Stock Photo Hell
Bolgia Six: Hypocrites
we found a painted people, who moved about with lagging steps, in circles, weeping, with features tired and defeated. And they were dressed in cloaks with cowls so low they fell before their eyes, of that same cut that’s used to make the clothes for Cluny’s monks.
Outside, these cloaks were gilded and they dazzled; but inside they were all of lead, so heavy that Frederick’s capes were straw compared to them. A tiring mantle for eternity!”
-Canto XXIII, Mandlebaum translation
So the Malebranche (see previous post) got bored of the escort quest and had proceeded to give Dante and Virgil bad directions and then menace them until they ran away. They sort of slide down a rock face and end up in the sixth bolgia, home of the hypocrites. The main form of punishment for the hypocrites is to wear cloaks that were gilded and glittery on the outside, but made of crushingly heavy lead on the inside. Then they’re forced to walk for eternity, exhausted. Irony! Contra passo! Hooray! The cloaked hypocrites also get to walk over a crucified guy who was laid flat on the ground. The guy on the ground is Caiaphas, a member of the the council of Pharisees, and the guy who argued in favor of martyring Jesus. Logically, then, Virgil kneels down, politely asks him for directions, and he and Dante go on their merry way.
And now, a brief rant about words. The Oxford English Dictionary definition of “hypocrisy” reads as follows: “The assuming of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, with dissimulation of real character or inclinations, esp. in respect of religious life or beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham. Also, an instance of this.” The root of the word comes from a verb referring to acting on a stage. I think I have seen “hypocrisy” used in a more general “do as I say not as I do” context, but that all falls under the same umbrella, I think.
The word I wanted to rant about here is “pretentious.” In this, the era of hipsters and irony and ironic commentary about hipsters, the word “pretentious” gets tossed around a lot. I see people use “pretentious” often to describe literature or art that they don’t understand. In a world where words are used like I want them to be used, “pretentious” art means “pretending to have thought behind it and actually having the appearance of thought with no substance.” Unfortunately, I see people using “pretentious” as code for “intellectual,” “referencing literature I’ve never read,” and “I dunno, arty shit, what.” In conclusion, fuck anti-intellectualism, pretence means pretending to be something, words have meanings, arg.
Search terms: hypocrites, hypocrisy, hypocritical woman
In general, hypocrisy was fairly gender balanced. I guess it’s a quality that unites us all, or something.
In Stock Photo Land, hypocrites are really obvious. You can tell because of all the SCHEMING.
Sometimes, they also just have face-masks. And I mean literally; that wasn’t a metaphor for cosmetics.
Best of all, though, is the literal knife stabbing while looking as crazed as possible:
Insert clever commentary about the hypocrisy of bad acting in stock photos.
Next up: Thieves
Spoilers: It’s weird and gross and some guy totally flips off God.