An Open Letter to Bruno Mars

Dear Mr. Mars,

I’m not sure how this open letter concept works. And why, precisely, it is open. It goes against everything I know as a postal carrier’s daughter. Opening someone else’s letter is a felony! 18 USC Section 1702, Chapter 83 of Title 18 of the federal code—Obstruction of Correspondence.

However, it seems that this new trend in open lettering has been born out of necessity, either for lack of credible contact information to relay said message (in Sinead O’Connor’s case) or the need to further manipulate and perpetuate your own bullshit (in Miley Cyrus’s). My reason for choosing this format falls in the middle of the spectrum.

We need to talk about this song. I think you know the one I’m talking about.

Oh yeah, you probably thought you’d slip past my radar, after being blinded into an exasperated rage-stupor by Robin Thicke. After all, you’re not chasing around topless girls with giant syringes. A stripper pole and fake car sex is hardly eye-batting-worthy nowadays. Although can I just tell you how very o-v-e-r extended length music videos with nonsensical plotlines are? The last time I bought into one, I was 14 and Britney Spears’ director spent half of MTV’s Making the Video: Oops I Did It Again hammering home the tangential storylines.



As an old-school kinda gal, one with a car that far predates the advent of in-dash Pandora or smartphone adapters, I’m a fan of the radio. And right now, “Gorilla” is in the creative and variety void that is every Top 40 station. But Tucson is sorely lacking a 94.7 Alternative Portland or 107.7 The End Seattle equivalent, so repeat Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake it is.

I’m not sure where I begin explaining to you how deep an assault this song is on morning-commute me, trying to decide important matters like whether I have time to get the good, slow-crafted artisan coffee or pit-stop at Starbucks for something that will simply suffice. Or if I should conveniently forget that I have Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac n Cheese in the work fridge and get Chipotle for lunch. Zoning, prepping, getting ready to face another eight hours in the Cubicle of Capitalist Servitude.

Then, before I’ve had a droplet of caffeine and my mascara’s still setting, you begin warbling a second-person narrative about how we’re about to have crazy, animalistic, coked-out, creepily infantilizing sex. It makes me feel downright squicky from start to finish. Every fucking time I hear you sing, in that condescending voice, “Ooooo look what you’re doing, look what you’ve done,” I get an instant mental image of you, Bruno Mars, standing there showing off a steadily growing erection. And it’s not what I want to see in my head at 7:35 on a damn Monday morning when I’d trade a lifetime’s worth of orgasms for another hour of sleep.

Having to listen to this song on a commute is like getting flashed at the bus stop. Forcefully inserting your sexual fantasies into my daytime routine is personal space rape.

And you know what? You don’t want to have the neighbors call the cops and SWAT to interrupt us. When I moved into my first apartment with my boyfriend, our neighbors called the leasing office. It was the most humiliating formal-letterheaded noise complaint ever. Wasn’t exactly a turn-on either, as we were explicitly told that a preschooler’s bedroom was right next to ours.

Now. Let’s talk a minute about the chorus. You see, the first 50 times I heard this shitty song, I thought you were saying “You and me baby making love like a river,” therefore continuing the hackneyed jungle metaphor you were hammering at the entire time. The phrase “making love” is pedo in any context. When joined with “like a river” I assumed you meant strongly, steadfastly, relentlessly. But thanks to Jezebel, I learned last week that you want to “make love like gorillas.” Yep, you actually wrote that lyric down, attached it to musical notes, recorded it, ran it by god knows how many music industry professionals, and GOT IT ON THE FUCKING RADIO. Making. Love. Like. Gorillas.

I hoped, for a fleeting moment, that you meant “guerillas” as in hot underground revolution sex. I once worked for a moron who thought the term was “gorilla marketing,” so I have experienced the confusion. But nope. Your ginormous ape concert projections ruined that grasp at sanity.

My desire to Google “gorilla sex” has not mustered into action. But a few days ago there was a pair of giant flies in my office parking lot making love like bugs. Did I see anything I’d like to try out for myself? Not really. But thanks for making sure I hear nothing but ape noises and your irritating “oooh oooh ooh ooh ooh!” crooning as I wait for Outlook to boot up.

I imagine that you’re probably hoping to strike a balance between edgy and sexy. But this song is laughable at its best, and straight-up skeeze half a decade from now, when it will make its way into every Podunk bar’s karaoke menu. It’s way, way, way too vivid to hear in any context outside the bedroom. And in the bedroom? Dude. As soon as you start asking to make love like gorillas, the moment is gone. I don’t care how many snazzy fedoras you wear. You can’t pull off that line, Mr. Mars.

For your next single, I suggest going back to lamenting on how lucky my new man must be. That was infinitely more of a turn-on.


Tabitha Jensen-Blankenbiller

6 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Bruno Mars

  1. I like the song. It’s not mind-blowing or anything, but I think it’s sexy. Isn’t he just re-working the old phrase “screwing like monkeys”? Not high art, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of pop music. One of the lines also reminds me of The Weekend’s song “Wicked Games,” which I also think is a great sexy times song. What do you consider good sex music? I’m a big fan of Miguel.

    Maybe you should just invest in an iPod for your morning commute.


    1. I think the MUSIC *might* be sexy, but it’s the LYRICS that ruin it for me. I guess I’m sort of old-fashioned in that I still like a good soul song a la Marvin Gaye, or a classic crooner like Perry Como, or even some really good transporting Brazilian bossa nova because, wow, that beat and those sexy voices, think Chico Buarque and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Romance and sex reside in my brain, not entirely in my naughty bits. Now, that being said, lounge and electronica also do it for me. I’ve done some otherworldly things to Supreme Beings Of Leisure’s eponymous first album and Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine.”


  2. Hahaha, thanks for the high school flashback, Andrea! This (oldie?) song popped into my head several times while I was dissecting how much I hate this song and video. You’re so right—Bloodhound Gang at least has the self-awareness to know that they’re being ridiculous, that no one thinks this song or its lyrics is a turn-on, and they’re just going to milk their one-hit wonder for all it’s worth. But between the “oooooh ooooh oooh ooh!” sensitive Bruno Mars crooning of the song and vomitous “scathing stares of longing” in this video, it’s delusional enough to find itself hawt. And that is a whole extra level of creepy.


  3. “it’s not what I want to see in my head at 7:35 on a damn Monday morning when I’d trade a lifetime’s worth of orgasms for another hour of sleep.” HA!

    I watched the whole sorry, sick thing, and it’s not only gross, but laughable. WHO finds this sexy?! I cannot believe he actually sang “Give it to me motherfucker” and “fucking like gorillas”

    This is on relative par with Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch,” wherin they give us the tongue in cheek line, “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel” except that they have enough sense to be cheeky about it in the video, actually dressed as monkeys. It’s silly and clever and not creepily full of itself.


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