|Shield with Head of Medusa (Uffizi Gallery, Florence)|
Yet "geek" originally had a very different meaning. My trusty Dictionary of American Slang explains:
geek n. 1 . A carnival or circus performer, considered a freak, who performs sensationally disgusting acts that a normal person would not, e.g., eating or swallowing live animals ... A 'half man, half animal' sideshow performer of gory, cannibalistic feats such as eating live snakes, biting off the heads of chickens...Sideshows are gone. Or rather, they've gone electronic. As the nation recoiled in revulsion this week at children of refugees being torn from their parents, up popped Ann Coutler to the distressing images into context. She told Fox News:
These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks, 24/7, right now...These kids are being coached, they're given scripts to read by liberals.Sensationally disgusting indeed. You see why I immediately thought of bored townsfolk lining up outside a greasy, tattered tent, the barker funneling them in as they hand over their nickels. The stooped geek shuffles onto a tiny stage, clutching a struggling bird tightly by the neck. Some kind of introduction, to build suspense. Then the fowl's head goes into the snaggle-toothed mouth. The jaws come down. The crowd gasps and recoils.
At least in a circus, you know it's an act. I wish I could say the same regarding Coulter.. When challenged, she insists she believes what she says, no matter how patently false. Maybe she likes to stay in character. Maybe she's that far gone. If so, she has good company. Malicious hallucination is so popular nowadays, I'm expecting to see it on postage stamps, the "American Conspiracy Theory" series.
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