technology was also about looks, the world was still a place with white spots on the map and eccentricity was something acceptable. There are also those who imagine themselves as Jule-Vernian swashbucklers, to whom adventures take on a more gritty and sometimes more bloody form.

But I do not think that there is any real philosophy as such. There is no “goal” to the subculture other than being inoffensively eccentric.

Actually, this is propably a good thing, as so far, I have not seen any antagonism comming from the mainstream against Steampunk. I have encuntered nothing at all. This is a major difference with regards to other highly visible subcultures like Heavy Metal, Gothic, Punk and Hip Hop, which all have been accused of various kinds of misdemeanor, ranging from vandalism to excessive drug use to Satanism.

Nothing of this sort is thrown at Steampunks, and I am quite pleased with that.

Wait a minute: Tinkering, optimism and embracing a certain set of aethetics into ones life is a philosophy in itself, so my initial statement was wrong: There is a philosophy behind Steampunk.

If reading this, you disagree, I welcome your comments.