Emping ain’t easy

Eccentricity is good.

No. Wait. Let me back up a bit.

Ten years ago Dutch, Bizzo, myself and a number of other miscreants were lucky enough to be placed in the same hall. This hall, named Norton Hall after David Z. Norton, a philanthropist from the great city of Cleveland, OHsd, was the beginning of my growth into the person that I am today. Which, for the most part, I’m pretty happy withsd2.

Before Norton, I was a completely shy, unadjusted, and overall really sad kid. I basically had (have?) no friends from high school outside of my now ex-girlfriendsd3. No friends from middle or elementary school. None from my neighborhood, really. I just never fit in anywhere.

But fittingly on the day of my 18th birthday, that arbitrary day in which you become "a mansd4" I started to grow up. Or, at least, found people who were accepting of my, well, eccentricity.

I can’t put into words how big of a deal this was for me. Coming from an entire lifetime of not fitting in and being too different and unable to figure out how to achieve any semblance of normality, and moving on to a situation in which I was accepted damn near immediately did wonders for my psyche. Because of Norton, I am ditriech. Which, makes sense actually. Partially because I registered the (highly inventive) screenname ditriech on 8/29/01 with AIM. But mostly because my entire level of comfort of who and what ditriech and ditriech_actual are stems from meeting, knowing, and becoming friends with these extraordinary people.

That is to say they accepted my eccentricity. Mostly. Because some of the shit I do still fucks with Dutch. But thems the breaks.

But what’s the point behind all of this? Well, on this day in 1859, one of the more eccentric American personalities in history, Emperor Joshua Norton I became emperor of these United States. Oh, and protector of Mexico.

I mean, I could get into how he deposed Congress, abolished both the Democratic and Republican parties and, most awesomely, banned the word "Frisco" over the years. But that’s not the point of Emperor Norton I. Hell, there are probably homeless people throughout DC that have this shit done by 0900.

What is important about Emperor Norton I is that he was accepted. Norton dined for free–with his dogs–in the finest restaurants in the city. He was given balcony seats in theaters across San Francisco. But the best example of his acceptance occurred in 1867, when he was arrested on the grounds of insanity. Newspaper editorials were written decrying the incident and he was subsequently released, received a formal apology from the Chief of Police and was saluted by police on the streets. No one man should have all that power.

Especially one that doesn’t fit in anywhere else.

So happy Emperor Norton Day from all of us here at Psi Upper Norton

sd: Oddly, pretty much everything that he donated to had a pretty major influence on my own personal life. Which is kinda a big deal for me.

sd2: Though, oddly, I did not drink at all freshman year. Which is something that no one (still!) believes even though there is no net benefit in me lying about it. But it’s true. Swear

sd3: Who I’m still good friends with. Oddly.

sd4: Cue that song from "Mulan" that I’m sure I heard like once. Or the one DVDA song, which makes a lot more sense, actually.

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