Monday, April 25, 2005

like a record

dans_inferno said...
...Seems as though I've got procrastinating readers finally dusting off their copies of Dante's Divine Comedies, particularly the Inferno. Some days it feels good to feel like an English Lit professor.

and then he promptly disappeared after five posts, leaving me (and maybe others- who can say?) on my own to read 'inferno' without anyone but virgil and the translater/commentator to take me through.

i did, in any event, make it to the other side with the help of alice cooper.

'inferno' was a great read. however, because of the kind of twitching brain i have, i found it important and useful to have music on that would set the tone for the journey. call it 'method reading' or whatever.

so here is my listening list (please- in completely random order!) for anybody other than me who finds reading part 1 of dante's magnum opus a bit too- er- poetic for their 21st century adhdMtv aesthetic to stay with for any length of time without some set and setting:

alice cooper: 'goes to hell'- amazing parallel journey

rick wakeman: 'lisztomania'- classical electronica circa 1975 (soundtrack featuring vox from roger who?)

deep purple: (self-titled) just stare at the album cover for sixty seconds before reading the book and then watch the images appear on the page behind the printed words.

vangelis: 'heaven and hell'- it actually all works for 'inferno'... (definately NOT 'chariots of fire!') can't really imagine listening to this and reading dante's third book.

genesis: 'the lamb lies down on broadway'- peter gabriel's nightmarish journey of a character named rael, bearing some comparisons (note: the album notes are almost as long as dante's work, but they don't have all that rhyming that makes the translated sentences of dante hard to follow sometimes)

andrew lloyd webber: 'requiem'- a very young sarah brightman and a rather old placido domingo's contributions to this album are collectively mentioned in an old elvis costello song.

david sylvian: 'plight and premonition'- tuning radios, cycling tape loops and creating some breathtaking ambience

black sabbath: 'master of reality'(although sabbatoge also works) ozzy at his most coherent!

ginger baker: 'middle passage'- ecclectic percussive curios from around the globe

nine inch nails: 'the fragile'- ('downward spiral' is just too active- the lyrical/musical angst is so thick that it is virtually impossible to concentrate on the book- 'the fragile' is more subtle... and longer)

led zeppelin: 'presence'- the manic slide work and drum pummelling in 'nobody's fault but mine' and 'achilles last stand' seem to go the same places as the book

and, of course, anything by tom waits... 'rain dogs' or 'frank's wild years' tend to be more like musical journeys through a heart of darkness trapped in a sideshow freak.

i ignored some really obvious stuff (although black sabbath is listed above and probably shouldn't be for exactly the same reasons)- there is no marilyn manson, no slayer, no rammstein, no pantera, no coal chamber, no leonard cohen, no ACDC, no motley crue, no type-0-negative, no alice in chains, no cradle of filth, no fear factory, no king diamond, no neil diamond, no johnny cash (ring of fire)... you know- just too obvious.
and then just when i thought i would never hear from the guy again, out of the pit itself comes dans_inferno himself with an observation about my list...

Cant' believe you didn't listen to Sympathy for the Devil or Pink Floyd.

no, i didn't listen to any floyd because i always listen to the floyd. in my office at the church here i have the green pyramid poster from darkside proudly displayed. if i were to listen to pink floyd whilst reading 'inferno', it would probably be the entire wish you were here album from beginning to end. i always found the hopelessness in the lyrics and the drowse of the title cut chilling in a way that was a little too familiar to my soul...

(eagles' hotel california plays out the same way with all that stabbing but not killing, checking out but never leaving stuff.)

the devil himself doesn't come around much in the book until canto XXXIV, where he is depicted as feasting upon traitors in the 9th circle. he seems to be portrayed more as a classical greek/roman demi-god... you know: hades, lord of the underworld, guardian of the grave? 'sympathy' always felt more like satan's rebel yell or resume than words from a warden...

i might even speculate that the devil in the stones' song is more biblical than the creature in dante.

mick jagger- theologian of the 20th century. R.I.P.

although dans_inferno found it laughable that i hadn't read 'inferno' until prompted by his blog, it really shouldn't be that surprising. bible school wasn't really about 13-14th century poetry.

i think that dante's work is more about quantifying the pain that people inflict upon each other, and then grading these things on a curve that appears to, yeah, spiral downward. although dante was hardly writing in the modern era, i found his stuff to be very categorical in that it takes the whole 'putting selfish needs and desires before all else' thing, speculating on which offences are more objectionable to God and then creatively making the punishment fit the crime in nature and severity.

but see, i'm not sure God is quite so ready to plot sinfulness on a continuum. i mean, what would be the point? all have sinned. Jesus died in our place. 'whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life...'

perish? sitting for all eternity in the spiritual cold going 'damn!'

well, whatever the case, dans_inferno is up and running with the devil... if you are interested in that sorta thing.

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Blogger dans_inferno said...

Now I know what they teach in Bible School. They teach you fifty ways in how to express feeling abandoned.

Isn't that what it's all about, making you feel all alone so that you become more dependent upon someone else's interpretation of God.

Oh, yeah, The Fear Factor. Great reality television, lousy theology.

If you take a second look you'll see that I left a good many other challenges for you (or anyone else) to read (being that it took you most of your present life time to get through Dante's Inferno).

Yep, Bible College...where they don't teach you nothing about history so that facts don't get in the way of the fantasy interpretation of what happened back in the good old scripture writing days.

Okay, so Dans abandoned you to be alone listening to whatever music you needed to get through Dante. Fine. Think of me as the God they taught you about in Bible College. The God who adandons you. The God who punishes you. The God who makes you quake in your boots with fear so that you go scurrying over to the Parish whomever for protection.

Hey, I kind of can get into enjoying playing this God role. By the way, how long can you tread water?..............dans

Blogger dans_inferno said...

Marcy sent me this....dans

marcythewhore's advice

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Underground Vatican City....An Upside Down Skyscraper

Dear Marcy,
I somehow feel that Dan and Der Papa are so much into focusing on their own specific texts, that they wouldn't consider anything out of the ordinary like the NagHammadi Library.

I wonder what they would think of the text called The Origin of the World?

Wisdom (Sophia) was present at the foundation of the universe, including the heavens and the earth. Wisdom is part of the 72 names of God, according to Kabballah.

Somehow I suspect that Der Papa may have a little trouble with the concept that God has a feminine aspect, that aspect being Wisdom.

I wonder if Dan, who has been researching the Sacred Feminine, would find any correlation to this?

Hmmmmm?............Wondering in Washington

Marcythewhore says: Dear Wondering Whatever Happened to the Basement in Washington: You ever hear that joke about the basement in the Alamo? You know the one where you tell a tourist that when they go to visit the Alama in San Antonio to ask to see the basement where Davy Crockett is supposedly buried.

Anyway, as for the NagHammadi Library and the Dead Sea Scrolls and a lot of other ancient writings, don't underestimate the Vatican.

The Vatican is the planet's wealthiest little piece of real estate less than a square mile on the surface. When tourists go to see St. Peter's Square and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and all of that, they don't see what's underground.

The Vatican Underground would be a tour guide's dream for making big money.

Someone has been digging underneath the Vatican since the days of the Caesars, back when they were catacombs. Through the years the catacombs under the Vatican have been remodeled to be anything from archival libraries to nuclear missile launch silos.

And after one floor of catacombs has been remodeled, someone dug down another floor. The labyrinth under the Vatican makes the tunnels the Viet Cong dug in Vietnam look like small networks. There's more mileage down there than the New York City subway system.

One guess is that the Vatican Underground is forty stories down so far.

My guess is that it is twice that much..........and there ain't going to be any airplanes running into this skyscraper turned upside down.........................marcythewhore

posted by marcythewhore at 7:08 AM 0 comments

Blogger jollybeggar said...

naw- it only took me a couple of weeks to read it... it took me a lifetime to start the thing.

anyway fear factory was a band long before fear factor was a tv show. they even did an interesting collaboration with gary numan on a remake of 'cars.'

reality? hmmm.

speaking of fantasies, i think that the God that you are describing is more part of humankind's need to blame all of the bad outcomes of their own and others' bad decisions in life on someone big enough that they can hit with even really bad aim.

if i was actually feeling abandoned i would have listened to paul simon.


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