Friday, October 19, 2007

Too Manny Cliches

I saw a movie tonight “(Gone Baby Gone,” which could have been entitled “Long Baby, Long) and was distressed to hear a line of dialogue that grates on me worse than any other in daily use. It seems to be a new formulation for those who can’t explain what they see.

It is what it is
This just in
"... Today, 'it is what it is' has become a favorite phrase of Mrs. Clinton."
New York Times, Oct. 26, 2007
Well, excuse the French, but what the fuck is that supposed to mean? It has become an instant cliché and means nothing – other than “I have no idea,” which, in effect, means it isn’t what it is.”

Maybe we have Bill Clinton to thank for complicating “is,” the simplest word in the English language, except possibly for “no.”

The derivative of this is applied to individuals by wags and pundits who couldn’t find a clue if, as the proverb goes, they smeared their bodies with clue musk and did the clue mating dance in a field full of horny clues at the height of clue mating season. It goes, like this:

It’s just Manny being Manny

This week, the sports drivellers on TV are referring to the Red Sox’ Manny Ramirez, perhaps the most selfish prima donna currently playing baseball. Feel free to pick your favorite nutjob about which to say “X is just being X.

For the record, Ramirez, upon his team’s loss in the playoffs said “it isn’t the end of the world.” Of course it isn’t, but that cavalier attitude from someone who refuses to play hard when he doesn’t feel like it should be enough to make his teammates wrap his dreadlocks around his thick neck and strangle him.

Just as the sportcasters were bleating, “Manny being Manny,” Ramirez was too lazy or chicken to slide into home plate to avoid being put out, and then stood admiring a long fly ball he hit, trotting to first base, and thinking he had homered. The ball did not leave the ballpark and Manny wound up on first base, instead of at least second. (George W. Bush, on the other hand, was born on third base and thought he tripled.)

The Red Sox, at this writing, may yet win the American League playoffs and advance to the World Series, and whether Manny is being Manny or Manny is being an asshole, I will have to root for them against the Colorado Rockies for reasons previously expressed on this blog.

Damn it.

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