17 September 2007

International "Declare Yourself Emperor" Day!

Today, in 1859, Joshua Norton declared himself Emperor Norton I of the United States. And although many considered him delusional, he nonetheless had the good sense to make this proclamation in San Francisco - a city that humored him for the rest of his life. He issued imperial bonds with which he paid expenses and his fellow San Franciscans both accepted these bonds and bowed and curtseyed when he passed by. He held audience with city officials and, to show his fairness, he attended a different church service each Sunday (before establishing a universal church that encompassed all religions at the same time that he announced the dissolution of the Republican and Democratic Parties). Mark Twain lived in San Francisco during Norton's reign and based a character on him in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. His most famous order was that the U.S. Congress should be dissolved (an order sadly ignored by the U.S. military and Congress alike). The day after he died, 30,000 people came out into the streets of San Francisco to pay homage to the emperor.

In the spirit of the day, I'm declaring myself Emperor and would encourage you to do the same. Now you'll have to excuse me. I'm off to the mall to find a pair of epaulets.

Read more about Norton:
At Wikipedia
Article by Tony Leather


exskindiver said...

ron, as emperor,you are not going to be walking around naked are you?

eric said...

That is awesome, and such a good day to declare yourself emperor.

Happy Birthday your highness.

Ron Davison said...

You know, even if I were a self-declared emperor I suspect that plenty of friends and neighbors wouldn't hesitate to point out that the emperor has no nose - I mean clothes.

Joshua Norton is awesome - and my latest inspiration. And thank you for sharing my birthday: live music and philosophical discussion - what a great way to take the sting out of aging.

cce said...

Emperor of R World at the very least...I am thinking about the issue of declaring myself Empress and am having trouble reconciling the fact that I must go out and scrape paint off the side of my house for the next three hours. This is, at its core, an activity suited only for plebs and serfs. Perhaps tomorrow I will recline on downed pillows and smoke hashish and invite acquaintances to orgy (sorry, we just finished watching the last episodes of Rome) only then will I feel worthy of the title. Enjoy your day, Emporer!

Ron Davison said...

you may well have hit on one of Joshua Norton's key lessons to being emperor - don't assign your subjects any manual labor.

Should your luck break tomorrow, I'll very much look forward to reading about it at your blog. Sounds so much more interesting than what I have planned.