"It is what it is."
What does that even mean?
This simple, seemingly overused phrase causes an exhaustive sigh to wash over me. It is what it is... is profoundly nothing... or is it?
After pondering the phrase, I've come to the conclusion that what it is... is ambiguous.
It can be used to describe the static, the unchangeable. Such as a fire, flood, or some other force of nature that just simply cannot be changed. This is reality, we can't change reality, and we can't change the situation.
However, people have skewed the meaning and tend to use this phrase to say "here's my point. Take it, or leave it" or more disrespectfully, "figure it out yourself, dumbass". People who use this to describe a situation are not strong enough to either be honest or offer up any kind of solution.
This is when I want to grab them by their shoulders, give them a shake and maybe even a quick slap in the face.
It strangles the conversation. "It is what it is" is used as a suffocating move. There just isn't anything left to say, and that should be obvious. All reasonable inquiry has been exhausted.
Athletes will also use it in reference to a game loss, say it about a missed catch, or a bad call by the referee; it means that they don't want to dwell on the situation.
While the phrase is always obscure and lacking evidence or valid reasoning, what it is not is redundant. Instead it's designed to define itself by repetition of itself and used to deflect inquiry.
"It is what it is" is simply a way to evade making any true effort in a conversation or contribute anything remotely important. People only say it to feel like they've brought something to a conversation, when in fact, they have contributed absolutely nothing at all.
One day I want someone to mutter "It is what it is" and then actually tell me what it is.