The 9 Rings of Donald Trump’s Administrative Hell

“In Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Divine Comedy, the titular character is guided through the nine circles of hell. The darker your crimes, the lower the levels of hell you descend to until you meet up with Satan himself, trapped at the center of it all.

“At the top are crimes such as heresy and failure to believe; at the bottom, closer to the devil himself, are the rings of treachery and violence. Reflecting on a campaign season during which Donald Trump literally called Hillary Clinton the devil and threatened to put her in chains, you have to wonder whether he wasn’t subconsciously projecting, given the hellish landscape he has turned his early administration into. However, it’s not the nether regions that should concern most Americans but those condemned to the outer rings for lesser crimes.

“Trump may not actually be the vision of Satan portrayed in Inferno, even if he staffs his new administration like the rings of hell. Inferno describes Satan as a ghastly creature trapped by his own vanity with three faces: one red, one yellow and one black. The fact that Trump is now in a position that he has lusted after for years but is equally overwhelmed and unprepared for is strangely apropos.

“While Trump does not have leather wings, he is banishing those who dared not believe in him to limbo, and surrounding himself with white nationalists, terror sympathizers and warmongers. Anyone thinking that perhaps Trump’s own erratic tendencies would be balanced out by some sort of smart team of rivals should take note of the entryway to hell: “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” […]    –Jason Johnson, The Root, November 26, 2016

Cartoonist Steve Bell’s “Brexit Hell”

Steve-Bell-Brexit-Hell-Cartoons-TreacheryIn early December 2018 British cartoonist Steve Bell published a series of Dante-inspired images in his If… cartoon strip. Adapting Doré’s illustrations of Cocytus (with one addition from the Malebolge), Bell’s cartoons comment on the Parliamentary Debate over Brexit. Contributor Nick Havely glosses, “[the cartoons] depict Theresa May’s journey through ‘Brexit Hell’ accompanied by Arlene Foster (leader of the N. Ireland ultra-Protestant DUP on whom May is dependent for her majority). The Dantean sequence began on 29 November and seems to have culminated last Thursday [6 December] in an encounter with Trump as Lucifer.”

The If… cartoons can be viewed on The Guardian‘s website at the following links: Nov 29, Dec 3, Dec 4, Dec 5, and Dec 6.

Contributed by Nick Havely

Intercepted Podcast: The Trump Mixtape – Dante’s Inferno Meets Disco Inferno

“Donald Trump has made crystal clear that he has a great affinity for strongmen and for unquestioned loyalty of those who work for him. This week on Intercepted: Trump’s besties in Saudi Arabia convinced him that Qatar, the host of U.S. Central Command, is the premiere Arab nation sponsoring terrorism. Amnesty International’s Sherine Tadros and Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan analyze the hypocrisy-laden, bizarre crisis. We also discuss the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy addresses the Justice Department’s allegations about The Intercept’s recent NSA story and the prosecution of the alleged leaker. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes talks Russia, Trump, the media and his new book, ‘A Colony in a Nation.’ DJ Spooky joins the conversation and imagines a Trump-inspired mash-up of Dante’s Inferno and ‘Disco Inferno.’ [. . .]

“So, to me, the fun part about the 21st century is we’re all DJs. Some of them, like Trump and his use of media, are a Divine Comedy mashup maybe of like, you know, Dante’s Inferno mixed with Disco Inferno or something.” [. . .]    –Paul Miller (also known as DJ Spooky) on Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill,  June 14, 2017.

You can listen to this episode and others of Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and other platforms.

You can learn more about DJ Spooky on his website.

“Donald Trump, According to Dante’s Inferno

“The college English major in me can’t resist comparing Election 2016 to Dante’s Inferno. Just when it seems American politics cannot become stranger or more vulgar, it does. [. . .]

“There’s a lot of fire and brimstone here, but so much of our political discourse has become positively medieval.

“What does it say about our republic, what we value, and what we hope to become that Donald Trump, a person who seems to have disdain for so many people — Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans, people with disabilities, a Gold Star family and the LGBT community — is polling at over 40 percent? And the misogyny? Trump humiliates and intimidates women to gain the upper hand. The 2005 tape where Trump boasts about groping women? Don’t even get me started.

“When is enough finally enough, I ask myself?” [. . .]    –Marthe Weyandt, Huffington Post, November 8, 2016.

Midtown NY Election Party Hell

“The Crossroads of the World will be turned into the Seventh Circle of Hell on election night when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump host dueling ‘victory’ parties about 20 blocks from each other.

“He’ll spend the last night of this ugly campaign at the Hilton on Sixth Ave. She’ll be at the Javits Center. You’ll be stuck at the corner of W. 46th and Deliverance.

“Even under the best circumstances, Midtown Manhattan is New York’s no-fly zone, the place where no real person goes unless he has tickets to a play or somehow ended up leading out-of-town relatives through the biggest tourist trap this side of Patpong Road.” [. . .]    –Gersh Kuntzman, New York Daily News, November 4, 2016

The Nine Circles of Campaign Hell

“You aren’t imagining things — this campaign season has been hell on earth.

“During the State Dinner the White House hosted for the Italian prime minister Tuesday, President Barack Obama compared presidential campaigns to Dante’s Inferno.

“If choosing the punishment for this circle of political hell were up for a vote, having to sit in the front row of a never ending presidential debate seems like a pretty strong contender.” [. . .]    –Brenna Williams, CNN, October 19th, 2016

You can read the full list here.

Trump Circle

160222_a19809-1000The New Yorker, February 22, 2016

Brussels as a “hellhole” (according to Donald Trump)

28trumpbelgium-web2-articleLarge […] “Now Donald J. Trump has upset the already beleaguered people of Belgium, calling its capital, Brussels, ‘a hellhole.’ ” […]

“A Twitter user using the name Berlaymonster (Berlaymont is the headquarters complex of the European Commission in Brussels) posted what appeared to be a modified version of the Wikipedia entry for Dante’s “Inferno.” The list of chapters showed Limbo, Lust and Gluttony. The fourth chapter? Brussels.” […]  —Dan Bilefsky and Claire Barthelemy, The New York Times, January 27, 2016

brussels

Berlaymonster, Twitter, January 27, 2016

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