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 Forum index » Archive » Archive: General » Old News & Rumors
Emperor Norton's Ministry of Information
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Shawn David Struck
Boot

Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 58

Emperor Norton's Ministry of Information
Possible ARG?

So... first it starts with ( http://forums.craigslist.org/?ID=48983235 )mysterious, ranty postings on craigslist, of all places. Some time later, it appears that the esteemed ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_I ) Norton I-- Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico -- has returned from the dead and begun ( http://nortonthefirst.blogspot.com )blogging his imperial decrees.

Here's where things get odd. www.toastyfrog.com , the personal website of Jeremy Parish, comments on this (as he's always had a soft spot for San Francisco's wack-jobs and crazies). A short time later, this shows up in his comments section ( http://toastyfrog.com/verbalspew/pivot/entry.php?id=188#comm )

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Council is extremely concerned for the well being of man claiming to be Norton I. As we are sure you are well aware, recent events have caused him to enter an alarming mental state. The Council has worked tirelessly to prevent such a situation, but has ultimately been unsuccessful.

In an attempt to rectify these affairs, we are proud to announce a bold new program within our organization: The Protection Initiative. The sole tenant of this body is to protect the aforementioned individual from both physical and mental anguish. Many resources are being allocated to ensure the success of this important endeavor. Accompanying this internal philosophy shift is the release of certain documents that were previously collected for the good of the people. We believe that these documents, if engaged adequately, can help stabilize him. Time is certainly critical in this regard.

We would greatly appreciate any discrete methods you can employ to inform others of The Protection Initiative and the release of these documents. More information can be found on The Initiative's public message board:
http://theprotectioninitiative.wordpress.com

With the sincerest of regards,

The Council for American Liberties

So, okay, looks like maybe it's something ARGish, maybe it's just some peple having a laughin in his comments section,, right?

Well, the plot thickens today:

http://www.toastyfrog.com/verbalspew/pivot/entry.php?id=193#comm

See, he's in Tokyo right now, covering the Tokyo game Show for his employer. And he gets an email that says there's a dead drop waiting for him...

... RIGHT BY WHERE THE EVENT HE'S COVERING IS BEING HELD.

Guys, this looks like a hell of an ARG, and multiple attempts to search these boards have turned up no mention.

So.. thoughts?

(I added a close parens to one link, instead of the : so that it would show up as a link -- krystyn)
[size=9]edit: fixed first link - Rowan[/edit]

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:31 pm
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krystyn
I Never Tire of My Own Voice


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 3651
Location: Is not Chicago

I'm not sure of the expiry/db construction of craigslist forums, but your link to the rant points to something else now.

Is there a screencap or transcription somewhere?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:14 pm
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thebruce
Dances With Wikis


Joined: 16 Aug 2004
Posts: 6899
Location: Kitchener, Ontario

for some reason "Ministry of Information" sounds extremely familiar, in an ARGish sense, but I can't for the life of me remember where I heard it before... Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:55 pm
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understress
Boot


Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 53

I have figured out 2 out of the four questions for the email puzzle. I can't find out who made the Norman's Icecream sign. I'm too chicken to call them Laughing


[Edit] nevermind I found it.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:14 pm
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Phaedra
Lurker v2.0


Joined: 21 Sep 2004
Posts: 4033
Location: Here, obviously

thebruce wrote:
for some reason "Ministry of Information" sounds extremely familiar, in an ARGish sense, but I can't for the life of me remember where I heard it before... Confused


1984-ish.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:20 pm
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oxdeltaxo
Decorated

Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 238
Location: Canada EH?

Emperor norton is an obscure reference to discordia. For more information read the principia discordia or consult your pineal gland. You may want to also look into a little program called operation mindf#@k(replace the symbols with their usual counterparts, I just changed the spelling due to forum rules.) In all likelyhood someones having more fun making this arg as you are playing it. Wink

http://www.principiadiscordia.com/ <----free web book version
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mindfuck <----OM wikipedia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:18 pm
Last edited by oxdeltaxo on Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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krystyn
I Never Tire of My Own Voice


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 3651
Location: Is not Chicago

fnord
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Stories and dreams, crossing my palm like silver.

xbl gamertag: krystyn


PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:29 pm
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oxdeltaxo
Decorated

Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 238
Location: Canada EH?

Never fnord to fnord your fnords!!!!!

I just hope were not getting jaked!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:31 pm
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ancalime
Unfettered


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 341
Location: Paragon City

oxdeltaxo wrote:
Emperor norton is an obscure reference to discordia. For more information read the principia discordia or consult your pineal gland.


Actually, you've got it backwards. Emperor Norton was around long before discordianism.

That said, I'd be all over an ARG about His Imperial Majesty. It's such a great offbeat piece of US history. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:28 pm
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makomk
Boot

Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 56

ancalime wrote:
oxdeltaxo wrote:
Emperor norton is an obscure reference to discordia. For more information read the principia discordia or consult your pineal gland.


Actually, you've got it backwards. Emperor Norton was around long before discordianism.

That said, I'd be all over an ARG about His Imperial Majesty. It's such a great offbeat piece of US history. Very Happy


Yep - he's also referenced in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series (and possibly elsewhere, though they're the main places that spring to mind). It's a very bizarre piece of US history, to say the least, so I wouldn't blame anyone who thought he was totally fictional.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:07 am
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Shawn David Struck
Boot

Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 58

Aw, man!

krystyn wrote:
I'm not sure of the expiry/db construction of craigslist forums, but your link to the rant points to something else now.

Is there a screencap or transcription somewhere?


Well, CRAP. I just cleared out my cache.

The messages were left by the username "ricebaron".

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:07 pm
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rowan
Unfictologist

Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1966

krystyn wrote:
I'm not sure of the expiry/db construction of craigslist forums, but your link to the rant points to something else now.
It seems when Shawn posted the link the first time, he left off the last 5, so it was pointing to some posts back in 2003. I found the original link in the comments of The Emperor's blog, so I fixed it back in the first post. Should be hunky-dory now.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:34 pm
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krystyn
I Never Tire of My Own Voice


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 3651
Location: Is not Chicago

Woot! Good sleuthin', Rowan. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:26 pm
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Mudbrother
Decorated

Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 160
Location: Virginia USA

the name 'ricebaron' makes sense, as Norton lost his fortune during a 'rice boom' at the time. Apparently he bought tons and tons of rice being shipped in trying to corner the market when there was a severe shortage. See the wiki article on Norton for more (correct) info, I'm just going on memory, in case it helps.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:57 pm
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Hangman42
Boot

Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 27
Location: Puzzled, Australia

Latest posting at Nortons blog is in regards to the number of rice farms in the US - fits in with the info on him being into the rice trade. it also fits in with one of the pictures and note found at the drop in San Francisco (more info on that at http://discoveriesandintrigue.blogspot.com/).

According to the 1997 US census there were 9291 rice farms but I have not been able to come up with any more up to date info. The email address puzzle is still unsolved as well AFAIK with just the last clue (number of frogs at the mermaid statue still unknown) to be solved.

There is also a new post at the Protection initative (http://theprotectioninitiative.wordpress.com/).

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:04 pm
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