February 25, 2008


A while back, a friend sort of dared me to blog about Dante's Divine Comedy. It is, after all, one of the most awesome works of the human imagination ever. I've been thinking about doing it for a long time, but the Wayne's World factor keeps kicking in.

What might that be? If you've seen the movie (if not, go get it--I'll wait), you may remember the part where Wayne and Garth get backstage passes to see Alice Cooper. When the reality sinks in of being in the presence of such splendor, they are overcome with awe and prostrate themselves saying "We're not worthy! We're scum! We suck!"

Here's the clip, via the nice people at You Tube.

And for the record, I'm going to go out on a limb here and boldly assert that Dante is every bit as awesome a presence as Alice Cooper, which is quite a compliment coming from me.

For that reason, I'm going to take the indirect approach and just talk about some things that might make approaching Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso a little easier.

Let me start with this plea: whoever you are, try not to die without first making the acquaintance of this classic. As T.S. Eliot once said, "take the Comedy as a whole, you can compare it to nothing but the entire dramatic work of Shakespeare.... Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third."

He left out Homer (and Alice), but you get the idea. More tomorrow.

THE COST OF THE IRAQ WAR is worse than we thought--and we already thought it was bad.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, here's an item about the sorry state of mental health care for veterans of this war.

RETIREMENT looking pretty grim for many workers. Here's an op-ed by your's truly on a possible part of the solution.

RELIGION WITHOUT RABIES. This item from The Atlantic suggests that evangelicalism is moving toward moderation.

THE R WORD. Here's an interesting article on why and when revolutions happen.

WHO LOVES YOU? It's the start of a week. Fortify yourself with a little entertainment: here's William Shatner and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, courtesy of the nice people at YouTube.


1 comment:

Robin said...

I was just checking out Rick Wilson's old Goat Rope links. What do you think of this one http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/when-change-not-enough-seven-steps-revolution ? I would love to believe that people are ready for radical change. I'm not enthralled by the idea of violent revolution especially in our era of nasty weaponry, plus ill prepared citizens to create democracy after years of having honed the skills of death. I also think this article down plays the smashing success of our culture to suppress the revolutionary desire by blaming the victim, consumerism, TV addiction, and fear.