With the Passing of Time


Posted on: June 5, 2009

\KIB-it-ser\ | noun

1 : one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comment; broadly : one who offers opinions

I am not a kibitzer. I don’t even like to kibitz. First I don’t think my advice is worth very much. Second it just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Occasionally with people that I know extremely well I will give my opinion about something going on in their life. But that’s very occasional and only with people I consider myself close to. Otherwise I say mind your business is a good policy to live by.

Interestingly enough, Wikipedia says it’s specifically related to giving unwanted advice or commentary while watching a game; Wiktionary isn’t so specific so what’s the official Wikimedia position on kibitzing? We may never know. I did learn that there’s a movie called The Kibitzer from 1930, which was based on a play by the same name that starred Edward G. Robinson (he was snubbed for the film so Hollywood’s been making those odd decisions for decades I guess).

Kibitzer is popular online. Someone is using it for their Twitter username, someone’s used it for their blog name, someone uses it as their column name on a chess site. It’s even a website where someone seems to have nothing but a picture of some character from South Park (maybe his nickname is kibitzer, maybe he is a kibitzer, I have no clue). And yet I am completely unmoved and uninspired by this word. Possibly because it’s so detached from me, possibly because it’s just not that interesting.

This picture, though is fun.

Source: Trader Vic (?) or Victor Bergeron; click to see the site where I found it

It’s fun not only because of the title of the cookbook, but also that there’s a blog out there whose purpose is to review cookbooks and judge their collectibility. I absolutely love that. I mean, this blog is completely mindless and brain-numbingly dull but I can sit here and ramble on to my heart’s content and disappoint all the people who stumble across it every now and then. And I love that about the internet. Yes, there are terrible and disgusting and hateful things out there. But there are also sites dedicated to cookbook collectibles and having it one imagines makes the writer happy and knowing it’s there pleases me. I have to add that one of the “noted recipes” is Butterfly Steak Flambe. That just sounds so dangerous to me but I’d love to see someone give it a whirl. I’m dying to see some of the drawings inside and a sample of the recipes, but not enough to buy the silly thing. :-)

Then of course we have a picture of more closely attached to the word.

Painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, 1856; please click for source article

The caption says that “Lessing is watching” so Lessing is probably on the brink of turning into a kibitzer. He kind of looks like a busybody, doesn’t he?

© 2009 With the Passing of Time


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Willingness to join soil, sound, hands; memory follows me ~ Viggo Mortensen
June 2009
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Daily words come from Merriam-Webster's word of the day. All rambling comes from my head.


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