- mundane (adj.)
- mid-15c., "of this world,"
- ...from Late Latin mundanus "belonging to the world" (as distinct from the Church),
- ... from mundus "universe, world," literally "clean, elegant";
- used as a translation of Greek kosmos in its Pythagorean sense of "the physical universe" (the original sense of the Greek word was "orderly arrangement")
Overshadowed by events in Paris, Myanmar (Burma) had good news on Friday the 13th:
after decades of military rule, the landslide victory of the democratic party of Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who now becomes the country's de facto leader.
I'd edited a book on Myanmar years ago, so I've kind of been waiting for but not counting on this.
It's pretty amazing.
Now, can Aung San Suu Kyi become a good leader and create what she called a "reconciliation government", like Nelson Mandela did?
We shall see.
It's hopeful anyway.
The Guardian's Q&A on the election
World War III
When I was a kid, I wondered if, in the nature of numbers, since we'd had two world wars, if we'd have a third.
Yesterday I thought, Hm, we seem to be in the middle of it, and have been for quite a while. (As an American who doesn't know anyone in the military, it can be insanely easy on a day-to-day basis to forget that we're at war, and have been for fourteen+ years.)
Has anyone else named it World War III?
Pope Francis has.
Last year, on September 13, 2014, he said,
"After the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction."
Oh--huh---a little more searching, and I see Thomas Friedman called it World War III fourteen years ago––two days after the 9/11 attacks, in his still-relevant opinion piece in the NYT:
"Does my country really understand that this is World War III? And if this attack was the Pearl Harbor of World War III, it means there is a long, long war ahead.
"When I remarked to an Israeli military official what an amazing technological feat it was for the terrorists to hijack the planes and then fly them directly into the most vulnerable spot in each building, he pooh-poohed me.
'It's not that difficult to learn how to fly a plane once it's up in the air,' he said. 'And remember, they never had to learn how to land.'"No, they didn't. They only had to destroy.We, by contrast, have to fight in a way that is effective without destroying the very open society we are trying to protect. We have to fight hard and land safely. We have to fight the terrorists as if there were no rules, and preserve our open society as if there were no terrorists.
It won't be easy. It will require our best strategists, our most creative diplomats and our bravest soldiers."
Leaders who know how to land?
We're going to need a bigger bar of chocolate...
And a supply of musicians willing to play in the ruins.
A friend tole me that the picture of the man playing piano in Paris yesterday reminded him of the Cellist of Sarajevo who played in public during the Bosnian War in the 1990s. . .
. . . "most notably Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor".
[Trigger warning: heart-piercingly sad music]
The photographer of the above photo, Mikhail Evstafiev, says:
"This image is one of my favourites. It was taken during the war in 1992 in Sarajevo in the partially destroyed National Library. The cello player is local musician Vedran Smailović, who often came to play for free at different funerals during the siege despite the fact that funerals were often targeted by Serb forces."