King Kim II and the Escalator to Hell 


[“Ground Floor - women’s perfumes, international court of justice, and the dustbin of history.”]

 I came across this most unfortunate photograph of one of the last public appearances of the Dear Leader  Kim Jong-Il (a.k.a. King Kim II) before he died. Shortly after his death this escalator was turned into a shrine where grieving Koreans could go to weep, gnash their teeth, and rent their garments at the loss of their beloved tyrant. Another reading might be that the Dear Leader is on an escalator to hell, followed at discrete and geometrical distances by his sister, “Uncle Jang”, and other assorted party and military leaders who will soon be fighting over the bones of the state he left behind. Our hearts and thoughts are with you Dear Leader! [see article].

Compare the photo with Sandro Botticelli's (1445-1510) painting of the ladder to hell in "A Chart of Hell" (1480s) and his illustrations for Dante's Inferno. Rings 8 and 9 are reserved for corrupt politicians:


[See a larger image]

Here is how the website Art and the Bible describes it:

This is Botticelli's chart of Hell as described by Dante in his 14th century epic poem Inferno. Dante saw Hell as an abyss, a giant cave leading to the center of Earth. The cave was created when God cast Lucifer out of Heaven. Lucifer is stuck in the center, caught in ice.

In the story Dante describes his journey through Hell, which he made together with his friend the poet Virgil. Descending, they pass nine rings, representing categories of sins.

The first five rings are for people who could not control their desires: lust, gluttony, greed, anger and revenge. Also, unbaptized souls and decent heathens dwell here. Rings six and seven are for heresy and violence: murderers, suicides, blasphemers, and sodomites. Rings eight and nine are for fraud and treachery. Here dwell witches, thieves, astrologers, seducers, corrupt politicians, alchemists and sowers of discord. An interesting detail is that Dante describes meeting the founder of Islam, Muhammad, in that ring. Dante and many of his contemporaries viewed Islam as an off-shoot from Christianity.

See also The World of Dante.

Posted: Wednesday - December 28, 2011 at 06:25 PM