Nirvana Sued For Use of “Upper Hell” Map

“Move over smiley face. Welcome to the Seventh Circle of Hell.

“Nineties grunge-rock band Nirvana, already embroiled in a long-running legal battle against fashion company Marc Jacobs over its ‘happy face’ t-shirt designs, now finds itself on the less happy end of a new copyright infringement lawsuit worthy of Dante’s trip through the underworld.

“The complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles [in April 2021], claims that Nirvana infringed an illustration first published in a 1949 English language translation of Dante’s Inferno. The drawing depicts Dante’s circles of Upper Hell and, like Nirvana’s smiley face logo, has been featured on the band’s merchandise for decades. [. . .]”   –Aaron Moss, “Foreign Works, US Rights: The 7th Circle of Copyright Hell?” on Copyright Lately (April 30, 2021)

The disputed image was featured on the B-side of Nirvana’s debut album Bleach (Sub Pop Records, 1989).

Contributed by Jared Brust (Florida State University ’21)

“The Ninth Circle of Hell – Dante and the DMV”

“Dante once wrote that Hell had nine circles within its depths. Dante’s Inferno is an amazing literary work that describes in great detail the horror of a place where no person wishes to go. Dante must have been inspired by a trip to the local DMV.

“You see, I recently journeyed into an inferno of abandoned hope, discomfort, and pain when I was forced to visit the Queens DMV. Like Dante, I encountered the nine circles of Hell, though not necessarily in the same order. But first, some backstory . . .”   –Jason Greene, The Good Men Project, 2012

Read the full article here.

The Wondering Mother’s Tenth Circle of Hell

“Dante only wrote about the nine circles of hell because he was a man who never had to go to the DMV and the social security office in the same day.  But I have seen this place…I have experienced it…and I lived to tell the tale.

“When your beautiful, perfect, amazing child is born, there are many adult responsibilities you have to handle, in addition to cuddles.  One of those is making sure that your baby has a social security number, if for no other reason than you are going to want that tax write off come April.  Our hospital has a wonderful woman that comes to your room, helps you fill out lots of paperwork, and then mails everything to social security for you.  How wonderful!  All you have to do is wait for their card to come in the mail.

“So, I waited.

“And waited.”   –Britney Lowe, The Wondering Mother, 2019

Read the full blog entry here.

“New Jersey: License Endorsement in the 10th circle of Hell”

“Since covid, the DMV has been a nightmare experience especially in New Jersey. It wasn’t until November that the MVC decided that appointments might be better than waiting in line for 3 hours at 5 AM

“I’ve been to the DMV 6 times since May to get my permit / license. I’ve done everything including a BRC to slip the road test so that I could expedite getting my endorsement.

“After making an appointment in November (for my sixth trip) I showed up with all of my documentation this Saturday to finally get it done. I double checked all my paperwork. I brought extra paperwork so I could also get my REAL ID (my license is expiring in a month and my moto permit expires this month).

“I go in at my appointment I ACE the test (I actually already took it before but they literally LOST my score) and I flash my BRC cert from the summer to get my endorsement but despite showing this multiple times before to DMV folks, this woman today told me the small credit card sizes cert was it enough, I needed a larger form (examiners verification) to get my endorsement. I called my BRC office and they had no idea what the form is and have never issued one.

“Does god hate me? Am I am idiot? Should I just sell my bike?”   –u/universal_ubiquity, Reddit, 2021

Read the full thread here.

“Satan Delighted to Announce That The Newly-Constructed 10th Circle Of Hell Will Include Acadiana Mall”

“HELL – In a significant boost to the area, Satan confirmed today that the Underworld’s long-awaited 10th Circle will include the Acadiana Mall amongst its very first tenants.

“The project has been almost fifteen years in the making, however construction is now complete and officials are beginning to slowly but surely usher in people, places and businesses.”   –thedailycrawfish337, The Daily Crawfish

Read the full article here.

“The Extra Circles of Hell, A Short Tour”

“There’s a lot of self-righteous assholes out there who think they’re going to heaven. If an afterlife exists, they’re in for a tiny surprise — probably. Dante didn’t know how things would turn out when he wrote the original Divine Comedy. But he knew all about hypocrisy.

“That’s why he created a special circle of hell for each type of sinner. Because they all deserve each other, and their own special punishment.

“Dante originally envisioned nine circles of hell. Just nine? Seriously? We’re gonna need more circles…”   –Jessica Wildfire, Splattered, 2019

Read the full article here.

My Phone Demon Made Me Buy…

adult baby blanket
“I’m not sure at what point I said ‘I’d love to be swaddled in an adult baby blanket’ loud enough for the ad-targeting demon in my iPhone to hear me, but like Virgil leading me through the nine rings of Amazon hell, I was ultimately guided down to adult baby blanket Paradiso. Now that I own this organic cotton muslin gauzy piece of heaven, I need to pass on its cozy ways.”   –Marissa Rosenblum, Refinery29, April 8, 2021

Contributed by Kate McKee (Bowdoin, ’22)

“Hell-Fire: The Lie That Made God Cruel”

“They built the high places of Ba’al in order to burn their sons in the fire as whole burnt offerings to Ba’al, something I had not commanded or spoken of and that had never come into my heart.” Jer. 19:5    –Jehovah’s Witness, Pinterest

Dante Alighieri Quote Sticker


“Through me you go into a city of weeping; through me you go into eternal pain; through me you go amongst the lost people.” -Dante Aligiheri

Designed and sold by AlanPun.

To buy the sticker, visit Redbubble.

9 di Dante’s Inferno Vermouth

“Inspired by Dante’s La Divina Comedia and his journey through Hell, this Vermouth di Torino Superiore defies the traditional boundaries of Italian Rosso Vermouths. Blended from equal parts Dolcetto Red and Cortese White Piedmont wines, we have developed this orginial recipe to deliver a modern an intriguing taste. You will be seduced by its intense ruby red colour and its fruity nose with hints of red berries, cherry and orange. Its bold personality will provide a rich and full bodied experience with well balanced herbal and citrus notes and a fresh and mildly bitter finish.”   –Description from the 9 di Dante website

See also Suzanne Branciforte’s blogpost “Dante’s March” (March 30, 2021).