“Hell’s Open House” / Memorable Fancies #1694

Hell has an open house. There are refreshments, “hot” hors d'oeuvres still wriggling on their skewers, crying for mercy. You say, how extraordinary: one of them looks just like me! And your host, smiling broadly, says, “Yes ... yes.” [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“Sympathy for the Devil” / Memorable Fancies #1662

[“No doubt we here may sympathize with the torturer, and so get pleasure.” – F.H. Bradley] Our pleasure is that someone else is being tortured, not us; but our unhappiness is that someone else is doing the torturing, not us.   … [Read more...]

“Watching” / Memorable Fancies #1236

[“in hell, / where there is nothing to do / but see–” – Louise Glück] In hell, to be the eternal spectator of others, yourself silent, motionless, unchanged. Like sitting in front of a TV forever – without a clicker. <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: At All Adventure, a Maltheist gospel. … [Read more...]

“Tourists in Hell” / Memorable Fancies #1216

[“In Hades, the shades of the dead repeat the same gesture ad infinitum.” – Sergio Agamben]      What this gesture means had been a mystery to tourists and casual visitors such as myself. Some of us thought it meant “repent before it’s too late!” or “we’ve abandoned all hope, y'know,” or just “tourists raus!”      But then we found ourselves repeating that same gesture, again and again – and unable to leave the place of our own Hell.      Now we know what the gesture … [Read more...]

“Polonius in Heaven” / Memorable Fancies #626

Claudius: Where is Polonius? Hamlet: In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him i’ the other place yourself.                         – Hamlet IV, iii      How will I know you, then, in Heaven when you and I are there, shriven cold in spite of all.      But if I turn from face to face looking for one I know and then I know that you are in – that other place –      I turn away, ashamed to Hell of being here      alone <END> THE … [Read more...]

“Video Games in Hell” – What to Buy Your Kids for Christmas / Memorable Fancies #533

     More useless electronic stuff your kids will demand for Christmas hit the shops today, Black Friday. Following the latest craze, most new games are “hell”-themed. Hell-game play levels, of course, begin at Level -1, then -2, -3 and so on, down to the toughest, level -9. Some of the new titles include: “I’ll be damned” “Run like hell” “Hell on wheels” “Get the hell out of Dodge” “Get your Dodge [Charger] out of hell” “Who the hell’s in charge here?” “A bat out of … [Read more...]

“The Tour” / Memorable Fancies #488

     No, that particular group tour wasn’t to our taste, retracing Dante’s journey to hell and gone, I mean. I thought it just had too many lectures, too much narrative instead of letting us tour members participate in the action. And every few hours we were just on the move again, not spending enough time in each circle of hell to really get acquainted with the locals. And we didn’t find any native crafts to haggle over, either.      I didn’t take the optional side-trip, going into the … [Read more...]

“The Harrowing of Hell” / A Memorable Fancy #304

 When all the breathers of this world are dead …” [Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXI]       Satan sat on his burning throne, face hard with flame and eyes gleaming white, last-born of the dead and everlasting Force! The forked tongue writhing from his mouth pierced the damned like awls: admonishing, rebuking, transfixing them with Responsible Comment.      Jesus stood before Satan. “Come, follow me,” said Satan, “and I will show you the damned.”      He went with Satan and beheld a pit … [Read more...]

“Tour Bus to the Gate of Hell” / A Memorable Fancy #268

“‘Gate of Hell’ they told the tourists. What a fake! Yes, there’s a hole in the ground, a rotting iron grate, a lock a child could break.” They gape, grab a shot, then the bus goes on to Aulis, Delphi, some other place. “I’ve seen the Gate of Hell itself!” they say, back at home. “Here’s one of the kids,” posing and squinting up at harsh Apollo before the Gate, the very place – “But the real Gate of Hell’s in Byblos,” Herb interrupts, “We saw it last year, when we took that … [Read more...]

“‘Each thing must have its god'” / A Memorable Fancy #28

“In the official records, I am referred to as ‘Lord of Shit,’ for each thing must have its god, and after Yahweh was victorious he humbled the proud heathen lords and sentenced us to the lowliest of domains. My friends here in this wretched place include once-proud nobles now sentenced to be Lord of Vile Treachery, of the Plague of the Black Tongue, of Suspicion of One’s Wife, of Willfully Ungrateful Sons, and so on. I, too, was once a god of higher things. Of a very grand thing, actually, … [Read more...]

“No One on Stage” / A Memorable Fancy #053

In the great theatre of the capital there is no one on stage. Lights up, then dim. Three down-spots converge as if in conspiracy, then scatter as a fourth creeps in from stage left, tries to overhear. Voices are heard, soft then loud. There are heart-rending cries, laments and swearing, inexorable dissonances and insupportable music, lustful enumeration of body-parts shouted as if in a noisy bar. “What in hell is this?” one asks. Others merely nod. “Yes, yes.” [– after Piero … [Read more...]

“Corporations in Heaven” / A Memorable Fancy #190

“But you’re joking!” I said. “Another of your ‘get rich quick’ schemes?” “No, this time I’m serious. Dead serious.” “Helping companies with their heavenly afterlife? But a company isn’t a person.” “The Supreme Court says it is.” “Buildings, organization, square footage, data, accounts receivable ...” “No, no. A corporation is people, just like a church is people. Not its bricks and mortar, not even its data. All those are ‘accidents’ as the theologians would say, not ‘essence.’ … [Read more...]

“How to Torture” / A Memorable Fancy #050

At first, the fallen angels reappeared as devils and scourged us, set us aflame with ever-searing heat. We called out to our companions among the damned, for they suffered alongside us. But gradually the devils departed, observing how capable our friends had become at torturing each other. I, myself, after some whims of conscience, ... [– after Piero Camporesi]     … [Read more...]

“Cut Off Your Food” / A Memorable Fancy #043

“Cut off your foot if it cannot step you to the Kingdom; poke out your eye if it cannot see you there. It is better to arrive with nothing, than go down to Hell with all your parts intact.” So said the Prophet. In their hearts, the listeners divided into two groups: those who thought the saying very harsh, and those who thought they could do without the first group, on their way to Glory.   … [Read more...]