Friday, August 27, 2010

It is what it is: Just another pile of words

Perfecting the art of anything just isn't realistic conceptually. A lot of "perfect" falls into subjective perspectives on whatever subject is being discussed.

Professionally, myself and a lot of people I have encountered, have spent the evenings of their careers saying something, but nothing very much; Ever perfecting the small-talkiness that is the hallmark of all good business people. If they never find me here at The Hostess, most I have come in contact with will never know I had an opinion on anything but my business.

"It is what it is," That phrase that is so often thrown around in the field of vague, conversation-ending catch-alls is on my list of things to be extricated from the verbiage of humans, along with "hubby" and "DIY", and other losers. It makes me chafe with annoyance, not unlike, "And you are?"

"It is what it is, right?" And I want to respond, no, it only looks like what it is but in reality it's just a tea party in a rabbit hole.

From the "Say what you mean" file now, Darlings: It means it isn't perfect. By some definition or all.

Back to my original point then: Show me something that truly is. We are not talking about the prime mover now, nothing has been "perfect" since day 7, just so we're clear. And since that day, no one on the planet has been in a haze about the fact that we humans are imperfect and ever so likely to create things of equal imperfection.

The other day I spoke with a man regarding General Billy Mitchell, as I often do, my current work having a vague relationship with the man, "Well, he was what he was."

You mean, an American hero? Who was court-martialed for speaking his mind against what he perceived as imperfect national defenses? The father of the Air Force? Posthumous recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal?

The man was court martialed over defense of the nation he was willing to fly to his death for: The youngest of the judges was Major General Douglas MacArthur, who later described the order to sit on Mitchell's court-martial as "one of the most distasteful orders I ever received."

He was as "imperfect" as the rest of us, certainly. But he was better than a catch-all. He was an impassioned, a true believer, a man who took paths coward's have never dreamed existed.

Nothing we were, ever will be, or create of great and minuscule human endeavors is so little to be swept into a grotesque conversational pass-off, not for the sake of small talk, not for the sake of excusing imperfections.

"It is what it is". Strike it.


Stephanie said...

I could not agree more. I've had that phrase used in conversation with me at very inappropriate times and it quickly became one of my most loathed phrases.

It's funny because it's said with such declaration and emphasis when all it does is make the speaker look like a fool.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Oh, if my husband saw this he would be nodding in agreement! He loathes the saying "It is, what it is". I have a friend who says this all the time and once, in error of course, uttered it myself. Yes, the shame!

Town and Country Mom said...

Please, let's add the awful "you think?" to the list of annoyances that should be stricken from civilized conversation.