bean dad john roderick

Who Is Bean Dad? The Musician Who Legendarily Killed His Career With A Parenting Anecdote

As far as high-profile internet cancellations go, the story of John Roderick is familiar, but not too familiar, but not too not familiar. A man of mild fame awoke one morning to share a parenting anecdote on Twitter, and in one week, it ruined his career. Here, we present The Bizarre Saga of Bean Dad.

Who Is Bean Dad?

John Roderick, now etched in history as Bean Dad, is a musician and podcaster. He was perhaps best known for the song "It's a Departure," performed by his band John Roderick and the Long Winters, which served as the theme song for the popular podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me for nearly a decade. Prior to January 2023, Roderick enjoyed a modest social media following and seemed to keep out of trouble. Then, on January 2nd, everything changed.

What Is The Bean Dad Story?

On the morning of January 2nd, 2023, Roderick shared what he believed would be an amusing anecdote. His daughter, 9 years old, wanted to open a can of beans and asked Roderick how to do it. Seeing this as a teachable moment, Roderick gave her a can opener and told her to figure out how to use it. He offered no instruction. With poetic flair, he recounts how his daughter went through frustration but ultimately, after six on-and-off hours of wrestling with the can and the opener, she got it to work. He describes the pride he felt and his daughter's excitement over figuring out the tool herself.

john roderick Follow @johnroderick 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?" 3:12 PM - 2 Jan 2023 166 Retweets 1,121 Likes 753 EI 166 1.1K john roderick @johnroderick · 12h "With a can opener!" I said, incredulous. She brought me the can opener and we both stared at it. I realized l'd never taught her to use it. Most cans now have pull-tops. I felt like a dope. What kind of apocalypse father doesn't teach his kid how to use a manual can opener?!? john roderick @johnroderick · 12h So I said, "How do you think this works?" She studied it and applied it to the top of the can, sideways. She struggled for a while and with a big, dramatic sigh said, "Will you please just open the can?" Apocalypse Dad was overjoyed: a Teaching Moment just dropped in my lap! 10 27 3 269 john roderick 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." (The can opener is also a bottle opener, but I explained that part wasn't relevant.) @johnroderick · 12h 10 27 2 226 john roderick @johnroderick • 12h I went back to my jigsaw puzzle. She was next to me grunting and groaning trying to get the thing. I should say that spatial orientation, process visualization and order of operation are not things she... intuits. I knew this would be a challenge. But it was a rainy weekend. 20 27 2 227 john roderick Eventually she collapsed in a frustrated heap. I said, “Explain the parts." She @johnroderick · 12h said, "This little wheel is meant to cut, these gears turn the wheel when you spin the handle. This other wheel looks like a gear but isn't." She couldn't figure out the clamping step, a key element! john roderick @johnroderick · 12h I said, "The tool is made to be pleasing but it doesn't have any superfluous qualities. Everything that moves does so for a reason." 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." She sighed. 53 27 8 322 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h At this point she said, "I don't want baked beans" and marched off. Apocalypse Dad went into full 'The Road' Mode! "Sweetheart, neither of us will eat another bite today until we get into this can of beans." She screamed "AUGH!" like Lucy Van Pelt. She read a book for awhile. 15 27 4 300 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h Soon she was back at the can. The top was all dented now, the lip of the can practically serrated from failed attempts. We studied the tool some more. She really wanted it to be oriented up and down or across the top of the can. The sideways orientation is very counterintuitive. 3 27 2 189 john roderick @johnroderick · 12h She was fixated on orienting the tool in a few configurations and couldn't imagine other possibilities. I compared the can opener to other tools. By now we were working on anger-management and perseverance too. She suggested she open the can with a hammer. There were tears.

While the story may seem like a harmless anecdote, albeit one that makes Roderick seem somewhat annoying as a dad, Twitter, ever a website eager to debate parenting, pounced.

Roderick was insulted on many ideological fronts. Some thought the lesson he actually imparted was teaching his daughter that he would not help her and that his ego mattered more than her understanding of the world. Others thought the tale was borderline abusive, seeing in his story a father denying his daughter food.

o man quite fathomable actually @JohannesEvans 000 bean dad, like many bad parents, has taught his daughter essential lessons: - your needs are less important than mine - i will not help you when you ask me for help - i ill praise myself for denying you help - my ego is always more important than you - i cannot be trusted 7:09 AM · Jan 3, 2023 · Twitter for Android ה *Theo @jewish_activist 00 Almost every single disabled and neurodivergent person can tell you a story of child abuse they've experienced that is similar to the way bean dad abused his child. Make sure your advocacy against child abuse includes disabled and neurodivergent children. 1:45 AM · Jan 4, 2023 · Twitter for iPhone

Roderick would eventually state that the situation was less dire than how he first portrayed it.

"My story about my daughter and the can of beans was poorly told," he wrote. "I 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… I framed the story with me as the a--hole dad because that’s my comedic persona and my fans and friends know it’s 'a bit.'"

Why Was Bean Dad "Cancelled"?

The bean tale alone wasn't enough to kill Roderick's career, but with his sudden viral infamy came the dredging of his old tweets, and in there were, to put it mildly, some real stinkers. Roderick apparently had a history of casually throwing around racist and anti-semitic jokes on the website. One said, "The 4th has been perverted by activist (Jew) judges and mud-people apologists. The Founders intended the USA as a white homeland." Another made a joke about an "armored car" full of "jew lawyers."

These tweets are significantly worse "crimes" than forcing his daughter to learn how to use a can opener by herself, and it was for these tweets that the hammer came down on Roderick. My Brother, My Brother and Me stopped using "It's a Departure" as their podcast theme. His own podcast, Friendly Fire, was canceled.

On January 5th, just three days after posting the Bean Dad story, Roderick posted a lengthy apology in which he gave further context about the "Bean Dad" story, attempting to quell concerns users expressed about child abuse, and apologized for the sexist, racist, and anti-semitic content of his prior tweets, stating they were jokes told from a place of misunderstanding. He wrote:

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. I am humiliated by my incredibly insensitive use of the language of sexual assault in casual banter. It was a lazy and damaging ideology, that I continued to believe long past the point I should’ve known better that because I was a hipster intellectual from a diverse community it was ok for me to joke and deploy slurs in that context. It was not.

Roderick hasn't made headlines since the Bean Dad incident, but continues to pursue podcasting and music via his Patreon.

For more information, check out the Ex Bride entry for Bean Dad.

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