Friday, January 11, 2013
At a bar one night recently, a couple of friends got into a discussion about Jerry Springer's "Final Thoughts" at the end of each episode of his show, "Jerry Springer". They were laughing at the fact that these little monologues are actually relatively deep, particularly when juxtaposed with the content, characters and actions he reflects on. Later that night my buddy and I decided to Youtube "Jerry Springer's Final Thoughts" and consequently found ourselves watching an episode entitled "Trannylicious" nearly in its entirety. It was about transsexuals and their intimate relations. The first "tranny" was a mid-operation female (aka she was essentially female, had breasts, etc, but still had some operations to go through). She met a man at a bus station and they slept together and this blossomed into a relationship. Unfortunately the woman never told her fella that she was born a man. There was another issue as well: she no longer wanted to be with him, she just wanted to be single. So she had him come onto the show so that she could A.) tell him that she was born a man and B.) dump him. It gets confusing because you can't tell what the dude is thinking when he is loaded down with all of this information. Does he feel weird? Does he love her? Is he sad that she's dumping him? Did he know she was a man? Did he not know and now feels embarrassed?
He talks about it somewhat, but I was too busy counting up the times he said "you know whatum sayin'?" to listen to whatever he was sayin'. Then there's the additional, underlying de-complicating factor that the whole show is staged, which is sort of mind boggling on its own.
The transsexual woman kept defending herself by uttering nothing but "it is what it is" over and over and over again.
Did she mean:
A.) It (her genitalia) is what it is
B.) It (her not wanting to be with him anymore) is what it is
C.) It (she lied and there's nothing to be done about that now) is what it is?
D.) all of the above?
I hate the phrase "it is what it is" with a passion. But taken out of the context of "Trannylicious", it is probably the greatest and only truth. Everything is, in fact, whatever it is. Unfortunately, that informs us of absolutely nothing. It reminds me of an irritating Intro to Philosophy course I took. On the first day the Marxist Feminist professor rubbed her palm sensually across the table in front of her as she presented the class with (rhetorical) questions such as:
"What is a table?"
"What does is it mean to be a table?"
"What does it mean to be an object in a room?"
"What does it mean to be an observer of objects in a room?"
These are four very different, equally loaded and irritating questions that nobody should have the time to sit around and ponder. And if you do have the time to sit around and think about shit, these types of inquiries probably shouldn't be the central focus, unless drugs are involved and it simply can't be helped.
The utilitarian (who would never dub himself such a thing because the title is just a useless, recondite term), would say that a table is where you set things. And he'd be correct.
As pragmatic as I wish I could be, I'm not.
Sure throughout my day I unconsciously take habitual advantage of objects and accept them to be whatever their function is for me, and that's fine, but when it comes to people and communication and "the way(s) of the world", I feel perpetually disappointed by another person's utterance of "it is what it is". I tend to think "no it's not" or "yes, you're right, damn it, but that's just not enough."
Your simplification is too wise for me. I haven't yet learned the value behind it, I'm still too young to simplify the complexities I've dealt with into a sort of umbrella of various experiences, packed into a half-victim+half-victor=nihilist equation of "reality" as it is, as it comes, as a static continuum whose paradox I manifested for myself in a pre-made environment. And it's best not to see paradoxes in things because they are what they are and nothing more.
I just can't be that reductive yet or accepting of the aspects of reality that are straight-up bullshit.
All in good time.