Why saying “That band sucks” makes you suck.

Here’s the thing, I haven’t done any kind of ranting for quite some time.  Some may consider this a good thing, and it probably is as I’m not much of a ranter or debater, but something has been bothering me lately, and I really wanted to get it off my chest.

I suppose the post title kind of gives it away, but whatever.

I used to be the kind of person who would say that lots of things “suck”.  Mostly regarding music.  If I didn’t like a genre of music, if I didn’t like a song, or a band, I’d dub it as “sucking”, and I wouldn’t hesitate to share that particular feeling/opinion.  Now here’s the problem I’ve come across: over the past few years, I feel as though I’ve matured a little.  Yes, just a little, and I have been finding that calling a band, genre, song, or anything to do with music “sucking”, really doesn’t mean anything, and if at all, makes me look unintelligent, snobby, immature.

So I’ve pretty much removed the term from my every-day vocabulary, particularly when talking about music.  When discussing local sports teams, that’s a different story…

What has brought on this little rant piece is how I’ve noticed a few people have mentioned bands or songs “sucking” in passing when this is A) not the case; and B) a matter of opinion stated as fact, rendering the comment completely irrelevant and immeasurable.

When you call a successful band who has been around for 25 years, selling millions of albums and selling out arenas around the globe as a band that “sucks”, you aren’t making a comment on the band, you’re making a comment on yourself.  At least that’s all I see.  Your non-descriptive, pointless comment isn’t making me change my mind on this band, regardless of if I like them or not.  All it’s doing is pinning a label on your forehead that I stare at when I talk to you about music.  The label will most likely read, “foolish, uninformed, immature”.

Here’s why.

In my opinion, there is absolutely no point in saying a band “sucks”, or is “horrible” or any other negative descriptor you can come up with.  I can respect you if you say, “I don’t like this band, and here’s why:…” But if you simply dub something as “sucking”, you aren’t making a personal statement, you are claiming fact.

If I say “That house is blue”, I’m claiming fact, and if it’s green, anyone who hears me say this will think one of 2 things: I’m both a liar and an fool or I’m colour blind.  So the next time you say, “Man, this song SUCKS!”, think about how you’re painting that picture.  You’re making a factual statement about something that is completely open to opinion and has no scale or rating system.  Someone within earshot who adores the song you just insulted will think of you as a fool, and will likely lose respect for any other opinions you have.

Careful: you’ve just discredited yourself as any kind of critic.

Instead, as I said previously, simply state that you do not enjoy said tune, or that it’s not doing anything for you. If you want to go further as to the reasons why you feel this way, I’m all ears even if I disagree.

But please, for the love of all things good and holy, do not say “this band/song/genre sucks”.  You really sound like a fool, and nobody will like you much after that.

-Dylan

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~ by whet_hopped on August 12, 2011.

8 Responses to “Why saying “That band sucks” makes you suck.”

  1. I totally agree. But let’s be honest…..the Jonas Brothers suck! Come on Dylan…. That’s allowed right? Just them??

  2. This rant Sucks! haha just kidding, and you have a valid argument but sometimes there are certain songs/bands that just irritate you so bad that you can’t even put a finger on why and it feels the only way to describe them is “sucking, sucking big time!” ex. Hot Hot Heat – Bandages, that song has always drove me CRAZY, not really sure why, it just sends a chill up my spine kinda thing…

    • Haha, I’m not saying that you aren’t allowed to dislike or hate a band/song, I’m just saying to be careful how you say it. If you say “I can’t stand that song, it sends bad chills up my spine and irritates the hell out of me” – boom! – great reason to dislike a tune! If you just say, “Bandages by Hot Hot Heat sucks”, I’ll say, “No it doesn’t” and our argument will be pointless; but I can’t argue with your first statement because you’re telling me how it makes you feel – who am I to tell you that something does or doesn’t actually make you feel that way…

      Besides, it’s likely the repitition of “bandages, bandages, bandages” that drives you nuts, and I can relate.

  3. Nice post man, I’m with you 100% Who am I to say a certain piece of art sucks?… and let’s all have a bit of respect for the blood sweat n tears that it’s creator poured out to add something of positive value to our sometimes cold and cynical society.

    p.s: Rebecca Black does not apply… 😉

  4. I hear what you’re saying..I do..but what do you say if a band really sucks?

  5. Come on man,
    Quit hammering on on a technicality. Saying something sucks is equivalent to saying you dislike something. You never declare fact if you say a song or a house or a local sports team sucks, because whether something sucks or not is always subjective, as opposed to which color something has for example. Whenever someone says something I like sucks, I ask: “Why?” Usually they don’t have a solid defence as to why said something sucks, In which case I’ll start arguing that it doesn’t and listing my reasons. If they do I just say I like it, and why.

    • Just my thoughts and feelings, friend.

      I had heard one too many “So-and-so sucks!” and “that song sucks” that week and went on a bit of a rant. I know that people will continuously share their opinions on band/movies/songs/goalies by saying they “suck”. It’s a way of life these days. It may also be a technicality and I think your approach of asking “Why?” is a really good one! I just feel that flat out saying something “sucks” is a slap in the face to those who enjoy it, and I feel that there’s a better way of going about it. Thanks for your comment!

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