Kwyjibo first appeared on the Simpsons many years ago in an hilarious scene where the family was playing Scrabble. As I remember the scene, it is Homer’s turn, and we are looking over his shoulder. In his rack he has the word “oxidize.” He does not recognize that word and so plays “do.” Bart’s turn comes around, and he plays “kwyjibo.” It’s not a word and Homer objects. We are looking over Bart’s shoulder now as Homer eats a banana. Bart says “it’s a North American ape with a receding chin, balding head, and short temper.” Homer accepts the definition.

Iimage long wondered about the kwyjibo factor on the blogs, where we debate with the unreachable elements, mostly right wing in origin but not exclusive to any political outlook. Learning is a lifetime experience, never ending, and most smart people I know usually have a book or two going. But there are others who are encased in steel armor, never reading, never exposed to any depth of scholarship, picking up wisdom in the passing clips and paragraphs of a computer screen. It is this armored vehicle that is most frustrating, because it is lack of depth that provides the armor. Nothing penetrates these slow moving creatures as they roll across the landscape. They are the last to know how little they comprehend.

So kwyjibo should be our secret handshake as we deal with these morons, a way of sneaking a private laugh as we connect with each other without unduly insulting the state if stupidity that is incapable of knowing its own state. With due apologies to the writers of the Simpsons who gave us this beautiful word, of course.

19 thoughts on “Kwyjibo

  1. Like Colorado, Montana is blessed with more than a healthy population of impenetrables. I am less concerned at this point, however, with the unreachable than I am with “establishment intellectuals,” who employ every underhanded trick in the book to maintain the status quo. I think this is where added scrutiny and a persistent discussion of tactics and objectives might actually open the eyes of unsuspecting citizens mesmerized by partisan (Coke vs. Pepsi) psychobabble.


    1. Here’s what bugs me on that general topic: Generally, we are dealing with PR professionals, and are bringing a spork to a gunfight. The talking points need not be true or even relevant, but only short and memorable. We can easily demonstrate that wilderness has countless positive societal effects, but cannot counter Drill baby drill or elitism versus a guy with a pickup truck. “Hope and Change,” “Support the troops”, “Death Panels”, Drill baby Drill are all the result of hundreds of painstaking hours in ad agency basements working with behavioral psychologists to center on a message that carries the day in a short pithy phrase. They invest millions in this stuff.

      One time we got lucky with the “Keep Public Lands in Public Hands” campaign, but are usually left holding our dicks in our hands after the PR guys are done with us. We need to get better at this game.


      1. Perhaps the other way around. I found it very well written and quite insightful as to the possible sources of some peculiar American cultural attitudes.


    1. That’s really dumb – not the link, which serves a purpose, but the idea that I just had that I would suggest that you read a book on the subject. We also don’t expect our dog to read Shakespeare or recite poetry. Things in nature have to be true to their nature.


  2. Because you don’t know how to read, you don’t know that I am not a “truther.” And also because you don’t know how to read, you don’t know that the plane slamming into the tower is performing impossible physical feats.

    This is always the problem with you, Kwyjibo – no depth, no background, but extreme certainty.


  3. Swede truly is a troll. His intent isn’t to educate, to inform or to counter falsehood with facts. He’s a verbal suicide bomber. His intent is to have an impact, to exercise some kind of control, over others. And the suicide verbal bomb is the sole weapon at his disposal.

    He doesn’t know facts. He has no relevant information. He imparts no wisdom.

    All he wants to do is disrupt other peoples communication, to disrupt other peoples learning or teaching opportunities with white noise.

    He is pretty good at what he does.


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