Steampunk inspiration and resources

Emperor Norton: America’s one and only monarch…

I had planned to do a piece on Norton I, the Emperor of the United States, myself, but I found this one while doing my research and I really liked it. I used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I had heard of Norton before and I think of him as basically a steampunk in his own time. He certainly “punked” the status quo in the 1860s-1870s.


These are hard times. Many bad things are happening The jackboot of oppression is being stamped upon Ukraine’s citizens. Innocents are being murdered. Prices are rising. Belts are tightening. A dark cloud awaits in the distance – an economic reckoning that will be unleashed, most likely in the depths of our next winter. The miasma of Covid still lurks, picking people off; maybe not killing them, but making them ill. And on top of that, there’s the small matter of our dying planet and the Doomsday clock of climate change ticking towards the final minute to midnight. Things are grim, so we hunker down; our hearts heavy, our spirits full of the gloom of bad tidings.

We forget the positives – the bravery, the sacrifice… the love… that still exists in the shade of all that sadness and worry. There are glimmers of light, though, in the enfolding dark…

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