The Chinese Curse of Interesting Times

There is a mythological Chinese curse that dooms a man/woman to live in “interesting times.”

Think of “interesting times” as being times fraught with chaos, peril — thereby being interesting. Juxtapose that notion against “uninteresting times” suggesting peace, tranquility, prosperity.

[Note to self: Go with the “uninteresting times” if you can.]

In fact, the curse/blessing is not really Chinese, but is often attributed to Sir Austen Chamberlain, brother of former English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

Old Neville is famous for his declaration of “peace for our time” — spoken in 1938 after a seance in Munich  with Herr Hitler who assured the naive Neville that he, Hitler, had no more European territorial ambitions now that he had gobbled up the Saar Basin, the Federal State of Austria, and the Sudetenland of the Czech Republic — all with a pen.

Hitler would tear up the Munich Agreement (signed by Germany, England, France, Italy) and invade Poland a year later plunging the world into a massive war that would kill hundreds of millions in a decades long cycle of violence.

BTW, in the Munich Agreement, the English, French, Italians gave the Sudetenland of Czechoslobakia to Germany without the Czechs even present at the table.

That following decade was an interesting time.

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