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"It Is What It Is"

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I'm not precisely sure which category this belongs in. But have you noticed how often people are using the phrase "It is what it is?" More and more, I'm hearing this phrase, which is becoming the 21st Century version of "S hit happens". (Weird formatting due to my site's content filter.)

A Google search on "It Is What It Is" finds a number of interesting sites:
Zeke runs a blog so titled.
So does Alaskagirl (sadly somewhat stale).
A set of John Barlow (Grateful Dead) lyrics has that title.
It's rapper Jay-Z's favorite saying.
A movie. Anybody seen it? Know what it's about?
A song by Usher.

More research is obviously required into the origins of "it is what it is" as a cultural meme. Anybody got some grant money laying around? I'm up for it.