Number of The Beast

In The Dark Wraith’s market round up yesterday, he notes that when the recently released numbers for the fourth quarter of 2004 are added, America’s trade deficit for last year totals to the rather portentous number of $666 billion dollars. As Wild Clover points out, the fact that George Bush’s policies contributed to the creation of this number could be construed as further evidence that he is indeed, The Anti-Christ.

Personally, I am not convinced that someone with Bush’s sorely obvious lack of intelligence could actually be the said spawn of Satan, and that if he does in fact hail from the nether planes then he is far more likely to be a demon of the ball-licking imp variety, than anything that approaches the Great Architect of Evil’s malevolent grandeur. Also, from what I hear, The Dark Wraith is quite well informed of events in The Underworld, and I am certain he would have alerted us if Bush were anything more than the simple idiot he appears to be.

However, all this got me to thinking: while George Bush is almost certainly not from Hell, there is an excellent chance that he will be headed there once the time comes for him to depart this mortal coil. This begs the interesting question of what punishment will await him once he arrives. What torture could possibly balance such acts as Gulf War II, The Bankruptcy Bill and oilrigs in our Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, etc?

Well, Dante had some very imaginative ideas about the sorts of punishments that sinners would endure in the after-life. A brief tour of Dante’s Inferno follows:

Before checking in at The Hotel of Eternal-Pain (A subsidiary of The Holiday Inn group), our commander-in-chief will first have to face Minos, whose job it is to judge each individual as they pass the gates, and assign to them the torment that best meets their transgressions. Once judgment has been passed, the sinner will be transported to one of the nine circles of Hell, each of which is designed to house a particular type of sinner, and mete out the appropriate punishment.

The first circle, Limbo, is reserved for virtuous pagans – people that lived good lives but were not baptized.

The second circle is where those who were overcome by lust are sent, and here they will endure eternity trapped in violent storm.

The third circle is for gluttons, who are placed face down in the stinking mud, and gnawed upon by the three-headed dog, Cerberus.

The fourth circle is for those who either hoarded material possessions, or were profligate with them. So I suppose we’re talking about the intemperate, here. Sinners inhabiting this circle are made to push giant boulders for all eternity.

The fifth circle is for the wrathful, who must fight one another in the waters of the river Styx, and the slothful, who stay trapped beneath its surface (guess I better practice holding my breath).

The sixth circle is located in the catacombs beneath Satan’s city of Dis. This is where heretics are kept in fiery agony.

The seventh circle contains the violent, who are trapped in a river of boiling blood, the suicidal, who are turned into thorny trees (?!), and the blasphemous, who must wander a burning hot desert, while rains of fire fall upon them.

The eighth circle is where it gets really serious, and all sorts of evildoers are housed here. Corrupt politicians in rivers of burning pitch; hypocrites clad in cloaks that are made of solid gold on the outside and lead on the inside; thieves being chased by venomous snakes; sowers of discord, who are torn apart, only to heal and be torn asunder again – in short, you really don’t want to find yourself here.

And finally, the ninth circle, where traitors are kept frozen in a lake of ice.

From the sounds of things, Bush is going to enjoy quite the whistle stop tour. Would anyone care to comment on which circle they think ol’ George should be kept, or posit any devious punishments of their own?

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