Just as we all finished putting up our fresh calendars, hearts filled with optimism at what the new year might bring, we were presented with “Bean Dad”—the now eternal internet moniker of musician and podcaster John Roderick—as an immediate suggestion that, at least online, 2021 will continue to be as shitty and dumb as the months preceding its start.
In short, the Bean Dad Saga unfolds like this: Roderick tweeted a long thread about trying to teach his 9-year old daughter the importance of can opener engineering by making her learn how to unseal a can of beans over a six hour period. Unfunny and vaguely unbelievable in the way that most of these kind of long, “stories from my crazy life!” Twitter threads are always unfunny and vaguely unbelievable, the story managed to attract plenty of ire from people unimpressed with the self-congratulatory tone of Roderick’s frustrating, bean-withholding pedagogical style. Rather than fade away over the next few days like so many other bad threads, Roderick’s tweets ended up opening not just a can of beans, but a radioactive barrel of wormy old tweets from his past filled with awful, “edgy,” slur-ridden pseudo-jokes.
Following this, the My Brother, My Brother, And Me podcast dropped Roderick’s Long Winters track, “(It’s A) Departure” as its theme song, his Omnibus co-host Ken Jennings tried to defend his character, and then, like that last bean that falls from the strainer to disappear into the inky depths of the sink drain, Roderick disappeared, deleting his Twitter account.
Now, days having passed, Roderick has returned to publish a long apology. He calls his original bean story “poorly told,” his style of writing a reflection of his “comedic persona,” and says that he “didn’t share how much laughing we were doing” or “how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as [he and his daughter] worked” out the can opener’s mechanisms. He also apologizes for “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.” In a hell of a following sentence, he explains that he “thought then that being an ally meant taking the slurs of the oppressors and flipping them to mock racism, sexism, homophobia, and bigotry.”
“That was wrong, so I stopped,” he continues. “I deeply regret having ever used those words. I do not want to spread more hate in the world. I want the opposite.”
You can read Roderick’s entire letter here, and then make of it what you will.
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