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LiberalEsto's Journal
Posted by LiberalEsto in General Discussion
Sun Jan 09th 2011, 03:19 PM
Spitting cobras are poisonous snakes that spew blinding venom from their fangs toward the eyes and face of victims. They spew with amazing accuracy up to a distance of 6.5 feet. There are numerous species of spitting cobras in Asia and Africa.

I believe we have at least one home-grown species of spitting cobra right here in the U.S. of A. - Cobra Rightwinghatemongerensis.

Examples of this vicious domestic spitting cobra include Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh. There is no shortage of these spitting cobras in the United States. Their favorite environment is the public airwaves of radio and television, though they can also be found on the internet and at large rallies of their worshipers.

When I started casting about for words to describe people who issue toxic and dangerous hate speech from their mouths, I found that American English lacks a precise and accurate word for them. There are words like hatemonger and demagogue, inciter and provocateur, but they don't quite fit the bill. These people are malevolent, incendiary, and vituperative. But what exactly are they?

I'm trying to find a name for the kind of person who deliberately speaks poison. A person who speaks poison and aims it, with deliberate intent to cause harm, or to create an atmosphere that encourages harm to others. Writing the definition isn't a problem.

Discovering the true name of something gives one power and control over it, as the gifted writer Ursula LeGuin declared in her Earthsea trilogy about magic and wizardry.

By accurately naming the phenomenon of people who spit poison in their speech, we may begin to better understand the mechanism, the processes, the causes and, I fervently hope, the antidotes.

Do we call them spitting cobras? Hatemongers? Toxies? I made up that last one, but it seems too cute to describe these savages.

DU is a great source of collective wisdom. I'd love to hear your suggestions.





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