Casual Misogyny Ruins a Great Song: Patent Pending’s “Hey Mario”

Dear Patent Pending,

I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

I’m a big fan of the band. Really. I remember seeing you in small halls in CT when Gary booked you. I think the song Douchebag brilliantly calls out jerks. I think She Only Wants My Blood is clever in an MTX kind of way. Spin Me Around and One Less Heart to Break practically made me cry.

So obviously, I was totally stoked for your new video. In fact, in this moment, I’m still stoked. I’ve already watched it three times.

And I’m watching the video, rocking out… and the line about “chasing this %$&@ forever” comes. Okay, you bleeped it out, you knew it was wrong. But, the line “ain’t never let a ho get em down” stopped me in my tracks. Was it really necessary? It wasn’t.

I know what you’re thinking. “What is with this PC asshole?” It’s not about me being a pain in the ass. It’s actually about not being a jackass. I don’t mind the cliches about hanging out with your friends, “friendzoning,” and telling a guy that the girl’s not worth it. But if you’re going to go down the pop/punk road of “being on the outside looking in,” then casually throwing around the word “ho” is problematic. You’re clever and could make me laugh without using the words you chose to use. You’ve got a voice and people are listening. 100,000 plays in 3 days is nothing to scoff at.

Let’s be clear, I’m still a fan. I just want you to do better because I know you can. Belatedly, I’m going to chip in on your Pledge Music campaign because I want you to be successful and I want you to record more tunes; tunes that don’t rely on lyrics that put women down.

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3 comments

  1. Hey dude! It’s me Joe from Patent Pending. I totally understand your point. That line is actually a quote from a gangster rap song but we changed the name to be Luigi because i thought that putting Mario and Luigi into a world that is the polar opposite of the one they are normally found in would be hilariously funny. I understand that in doing so I’m not helping the serious problem of misogyny in everyday media. Unfortunately i didn’t even think of it as misogynistic when i wrote it, i only saw the side of parody. Maybe my senses have been dulled over the years and sometimes i forget to understand the difference between what i think is funny and what others may think is offensive. I’m really sorry to you and anyone that this choice of comedy offends. I appreciate you speaking your mind in an honest and still supportive way. I hope to see you soon!
    – Joe!

  2. Reblogged this on thom dunn and commented:
    My good friend Jake sent me this song the other day, needing some place to vent. And he’s right. It’s totally fine to pander to a 15-year-old audience, and to write a classic “You gotta move on, stop thinking about that girl” type song. Nothing wrong with that! And doing it through the veil of Mario? Even better! But to tear down and insult the woman (Princess Peach, in this example, who’s not only a Princess, but a badass fighter in her own right) is not only unnecessary, but it also contributes to many of the larger problems that plague our culture, by sending the message that this is right, this is okay.

    I’m not particularly a fan of Patent Pending, but it’s nice to see that their singer took some time to respond to Jake’s blog post and apologize. I know it’s a popular trend these days to rail against apologies that “aren’t good enough,” but personally, I don’t subscribe to that belief. If it seems sincere, I’ll take it, so long as it comes with the promise — and delivery — that next time, you’ll do better, because that’s all that any of us can really do.

  3. This blog post perfectly captured my feelings regarding this song. The song is catchy, the sound engineering and performance are excellent.

    But the casual misogyny grated every time it played.

    If it weren’t for the singer’s comment, I might have given Patent Pending a pass. Good for you, Jake, for calling it out.

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