May 1, 2008

Giddy-Up, Revisited

Another re post today, as I am thinking again about the stereotypes of men and masculinity. I've been thinking about male heroes in film and literature that are typical "guys", you know, the Captain Kirk type with the whole machismo, hyper masculine, aggressive, reckless, arrogant thing. I mean that can make for a compelling character, but do you want to hang out with a guy like that? Me, not so much....

I wrote this during Steam Week, and the topic, along with the Serenity/Firefly inspiration, are fresh in my mind this week. In retrospect, I wish I had made a better choice for inspiration for the carving to represent this film, as the buckle is maybe my least favorite of the series. I think another element might have been more interesting, perhaps some detail of a revolver, but I remember not wanting to have that overtone of violence. Maybe I will revisit this design another time too, maybe some thing more airship engine related.

Welcome to day three of Steam Week. Today, I am side tracked slightly into what may be a bit of a tangent. I don't know if this is exactly Steampunk, or if it is a variation, but I am thinking about this Old West themed science fiction genre. As I contemplated it last night, watching the first season of the television show "Firefly" I carved the above one inch buckle tile, which will become a component like the rest of the pieces I am working on.

Now I will be honest, The Old West genre does not inspire me much normally. Westerns, country music, cowboys, early American pioneers...that sort of thing is just not in my aesthetic vocabulary. Of course, this is different, "Firefly" has futuristic technology and spaceships thrown into the mix, so that makes it somewhat better for me. But I still have a hard time really getting into that look and the "cowboy" archetype. (*edited: Chuck and I discussed the "cowboy" archetype and we think that perhaps I was confused here. I think the proper archetype I am thinking of is the Outlaw or Gunslinger from the Wild West. That the Cowboy is generally a hardworking laborer, tending to the ranch, not as much an adventurer looking for trouble. See, I told you I don't watch Westerns!*)I just thought of Han Solo (above) from Star Wars. He's sort of a cowboy too, in a futuristic way. Below, is the captain from Firefly, Mal Reynolds. He is kind of similar to Han, I guess, he's a rebel, into some shady deals, cocky, and sort of non emotional and enigmatic. That's the outlaw archetype to me, and is not really very appealing personally. There are some great female characters in the series that I enjoy much more, with some real depth...a warrior chick, an upscale romantic prostitute of sorts, a sweet and genuine mechanic gal, and a genius child prodigy with possible supernatural powers.(an aside...check out that old fashioned double suspender strap on the captain's pants. I sort of want to carve that to go with my buckle...we'll see) Anyway, I have been sort of thrust into the Firefly and Serenity world. You see, Firefly was the tv show that was short lived and was cancelled, and Serentiy was a movie made after it, with the same cast, as a continuation of the story. Both have since generated a huge fanbase, fans who call themselves Browncoats (after the long brown trenchcoats in the series). I was introduced to all of this by fellow jewelry designer Jen of Monkeyshines Beadery, who asked me to do a special exclusive, top secret project for her, for charity. You see, the Browncoats hold screenings and "shindigs", they engage in cosplay and costuming, and in doing this, they raise money for charity. How cool is that?!? Jen is the co-ordinator of the Raleigh NC Browncoat Can't Stop the Serenity. The Serenity fans raise lots of money for Equality Now, which helps women all over the world.

Ok, so that's my tangent for the day. For today's song, I am choosing "Lady Faire" performed live by The Cassettes, who seem to be known as a country/sea shanty/steam punk/vaudeville sort of band. If you go to Itunes and search for them, you will find podcasts, the first of which contains one of their albums, done up in old timey radio hour format, with old sounding commercials and all! Good times!


  1. I watched Steamboy after reading your post about it and really enjoyed it. Now I am adding Firefly to my Netflix queue. I am moved by your reposts. They are even richer than the originals.

  2. Yes I very much enjoyed Steamboy! I should watch it again. Enjoy Firefly...

    Thank you for saying that you are enjoying my posts. Sometimes I wonder what people think as they read, or if they just glaze over and click away...