Monday, January 26, 2009

Shopping in The Village

I had written before about The Village, the homage to the 1960s television series "The Prisoner." What I did not realize was the area's substantial Caledonian presence.

Mr. Whybrow mentioned the connection to Miss Kathy, who relayed it to me, who...well, I did what I do: travel and take pictures. Miss Virrginia Tombola has an outpost of La Bicyclette:

Miss Zosie Zenovka has a Chemical Kisses shop:

Though the signs are a little difficult to read, the one on the left is the familiar Steampunk and Tesla logo, while the one on the right is that of Oblonski.

Finally, a three-fer: Mr. Whybrow's Sparkle of Sound fine jewelry store, Miss Madeleine Munro's music box store, and a smaller version of Mr. Theodore and Mr. Draco Nacht's NachtMusic gentlemen's clothing store.

I was initially a little surprised at the ties between Caledon and The Village. The fashions of Victorian England and the Mod stylings of Swinging London seem to have little in common, and the group aesthetic of the former period seems to have little in common with the Cold War paranoia of the television series.

Upon further reflection, though, the Steampunk movement celebrates, among other things, the triumph of the individual scientist/inventor/evil genius over the dismal lives of the masses. At a time when an increasing number of people were working in factories, sweatshops, and the "dark Satanic mills," the individual inventor could tinker in his workshop or laboratory and develop a world-changing device (at least in a Steampunk alternative history). Similarly, The Prisoner reflects a world with an increasing distrust of governments, presenting both sides of the Cold War spy business as equally morally suspect (how else to explain why Number Six cannot determine which side holds him?), and celebrates the triumph of the individual over the state.
Now, if only our version of The Village would send out fewer group notices...


Virrginia Tombola said...

Re: The Victorian connexion, I was invited by Miss Erde to create the pennyfarthings for the Village (styled with an awning and such), and I could hardly turn away from such a cute shop in the middle of the square :). I think some of the baroque stylings of The Prisoner feel Steampunkish, in spirit if not literally.

Rhianon Jameson said...

I hadn't thought of Steampunkish stylings, but I see what you mean. Mr. Whybrow showed Kathy a steam-powered pennyfarthing that certainly combined the two concepts in a unique way.