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Dante's Inferno Punishments, Part III

The Sodomites
Sodomites have to run around the same burning plane on which the blasphemers are lying down. I imagine some of you were expecting something more intricate in terms of buttsex castigation, but what can you do? Dante wrote in a time before Jim Carrey movies. Anyhow, Dante makes a big deal out of how the Sodomites, being able to run free in the flaming burning hell-rain, have a better deal than the blasphemers. This is called "compassionate conservatism." D

The Usurers
This is an often-overlooked sin: the sin of charging interest. Dante describes this area as being less populated than some of the others, but that's before Parker Brother made all of us who have been the banker in Monopoly into degraded, fetid mortgage-issuing degenerates. Which means that we're going to end up on the same field as the sodomites and the blasphemers, only we have to crouch instead of running or lying down. Kind of bland, but there you go. C-

The Panderers and the Seducers
Here we leave behind weird Italian definitions of violence and move into good old fraud. At the head of the line are the panderers and seducers, which I think indicates those who got other people laid and those who got themselves laid. These sexual tag teams are punished being made to march by horned demons with huge whips from the covers of heavy metal albums. Which albums in turn helped get people laid, so we've got a self-sustaining ecology here. Sort of. B

The Flatterers
Here we start to see Dante reusing some of his motifs. Whereas the sullen were sunk in slime, the flatterers are sunk in excrement. Which proves that maybe you should say nothing at all even if you CAN say something nice. Sincere love of humanity seems to be the safest bet, but let's be realistic here. C+

The Simoniacs
This is not a term for people who attend "Simon and Simon" fan conventions, but rather the selling of church offices. I didn't even know that was an option. Well, aside from The Church of Universal Life, but I figure Dante's problems with the Church of Universal Life wouldn't stop there. Anyhow, simoniacs get their feet lit on fire, whatever. There's a Pope in this section. Dante had all sorts of Popes in Hell. It's, like, Pope Central. C

Next week: Miss Cleo Goes to Hell!

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