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Word Salad Philosophy
"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. $U(x){psi(x,t)} = i{h-bar}d{psi(x,t)}/dt ({h-bar}^2)/2m{del}^2 {psi (x,t)}$. To be or not to be, that is the question. Unless ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Moby Dick. Now he's a super star, slamming on his guitar, does your pretty face see what he's worth, he was a skater boy she said see you later boy, he wasn't good enough for her. ... E=mc^2. S=Klogt. Temporal and spatial dimensions are moving relative to one another. Everything should be made simple as possible, but not moreso and Eminem!"
Elliot McGucken

A philosophy that is so bizarre, rambling, and insane that no one in their right mind can understand it. For some reason, Conspiracy Theorists hate segues and coherent trains of thought, so none of those here. In their place will be plenty of Meaningless Meaningful Words, Delusions of Eloquence, and Perfectly Cromulent Words. May resemble an Ice-Cream Koan. Compare Insane Troll Logic.

Maybe the "philosopher" doesn't have the writing skills to express their ideas. Maybe the point is so complicated that it would take several college courses to grasp its meaning. Or, maybe the philosopher is just a Talkative Loon.

Straw versions of conspiracy theorists and granola girls tend to base their worldviews on these.

When it's the narrator doing this, see Fauxlosophic Narration.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Fanfic 
  • Arguably the whole premise of Chaos Is Very Good, as it focuses on Ahuizotl learning a frankly insane philosophy. How insane is it? Apparently one of the major truths is that the mouth should be used exclusively as a sexual organ.
  • The "philosophical banter" between Twilight and Luna in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure:
    Twilight: You think you can change fate?
    Luna: WE CHOEST OUR OWNEST DESTNY!
    Twilight: Money don’t makes you happy.
    Luna: BUT EVERTHING ENDEST.
    Twilight: If a tree falls down and no one is around does it still makes a sound?
    Luna: WHATEST WALKS ON THY FOUR LEGEST IN THOU MORING, ON TWO AT DINNER AND WITH THREE AT NIGHEST?
    Twilight: There’s no try. Do it or not.
    Luna: BUT THERE’S ALSO NOTEST SPOONEST.
  • The 13 commandments that make up the American cockstitution in HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Among other things, it would appear that time is now a knotted ball, which you can hide anywhere in your body.

    Film 
  • Dont Be A Menace had Farraconvict, a parody of the "ex-con turned religious intellectual" trope, whose ramblings go from cliche to odd to just plain gibberish all in a single chain.
  • Apocalypse Now: the unnamed reporter played by Dennis Hopper is prone to spirited diatribes of gibberish philosophy, caught up in the magnetism of Kurtz's insanity. A lot of this was improvised by the heavily drugged Hopper.
  • Love And Death, Woody Allen's Affectionate Parody of Russian literature abuses this one. "Objectivity is subjective!"

    Literature 
  • In Rabelais' GARGANTUA AND PANTAGRUEL, Pantagruel offers to judge the lawsuit between Lord Kiss___ and Lord Suckfist, which has been going on for years because no one but the litigants has any idea what it is about. After each party gives his "case" in a prolonged stream of non-sequiturs and gibberish, Pantagruel gives "judgement" in another such —- and both litigants announced that they are completely satisfied, an outcome without precedent.
  • Vardaman (from the novel As I Lay Dying), who is too young to comprehend his mother's passing, repeatedly lapses into this. Because flour and sugar and coffee. Jefferson is farther away than crazy.
  • Dr. Hamid Parsani, protagonist of Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia, a text described on the back cover as "At once a horror fiction, a work of speculative theology, a political samizdat and a philosophic grimoire," is perhaps one of our greatest postmodern wordsaladists. For example: "The nemat-space of the ()hole complex reduces the monopolistic holiness of the Creation, the functionality of the ground's economy (which also forms a taxis-trellis pincer to support the Whole), and the hegemony of the Whole. Nemat-space introduces wholeness to Zero without wiping it out. This is the polytics first practiced and exquisitely elaborated by the Persian cult of Kaxuzi..." etc. etc. for 250 pages.
  • The Weaver, of Perdido Street Station has an... unusual outlook on life, vaguely connected to an aesthetic opinion. It spouts a steady stream of not-quite-nonsense to anyone in earshot, but no one is any closer to understanding its motives at the end of the book than they are at the beginning. It's basically a non-hostile Eldritch Abomination, so that shouldn't be too surprising.
  • Judith Butler: "The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power". From confused matthew.
    • In essence, she's saying that a shift in thought from a model of power that works as one whole to a model of power that works as a multitude of different things brought a discussion of time to the table, and moved the theories of power from considering power as an object that only certain people have to an object that everyone has more or less of. Or something.
  • In Children of the Mind, Peter makes the mistake of instructing the genetically-enhanced prodigy Wang-Mu to pose as a philosopher of a school that uses vague parables of questionable applicability to appear deep. She pretends to go along with it until they actually meet the man they're trying to fool, at which point she busts out a reasonably coherent and well-thought-out bit of political theory apparently on the fly. She implies that Peter's assumption that she'd be unable to pose as a "real" political philosopher is due to her gender or ethnicity or both.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Hybrids of Battlestar Galactica speak entirely like this, with complicated philosophy mixed with prophecy and ship maintenance.
    • And so does Anders.
  • Reuben on iCarly talks completely like this, in muddled rhymes and colloquial sayings. Gibby seems to understand fine, but no-one else does. Until Sam makes up something at the end that makes no sense either, and sends Reuben off crying.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus has its fair share of this trope, most notably with Gavin Millarrrrrrrr in the "How Not To Be Seen" episode.
    Gavin: Some people have made the mistake of seeing Shunt's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables, but clever people like me, who talk loudly in restaurants, see this as a deliberate ambiguity, a plea for understanding in a mechanized world. The points are frozen, the beast is dead. What is the difference? What indeed is the point? The point is frozen, the beast is late out of Paddington. The point is taken. If La Fontaine's elk would spurn Tom Jones the engine must be our head, the dining car our oesophagus, the guard's van our left lung, the cattle truck our shins, the first-class compartment the piece of skin at the nape of the neck and the level crossing an electric elk called Simon. The clarity is devastating. But where is the ambiguity? It's over there in a box. Shunt is saying the 8.15 from Gillingham when in reality he means the 8.13 from Gillingham. The train is the same only the time is altered. Ecce homo, ergo elk. La Fontaine knew his sister and knew her bloody well. The point is taken, the beast is moulting, the fluff gets up your nose. The illusion is complete; it is reality, the reality is illusion and the ambiguity is the only truth. But is the truth, as Hitchcock observes, in the box? No there isn't room, the ambiguity has put on weight. The point is taken, the elk is dead, the beast stops at Swindon, Chabrol stops at nothing, I'm having treatment and La Fontaine can get knotted. note 
  • Before Cecily Strong was a Weekend Update anchor on SNL, she was The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party.
    "There are homeless people out there who can’t even pay their mortgages! Is that what George Washington had in mind when he started ‘merica? It’s like read something, Seth. Learn a book!"

    Music 
  • A lot (read: all) of Jon Anderson's lyrics are like this.
  • In the song "Junkie man, tell me what your story is / Out come the wolves" by the punk band Rancid.
    "my hand went blind clairvoyant I make love to my trance sister my trance sister went on and my trance parents see from the balcony I looked out on the big field it opens like the cover of an old bible And out come the wolves their paws trampling the snow the asphalt I stand on my head and watch it all go away"

    New Media 
  • Elliot McGucken's patent for creating "exalted" videogames. This may be the longest, most jaw-dropping rant on the Internet. It is humanly impossible to read this all the way through.
    • But if you do attempt to skim through it, you soon notice that perhaps 0.1% of the text was written by McGucken, and the rest is a text-only dump of threads he started on various forums. The schizophrenic nature of it all is thus simply because it was actually written by dozens of "authors".
    • He's still frelling insane. His replies to people on internet message boards are a combo of quasi-libertarian rantings about George Washington punching business schools in the face or something, and Time Cube-esque oratories on the Great Books helping you become Clint Eastwood and shoot lightning.
  • Our entry on True Art plays this for laughs.
    • Though considerably less so ever since it became an index.
  • The Conspiracy Theorist Troper Tales page:
    My dear friend! Thank you for your courage and your energy. As well as just for being you. Speaking of YELLOW (in regards to the pulses of yellow light)I just heard on the radio last night that the new Pantone "color of the year" is Yellow. Last years (or coming to an end) was the color "Blue Iris." Illumi-Nazi Mind Kontrol is everywhere.
  • The Postmodernism Generator randomly generates these whenever you refresh the page.
  • The output of the Complaint Letter Generator borders on word salad at times:
    It will give you a new mental map upon which to fix your own position so that you can better deal stiffly with pugnacious Huns who bombard us with an endless array of hate literature. Although my approach may appear a bit pedantic, by setting some generative point of view against a structural-taxonomical point of view or vice versa, I intend to argue that it may not be easy to take steps against the whole unforgiving brotherhood of the worst classes of prolix gauleiters I've ever seen, but it can be done.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Sally from Peanuts was known for declaring random sentences to be 'my new philosophy in life'. For example "Wolves are making a comeback."

    Professional Wrestling / Comics 
  • Pro wrestler the Ultimate Warrior was famous for being a Talkative Loon with No Indoor Voice who went off at length about his convoluted "philosophy" almost every time he was put in front of a working microphone. The short-lived comic book series he wrote, Warrior, was basically a collection of multiple page, near-unintelligible essays on his point of view - spouted from the narrator and the main characters. Besides that, the plot was nonexistent.

    Tabletop Games 
  • HYBRID, which can't really be called a Tabletop RPG, is pretty infamous among RPG.Net, which describes the "game" as "unmitigated nonsense." It basically consists of of more than 500 numbered rules presented in a non-sequential order. The rules consist of mathematical equations with undefined variables, allusions to social and political issues, pop culture references, cross references to other rules, to non-existent rules, and to rules in other roleplaying games; misogynistic statements, and much more. It first appeared on USENET newsgroup rec.games.frp.super-heroes as a series of disjointed posts by the author, who is known only as "C" and is currently maintained by Phillipe Tromeur. The version numbers are also non-sequential — its current version, 0.21, is a later version than version 0.34. RPG.Net ranks this "game" as the second worst game of all time (the worst being reserved for the Game That Shall Not Be Named).

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • In Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, a very badly translated version of Pokemon Crystal Version, some of the strange things that the NPC's say may be this trope. Here's a couple examples:
    • THEY [bird Pokemon] WERE FLUTTERING IN THE SKY, MAKING THE SKY MAGNIFICENT. I LET THE WORLDLY PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THEIR GRANDNESS!
    • WENT THROUGH THE CAVE JUST NOW, STILL SPIRITFUL.
    • IT IS SAID THERE IS A SPIRIT IN THE FOREST. DON'T SERVE THE DEVIL!
    • ?ONLY AWAKE SLEEP BRAIN-CELL CAN THE WILLING BE USED.
  • The rambling man in Seward Square in Fallout 3 has a worldview that qualifies as this trope.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Time Cube by Gene Ray is the universally accepted standard for this trope. EARTH HAS 4 CORNER SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY TIME CUBE IN ONLY 24 HOUR ROTATION. 4 CORNER DAYS, CUBES 4 QUAD EARTH- No 1 Day God. You are educated EVIL in ONEISM..
    My wisdom so antiquates known knowledge, that
    a psychiatrist examining my behavior, eccentric
    by his academic single corner knowledge, knows
  • Jaden Smith's infamous Twitter quips include "How can mirrors be real if our eyes aren't real?", "Trees are never sad look at them once in awhile they're quite beautiful", and "People use to ask me what do you wanna be when you get older and I would say what a stupid question the real question is what am I right now". (Others, like "If newborn babies could speak they would be the most intelligent beings on planet Earth", while factually dubious, can be tied to more realistic and typical philosophical arguments.)
  • AH.com: The Series has some recurring characters based on forum trolls whose Insane Troll Logic was complicated enough to reach this trope. For example, the idea that we should all return to the anarcho-capitalist state of the ancient Irish because public trees are on private land, or that all nuclear technology is a Jewish tribalist hoax and nuclear power plants are actually driven by people's uncles peeling potatoes inside them.
  • Implosion Group's website about Dan Winter- Sacred Geometry & Coherent Emotion, & HeartTuner + BlissTuner:
    Implosion due to Charge Fractality is the ONLY Cause of Life, of Gravity,and ONLY Cause of ANY System to Emerge from Chaos!
    - Here is Proof ! goldenmean.info/goldenproof < The CLIMAX of our Research.
    What is the possibility that Planck Length x Golden Ratio= The Hydrogen Radii (Winter's new equation) happens by accident? Answer: ZERO!! Einstein's (&modern physics) failure to figure out why an object falls to the ground, directly resulted in the incredible stupidity not to learn what (FRACTAL) field effect CAUSES LIFE -
  • Nearly every time Sir Ron Lion Heart goes all vampyric, he speaks only in nonsensical prose and even crazier philosophical ramblings. Rule of Funny applies big time, or else viewers would quickly get bored and leave.
    But be careful not to let the attack become forever disfalled upon.
    Please now witness, on a verge of remembrance, {unintelligble} has just been passed.
    And the order of which thy book will reveal its Power Star is on a final stroke.
    • And it goes on and on and on.
  • This can often feature in raocow's ramblings, and, though he occasionally demonstrates a real intellect, most of what he says isn't meant to be taken seriously.
    Run forward, pixel-man! We must find the world and all it is worth! Whether it be flies or mouths or army ants, we shall gather them all into a giant ball and roll it all over the world, until it gets high enough to encompass even the continents themselves! Run with me, my friend! Simply run, and forget the loss, and all the world it entails! Jumping over the spheres, and squares of oppression, littering the lands in front of us, beside of us, but forget all that is behind us, for there is only the future, and extremely little else! Run with me, my friend! Keep going and run! Run until the antelopes gaze behind our dust trails; 'til the larks, and the ducks in the pond all confuse us for the blur that we are! Run forward, my friend! Run, and forget the shrimps and the shackles and all the pain that bureaucracy and its friends want us to endure, for we will not endure; for we baked the past into the most delicious cake the world has ever encountered! It will not bring us our end, but our future will bring us more future! Run, my friend, run! My friend, the pixel-man.
  • The SCP Foundation has a parody of this with SCP-7560-J, a rant by a guy who is basically a cross between Francis Dec and Gene Ray.

    Real Life 
  • G. I. Gurdjieff's magnum opus: the three-volume All and Everything.
  • This comment left on a political blog. (As far as anyone can tell, it's a pseudo-scientific Social Darwinist screed against the idea that white people should support, or mix with, people of other races.) You need to see the entire Wall of Text to get the flavor, but here are a few choice bits:
    Ignorance of genomics? Thank G_d there have been no mindless regurgitations of Lewontin's Fallacy here as the sight of a grown man reduced the an extended phenotype of the ethnic interests of the Fallacy's inventor would be unbearable for me. Funny thing, when more than one loci is tested, the Fallacy is exposed as just that. Lack of faithism? We cannot be so lucky.
    And should that surprised? The genetic continuity of one's group is a real life interest, however humble, however unsexy, and the sense of moral superiority and temporary bit of status one is rewarded with for paying lip service to the faithism de jure is not.
    neo-liberalism + cultural Marxism = elite power
  • Birth Control is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and also Robbing God of Priesthood Children!! From the description:
    THIS IS A HOLYSPIRIT MANUSCRIPT BOOK: WHEN YOU BUY THIS BOOK YOU WILL BE READING A HOLYSPIRIT DIRECTED BOOK FROM GOD; & * CHRIST JESUS. THIS BOOK IS GODS HOLYSPIRIT VOICE: THE CALL FOR ALL CHRISTIANS & CHURCHES TO REPENT FROM ALL THEIR SINS: EVEN FROM FALSE CHRIST TEACHINGS. BIRTH CONTROL SINS HAVE CURSE THE CHURCH WITH SPIRITUAL WHOREDOM & FALSE WORSHIP. RESULTING IN THE PERSECUTIONS: AGAINST THE HOLY PEOPLE. THIS BOOK MAY BE REVISED: BECAUSE OF COMPUTER DICTATORS: MANY WORDS IN THIS BOOK: MADE HAVE BEEN CHANGED: TO>>DISCREDIT: THE AUTHOR. BUT IN TRUTH: I AM A HOLYSPIRIT CHOSEN ANOINTED DISCIPLE FOR GOD & CHRIST JESUS. EVEN FOR JEWS, MUSLIMS & GENTILE SINNERS. MANY PEOPLE WILL LEARN HOW TO> BECOME REAL BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN: THROUGH THIS HOLYSPIRIT BOOK & THROUGH THE PROTECTION & SUPPORT OF MY HOLYSPIRIT LIFE!! JOHN 3 & 15. ALL NATIONS WILL OVER COME THE SINS OF BIRTH CONTROL.
    (Yes, the entire book is written in ALL CAPS. And it's over six hundred pages long.)
  • "The Illusions of Alacrity" by one Y. Serm Clacoxia, quoted here in an essay by Douglas Hofstadter:
    Thus we act: and perhaps action itself is the Anatole's Curlicue of our era. It is high time to recognize that action, and action alone, will be the agent that transmutes the flowery barrier of unutterability into an arbitrary but sacred iota of purposefulness, which cannot help but penetrate into an otherwise nameless and universally spaghettified lack of meaning, which smears and beclouds the crab-lit hopes of half-beings begging for deliverance from their own private, yet strangely tuberculine mealstroms that begat, and begotten were from, a howling sea of ribosomal plagiarism.
  • Sřren Kierkegaard's wonderful sentence: "The self is a relation which relates itself to itself, or it is that in the relation that the relation relates itself to itself; the self is not the relation but that the relation relates itself to itself."—from The Sickness Unto Death, published under the pseudonym "Anti-Climacus"note . Possibly a Stealth Parody, especially when one considers Kierkegaard's disdain for Hegel's philosophy as being obscure.
  • The writings of Francis E. Dec, even when you get past the insane diction, manages to be a crazy collection of tracts that maintain that we all live in a veritable World of Chaos. He says that our brains are not actually in our bodies, but are housed in glass cities on the far side of the moon. Also, we are naturally ageless, but the various world conspiracies, under the guidance of the Mad Deadly Gangster Frankenstein Computer God, have installed robots in our walls that do plastic surgery on us while we sleep so that we appear to age. An example of his writing:
    For your only hope for a future, do you know one word of pray for me. Francis E. Dec. Computer God computerized brain thinking SEALED ROBOT OPERATING ARMS SURGERY CABINET machine removal of most of the frontal COMMAND LOBE of the brain, gradually during lifetime and OVERNITE IN ALL INSANE ASSYLUMS, after C. God kosher bosher one month probation period, creating helpless hopelsss Computer God Frankenstein Earphone Radio parroting puppet BRAINLESS SLAVES, resulting in millions of hopeless, helpless, homeless derelicts in all JerUSAlem cities and Soviet slave work camps.
  • Emanuel Bronner started a soap company in order to spread his ideas. To this day, the labels on Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap carry an upbeat but decidedly nutty mixture of quotations (from Kipling and Thomas Paine, among others), religious ravings, and straightforward advertising. "It is the mildest, most pleasant soap you ever used or money back! Enjoy body rub to stimulate body-mind-soul-spirit and teach the Essene Moral ABC uniting all free in the Shepherd-Israel's Great All-One-God-Faith!" (Scans of the labels are available here. Each quart bottle carries about 4,000 words.)
  • A lot of continental philosophy is accused of this. And pretty much everything post-modern.
    • Martin Heidegger is perhaps the Philosopher with the most famously convoluted writing. For the sake of an example his definition of Existence in being and Time is "The Being of those beings who stand open for the openness of Being in which they stand, by standing it."
  • An interview with a Toronto man named Steve Spiros had him give one of these when all he was asked was his name:
    Steve Spiros: You know me. Steve Spiros. Easy going? Those who know me, I'm a nobody. You understand? And you can't kill a person with no body. So...why am I afraid? I'm not afraid. I'm afraid of the Boogeyman. Who's the Boogeyman? You figure it out! I'm getting outta here! I'm going back to Waterloo where the vampires hang out!


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