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

Satan To Add East Ave Wegmans Parking Lot As Tenth Circle Of Hell

“Rochester, NY– Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, Treachery. These are the nine circles of hell, but today is a big day. Satan has just announced that this year they are set to add the east avenue Wegmans parking lot as a much awaited tenth circle of hell. We spoke with the leader of hellfire himself to see how excited he is for this new addition.

“’You know, the minute I drove into the east avenue Wegmans parking lot, I knew it was a match made in hell. Seriously, it has to be one of the most disorganized, chaotic messes I’ve ever seen or had to be apart of! This is coming from a guy who single-handedly created the bubonic plague! I mean I love Wegmans, don’t get me wrong, but were they trying to create a new circle of hell for me? It feels like it, you know I thought the circle of gluttony and lust was a pretty raw deal, but I can’t wait to see the face on some of the newcomers when they realize they’re stuck in a never-ending bumper to bumper of the Wegmans parking lot. Very excited for this new addition and I can’t wait to hear some of the feedback from the regulars’” [. . .]    —The Inner Loop, February 13, 2017.

The Tenth Circle: IKEA

“In a rare and revealing interview with the Ulster Fry, the Devil has admitted that he has created a Tenth Circle of Hell – in the form of a Bank Holiday shopping trip to IKEA.

“The former Argos delivery driver told us that he’d been attempting some home improvements at his bachelor pad in the Ninth Circle district, when he stumbled upon the new form of torture. ‘I was doing up the bedroom when it occurred to me that I could do with some storage for my CD collection,’ he said, ‘so I thought I’d pop down to IKEA and pick something up. Say what you like about IKEA, but they do have an impressive range of storage solutions.’

“’When I got there, I ended up wandering around aimlessly for hours, and instead of just getting some CD shelving I soon found that I had a trolley full of shite I never wanted in the first place. That’s when it hit me – I could build an extension onto Hell where the truly evil could be condemned to an eternity looking for a non-existent item in IKEA on a Bank Holiday.’

“’As soon as I got home I put my evil minions to work, although it took ages as it came in a flat pack from Sweden and we lost the wee hexagonal yoke you need to put it together.’” [. . .]    —The Ulster Fry, August 31, 2015.

Read the full post and check out more from The Ulster Fry on their website.

The Binding of Isaac, Rebirth (2014)

“Within the video game The Binding of Isaac, Satan is located in the 9th level of the game; Hell is described as ‘cold’ if the player dies on this level (both mirroring Inferno).”    –Anonymous Contributor

The Binding of Isaac, Rebirth is a 2014 video game published by Nicalis, an American publisher based out of Santa Ana, California.

You can check out more from Nicalis on their website, and you can buy The Binding of Isaac on Steam and on Humble.

Sympathy for the Devil: Satan, Sin, and the Underworld

Witkin, The Devil as TailorStanford University’s Cantor Arts Center is running an exhibit focused on the tradition of portraying Hell and the Devil in art, titled “Sympathy for the Devil: Satan, Sin, and the Underworld“. It explores the way the concept of the Devil has changed throughout the Western canon; we can think about how Dante’s silent Satan in frozen Hell fits into the story.

The exhibit’s description reads:

“The Cantor has Rodin’s famous masterwork the Gates of Hell. As Jackson Pollock’s important painting Lucifer comes to Stanford as part of the Anderson Collection, it is interesting to explore the visual history of the Devil and his realm. Also known as Satan, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, etc., the Devil and Hell itself are only briefly mentioned in the Bible; yet this source inspired artists.

“During the period from about 1500 to 1900, the Devil evolved from the bestial adversary of Christ to a rebellious, romantic hero or shrewd villain. In the 20th century this long tradition of graphic representation largely disappeared, as Hell came to be seen as an aspect of this world and its denizens as ‘other people.’ 

“Based upon the collections at Stanford and augmented by several loans, this exhibition traces the dominant Western tradition over approximately four centuries. A variety of prints, drawings, sculpture, and paintings— including works by Albrecht Dürer, Hendrick Goltzius, Jacques Callot, Gustav Doré, Max Beckmann, and Jerome Witkin—reveal how artists visualized Satan and his infernal realm and draw inspiration from religious sources and accounts by Homer, Dante, Virgil, and Milton.”

The exhibit runs from August 20th, 2014, until December 1st, 2014, and is open to the public.