Writing the Next Chapter

Posted By on June 26, 2016

“Now, as we close one chapter, the pen is gradually inking up, preparing itself to write the next.”

― Mie Hansson, Danish poet, writer, publisher and visual artist

Like most here I was in shock when I learned that Dieselpunks.org was going to close on June 23rd. Very few things have changed my life as this site and Tome’s friendship has. After the shock passed I decided that I couldn’t just let Dieselpunks.org die. I had to do something to help keep Tome’s vision alive.

Emails flew between I, Tome and others as we hammered out a plan to save Dieselpunks.org. The biggest challenge we encountered was the hard deadline of paying the host by June 23rd or the lights on Dieselpunks.org would go out. When we realized that a point man was needed to make this happen I volunteered to be that man. With everyone in agreement I made the needed investment.

So now that I’ve grabbed the bull by the horns I find myself asking what do I do with it?

Maybe I should start by introducing myself to the community.

My name is Larry Amyett, or ‘Boss Larry’, and I’ve been a dieselpunk since discovering this site back in 2009, shortly after Tome launched it. I’m the founder of the North Texas Dieselpunks, co-host of Diesel Powered Podcast as well as web master and owner of the adult web site Dieselpunks After Dark (NSFW!) as well as it’s PG-13 Facebook sister page. In addition, I helped create and maintain the Dieselpunk Encyclopedia. I worked with others to write the Wikipedia article on ‘Dieselpunk’. I’ve been writing a blog about Dieselpunk since November of 2009. I’ve written articles about Dieselpunk in magazines such as the Gatehouse Gazette as well as writing the introduction for the book ‘Dieselpunk Anthology’ published by Twit Publishing.

Now that you know a little about me, let me share some of my ideas for Dieselpunks.org.

The most important thing you need to know is that I intend to keep the ship on the course set by Tome. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So rest assured that there won’t be major changes to Dieselpunks.org right away.

Dieselpunks finds a new home at the 11th hour!

Posted By on June 23, 2016

After seven years, I’ll be stepping down from my role as manager but Dieselpunks will continue roaring into 2017!

Thanks to a very generous effort from long-time contributor “Boss” Larry Amyett, we will keep our doors open for another year.

What does this mean to you?

  • Boss Larry joined forces with a small group of dedicated fans to extend our annual hosting plan into next year.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be transitioning all of our admin accounts over to Boss Larry including the website and social networks like Facebook, G+, etc.  Grant Larry the same love and respect you’ve shown me, and everything should be alright.
  • The music licenses from BMI, Sony, and the rest will stay in place until July.  At that point, they’ll be transitioned to a “live performance” license so I can continue with my DJ/VJ productions at Jazz Age Style.  Boss Larry has plans to replace the current Dieselpunks Music Player with a streaming station, so stay tuned for new details.
  • This is Boss Larry‘s first time behind the wheel of a site like this, so you might see some weird changes as he gets used to the controls.  Don’t panic.  Shelter in place and everything will be okay.

What can I do to help?

  • Stop lurking.  Seriously.  If you love something, contribute to it!  If you don’t feel like you have anything insightful to add to our network, just log in to say “hi” to your fellow dieselpunks.  Ask questions.  Make friends.  It’s incredibly disheartening to know that thousands of you have never bothered to say hello on the forums.  Dieselpunks aren’t passive observers!  We build!  We grow!  Be bold and stop treating this website like a newspaper.  Get chatty.  Change the world.
  • If you love engaging with other dieselpunks and you love the free content we bring to you, consider sending a donation to Boss Larry.  I’ll let him announce the best way to chip in.  Just remember that every dollar helps.  We make no money running this site, and every fee we incur comes straight out of our pockets.

Mad Max: Fury Road – thoughts on feminism

Posted By on June 22, 2016

This review is totally late, but when the movie came out, I was in the middle of prep for my commercial flight test (which I passed – I’m officially a commercial pilot!) so sue me.

This movie was awesome in every way. My husband was skeptical because I’d put on the original Mad Max to educate myself on the franchise and the movie was a very 80’s style movie with a lot of draggy bits, and so little dialogue as to make the plot confusing, and all the female characters got fridged.

So he wasn’t expecting much until I explained that the anti-feminists were freaking out and boycotting it, at which point he said, “Well, then it must be good!”

There’s been a ton of reviews already, and it sounds like it’s been nominated for a whole bunch of awards to do with the aesthetics of the movie, which were amazing. This is like, the definition of dieselpunk, and the style of dieselpunk I like most. The creativity in the worldbuilding and set and prop design are amazing.

I’d like to comment on the whole feminist thing. It wasn’t really a “feminist” movie. It just wasn’t misogynist. It’s nice to have something to point to when directors are including gratuitous sexual assault scenes in a movie to vilify their villains, to show them you can have a movie centred around sex slaves escaping their former captor without on-scene rape.

And the fact that there were so many female characters with developed personalities, meant that they could kill more than a couple without it being an every-female-character-dies situation. The one female character doesn’t have to represent all of womanhood with her character, because there are others. You can have female characters be weak and it not be offensive if it’s balanced by the other female characters who are strong. The way it’s done with male characters.

An open letter to an inspiration in time.

Posted By on June 13, 2016

People make the difference in your life. For years people like Tome Wilson and his team have worked hard at keeping people with similar interest in touch as well as inspiring others to pursue new passions and idea’s. As he takes on a new chapter in his life, We wish him all the best in his future en devours. I myself will always be grateful for the time that was taken to create a space where artist, writers and dreamers could come together to share, connect, and inspire each other in a future that never was. When i started my journey years ago, I stumbled upon this place and discovered people and things that were amazing and beautiful. I am sad to see him go, but as with all things, time moves on. My own personal journey will continue, and as it does I will always have a special place in my heart for Dieselpunks.org.

Thank you for all the good memories Tome Wilson. We will see you in the world. And should our paths cross I will gladly tip my hat to a man that has given so much to so many.

                                                                                       Sincerely, S.W. Taylor aka Cranky ClankCranky Clank Creations

Fenella Fielding Video

Posted By on June 13, 2016

Watch a video clip of Fenella Fielding being interviewed for the latest edition of The Chap. We sent rogue reporter and editor-at-large Michael “Atters” Attree to meet the eccentric actress, who was an iconic figure in the 1960s and worked with actors such as John Le Mesurier, Leslie Philips, Charles Hawtrey and Patrick MacGoohan, providing the voice for the tannoy in his series the Prisoner.

The pair met in the upstairs room at the French House, Soho, where they discussed a broad range of topics, including working with Harry H. Corbett on Carry On Screaming, wearing silk-lined leather gloves, her friendship with Jason King star Peter Wyngarde, out-of-body-experiences, the I-Ching, and the connection between fame and vampires.

To buy the latest issue, containing the interview with Fenella, visit Latest Issue

A short clip from the interview, during which Fenella describes having an out-of-body experience, can be viewed here:

Fenella has an out of body experience from tiresias on Vimeo.

The excitement is over…..

Posted By on June 12, 2016

I have left Morecambe behind, sadly, the Fayre is over!  Now I have to go back to a normal life that most of us lead in a humdrum world.

One thing I have been able to take away from this wonderful event is the gift which I received from Ziggatino if you read my previous post you will know what a talented young person she is!  Here is one of her pencil drawings which is only the tip of the iceberg of the many things she has created!

Steampunk Wolf by Ziggatino

I wish you all a happy and fruitful day!  Regards, Michael

Dieselpunks and Old Soldiers

Posted By on June 9, 2016

My friends,

Photo of Tome Wilson at the Race of GentlemenI write to you today from a place of deep sadness and astounding joy for the future. In my 7+ years as Dieselpunks’ owner and lead developer I have witnessed the brightest humans in my life refer to me as their friend. I am truly humbled. In honor of these individuals, I have decided to change my focus in the dieselpunk community from online to the real world.

When I created Dieselpunks, my mission was to gather a global artistic community that could one-day advance dieselpunk as a legitimate style of art.

In those early days, Dieselpunks served a vital purpose in the community. I and my friends set aside sleep and sanity to progress the grand mission. We wrote thousands of articles and lectures hoping to crystallize our dreams. Later, we gathered dieselpunks at live events, facilitating relationships that stand true to this day.

In a few short years, the growth of social networks has outpaced our revolution, and dieselpunk artists are now multiplying in the wild. Where I once saw a motley of DIY musicians, cosplayers, and amateur filmmakers, I now see the pilots of an entire genre emerging into pop culture. We’ve become a crowd culture decentralized from a formal structure, and to this end, I feel my mission is complete.

With the mission coming to an end, I have decided to close the Dieselpunks network on June 23rd, 2016.

My passion in life has always been to bring people together, and to that goal I will be focusing my life on real-world impacts:

In my professional career, I will continue in my role as an Art Director and technocrat for the masses. This work is fulfilling because it pushes me to express myself and help humanity. In the past year alone, I’ve advanced over 10 patents, many that will help the blind and mentally disabled sense the world in ways unimagined just a few years ago.

The 2016 Chap Olympiad

Posted By on June 9, 2016

The twelfth Chap Olympiad will take place this year on Saturday 16th July in Bedford Square Gardens in London’s Bloomsbury. The nation’s armchairs, deckchairs, chaise longues and day beds groan with the rigorous training schedules of Chap and Chapette competitors.

Training regimes for the unsporting occasion of the year focus on the exercise of key muscles required on the day: those in one’s hat doffing arm, the ones on the finger that one hooks into a teacup, and, most importantly of all, the ones that are used to stretch one’s legs on a deckchair. Exertion, perspiration and any form of grunting are frowned upon by the organisers, and contestants have points deducted from their overall score if the knot in their tie is marginally displaced at the end of a gruelling round of Bounders.

Events this year include Tea Pursuit – fill your team member’s teacup from a tea pot while riding a bicycle, and don’t forget to put the milk in last; The Corby Trouser Press Challenge – contestants must complete a 10-yard course wearing a different pair of trousers than at the start, having placed their previous trousers in a series of six trouser presses; Bakewell Battles – knock your opponent’s dainty tart off his or her cake slice without the use of violence; Aunt Avoidance – navigate a terrifying gauntlet of ferocious aunts, all of whom will try to detain you with their over-painted lips.

An added and unprecedented attraction at this year’s Chap Olympiad will be a real, live, actual wedding between two humans, performed by an ordained and doubtlessly rather caddish priest. All 1500 guests at the Chap Olympiad will be invited to the wedding reception, which will take place right before their eyes.

Tickets are available from www.thechapolympiad.com/tickets

A video from last year’s Chap Olympiad may be viewed here:

The Chap Recruits

Posted By on June 9, 2016

The Chap seeks two unhip young bunslingers to bring a subtle and unobtrusive quantity of advertisements into the nation’s favourite bi-monthly publication for gentlemen and ladies.

Naturally, the ideal candidates will have the most fabulous wardrobes within a fifteen mile radius of their homes anywhere in Great Britain, a deep understanding of all the values held dear by this publication, and an enormous, old fashioned, leather-bound contacts book bulging with the names and addresses of vintage clothing retailers, purveyors of gentlemen’s requisites, emporia of antiquities, bespoke tailors, makers of vintage ladies’ undergarments and corsetry, traditional tobacconists, bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants where the staff are related to the owners, and possibly know the location of (but have yet to enter) trendy barbershops where the staff all wear solar plexus-length beards.

None of the above is essential for the position, of course, and we would be delighted to meet any young buck, cove or gal who has experience in the field of advertising sales.

This is a unique and long-term opportunity to earn a decent living by dealing with all the jolly nice folk who work in the above-mentioned industries. Old fashioned dial telephone and fountain pen provided.

Interested parties should send an initial enquiry to gustav@thechap.co.uk

Light the Olympic Pipe!

Posted By on June 9, 2016

Light The Olympic Pipe

That incorrigible ukulele-toting, rhyme-popping, bon-mot uttering chap hop superstar, Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer, composed a special new song for the Chap Olympiad in 2012, “Light the Olympic Pipe”, which he showcased during his live appearance at the Chap Olympiad, during the historic year of the British Summer Olympic Games.

Mr. B has been purveying what he calls “Chap Hop”, essentially a combination of Grandmaster Flash, Noel Coward and George Formby, all delivered in the laconic tones of one also familiar with the works of Stephen Potter, for a number of years, and has released a number of long playing gramophone recordings, some of which are available in the Chap Shop.

This year’s Chap Olympics will take place in Bedford Square Gardens, London, on Saturday 16th July 2016. Tickets are available from www.ticketporte.com

Light, Light The Olympic Pipe
Whether you’re a heffer or a grim sick type
Your dignity, may it be redeemed in our field of pleasant dreams
Light, Light The Olympic Pipe
Better you’re a heffer than a thin fit type
Your dignity, may it be redeemed in our field of pleasant dreams!

Captain Nemo’s Masked Ball

Posted By on June 7, 2016

On Saturday night I attended Captain Nemo’s Masked ball!  I wasn’t able to book in for the ball and meal package so only attended the ball.  Apparently I hadn’t missed anything with the meal provided.

On entering the venue, the Headway Hotel in Morecambe, Lancashire I was greeted my many splendidly dressed (I hope you are getting the ‘theme’ of this weekend?) Ladies and Gentlemen!   My ears were assailed with some fine music coming from the back of the Hotel.  There is a large dance floor in front of the stage with a fully stocked bar to the left serviced by ‘men from the future’.  I quickly grab a glass of ale of the more international taste, Carlsberg, the preferred drink of my father!

Turning to the back of the Hotel are a number of tables scattered around the edges with diners eating the last remnants of the dinner I had not been allowed to partake in.

Captain Nemo’s Masked Ball at the Headway Hotel

Turning back towards the stage there are two well dressed performers engaging the audience with their music and repartee.  I was enthralled, the music was lively and I noticed that my hips were gently gyrating which I quickly brought under control.  Not a gentlemanly thing to do!  But as soon as I got my hips under control my foot started tapping, apparently to the beat of the music.  This was too much to bear so I took a large swig of the golden nector!  This seemed to aggravate the situation, I found that not only were my hips gyrating and my foot tapping, I was moving towards the dance floor.  Of course I immediately turned back towards the bar and took another swig of that fine ale.  But it made matters worse not better!  What was going on?! I stepped onto the dance floor and lost control and joined another group of people who showed no self control!

The band, I hear you ask?  Who are they?  I had it on good authority they were called Victor and the Bully.  One had a guitar and the other a ukele, both were masters of the singing voice!  These were no ordinary gentlemen, these were entertainers of the highest order!

At some point my body spoke of perhaps slowing down and taking a break from these gyrations I had so foolishly given in to.  I couldn’t argue with this logic and headed back to the bar a little breathless.

Victor and the Bully

Quaffing more ale and enjoying this splendid (there’s that word again!) mixture of music and repartee, I decide to watch from the bar having made a perfect spectacle of myself from which I have very little hope of recovery from!

Not long afterwards we are introduced to a Canadian band by the name of the New Jacobin Club!  A friendly bunch of musicians, with guitarist, cellist, drummer, singer/theremin player and keyboards.

The New Jacobin Club

Included with their music one of the performers showed us how to balance a sabre (this was big!) on their head, then later danced with a ring of fire.  Soon after we were entertained with her coming back with extended fingers all aflame which she doused in her mouth….ouch!  The entertainment continued long into the early morning at which time I had to bid everyone a fair adieu!

Climbing back up to my ivory tower I promptly fall into bed with uninterrupted sleep……zzzzzzz!

More to come…..the Sunday gig!

The Fayre at Morecambe!

Posted By on June 6, 2016

I owe my gratitude to the organiser of this splendid event: Rob Bracewell!  This man is a ball of energy, a driving force to be reckoned with and ever helpful and quick of wit!
Rob Bracewell & Michael Greensmith
The following morning I was beguiled by the Palace of Curiosities!  Our hosts entertained and told stories that bent our ears, they had Vincent Van Gogh’s other ear!  You could buy fresh tinned Mermaid from Tesco, I believe they are Dolphin safe but I didn’t check that out, I’ll be sure to ask but they said all questions will be answered 2 days after they have left, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one!  There were many wonders to behold!  Apparently they have a device that generates electricity and they showed us a working light bulb, bringing the sun into your home!  They said that we would have this new fangled technology into every home within the next 100 years……I had to laugh!  Snake oil salesmen!
Fresh tinned mermaid
Entering the hall I paid my entry fee and was stamped on the hand which would allow me entry all day.  The hall was packed with finely dressed people from all over the world.  There were magicians, musicians, street performers, stalls and food.
Ian from Verne Industries
The first stall I came across was Verne Industries, established 1848.  Ian (The owner) sold wonders to behold! I had to buy the Profainomatic which scans the room for bad language and teases it out of the air compressing it into two aluminium containment vessels and when full you can call one his technicians to empty the containers.  

Another stall run by Raychel from ‘Angels from Demons’ offered beautifully created steampunk dolls, each one hand crafted with hours of dedication at very reasonable prices! 

Here are some of the many finely dressed gentlemen and ladies at the event:

Tomorrow I will cover Captain Nemo’s Masked Ball…be sure to catch up!  The entertainment was WOW!