And Gutenberg Lived Here: Moguntia U And The Viral Philo-Door


over a quick Greek dinner after a VERY long day at the U,

the discussion turned to,

as it often does when foreign guests are on board,

Moguntia U versus the rest of the world.

Main topic last night:


Also called branding.

As in:

Our president,

a very nice man who has apparently seen 2001 A Space Odyssey too many times,

recently put up huge obelisks  of black marble  with red letters,

and published,

in a series of memos,

that we are no longer the five hundred plus years old



for Johannes Gutenberg University,

name in user, and eco-friendly red and white

with a picture of a bearded Jogi

(Johannes-Gaensfleisch, called Gutenberg)

(no one really knows what he looks like)

and the giant red wagon wheel

that symbolizes Ra,

called Mogu,

by the local celtic settlers-

today moguntia, the sun-god.

from which we get Mainz

aka sun city.

(It’s quite nice here actually-

only about three snow days per year.)

No, we are no longer moguntia,

we are now,

and supposedly forever more,

at least until the next m.d.,

or chemist,

or other scientist

with no sense of history…

hey, our philosophy department is built according to the building plans

of a medieval cloister-

decides to give us back jogi,

and not


known locally as:

uh, jogi.

So anyway,

here in Jg/u,

one of the doors to the



philosophy building,

the one built to house the library of Alexandria-

in replica, of course,

the wisdom of the ages,

and the pennants of the yearly english department vs scientists soccer game,

where we whup their pants off,

is a huge medieval door-

so heavy that it,

the only entrance,

in true medieval style,

to the building,

and thus,

also the only entrance for the disabled,

has a huge electric door opener.


in true medieval style,

doesn’t work-

how can it,

it being medieval.

And since there is no money for a member of the technical crew,

the salaries being low,

but not medieval,

and no recruited watchmen on the tower to run down and open the door,

I assume by turning wheels, pulleys, and cranks,

the door remains blocked-

and has for quite a while,

with strong students carrying disabled colleagues through the windows, etc.


a couple of months ago,

the irritated students made a few calls,


a technician came, right?

Well, part right.


a technician came to put up a sandwich board,

with the sign

“the technician is informed”

Which I am sure he is,

and I am sure the president of the university meant it when he told the local version

of the national enquirer,

the technician is indeed informed.

a part has to be ordered.

Now, nearly two years later,

the door is famous.

So famous it has its own Facebook page-

die virale philo-tür,

dedicated to all of the now famous back talk to the famous technician

who is informed, but has still never fixed anything-

things like:

pictures of the technicians with comments like-

you don’t actually think we will fix anything after they do this, do you,


a picture of the baddie from Austin Powers

with the words: you say the “technician” is informed…

the count is now rising,

the door is plastered with continuously more

and funnier



as I mentioned before,

the door now has its own Facebook page,

a whole slew of tv interview and docu stories,

and is now the subject of a course in investigative journalism.

Hey, fine with me…

some of the pages are pretty funny.

And it definitely is getting little Mogu U-

about 35,000 students,

on the map.

But like I always say:

No one here in Gutenberg Land

may know what Gutenberg looks like

(his supposed statue sits on the 50th degree of latitude)

but we all do definitely know what the viral door to the philosophy building looks like.


copyright 2016

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