Stock Photo Hell

THAT IS NOT EVEN HOW SUDOKU WORKS

THAT IS NOT EVEN HOW SUDOKU WORKS

Circle Eight

Bolgia Seven: The False Counselors

He took me down to Minos, who wrapped his tail
Eight times around his rigid back,
Then, in a snit, gnawed the tip of it and said,

‘Put this one in the fire for deceitful schemers!’
Which is why I’m here and, as you can see,
Lost and dressed in this, going about in bitterness.

When he’d finished what he sad to say,
The flame, in anguish, ran off,
Twitching and flicking its pointed tip.

-Canto XXVII, Mary Jo Bang translation

 

At first when he and Virgil reach the bolgia of false counselors, Dante is confused because he doesn’t really see anyone. Or rather, he sees only countless flames. Virgil explains that there is a human soul inside of each flame, each “wrapped in blanket that burns it.” (Canto XXVI, Mary Jo Bang translation) The spirits talk directly out of the flames. Spirits Dante talks to include Odysseus and Diomedes, who are there because of the Trojan horse incident, among other things. In general, the people in this bolgia are guilty of subterfuge and tricking other people into schemes. I can only imagine that pyramid schemers, Ponzi schemers, and Scientologists would land here as well.

 

Search terms: evil scheme, false counselor, bad advice, counselor,  adviser

So “false counselor” was way to specific a term for my stock photo searches to understand, although I did get some photos of false eyelashes. And when I typed in “evil scheme” I got pretty much an entire page of the SCHEMING HANDS that have been documented earlier in the circle of fraud:

SCHEMING HANDS. Literally an entire page of this.

SCHEMING HANDS. Literally an entire page of this.

So I figured I’d at least try to get into some new territory with the stock photos, that being counselors and advisers. In general “adviser” meant money or real estate, and “counselor” meant feelings. Frankly, most of the advising images were very…standard slick stock photo images. They did have a surprisingly well-balanced representation of races, genders, and ages.

stock-photo-financial-advisor-talking-to-senior-couple-at-home-128132966On the other hand, a disproportionate number of the “counselors” who looked like they were dealing with feelings (as opposed to an academic counselor) were women. I mean…there was this guy:

I am not sure I would trust this man with matters of mental health. Then again, wearing a Mister Rogers Meets Bill Cosby sweater does not necessarily mean anything. He's got scheming hands, though. Never trust scheming hands.

I am not sure I would trust this man with matters of mental health. Then again, wearing a Mister Rogers Meets Bill Cosby sweater does not necessarily mean anything aside from a love for bright colors?!

And there was this gross misunderstanding of the Freudian analysis method:

The point is that the patient isn't suppose to give the psychologist "WTF" looks, gosh.

The point is that the patient isn’t suppose to give the psychologist “WTF” looks, gosh.

But mostly it was FEELS:

fig. 1: FEELS

fig. 1: FEELS

As for “bad advice,” there wasn’t a ton interesting going on, aside from that “advice” seemed to be conflated with “gossip.”

"We're being secretly controlled by the Patriarchy, Marsha. Don't tell."

“We’re being secretly controlled by the Patriarchy, Marsha. Don’t tell.”

My favorite image, and I believe the winner of this round, is the following false counselor/guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, knowwhatImean:

It's called "SIT DOWN DISCUSSION." Perhaps the discussion is about his female lackey's lack of business casual? One can only assume.

It’s called “SIT DOWN DISCUSSION.” Perhaps the discussion is about his female lackey’s lack of business casual? “Jeans are not appropriate for the workplace, Susan.”

NEXT UP: Schismatics

SPOILERS: “SCHISM” is a great word to remember when you have no vowels in Scrabble.