Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.
I’m King Ludwig of Baveria! I want my castles back. First thing I’ll do is hold a party at the Disneyland one, and you’re all invited!
It’s enough fun just being myself.
I too am Joshua Abraham Norton, which raises the question of how there can be two “one and only emperor of America”‘s.
re Emperor Norton: Make that three.
Impostor! I am Ludwig II. I have a calendar with pictures of my vunderful castles.
Norton actually had a first name? I never knew.
Cool! I got Caligula!
Yeah, I fudged some answers.
Wait a minute: I’m Caligula, and I didn’t fudge ANY answers…… 🙂
I’m Charles VI. Fetch me my iron undergarments!
I did it about a week ago. I’m that Austrian who made the death ray and could cause earthquakes. (I forget his name)
All right! I’m Charles VI, the Mad King of France! To the imposter who posted at 9:37 AM California time, beware! Your iron undergarments are no match for my iron undergarmnets!
I first learned about the First Emperor of the United States in a Star Trek novel. Funny where this stuff comes from.
Yes, Virginia, there really was an Emporer Norton. He was a footnote to the history of Gold Rush-era San Francisco. And how San Francisco it is to still revere a lunatic.
I wrote a screenplay once about the “Emperor of America and Protector of Mexico” which HBO, alas, declined to buy. (But if Spielberg is reading this, hey: it’s still available.)
One of the many amazing things about this nut, was that it is just possible that he was NOT crazy. He had tried to corner the rice market in SF during the Gold Rush itself, which was — almost — a more astute way to get rich than trying for a gold strike. But rice flooded the market after he had hocked himself to the gills, and he busted. Then he vanished, fleeing his creditors.
When he RETURNED, he was suddenly — conveniently — crazy.
So SF sort of adopted him — he could eat the finest leftovers at the best restaurants, and the hookers and drunks loved him. (Even the U.S. Army made his uniform.) He used to hold ‘courts’, which decided petty disputes among the riffraff… which leads to what I think is the most intriguing thing about him:
In HIS courts, Chinese could testify — which was not true in California courts throughout Norton’s lifetime.
And, oh yeah: Norton was the first person in SF to call for a bridge across the Bay.
It turns out that i’m Charles IV of France.
Kiss me you fool!
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