We planned outfits and all the exciting things we would do and see there. The weather was nice and dry and we headed out for a day long trip back into the 19th century. We really looked forward to this day.
Things were going well... they loved seeing all the costumed elegant ladies and handsome gentlemen strolling around. The english 'Bobbies' and the historical army in place, the horses and all details in place.
Then little by little strange 'people' began to trickle out onto the streets. They didn't look 'victorian', nor did they fit in with the average person attending the festivities. They were called 'Steampunks'. These people dress in a type of science fiction that focuses on steam powered machinery items. They dress in a fantasy type of the alternate history of the 19th century, but also represents the post-apocalyptic future where steam power is back in use. They also add in elements of horror, fantasy as well as historical fictional behaviors. This term steampunk got started in the 1980's apparently. Leather clothing, bondage behaviors chains and masks AND all sorts of weaponry seemed to be the norm with these people.
It added a different dimension to the entire Dickens experience.. many were bold, clothing was scanty on the women, and lots of knives, swords, face masks, gas masks, whips and gears, clocks and metal pieces' hanging all over them. I was uneasy... they promoted a certain amount of lawlessness and sexual perversion around them. They didn't seem to be playing dress up here. They strutted around as if they were demanding attention. All the weapons in such a big crowd wasn't wise either. I saw knives in boots, strapped on forearms, swords across their backs, and daggers at waistbands. I overheard someone say, 'are these some kind of cartoon characters?" It didn't have anything to do with Dickens or the historical representation of the purpose of the event. We walked around a while trying to focus on the parts that I remembered Dickens on the Strand being about.
Eventually I find us a good place to see the parade and we set down on the curb to watch the parade.. kids had their turkey legs and corn on the cob and mugs of orange sodas. All the regular victorian parts came past us.... bands, costumed ladies and gentlemen....the 'Queen' in her carrage... the choirs singing christmas carols. Then the steampunks come past us - in droves in the parade,
Then one of 'them' decides to come straight at us. He is naked from the waist up, his pants about to fall off as low as he could get them. He has strips of fur around him (who he was supposed to be must be some character out of a video game I guess?) Anyway he stops right in front of us - my grandchildren are looking right at him. He pulls a lady out of the crowd standing behind us and she has to step over us to get to the street. (She is just in street clothes .. not part of their group) He twirls her around then he pulls out a whip with it looked like 9 strips of leather on it and starts to whip her behind!!
I was shocked...it made my blood run cold. When he hit her the second time, without thinking... I stood up!! I stepped out onto the street in front of the hundreds watching and i stopped him. I said, "have you no decency? There are children right in front of you... and you are at a family event. Stop this ... right now!!"
He looked at me.... stopped whipping her.. said "uh"... She ran back into the crowd terribly embarressed I am sure. He turned around and marched on with the group in the parade.
Everybody stared at me... I didn't care. Where were the mothers of all these children watching...and why didn't they join me in stopping this behavior? My daughter had quickly put her hands over the eyes of my grandchildren when it happened. I quietly sat back down.... but my 'Holy Spirit' was jumping inside of me!! It took a while before I calmed down... I could have preached a sermon right there and then, there was so much anointing flooding my spirit!!
I guess you might say it was righteous indignation... didn't matter. enough was enough. If 'steampunks' are supposed to be some sort of entertainment ... it's not the sort that moms and dads with children will want to have around.
Sadly I'm not sure I'll go back... darkness is prevading the land... and no one is saying a word about it. What happened within the Historical Society in Galveston Tx. that allowed this??