I began this post with every intention of doing a light-hearted satire, but it turned serious. Sorry.
Those familiar with my posts here on FellowshipOfTheMinds know that I often make use of the ingenious designs of the brilliant political artist bkeyser. He is elegant, subtle, biting, witty, and funny.
This design making fun of global warming guru Al Gore is hilarious:
But I couldn’t get the image of Gore immersed in ice off my mind. It struck some deep chord inside me. Finally, I realized why….
Dante’s Inferno is a 14th-century epic poem relating the journey through Hell of Italian poet Dante Alighieri, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering, wherein the wicked are punished for their earthly transgressions. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness, and culminating at the center where Satan himself is held in bondage. Each circle’s sinners are punished in a fashion fitting their crimes: each sinner is afflicted for all of eternity by the chief sin he/she committed. For example, hypocrites wear gilded lead cloaks; those who did violence against others are mired in a river of blood; flatterers (whom we today call bullshitters) are steeped in pools of human excrement. Corrupt politicians go to the 8th circle, where they are stuck in a lake of boiling pitch, which represents the sticky fingers and dark secrets of their corrupt deals. LOL
What is interesting is that it is only when we come to the 6th circle that we find the conventional conception of Hell as fiery. There, heretics are forever burned in eternal flames.
For Dante, more terrible than fire is ice. And that is exactly where he consigned the worst sinners. In the 9th and last circle of Hell dwell Traitors — those who are not just fraudulent but who have betrayed others — who are frozen in a lake of ice. Each group of traitors is encased in ice to a different depth, ranging from only the neck and through to complete immersion.
In the center of the last circle, condemned to the very center of Hell for committing the ultimate sin of personal treachery against God is none other than Satan (Lucifer) — a giant winged beast waist deep in ice.