These next few article are not for the 101 Students of Steampunk. It might even turn you off to the whole notion of steampunk, because you will see that we are people, not to be held to higher standers. Though we are trying to make a better tomorrow by looking back on yesterday with the enthusiasm and esthetic of the Victorian age with out the Racism and Sexism of the pre-Industrial age, there is one thing we can not escape, the issue of class.

Class, we are not talking about class as it is in India or even an Upper and Lower class of the modern day. There is still class in the world of steampunk. It is usually not seen at conferences based around Pop Culture, but it can be seen in smaller groups and Steampunk based conferences. We (steampunk) work completely the opposite of modern society, Makers and Artists are the stars, you know their name even if you don’t know their face.  The people that are the consumers don’t make the rules some are even act a lot like groupies. If you are a good enough Maker/Artist, people will pay you to come and give talks about your work and process.

We respect people on their work and creativity rather then their looks. The most popular are not necessarily the prettiest, though there is a place for that but the one that think outside the box for most.

The steampunk community can be very small, sometimes little clashes can rip us apart which almost happened to this New England branch over copyright laws. It is like a famous person protecting their rights (though the paparazzi forget that) Some of these Makers/Artists are trying to make a living selling there art, in this case a photo and a character idea. When someone takes it and crops out distinguishing marks and does not give the model (who came up with the character) or the Photographer credit. Putting it out and telling everyone they made they made it, is stealing even thought the person was not making any money on it and is not looking for fame or glory from it. The Steampunk society split makes the artist the bad party for saying “no, you did not ask take it down” and consumers say “but I like it, leave it “ When this happens and by virtue of numbers (there being fewer Makers/ Artist then consumers) they have made us second class citizens by taking with out thought, instead of the back bone kind Subculture.

The Great New England Steampunk Exhabition

(TGNESE)

This was a lovely time for the paying guests. While it was the first year for this con, it had a fairly large turnout. The one scheduling problem I found was the when Abney Park was scheduled there was nothing opposite it now I love there music but I have seen them so many times that I did not want to see them again. Because it was not an event where you bought a different ticket the price for the weekend was really to high.   However if you were a VIP guest you had a horrendous time, this is due to the hotel who blamed us for everything, from a loud drunk wedding party that ran up and down the halls yelling “Whhhooow Steampunk” to the fact that the lobby was left a mess by this same loud rude group.

I got a call to my room at 6:30 on Saturday saying that we have to move hotels and needed to be checked out by 7. Some people did not get this call, instead they where woken by a maid at there door telling them they need to clean for paying guests. Due to some back handed cuckolding on the hotels part, they charged us the twice the original fee for the use of the space and threatened to close us down at 3 different times during the event. I who worked 3 months on organizing a fashion show (on the first day… which is never heard of) did not get paid even though I was supposed to. NEVER NEVER I repeat NEVER go to the Co Co Keys, Courtyard by Marriott in Fitchburg mass. They are rude and have gotten lots of angry letters from the attendees of the Convention. On a much happier note, they are planning for next year and have already signed the Convention Center in Hartford CT which is where Conneticon is every year.

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