Happy New Year! 2020 was not a good time for anybody but Jeff Bezos and the Chinese Communist Party, and the rest of us are glad it’s over. The changing of the year may be an arbitrary, manmade measure of time that isn’t going to make everything better as if by magic, but it does feel good not to have to say “It’s 2020” anymore. A change is as good as a rest, as some dead white guy once said, and the new year has brought with it the hope that things will improve. Life will look brighter. People will learn and grow. The “news” will become less bewildering and exasperating and depressing.
Of course, this hope has already been destroyed.
In a great start to 2021, Twitter brutally took to task a father now dubbed #BeanDad, whose intended “teaching moment” for his 9-year-old daughter turned into the hungry girl spending six hours trying to operate a can opener and to get inside a can of baked beans.
The phrases #BeanDad along with “she’s 9” and “SIX HOURS” all trended on Sunday, as people mocked and criticized the dad, musician and podcaster John Roderick, with some calling him everything from an “a–hole” to “abusive…”
In a 23-post thread, Roderick on Saturday described in great detail a scenario in which he discovered that his daughter didn’t know how to use a manual can opener and challenged her to figure it out on her own.
“I said, ‘The little device is designed to do one thing: open cans. Study the parts, study the can, figure out what the can-opener inventor was thinking when they tried to solve this problem,” Roderick wrote…
“Eventually she collapsed in a frustrated heap… She said, ‘I hate you.’ I’m sure she believes that she does. I said, ‘You understand everything except how the tool addresses the can,” he wrote.
That’s right, it took two professional journalists to write about some guy who made his daughter open a can of beans.
So, okay, this Roderick guy is weird. Big deal. Most people would see something like that, make a dumb joke, and just get on with their day. But then, most people aren’t liberals. And because Roderick told this story on Twitter, it made Twitter libs very, very angry:
The Bean Dad story is ridiculous. He should have just FED her, and THEN showed her how to use a damn can opener instead of leaving her hungry for six hours. That's abusive.
She's 9 years old, and some of us don't learn very well when we're hungry, regardless of age. Jeez.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 3, 2021
Some day, Bean Dad is going to need her help with technology, or end of life care, and she will have her revenge.
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) January 3, 2021
I’ve had a couple Guinness so I am just the right level of disinhibited to lay out why I am white-hot with incandescent aggrievement about that dumb Bean Dad mother****** and the people defending him.
Buckle up. Turbulence may occur in flight.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) January 3, 2021
Now they’re digging up his old tweets, using bad jokes he made 10 years ago as proof he’s an awful person. And now Ken Jennings, of all people, is getting dragged into it because he and Roderick do a podcast together. #BeanDad was trending on Twitter all Sunday, because of course it was.
Here’s the thing, though: You don’t need to care about some guy you don’t know whose parenting style isn’t quite what you’d do if you were in his shoes. A dad making his daughter open a can of beans herself is not national news. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
From the reaction to this guy, you’d think he put that can of beans in a sock and beat his daughter to death with it. He was just being an odd, stubborn jerk. So what? Lots of dads are odd, stubborn jerks.
And if nothing else, this little girl learned two valuable lessons: 1) How to use a can opener, and 2) Who not to ask for help.
Which isn’t to say Roderick is blameless for the situation he finds himself in. Why would anybody brag about such a thing? Why write a long, weirdly florid Twitter thread about how much smarter you are than your little kid who just wanted a snack? Why would you think that’s something the world needed? How does it benefit you or anybody else?
It’s like a nude selfie: If you don’t want people to see it, put down the phone. Once you’ve documented something, you don’t know what anybody else is going to do with it.
And actually putting it on Twitter? Forget about it. You’re leaving your future in the hands of a bunch of aimlessly frustrated lunatics who’ve been stuck inside for almost a year and will destroy your life just for sport. There are so many things in your life you can’t control, but you can control that.
I’ll leave Woke America with this question, though: Would you have the same reaction to Bean Dad if his story was about his son instead of his daughter? Would you be this pissed off if the “aggressor” and the “victim” were both white males? Be honest.
This is 2021. Your antiquated gender assumptions are problematic. Do better.
P.S. Yeah, I know, I know: “It’s Twitter. Who cares about Twitter?” Donald John Trump, for one.
P.P.S. Looks like Roderick had a change of heart about deleting his account. You can read the whole thing here and decide for yourself whether he’s Bean Hitler:
So, yesterday my daughter (9) was hungry and I was doing a jigsaw puzzle so I said over my shoulder “make some baked beans.” She said, “How?” like all kids do when they want YOU to do it, so I said, “Open a can and put it in pot.” She brought me the can and said “Open it how?”
— john roderick (@johnroderick) January 2, 2021