Wednesday, January 9, 2013

536. John Sadler



I think to figure out John Sadler, I'd have to look deeper than his headstone. I know that when I read the words "It is what it is" I have an immediate reaction. I think football. Coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots used the sentence ad nauseum for a few years, in his attempt to diffuse any high or low talk about his team and its record. Which leads back one step further - Coach Bill Parcells liked to use the sentence "You are what you are" when asked about his team in comparison to its record.

"Coach, you're 5-6, but you're record doesn't reflect how well you've really played."

"If you're 5-6, you're 5-6. You are what you are."

And of course, it all sounds very much like "Che sera, sera, whatever will be, will be." (I prefer the Doris Day version).

So, does that make John Sadler a bigtime Patriots fan? Possibly, but there's a chance he was a Grateful Dead fan.

John Perry Barlow, one of the Grateful Dead's lyricists, wrote a song with exactly that title, "It Is What It Is," though the Dead never recorded it. But then, all of this may just come down to John Sadler adopting the sentence for his own use, and it becoming his own tagline, no matter where he got it from. As a final sentiment, it's quirky. There's a resigned quality to it - death is final, there's no turning back - while it currently holds a bit of early 21st century cultural identity. Will it resonate? In 2113 will someone visiting this graveyard in an attempt to recreate my classic work of literary amazingness that this blog will become even understand what the words mean? I guess we'll see.

Che sera, sera.

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