Cabaret act spreads the steampunk word

copyright: Marco Sanchez

Society once gave artists tacit license to shock the bourgeoisie, hoping that the artists would produce modern masterpieces.

These days, with our most prominent politicians, celebrities and athletes — to say nothing of the “real” housewives of various American cities — exploding the boundaries of social acceptability as forcefully as any poète maudit ever did, the Miser has trouble imagining a still-shockable bourgeoisie. The mainstream seems to have put the avant-garde out of business.

One novel response, Steampunk, has encouraged artists and thinkers to move forward by going back, resulting in a mash-up of Eisenhower-era sci-fi, Victorian arts and crafts, and Rube Goldberg-like invention updated for the digital age.


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