The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for May 17th, 2016

gleaming vividly over

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Damnation isn’t a mass market kind of product, it’s personalized and tailored to fit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It has long been my assertion, when discussing subjects involving the occult and or supranatural, that there is no “one size fits all” sort of thing to describe hell. Demons are geniuses, in the Greek sense of the word, and hell doesn’t have specific zip codes for specific sins. For one such as myself, the legendary torments of Gehenna would take the form of either a never ending subway trip or waiting for train to arrive whilst needing to urinate. If you’ve been at the 34th street IND station during the summer months while needing to piss, I’m sure you’ll agree with me.

It is my firm belief, in fact, that many of the characters you meet down in the transit labyrinth are in fact damned souls – which would actually explain a lot of things – the running water, that weird smell, why it’s so warm down there. Aquinas and Origen both described hell as the absence and tacit abandonment of God itself, and if there’s any place that you can be assured that God has abandoned you – it’s the 42nd street subway complex.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The guy selling candy bars and magazines who spends his days and nights in a concrete box on the NQR platform? I’ll allow you to speculate what he did while alive to deserve this afterlife.

I get in trouble with some of you occasionally for referring to “God” as an “it.” I’m all for anthromorphising non human extra-dimensional intelligences and all, but should this entity actually exist – it’s an “it” and not a he or a she. Agnosticism has always served me best, and there are philosophical currents in Buddhism which advise that spending too much of your life pondering spiritual matters is not what the universe – or “it” – intended when they incarnated you into the meatspace which back me up on this idea. If there is an afterlife, I’ll have to pay my check when I leave the table, but in the meantime I intend to continue eating and drinking heartily until the bad news comes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in a prior post, for some reason I’ve begun to mentally refer to Manhattan as “Manchuquo” which is coincidentally similar to the name which the Japanese Empire assigned to its holdings in Manchuria during the 1930’s and 40’s. At any rate, while standing on a platform in what I believe to be the first circle of hell – The NYC Subway system – in Manchuquo, it occurred to me that’s it’s been a while since I read Aquinas, or Marcus Aurelius. Have to find and download some audiobooks for those two – simply for the reason that I can win rhetorical arguments with the NYC EDC by quoting them.

Hell, I need to listen to something intelligent while wandering around the City of Greater New York… Do you suppose that if the Subway is – as asserted – the first circle of hell, that Manhattan might just be purgatory?

It certainly does feel like it.

Upcoming Events and Tours

Saturday, May 21st at 3:30 p.m. –
A Return to The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek,
with Atlas Obscura, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Click here for more details.

Thursday, May 26th at 6 p.m. –
Brooklyn Waterfront: Past & Present Boat Tour,
with Working Harbor Committee. Click here for more details.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

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