Remembering Johannes Meinßler

SarcasticResonance would like to take the opportunity today, and commemorate the memory of of Middle Ages serf, Johannes Meinßler (1360-1385), who is believed to have been born exactly 650 years ago. Johannes Meinßler was a very prolific medieval servant. None of the other serfs were as quick, as valiant, or as duty-bound as this Saxon peasant. Thus, he served as a role model for generations of slaves to come; a truly bright star in an era of mediocrity.
Such a perfect minion cannot go without notice through the course of time, so the marking of 650 years to his birth is an excellent time to hold celebrations in his name, perform concerts of music he may have liked, hold memorial speeches in Old-Germanic, and generally divert every TV, radio and newspaper’s attention to this dramatic figure.
Of course, we can’t really be sure that he was born exactly 650 years ago; the only historical record we have of him is an old parched document containing the names of those who died of the Black Death in the 14th century. This may not seem like much, but such evidence has suited historians for many years regarding much more profound subjects. Then again, unlike previous cases, the letters on the paper are all wiped away, so actually all that’s left is just some tattered parchment with coffee stains. Not to mention, they didn’t even use the Georgian calendar back then, if they kept any measure of the date at all, so perhaps we might be a bit off in our anniversary count. In fact, we’re not even confident that Meinßler existed at all, since he did not leave any texts behind (naturally, for he did not know how to read and write). And even if he did exist, he probably wasn’t a very good servant, seeing as most serfs were oppressed, served a master they had no love for, and were generally forced to live in rags, poverty, and sickness. However, he surely should have died of the Black Death, which was a very popular and excruciating way for peasants to perish in the 14th century.
But still! Despite these minor flaws regarding historical accuracy, we cannot let pass that today is exactly 650 years from 1360! Such a marvelous, round, beautiful number! Forget 200 years of Chopin’s birth, 30 years since John Lennon’s death, and 20 years for the fall of the Berlin Wall; lay down on the ground to grovel and worship before the true hero – Johannes Meinßler, the best servant in medieval Saxony. Is there a greater hero? Is there a nicer number than 650? The answer to both questions, is no.

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