What Do You Mean ‘Hell’?: The Great Divorce, Jean-Paul Sartre, or Hank III?

by J.R.

Dallas and San Jose play for the last time tonight as Pacific Division foes — there’ll be a lot of these kind of games this week and here at III Communication we are planning a full-on Threenody for Sunday.

Megalodon at Battle of California — a blog to which III Communication owes a philosophical debt — bids adieu:

After fourteen seasons in the Pacific, the Dallas Stars are finally going back where they belong: Hell.

What do you mean, Meggie?

C.-S.-Lewis-5C.S. Lewis’ famous theological fantasy, The Great Divorce, posits Hell as eternal separation from God. If Megalodon is a megalomaniac, that’s probably what he meant here. That Dallas is somehow undeserving of the glories of traveling halfway across a continent, crossing two time zones for the privilege of playing Anaheim, L.A. and San Jose.

Jean-Paul Sartre was a bit gloomier than Lewis — the difference in an existentialist and a practitioner in Christian apologetics, one reckons. In his play Huis Clos (we call it “No Exit” in English), he coined the brilliant line “L’enfer, c’est les autres.” 

“Hell is other people.”

sartre-3Scholars will tell you that the common interpretation of the line — that there’s nothing worse than being around other humans — is a truism, especially if you’re trapped at the DMV or a St. Louis Blues fan tweet-up, but isn’t actually what Sartre meant. He was encapsulating a theory he had about how humans are constantly struggling because they are forced to see themselves as the world sees them, which may not reconcile with how they see themselves or how they actually are. Think about that and then you’ll know why we append “existential” to the front of “crisis” all the time.

We at III Communication recognize that the outsiders’ view of Conference III is that we are seven misfits thrown together by a common misfittery and geography. That we are, at best, forgotten, and at worse noxious usurpers to their romantic dreams of a coastal-Canadian hegemony of self-importance.

We are their raccoons.

We are below their disdain.

We are Hell.

And, fortunately, we are happy to deconstruct your insults. We’ll embrace them.

Because sometimes, Hell sounds like a helluva lot of fun: