So, there is this band called Magic! which put out this song called “Rude”. It had a moment in Canada and now seems to be having a moment in the rest of the world.
The song itself is not worth discussing — though the hat and hair choices the lead singer makes in the video may be — but the sentiment in the chorus of the song drives me crazy every time I hear it. I am concerned that it is symptomatic of a larger problem with whatever counts as the “young” generation today.
The song is about a guy going to ask the father of the woman he’s dating for a blessing in order to propose to the girlfriend. In verse 1 the dad says “tough luck my friend, but the answer is no”. The chorus then asks:
“Why you gotta be so rude?/ Don’t you know I’m human too?/ Why you gotta be so rude?/ I’m going to marry her anyway/
Marry that girl/ Marry her anyway/ Marry that girl/ yeah, no matter what you say/ Marry that girl/ And we’ll be a family/ Why you gotta be so… rude?”
So to recap, a young man goes and asks an older man a question, the older man answers no (you cannot have my blessing), the younger man replies with “what the hell dude? That’s rude!” and then announces he is going to forge ahead and do the original thing in any case. Is it just me, or does the father come off as the wise one and the young man/lead singer comes off as an immature dick?
Even if you don’t agree about that, here’s my question: since when did it become RUDE to answer a yes/no question with no? I have heard similar comments in real life where young people have acted like they were treated rudely or disrespected because someone told them no. If you ask a question, be prepared to receive no as an answer. That is not rude. That is one of two very legitimate potential outcomes in a scenario you (the asker) initiated. DEAL WITH IT. And yes, I realize that there are many ways a potential father-in-law could be rude to a boy asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The thing is, the song doesn’t show that. We never witness the father being rude. Only the singer whining that not getting his girlfriend’s father’s blessing is somehow rude.
Even though this song is all kinds of lame, and the concept feels incredibly dated (“Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?” – not something her father gets to decide, Magic! man), none of that is what irks me. I am worried about perpetuating the idea that being told “no” is the same thing as someone being rude to you. This is simply not true. You cannot get everything you want. And someone might say no to you, and be wrong to have done so– but that makes them wrong. It does not automatically make them rude.
So please Magic!, refrain from perpetuating entitlement culture. Learn that being denied something isn’t rudeness — it might be common sense. Your song character comes off like an immature, petulant douche who isn’t ready to marry anyone. Deal with it. (Now that, that might have been rude.)