Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bring Back Emperor Norton!

On September 17, 1859 in San Francisco, Joshua A. Norton proclaimed himself "Emperor of the United States and Protectorate of Mexico". Looking back over his various decrees and proclamations I came across one that has resonance for today's troubled times. On August 12, 1869 he issued a decree that dissolved and abolished the Democratic and Republican parties "because of party strife now existing in our realm." What would the dear Emperor make of the Divisive States now? Wonder no more, my friends.

For the past eight years there's been an eccentric dude who lives in San Francisco impersonating the long dead Emperor and carrying on his congenial spirit, the celebration of common sense, human decency and good citizenship. Three days ago this new and improved Emperor Norton issued his latest decree via the miracle of YouTube.

Those of you who live in the Bay area might want to check out the good works of the Emperor Norton who conducts an offbeat tour of the city, every Thursday and Saturday. Next month in honor of the insanity we are now enduring the Emperor will offer his "Alternative Facts Tour" -- a one day only event, this coming Saturday, February 4, 2017. Sounds like a lot of fun. This special event will "tour through Union Square, downtown, the financial district, the Barbary Coast and Chinatown, but every story will be made up and deliberately false." If we must have alternative facts, let them at least be entertaining.

Vive le empereur!


  1. Been to long since I was there (during Clinton's first term - yikes!). Thanks John - we truly do live in fictitious times ... All the best from side of the pond (or "ditch" as ausssies refer to the expanse between them and kiwis).