Stock Photo Hell

I got lots of demons and  also Thor for some reason when searching for wrath. Fire demons aren't til the 8th circle. Psshaw.

I got lots of demons and also Thor for some reason when searching for wrath. Fire demons aren’t til the 8th circle. Psshaw.

Circle Five: The Wrathful and Sullen

When it has reached the foot of those malign gray slopes, the melancholy stream descends, forming a swamp that bears the name of Styx. And I, who was intent on watching it, could make out muddied people in that slime, all naked and their faces furious. They struck each other not with hands alone, but with their heads and chests and with their feet, and tore each other piecemeal with their teeth.

So there are cantos and circles that are probably more stereotypically hellish: demons, pitchforks, lakes of fire, rivers of blood, etc… but I argue that the swamp of the wrathful and sullen is in fact the most metal of the cantos. Here’s why: The place is more or less a giant mosh pit, where angry metalheads rage upwards and sullen emo kids sink downwards. As Virgil explains, “underneath the water are souls who sigh and make this plain of water bubble.” So, this circle is like if a swamp and a mosh pit combined for an Iron Maiden/My Chemical Romance double bill… for one, both groups totally want to kill each other because they hate the others’ taste, but the emo kids are too sad to do anything and the metalheads are too angry to do anything other than froth and churn to the surface of the pit.

And now you all know my Level Five Dante’s Inferno headcanon. Have some theme music while we explore Stock Photo Land’s version of the wrathful and sullen:

Search terms: wrath, wrathful woman, sullen, sullen woman

Unsurprisingly, these two concepts get conflated, particularly during any search with “woman” involved. My “sullen woman” searches, in particular, always turned up some wrathful-looking women as well as a lot of sad women touching the sides of their heads. The point remains, though: wrath and sullenness may well be flip sides of the same coin. That’s why they’re in the swamp together.

I was thinking of dividing my results into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but instead I picked a trio a little more suited to the situation:

The Blasé
"emotions-headache-young-woman-screaming-pain" Yes, all of those things are the same thing. Headaches and emotions and screaming, all because of hysteria, I'm sure.

“emotions-headache-young-woman-screaming-pain”
Yes, all of those things are the same thing. Headaches and emotions and screaming, all because of hysteria, I’m sure.

"crazy business worker under explosive stress"

“crazy business worker under explosive stress”

The Four Chambers of Stockphoto Women
Housewife/multitasker!

The housewife/multitasker!

The dieter! "Angry fat woman with hammer and scale"

The dieter!
“Angry fat woman with hammer and scale”

The Sex Object!

The Sex Object!

The...businesswoman?  "Mad Business Housewife" Seriously, what does this mean. What.

The…businesswoman?
“Mad Business Housewife”
Seriously, what does this mean. What.

The Accidentally Transgressive
"sullen young girl red" Yes, I am also frustrated with the socially prescribed icons of gender performance. Sullen young girl, let's go read some Judith Butler and feel better.

“sullen young girl red”
Yes, I am also frustrated with the socially prescribed icons of gender performance. Sullen Young Girl, let’s go read some Judith Butler and feel better.

Rachel Pollack once told me a story about a discussion of an ideal weapon for women. Someone suggested poison, someone else suggested the stiletto: sneaky weapons. In the end, though, it was decided that the best weapon for a woman was a hurricane: her wrath become the landscape, her destructive force immense.

Rachel Pollack once told me a story about a discussion of an ideal weapon for women. Someone suggested poison, someone else suggested the stiletto: sneaky weapons. In the end, though, it was decided that the best weapon for a woman was a hurricane: her wrath become the landscape, her destructive force immense.

 

Next up: Heresy!
Spoilers: What Stock Photo Land considers heretical alternately is logical and makes no damn sense.