An English In Kentucky


















Thursday May 29th 2014  Tim Candler


    I'll not be treading sweetly today. It's a hell out there. And it's a hell Dante never might have conceived of with his Styx and circles, and his categories of sin, and diagrams, and allusions to people who have all been dead for a very long time, but still deserve to be punished. Dante's own River Styx was reserved for souls found guilty of the sin of anger, or wrath as it was called. The Wrathful would swim about in a dark and poisonous liquid trying to tear each other apart, and for reasons I'm not convinced of, The Sullen sit on the bottom of Dante's description of the River Styx, where they kind of lurk I guess. But it's a whole world Dante has, and you sometimes have to reckon that Dante might have been a Gardener or at least been inspired by watching a Gardener at a Compost Pile. An absurd possibility for a literary man, I know. But I guess the world itself could be likened unto a sort of a Compost Pile. Certainly there a moments of intense joy between long stretches of antagonism and disgust, but a Compost Pile has to it, all the elements of the social as epitomized by my own absurd species. And here I make no excuse for the word 'absurd,' because without that simple idea there'd be no society, there'd be no potential for society, there'd be no future for society, there'd be no change in society and we'd be more like Praying Mantis eggs waiting to hatch than we'd be like living things within societies of living things. So stop with the derogation of the existentialist, you unfortunate automatons. Go whisper sweet nothing into your IPod, do math or whatever. Take pills, be happy, kiss Jung's ass, interpret your own dreams of glory, then go shopping. And you can call me sullen if you wish to.

    And I have to think it might be far too hot to be turning Compost Piles, but what's got to be done has got to be done, and to maintain a productive mental attitude I find it very useful to think in terms of Compost Pile Sins, of which there are a great many, and then to think of which Circle of Hell each sin should be placed. The Sin of long bits of wire in a Compost Pile, I think you'd agree, is a difficult one. Instinct would suggest such a sin belongs to the Ninth Circle of Hell, the most horrible circle of hell. Where Dante, in his whimsical way, put Judas for the sin of Treachery.  And please, I do understand that there is the pro Judas argument, that indeed Judas wasn't guilty of treachery at all, rather he just wanted Jesus to hurry up and get on with it. And certainly a long piece of wire in the compost pile could serve as a similar motivator for those of us who might be prone to what they call prolix.  All the same, a long piece of wire in the Compost Pile, does I think, not only require the perpetrator be sent to the Ninth Circle of Hell,  it's also sort of Licentiousness. It's without moral restraint, no foresight whatsoever.  Not certain what Dante would call it, but it's a sort of combination of  Dante's, first, second, third, fourth and fifth circles. His Upper Hell, if you'd prefer. Things like Lust, Gluttony and Greed, as well as Wrath.  But by contributing to the entire Upper Hell in conjunction with his certain place in the Ninth Circle, the perpetrator of the long piece of wire in the Compost Pile is guilty of terribly, terribly, terribly sinful behavior that does indeed demonstrates the existence of Evil in the World. I just thank God I'm such a Virtuous Pagan. Dante reckoned we all go to Limbo, in case you hadn't guessed.


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