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Thread: Welcome to Hell

  1. #1
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    Welcome to Hell


    Well, here I am. I’m where everyone told me to go. I’m in Hell, and at the back end of a very long queue. Somewhere, out there, in the infinite distance, at the end of an endless line of lost souls, there is a computer terminal, or so they tell me. They also tell me that if I want support for the duration, I must submit an online application. Of course, being dead, or at least an unperson in any recognised legal sense, I no longer have my own internet account. Can’t do it from home, because I haven’t got one. Haven’t got anything of my own anymore. Don’t have a life. Nix, nada nowt, nothing. About the only thing I might possess is a Zip code.

    When I eventually reach the end of the endless line, and I’ve filled out the online application, they’ll send me an appointment for an interview, where I’ll have to answer all the same questions that I answered online. Then they’ll give me another appointment to see some nasal, adolescent clerk, whose command of English barely equates with that of a three-year-old, who’ll take the opportunity to treat me like shi t while telling me it’s my own fault that I’m dead. And then they’ll lay down the law. They’ll tell me the rules. They’ll tell me what happens when I break them. The daemons are waiting.

    Hell is a government-sponsored jobcentre.

    They don’t like intellectuals here. Well, to be honest, I don’t think they like anybody, but they really hate intellectuals. And people who believe in excellence. In hell, it’s all about mediocrity. Mediocrity and obedience, and the wielding of power by stupid people in order to crush the intelligent.

    The vast, fluorescently-lit, sticky-carpeted, open-plan hall in which we stand, and wait, and wait, and wait, smells of sweat. Sweat, and fear, and decay. The cattle-prod-wielding security guards patrol the line, eyeing everyone with contempt. Occasionally they give someone a poke, just to break the monotony. Sometimes we hear the screams.

    I shuffle forward a pace, and look, for the umpteenth time, at the posters on the little noticeboards hanging from the pillars supporting the infinite roof. They’ve got pictures. Pictures of happy smiling faces of every imaginable ethnicity, all cut out and Photoshoped onto a bile-yellow-orange background, with blue lettering in a sans serif font designed to look friendly, and helpful, and encouraging, just so they can crush your hope with institutionalised unfriendliness when you reach the end of the endless line. The words are in French, in German, in Polish. There are some in Chinese and some in Arabic. At the bottom there’s a little note saying, “If you need help reading this notice, you can go online to www. hell.gov.uk where you’ll be able to find the same information in English.” Well, they call it English. Basically, the message is, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter.” "Arbeit macht frie," only there isn’t any. No arbeit. No frei. Just the macht.

    The Devil looks down on us all; fat, glossy, sleek, smiling his contemptuous smile, despising us all, wallowing in his false consciousness—the consummate politician, revelling in his treason. Big Brother.

    I hate him.

    I hate his minions.

    I’d kill him if I could. I’d kill them all. But how do you kill the Devil?

    Powerless, I endure the unendurable. I wait, and wait, and wait, while the anger burns in my core, smouldering. A hot coal, a tight knot of pain, slowly expanding to consume me. Soon, all that will be left is the hate. A raging furnace of hate, focussed on the fireproof Teflon of power. But for the moment, I shuffle forward another pace towards the end of the endless line.
    Last edited by Hawkman; 03-03-2015 at 09:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    The endless line reminds me of waiting to get on at ride a an amusement park. When I finally reached the line, then I had to get on the ride. Then the whole things starts over again. One pessimistic way to look at the value our time on earth adds is that it gives us practice for hell.

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    Hey, Y/N. Your description sounds like Freud's pleasure principal exercised by a masochist. Personally, I've never found amusement parks all that amusing, and the rides definitely aren't to my taste. You'd have to force me to get on one in the first place, and I certainly wouldn't go back for more! As for life being a good preparation for Hell—no argument there...

    Live long in prosperity and wellness - H

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    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're describing almost exactly the place where I work - and I bet a lot of other readers can say the same thing.
    What gets me about amusement park rides is that you can wait up to an hour (sometimes longer) in a line for a ride that will give you 90 seconds (sometimes less) of thrills. I'm glad my kids are old enough that we don't go anymore.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

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    Hi, 108. You say I describe your workplace—I don't picture you as a nasal adolescent, so does this mean you patrol the endless line, wielding a cattle-prod? If so, I hope your job satisfaction index is in the higher registers...

    I'm afraid I don't understand the human obsession with "thrill-seeking," which leads supposedly normal individuals to actively crave conditions of privation and discomfort. Other than as training for the experience of a plane crash or, perhaps, a solo transit of the Southern Ocean in storm conditions, I fail to see the point. Having been at sea in a hurricane, I'd not recommend it. I'd rather read a good book, or see a good film. However, modern cinemas also seem to be heading in a theme-park direction, in that the seats now try to throw the occupant out while little nozzles squirt water at one. Doubtless, this is because the camerawork is now so wobbly as to be unwatchable, while most of the dialogue appears to be spoken by actors with cleft palates. There's always the theatre, I suppose, and concerts, of course, but the last time I was in London, all the theatres in Shaftesbury Avenue were staging cut-price musicals with a cast of four. I couldn't get into the Globe. Hi Ho. Only death to look forward to...

    Live and be well - H
    Last edited by Hawkman; 03-04-2015 at 09:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    And naive me who always thought Brits simply adooooored to stand in a queue… an orderly queue, mind you, not the chaotic struggle-for-survival-fight-like mess that follows when you ask Frenchies to queue up ;-) Or are you implying Hell is only for Frenchies lol? Anyway, liked the read. As for amusement parks, well, did the one near Paris (you know, where there are goofy Princesses and black mouses and weird ducks galore), um, five times? Don't ask me why. Lots of queuing, of course, but I didn't mind. Maybe because I loved reading the warnings for pregnant women and those with weak hearts? Or because I kept telling my sis that no, Space Mountain is absolutely NOT freaky, and when it was finally over, she hesitated between having a nervous breakdown, slapping me, or doing the ride again in order to look for the earring she had lost during the first one. Those are fond memories, my oh my… LOL
    "Im Arm der Liebe schliefen wir selig ein…" ("Liebesode" - Otto Erich Hartleben)
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    Hi, Dieter, no, I don't think he'll is reserved exclusively for the French. Even though Sartre was French and claimed other people were hell, I doubt if he was only referring to his fellow countrymen! I confess that I was impressed to learn that you tortured your sister with Disneyland, and that you had been sufficiently persuasive as to have been able to induce her to return four times after the initial experience! Having been dragged, kicking and screaming, onto a ride after queuing for hours, there's no way I'd have gone back, even to look for lost jewellery! Thanks for reading.

    Live and be well - H

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