“Letter: Riding MetroLink is like a descent into Dante’s Inferno

letter-riding-metrolink-is-like-a-descent-into-dantes-inferno-st-louis-dispatch-2021“Regarding “In aftermath of MetroLink guard’s murder, Bi-State CEO sticking with policing strategy” (Feb. 3): If it wasn’t so tragic and pathetic, one would almost have to laugh at Bi-State Development Agency President and Chief Executive Taulby Roach’s intention to keep MetroLink’s “revamped security system.” What security system? Security guards and contracted employees can’t carry deadly weapons, but the man who allegedly killed that young security guard had a weapon — possibly stolen or illegal. Riding MetroLink is like a descent into “Dante’s Inferno”: shouting, smoking, drug use, fights, robberies, murders. If it’s not safe for the security guards, who is safe? What a shame MetroLink has plunged into Dante’s hell.” [. . .]    — Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 7, 2021.

Dante’s New Pop Up: The Snow Lodge in Aspen

dujour-dantes-pop-up-snow-lodge-in-apsen-2021“New York City-based bar and restaurant Dante has taken over The Snow Lodge in Aspen for the winter season. Located at the base of Ajax Mountain, Dante at The Snow Lodge delivers the ultimate après-ski experience, featuring a chic, retro ski-designed restaurant and outdoor patio with scenic seating and fire pits, as well as live music, shops and wellness programming. ‘You couldn’t ask for a better spot when you come off the mountain for a cocktail,’ says Dante’s co-owner Linden Pride. Breakfast and lunch and an après-ski cocktail hour menu mirrors the offerings at their downtown two New York City locations, with all available for take-out and delivery through the Dante App. ‘We developed a dedicated menu of hot cocktails for outdoor dining with drinks such as our Hot Smoked Toddy, Hot Buttered Rum, Spiked Coffee and more,’ says Pride. ‘We’ve also brought over our most popular dishes like our pappardelle all’ragu with wild boar, which is perfect after a big day of skiing.'” [. . .]    –Natasha Wolff, Dujour.

DeseretNews, “We are living in Dante’s Inferno: Here’s Our Way Out”

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“Many of us who face the start of 2021 are experiencing political and personal crises analogous to what Dante confronted seven centuries earlier. Families are split according to political alliances. Homes are being lost to foreclosures. More walls are going up than doors are being opened. Pride leads us to blame others rather than accept any personal responsibility. We prefer to react rather than act in ways that lead to positive, forward motion. Dante’s epic, if read to the end, teaches that there is a better and more hopeful way.

“To follow Dante’s example, we must read widely and be open to more than one news source or a single viewpoint. We must recognize how breaking the law, whether God’s or man’s, easily leads to corruption, no matter how smart or rich the person is. We must take responsibility for our own actions, acknowledge when we are wrong, and engage in honest efforts to make amends. We must adopt long-term views and prioritize what matters most. Dante would argue that only then can one find the wisdom and the fortitude to endure to the end.” [. . .]    –Madison Sowell, DeseretNews, January 18, 2021.

 

The Guardian’s Opinion: Dante’s Heavenly Wisdom For Our Troubled Times

the-guardian-dantes-wisdom-in-troubled-times-2021“The artistic aspirations of the Divine Comedy were, of course, more profound than a mere settling of scores with people Dante didn’t like. His great work, completed in 1320, helped structure the theological imagination of the Catholic world. But as this year’s anniversary celebrations begin, it is the poet’s reflections on politics that strike a particular chord. He was as preoccupied with the consequences of factionalism and tribalism as we are.

“The explanation for that lies in Dante’s own turbulent biography. Prominent in the ferocious power struggles of medieval Florence, he at various points took up arms, held high office, was double-crossed by Pope Boniface VIII and subsequently died in exile. Writing the Divine Comedy, the author deals ruthlessly with those who engineered and profited from the poet’s banishment. Boniface’s card is marked in Canto XIX of Inferno. Filippo Argenti, a political rival, is placed in the fifth circle of hell, reserved for the wrathful, where he bites lumps out of himself for all eternity.” [. . .]    —The Guardian, January 14, 2021.

 

“Columbia Art League Exhibit Honors Dante With Visions of the Afterlife”

columbia-art-league-dante-visions-of-afterlife-2021“CAL’s current exhibit, The Divine Comedy, is grounded in Dante Alighieri’s medieval masterwork, a revealing, often harrowing pilgrimage through the stations of the afterlife. CAL artists responded to Dante’s themes, and everlasting concepts of life beyond our own, in personal and particular ways.

“Heaven, hell and purgatory are represented within these images, and relatively well-balanced, CAL education and outreach director Karen Shortt-Stout said. Given the existential troubles of 2020 and early 2021, she thought artists might bend in greater number toward the visual language of fire and brimstone.

Blue Moon Burgers’ Halloween Special

blue-moon-halloween-special-2020“‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here…’

“Helping people feel good about making bad choices – it’s what we do here at Blue Moon Burgers. And we’ve got the perfect thing to help you through Halloween – we call it ‘Dante’s Inferno’

“Just as the exiled poet Dante made his voyage through the Nine Circles of Suffering/Hell, the Boys at Blue Moon Burgers are ready to help guide you through the Third Circle (gluttony!) with a spicy temptation offered all day/evening on October 31.

“The centerpiece of the Dante’s Inferno meal is our El Diabo Azul, a devilish burger coated with cayenne and cumin seasoning, topped with deep-fried jalapeno bottlecaps, pepper jack cheese and our spicy buffalo sauce. Fresh lettuce and housemade Pico de Gallo on a delicious Grand Central Bakery bun finish off this burner of a burger.

“The Diablo’s running mate is a full-order of our Jalapeno Bottlecaps,  which are floured and deep fried to a perfect crunch, and served with our own spicy buffalo sauce.

“Then to cool you off, we include a pint of one of our great beers on tap – or if you’d rather stay in the spirit of things (and off the spirits!), you can have a Pumpkin Pie Shake instead.  Whichever flies your broomstick is fine with us.

“There you have it – our Dante’s Inferno – offered Oct 31 only, at the special price of $10.31 – a devil of a deal!!!  There’s no punishment for gluttony here at Blue Moon Burgers…”    —Blue Moon Burgers.

9 Circles of Hot Sauces and Spice Blends

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“Perhaps a long, hot walk, but a walk non the less. There is such a diverse pepper combination that is difficult to peg a dominate flavor source. I see the listed ingredients are not in order by scoville heat unit scale measure but in a manner that each pepper’s heat compliments each other. Remember the flavor curve? This was excellent.   Well done 9 Circles. The chicken was wonderful as well. I look forward to adding this spice mix to my kitchen inventory.

“The pork loin and the chicken breast that were rubbed with the brown sugar spice mix were obviously not as hot. But for the folks that can’t really handle the heat, but want to be bold enough and try the flavors of these wonderful peppers, this mix works. The brown sugar calmed the intense heat as provided by all these peppers. Ultimately, play around with the spice mix and see with what works for you heat wise.

“I’m happy somebody had the creativity and balls to develop and make this mix. The pepper combination worked well. I have had my fair share of hot pepper mixes, but 9 Circles Of HELL did their homework and produced a product worthy of the 9 dissentions of hell.” [. . .]    –Stephen Bishop, Perfect Meal Today, July 19, 2015.

 

The Dual Observer: “Hamilton Dems Register Damned Souls in NY-22”

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“After crossing Acheron, the river of woe, Aligheri led the Dems through the nine circles of eternal suffering in search of spirits willing to switch their voter registration to Clinton. The group had a productive afternoon getting networking advice from their parents’ deceased coworkers and handing registration forms to any vaguely American-looking ghost able to pull its head above the lake of fire. ‘I want to make sure that the Hamilton locals have the best public officials I can pick for them,’ Aligheri said after securing an application from a heretic buried in a flaming tomb. ‘I just love the Uvula area and I want to give back. Like back home in Connecticut when I go down to McDonald’s and give the poors unsolicited investment advice.'” [. . .]    –Mr. Nelson, The Dual Observer, October 9, 2020.

Thanksgiving and the Nine Circles of Travel Hell

thanksgiving-and-the-nine-circles-of-travel-hell-2020“Poll air travelers this Thanksgiving weekend and they will single out the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) for particular animus. They will blame the TSA for long lines and inefficiency in order to support a process that has as much to do with theater as it does true security. But, as a frequent traveler and a bit of a curmudgeon before my time—1.5 million miles on United can do that to a person—I would argue that the TSA deserves to occupy only one circle of hell, and a relatively mild one at that. True eternal damnation should be reserved for my fellow passengers. So, in the opposite of the spirit of Thanksgiving and with all due respect to Dante, below are those who occupy my nine circles of travel hell:” [. . .]    –Michael Rubin, AEIdeas, November 22, 2016.

The 5 Levels of NFL Draft Hell

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“The language of sports is full of jargon used to signal inclusion. Being in on the dialect indicates expertise — being someone who lives in and understands traditions. Jargon can also act as a replacement for original thought and provides a way to anesthetize the speaker and their audience from the human realities and consequences of sports. The conversation around the NFL Draft demonstrates this power of jargon in shaping the idea of football and its athletes: We’ve begun looking at players and their bodies through the cliches and expressions they are confined to.

“Terms like ‘elite,’ ‘draft stock,’ and ‘big board’ are used by experts and fans to signal belonging. Players are reduced to ambiguous descriptors, like ‘gunslinger’ and ‘winner.’ More troublesome, this path of reduction and obscurement leads to whitewashing a history of domestic violence as ‘character concerns,’ homosexuality dismissed as a ‘distraction,’ and black athletes portrayed as monsters and brutes. ‘Freak’ and ‘machine’ are treated as endearing descriptions, and the suspicion that a black quarterback can’t ‘read a defense’ tries to hide the racist idea that black people are not as smart as their white counterparts.

“This corrupted language leads to corrupted thinking. The banality of most jargon, in making sure to hide reality behind doublespeak, inevitably escalates to lightly coded bigotry. Jargon lets old prejudices and racist tropes run amok, disguised as sporting truths. To help untangle these euphemisms, we created a glossary to decode NFL evaluations, separated by levels of nefariousness that even Dante would appreciate. And in that spirit, let us take you on a journey …” [. . .]    –Zito Madu & Charles Mcdonald, Sbnation, 2018