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.
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,
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,
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 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,
known locally as:
here in Jg/u,
one of the doors to the
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,
also the only entrance for the disabled,
has a huge electric door opener.
in true medieval style,
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-
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
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.
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