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No, this isn't a diary to list all the people in our world we'd like to tell this to. Besides, I'm sure the Republican leadership already knows we chant this like a mantra some days :). No, this diary came about when, during our last heat wave, someone commented to Mr. Brillig that it was hotter than one of the Dante's Circles of Hell. Being the inquisitive folk we are, out came two smartphones and we learned what, exactly, life in those Circles might be like. To learn more, and to contemplate which circle either you or someone you're thinking of might find themselves in, please abandon all hope and follow me below the dingledoodle squigglie dKosagnocchi dividerthingie not-the-Pearly-Gates fold after a word from our sponsor...


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I would have gotten lost on my way had it not been for several wonderful websites that helped guide me towards the inner realms... from a handy chart to Danteworlds, where I got lost reading and looking and had to delay this diary a week :). Also, look here for a handy infographic if you forget where you are. Hell is a VERY big place, and I had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of it :).

With sincere apologies to Dante Alighieri and his 14th-century epic poem the Divine Comedy, let's begin our quick tour of Life In Hell:

First Circle (Limbo) - unbaptized children and virtuous pagans go here. Relatively speaking, it doesn't sound SO bad. It's got a nice castle, inside whose walls there are 7 gates (representing the 7 virtues) and nice fields. Basically, it's Heaven Lite - nice, no real punishment, it's just not... happy. See: Abandon Hope, above. You'll be in decent company, with Homer, Virgil, Julius Caesar, Hippocrates, and a wagonload of Greek/Roman philosophers. Sounds fairly comfortable, neither too hot or too cold.

Second Circle (Lust) - pretty self-explanatory. Those who acted on lustful feelings, here you are, hanging out with Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Achilles. For your eternal stay, you'll be buffeted by the neverending fierce winds of unquenchable desire. Doesn't say anything about fire, brimstone, or boiling blood, so probably some Gore-Tex or wind-block polarfleece over a t-shirt should do well.

Third Circle (Gluttony) - Overeat? Have a carafe or ten too many? Just a hog at heart? Here's your circle, with a constant rainfall of sewage. You'll be in the thick of the storm, mired in the resulting mud/slush. If you can't think of a way to sneak in a good all-weather tent (and possibly a full-body wetsuit) I'd lay off that last Twinkie now if I were you.

Fourth Circle (Greed) - Greed subdivides into two parts: Hoarders & Squanderers. Clearly, money can't buy you love, and he who dies with the most toys absolutely does NOT win. This circle at least provides entertainment in the form of both sides pushing large boulders/weights at the other group while hurling insults about their opponent's greedy habit. I'm now envisioning HellTV, where the sports channel is known as Circle4. No mention of temperature here, although I'm sure they're rather sweaty with all the pushing and hurling.

Fifth Circle (Anger) - We've got two types again; Hell must have had to give up land during Sequestration and downsize into a mere 9 levels. On the surface of the river Styx we've got your wrathful people, angry on the outside and fighting with each other for all eternity. Sunken forevermore at the bottom of the Styx are those who repressed their anger, the sullen ones. Let it out, people, clearly bottling it all up is NOT good for your eternal soul! The Styx is described as swampy but not overheated, so once again, Hell seems cooler than Boston last week.

To continue our journey, we're headed into the City of Dis, where the lower regions of Hell are located. Everyone all set? Don't get lost here, metropolitan areas are notoriously crowded and easy to get lost in.
Sixth Circle (Heresy) - Not surprisingly for a Christian concept, we're once again concerned with those who challenge official church teachings. Got a beef with the Church and want to hang out with the likes of Emperor Frederick II and Pope Anastasius II in a flaming tomb? This is YOUR stop on the journey to the Pit of Hell. It is warm here, so earthly residents of Death Valley, this may feel like home (although you may want to hold out another stop or two).

Seventh Circle (Violence) - You've got three choices here, only two of which involve fire and boiling rivers. In the Outer Ring, join Dionysius, Attilla the Hun, Alexander the Great and others who commit violence against other people as they stand in the boiling river of blood. Shuffled off the mortal coil by your own hand? Middle Ring for you, where eternity will be spent being gnawed on by Harpies as you are transformed into a gnarled bush. If you committed violence against nature, defined as blasphemers, sodomites and userers (not MY choice of who's where, mind you... take it up with Dante), then you will be lounging on red-hot desert sands, with fire raining down. As far as I can see, this pretty much is the classic definition of Hell. Given I disagree with the whole idea that sodomy is a crime against nature, perhaps a transfer up one Circle to the Heretics with an asbestos tent might be an option to consider?

Eighth Circle (Fraud) - Clearly, this circle used to be known as "Miscellaneous" because just about everyone can find a home here. Fraud has a lot of subdivisions: Pimps/seducers, flatterers, diviners, hypocrites, thieves, corrupt politicians, false counselors/sorcerers, simonists (abuse of power w/in church), schismatics and just plain liars. Jason of Argonaut fame, and Popes Boniface VIII & Clement V can show you around. Each subdivision has its own eternal torment, ranging from being chased by hounds or eternal infernal itching to stressful positioning, to being immersed in boiling pitch. That last one is for corrupt politicians, so rest easy, there IS Karma coming. Those who commit fraud against the church and give false counsel also get "traditional" Hell, involving heat.

Ninth Circle (Treachery) - This is it, the center of Hell. Those who commit treachery to kindred, city, party, country, or to guests, Lords or benefactors. Biting the hand that fed you gets you the Icy Cold Tendrils of Hell forever. Only in their fevered dreams will they ever feel flames warming their cold toes.

I hope you've enjoyed your tour through Hell. Please remove the protective poncho you donned before entering... erm, what? I didn't mention that or hand them out? Oopsie.  I now have NO idea what circle this diary has catapulted me into.

At some point we need to draw up the Political Activist's Guide To Hell, and reallocate those circles accordingly. And get the pagans and babies out of Limbo!

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From JayRaye:
This comment by JosephK74 is definitely a top comment.
cuphalffull flagged this comment by slippytoad.
From Yours Truly, brillig:
texasmom shares a case study offering yet another example of Obamacare working.

JeffW shares Walmart's business strategy. trumpeter adds the secondary tactics.

Top Mojo for yesterday, July 29th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic! For those of you interested in How Top Mojo Works, please see his diary FAQing Top Mojo.
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28) The people of PA do not like this guy by thenekkidtruth — 63
29) And yet by raptavio — 62
30) Welcome back home to North Carolina. by Sixty Something — 62

Top Pictures Cats for yesterday, July 29th.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!

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