'Bean Dad' Apologizes After Viral Story About Letting Daughter Struggle With Can Opener (UPDATE)
On Sunday, social media swarmed a father dubbed 'Bean Dad' over a lengthy thread documenting his apparent refusal to open a can of beans for his daughter.
Image via Getty/anthony_taylor
UPDATED 1/5, 2:30 p.m. ET: In a note on his website titled “An Apology,” John Roderick explained himself and the #BeanDad debacle in detail. “My parenting story’s insensitivity and the legacy of hurtful language in my past are both profound failures. I want to confront them directly,” he wrote in his introduction.
The 52-year-old musician/podcaster said his tale was “poorly told” satire and he “didn’t share how much laughing we were doing, how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as we worked on the problem, or that we’d both had a full breakfast together a few hours before. Her mother was in the room with us all day and alternately laughing at us and telling us to be quiet while she worked on her laptop.”
Roderick added that imitating an "asshole dad" is "my comedic persona and my fans and friends know it’s ‘a bit.’" Sorting through both his poorly received story about his interaction with his daughter as well as resurfaced tweets, he wrote, "I was ignorant, insensitive to the message that my 'pedant dad' comedic persona was indistinguishable from how abusive dads act, talk and think. … I am deeply sorry for having precipitated more hurt in the world, for having prolonged or exacerbated it by fighting back and being flippant when confronted, and for taking my Twitter feed offline yesterday instead of facing the music. ... As for the many racist, anti-Semitic, hurtful and slur-filled tweets from my early days on Twitter I can say only this: all of those tweets were intended to be ironic, sarcastic. I thought then that being an ally meant taking the slurs of the oppressors and flipping them to mock racism, sexism, homophobia, and bigotry." After discussing those issues in his apology, he stated, "That was wrong, so I stopped."
See original story below.
Over the weekend Twitter swarmed the mentions of a person dubbed "Bean Dad" (who had previously gone by the non-Twitter name John Roderick) over his refusal to open a tin can for his kid.
A sentence like that probably doesn't need added context, but we'll try.
On Saturday, Roderick—a podcaster and frontman of the Long Winters—shared a (too long) thread that told a story of advising his hungry 9-year-old daughter to eat baked beans, the favorite food of kids worldwide:
Long story short, she didn't know how to use a can opener. At some point she quit, and then at some other point she came back to it. At some point *six hours later* everything came together:
According to 52-year-old Roderick, she eventually floated the idea of using a hammer to bust open the can.
Again, the process reportedly took six hours.
YouTube next time:
The thread went on for more than 20 tweets, and included lines such as "I told her stories of some of the great cans I’d opened over the years. She rolled her eyes. We talked about industrial design and what a funny little device the opener is," and "She looked at me expectantly, excitedly. After six hours of trying you don’t want to express too much hope. Was this another blind alley? The can had been through hell, label ripped off, dented, sharpened and burred, a veteran of a thousand psychic wars. She knew, though."
This hopefully serves as enough evidence of why more tweets aren't embedded. You can read it all here, including his responses to very angry criticisms, before wondering why you're doing that.
Some might find this thread to be a story of a man trying too hard to sound deep, whereas others (me) might've fallen asleep halfway through.
Still, Twitter, where cooler heads always prevail, and hysteria is shouted down by the reasonable, was of the opinion that this was either shitty or good parenting. Come to your own conclusion, but that's how the "Bean Dad" moniker was born.
Here's a sample of the reaction, followed by Bean Dad's reaction to the reaction below it. As is often the case with micro-controversies, the real winners here seem to be those who stayed away:
In addition to tweets @'ing or quoting Bean Dad, there were more general jokes that capitalized on a new addition to the culture war lexicon. Only time will tell if this one lasts, but let us all hope it does not:
After the Twitter furor came to Roderick's attention he responded by saying the firestorm was overblown. That's just the most basic way of putting it, but here he is reflecting upon it in his own words: