The Internet Generation Blues

I went down to the crossroads, but the devil wouldn’t take my soul.

He said, “Hey brother, since you is here, let me give it to you straight.

I’m in the market for the best merchandise. What you got ain’t whole.

Ain’t no body in the misty darkness and the hour’s getting late.

But while you’re here if you could bend your ear, I’ll get somp’n off my plate.

.

“I been down to these crossroads every night near to about this time.

Used to be, it seems to me, many waiting underneath that moon.

Some could sing and some could play and some of them could spit a sick rhyme.

All they needed was a little boost, and the fame would seal their doom.

But you and your kind with all that internet time won’t be nothing soon.

.

“But you come down to this crossroads. The first one in near to a year.

I guess the best I could do is listen a few. Sell me on somp’n ‘bout you.

Not you per se but all y’all today. Y’all about the same, I fear.

Reality tv. You can blame that on me. The pickens far between and few.

So tell me friend. I’ll ask you again. Sell me on somp’n ‘bout you.”

.

So I’m down at the dark crossroads and I ain’t got no soul to sell.

I got a slick selfie stick and a phone with a healthy data stream.

I have heard tell you’re the master of hell and you’ve seen some shit. Well…

I’ve got a bet with a friend I could show you things you never seen.

Live stream reaction video. Just keep your eyes stuck to this screen.

.

I went down to the crossroads, but the devil wouldn’t take my soul.

On my old internet, I showed him shit he ain’t ever seen yet.

And brother after what he saw, I don’t think he came out right whole.

He was twitchin and retchin and all covered in clammy, cold sweat.

And before he ran off, I told him, “Wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

.

I went down to the crossroads, but the devil wouldn’t take my soul.

Now, I’m holding down the crossroads, brother. And I just changed the deal.

Now, I’m holding down the crossroads, brother. And I just changed the deal.

The Giant Frozen Satan

17 April 2019

 

While Dante’s encounter with Satan was very important for the salvation of his soul and is anticipated through the entirety of The Inferno, the actual encounter is somewhat anticlimactic. Satan is a disfigured giant that is frightening to look upon but of little actual danger to worthy souls. In canto 34, Dante describes Satan as if he were an engine of war to be built and placed by an attacking army rather than a being capable of independent action. He says, “Like a whirling windmill seen afar at twilight,/or when a mist has risen from the ground—/just such an engine rose upon my sight” (Alighieri 34.4-6.) Satan, in Dante’s depiction, is incapable on moving on his own and seems not to even take notice of Virgil and Dante as they approach or even when they grab onto his fur and climb down his legs. This Satan, now that he is frozen in place in the deepest pit of hell, no longer has the power to defy God and acts as a proxy serving out punishment in them employ of God.

 

Aside from his wings whirling the icy winds of hell throughout the ninth circle, the only action that Satan is able to take chewing on the most heinous of the souls damned to hell. When I read Dante’s description of Satan chewing on Judas, I automatically thought of the Goya painting of Kronos eating his son. Dante says:

In every mouth he worked a broken sinner

between his rake-like teeth. Thus he kept three

in eternal pain at his eternal dinner.

 

For the one in front the biting seemed to play

no part at all compared to the ripping: at times

the whole skin of his back was flayed away.

Goya’s painting is a disturbing scene freezing the titan in the act of eating one of his sons, but while Kronos eventually swallows his victims, Satan’s victims are perpetually in the agony of being devoured.

 

I found both Goya’s painting of Kronos and an earlier painting by Giovanni da Modena. The paintings are so similar that one likely is the inspiration for the other. First, Dante is inspired by the story of Kronos. Then, the painting of Satan is inspired by Dante. Then the painting of Kronos is inspired by the painting of Satan.

 

https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/saturn/18110a75-b0e7-430c-bc73-2a4d55893bd6

 

http://www.poderesantapia.com/art/giovannidamodena.htm

 

 

Works Cited

Alighieri, Dante, and John Ciardi. The Inferno. New American Library, 2003.

Giovanni. “Satan.” http://www.poderesantapia.com/art/giovannidamodena.htm

Goya. “Saturn Devouring his Son.” https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/saturn/18110a75-b0e7-430c-bc73-2a4d55893bd6