As class of 2007 Steampunk, I find this interesting. Not sure what to make of it. But interesting.
Impression: Boater Wesman ( Balku'npÃ¢ AdÃºnerama ) bronze founder living in Archet, Breelander of mixed dÃºnedain descent. c. 3017
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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My focus was on different tech levels making it an 'x-punk' setting; this passage wound up on the cutting room floor (ooh, MERF behind-the-scenes exclusive!)
My personal take on the final article is that on all counts, yes, 'reenacting' the Free Peoples of Middle-earth is, by all metrics (political and popcultural), punk.As a result, I propose a third option to determine if a text can be considered â€˜punkâ€™, and in this case What Makes Tolkien â€˜Punkâ€™ is specifically his juxtaposition of different cultures possessing different levels of technology beyond what would be expected.
For example, any of these groups (or something very, very close), separated from their Middle-earth setting and viewed from afar, can be found in a period of Earthâ€™s history. However, by bringing them together, Tolkien enters into the realm of the historically-fantastic, which fuels the audienceâ€™s imagination:
-Rohirrim being led to Gondor by the Woses of Anorien (Northmen and Neanderthalsâ€”a pseudoscientific scenario explored more fully to great effect by Michael Crichton in Eaters of the Dead).
-Beorn meeting the dwarves of Thorinâ€™s company (actually, dwarves and elves are equally impossible to pin down on a historical timeline, but they certainly wouldnâ€™t have had dealings with ancient Nordic Bear-people like Beornâ€™s folk!)
-the Faithful NÃºmenoreans landing in western Gondor and meeting indigenous Men (see Tal-Elmarâ€”great seagoing ships with many masts and canvas sails crewed by tall, pale, steel-armed Men encountering swarthy, Neolithic dirt farmers!)
-Hobbits and â€¦ anybody, actually!"
-When they encounter each other, a Stone-, Sandal-, Candle-, Steampunk setting is created.
-The Free Peoples fight against an Enemy who embodies all the most destructive aspects of life (authoritarianism, the surveillance state, slavery, a god complex, ecocide, quantity over quality-->ugly aesthetics, etc)
-As we're primarily using texts, interpretations are based on our mental images and so consequently are highly individualized and vary greatly from person to person (my idea of 'Ranger' is different from your idea of 'Ranger' is different from his idea of 'Ranger'). This is accomplished by an emphasis on 'Maker culture' and DIYing with correct authentic materials and methods.
-Also because we are based on the written texts, we set ourselves apart from the 'mainstream' who use the Jackson films (which as discussed in the moving pictures thread, can co-opt our imaginings). Similarly, with an upcoming series made by Amazon--a massive corporate entity seeking to get their tentacles into every part of modern life (an entity that if this were a cyberpunk novel would definitely be the antagonist)--our book-based interpretations will be even more in the minority.