It is what it isn’t

A lot of people overuse the phrase “It is what it is,” drawing the ire of many an aspiring comedic rant-a-leer. In fact someone I know just went off about it tonight. He said that the obviousness, the vapidity (my words) of the statement should deter use, that of course, duh, no shit, pfft everything “is what it is”–or else it isn’t. True.

In a weird bit of synchronicity or co-ink-ee-dink or some dumb luck I was reading Kenneth Burke and thinking about how we define through context, that in order to talk about what a thing “is” we have to give some service to what the thing “isn’t.”

So, in a way the opposite statement is what is truly true — “It is what it isn’t.” But that just doesn’t have the same ring to it, another obvious cliché.

In other wierdnesses, Traveling through the dark (on the way to my weekly Big Rapids stay) listening on CD to Traveling Through the Dark, was in fact weird, though Stafford’s voice fits that stretch of road perfectly, soothing? I don’t know, but he always puts me deep inside my own head–nearly-hitting the deer that decided to stop and stare down my headlights before finishing crossing onto the median was levels of weird weirder. Maybe there’s a poem in there, if I can figure out what it is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: