When discussing this summer’s ad nauseam anthem “Rude,” by MAGIC!, I’ll admit that there’s a pretty strong temptation to just pile it on. Musically, there’s the saccharine impotence of the “half-assed surfer reggae/ska/punk,” as aptly labeled by Deadspin.com’s Garrett Kamps. Easier still, one could take a few swipes at the band members themselves, who come off as absolute pussies in the song’s video.
This isn’t Lloyd Dobler defiantly blasting his boombox outside Diane Court’s window; it’s nowhere near as interesting as Ben Braddock crashing Elaine Robinson’s wedding; and it sure as hell isn’t Springsteen with his tires slashed so he almost crashed, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey with “Rosalita”. This is a gaggle of noodle-armed, dirt-kicking crybabies essentially saying, “Whatever, I do what I want”—but you know they’re not doing a damn thing, because, well… they’re pussies.
And how do we know they’re pussies? Just look at the main thrust of their argument:
“Why you gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?”
For me, this is the worst aspect of the song because the line of logic here is nothing short of infuriating. It’s a dumbfounding display of dipshittery, typically used in response to a situation where one party refuses to acknowledge his or her own shortcomings.
You see, about a decade ago, the go-to comeback for the socially inept was “Mean People Suck.” Fact is, we “mean people” wouldn’t be so mean if the rest of you weren’t so goddamn stupid. Eventually, a few million bumper stickers later, that weak-legged argument got old—morphing into the watered-down, patently illogical, “Why you gotta be so rude?”
The conversational countermeasure here entails deploying some passive-aggressive ball-and-cup/Jedi mind trick, as the offending party feebly attempts to transfer fault back onto the other party in the argument. Personally, I’ve had more cogent arguments with my 6-year-old—yet I see this tactic being used more and more in everyday life. For example, just recently I had this interaction on the street:
Me: “Hey man, I see your dog just went on the sidewalk. Could you please pick it up?”
Poop Man: “Yeah, um, I don’t have a bag.”
Me: “Ok, well there’s one right over there.”
Poop Man: “Yeah, but that bag isn’t mine. I’m not picking up random garbage off the street.”
Me: “Well you really need to pick up after your dog. It’s common courtesy and it’s the law.”
Poop Man: “Hey! Why you gotta be so rude?”
Me: “I’m not being rude, I’m simply asking you to adhere to the tenets of civil society, like everyone else.”
Poop Man: “Whatever dude.”
Me: “Are you going to pick that up?”
Poop Man: “No.”
Me: “Why not?”
Poop Man: “Because you’re being rude.”
First of all, this guy is a colossal pile of shit in his own right for not cleaning up the pile of shit his dog left on the sidewalk. Secondly, I might have a modicum of respect for him if he had the balls to simply say, “Fuck off and mind your own business.” But attempting to take the higher ground in a discussion where he is clearly at fault—well I consider that to be even more reprehensibly chickenshit than his initial indiscretion.
Now let’s take a look at the storyline put forth by our good friends from MAGIC! (the band—not to be confused with equally lame Magic: The Gathering):
Father: “No, you can’t marry my daughter.”
MAGIC! Man: “Wha? Dude, that’s harsh… why not bro?”
Father: “Because I’m rather skeptical of your ability to provide for my daughter’s happiness and well-being in the long-term.”
MAGIC! Man: “Wha? For reelz? Why you gotta be so rude?”
Father: “I’m not being rude, I’m being pragmatic. This is a very serious commitment, and the fact that you brought the rest of your band along to ask for my daughter’s hand in marriage exhibits a certain weakness of conviction.”
MAGIC! Man: “Whatever, bro—I’m gonna marry her anyway.”
Me asking you to use a dogshit bag on the street—that’s not rude, that’s civics. A father telling some shitbag that he can’t waltz in and marry his daughter—that’s not rude, that’s good parenting. You sucking at life, then blaming other people for calling you on it when it impacts them—that’s you being a pussy.
The fact that this song even resonates makes me weep for the future. We now live in a world of fruit-flavored bourbon and smokeless cigarettes, where Bloom v. Bieber counts as a streetfight, and our star-crossed slacker rebels wear their hearts on their sleeve.
Gee whiz, son—sorry to hurt your feelings. Now go fix yourself.
Or if you’re intent on being anti-social, then own up to that fact… like a real man.