Today, you are a member of… And Then There’s Hell

Hell tends to capture the imagination, members. All that teeth gnashing and muzak fires the ole’ idea engine old like nobody’s business. Malleable and varied, loaded and a bit scary, Hell as a concept is out there working for us. It can be the broadest of realms, “living” or “on earth” in conditions like “War” or “Texas” or “Disney.” It can be infinitesimally specific, such as that fabled antichamber dedicated to punishing philosophers who refute Hume. It’s for children, according to Pat Benetar; chumps per Bertrand Russell; or Kids in Satan’s Service, as established by the PMRC. It encourages both meatloaf and bats alike to flee at high speeds, and why not? The highway to hell is legendary and well-paved. And yet, because such a plethora of pre-made hells are available, laid out for us like so many pairs of sunday dress pants, a proper, uniquely individual hell is hard to find. It may be more socially acceptable to dream a little dream of heaven, but this week dedicate a moment or two to nailing down what exactly is hell for you. That way maybe you’ll stop stumbling into all those pre-fabricated versions.

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