Thursday, September 10, 2015

51. Notes on the Inferno: The Second Circle

I take back what I said in paragraph #48 that Manuel L. Quezon's vision of a government run like hell by Filipinos is a smashing success. It turns out after reading Dante's Inferno, hell is pretty organized. In spite of all the people there, nobody's  complaining about the traffic. Nobody leaves hell. People just keep on coming. And unlike the chaotic government, no smart aleck is claiming that traffic in hell is not fatal (they are all dead) or that it's a sign of development. The Minos,  which guards the gate, tells the souls their place in the nine circles, and they're not in a hurry. Nonetheless, in the Second Circle of Hell, dwell the lustful. In Canto V, we read of the story of Francesca Da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta. The story is Francesca's husband caught her in bed with Paolo, her husband's brother, thus her husband killed them both. She claims  they were just reading a book about Lancelot and Guinevere, so they did it, and they got caught. She claims their predicament is rooted on love, (Line 125 Canto V). The modern equivalent of this story is the wife who went to bed with her husband's brother after watching porn. In law, love is hardly an excuse for this malfeasance. In fact, the Revised Penal Code doesn't prescribe jail time for this kind of murder and parricide for the assailant-husband. So, this kind of "what I did for love" excuse will only earn the victim and her lover a bullet and free pass to hell. Love is such an abused word. We once had a case against a judge for slapping her clerk of court. Her excuse? It's a slap of love, literally, "sampal ng pagmamahal." I can't believe the court bought it and we lost the case. Nevertheless, in Dante's Inferno, those who are lustful belong to a bigger group of sinners who commit the sin of incontinence or the inability to restrain one's urges. That's why the sinners there are full of excuses; everyone is to blame but themselves.  Hell is organized indeed, but hell, like earth, is also full of bullshit. 

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