The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a beautiful place. Endless tropical beaches by
the coast, endless Wisconsin inland. It's kind of
shocking that the place is still so rural. They say
it's because it's so far from everywhere- four hour's
flight from Australia. I am truly at the ends of the

Learning about Maori history, I can imagine what a
paradise it must have been. No poisonous things, no
predators, just birds. This island was covered with
Kauri trees, as big as a redwood. With the tall ferns
and giant crickets you can see how this is an old, old
continent, older than the dinosaurs.

Out in the boondocks the Maori seem to be doing all
the same shit jobs that blacks and mexicans do back
home. New Zealand has a very progressive reparations
policy but it's not like anybody's going to give up
their house. The town near the festival was very
poor, reminding me of run-down small farming towns in

Basically the area's tourism guy paid the Kiwi Burn a
grant to have the festival in this sheep paddock by a
dam. So 200 yahoos from all around the world, most of
them US Burners, show up and put on neon fur and dance
all around and spin fire. Our camp was "Caravanas De
Los Muertos" a kind of mexican/trailer trash mix. I
built little shade structures and a temple out of
wood, worked the gate a little, and acted as muscle
when a few old creepy guys crossed the line with the
young girls. There was a lake so somebody brought a
pirate ship. Most of the participants were old hippie
swinger types and LA trance divorcee hot moms who are
rediscovering their youth. It's cool to see someone
be themselves but it's sad that it took them so long
that they're called "Mutton Dressed As Lamb" down
here. Mostly older folks could afford to come this
far. They're all nice but there's a hint of
desperation about the good times, like gottahavefun
while the clock is ticking.

On the big night we invited all the locals and I got
to meet some maori with facial moko (tattoos). They
seemed like any farmer I'd meet in Illinois. Who
knows what they thought of us weirdos- not a very
precise selection of American culture. But everybody
digs the fact that you can't charge for anything at
Burning Man, so the bars are free. One of them gave
us the tip-off that three kids from the local Mongrel
Mob gang were there. We watched them go around and
case our camps. Then we introduced ourselves, got
them beer, lit them a joint, and told them we had 20
eyes on them so they might as well just enjoy the
party and be our friends. So they did.

When it came time to set off the man the yahoos "in
charge" poured a bunch of gas on it, so when they shot
it with a roman candle it didn't burn but simply
exploded, sending flaming 2x4s into the crowd.
Miraculously only one guy was hurt, a scotsman from
Edinburgh who was whanged in the leg just below his
kiltline. He got lots of attention from the girls so
everything was cool. You can look up the video on
Youtube by searching for "Kiwiboom".

Afterwards we cleaned up and I headed to a house out
in an isolated beach area. It has a nice swimming
hole and a waterfall. I think I'll sit out my trip

Check out my pictures at


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