john roderick and a can of beans

Bean Dad

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Updated Jan 14, 2021 at 09:45AM EST by Matt.

Added Jan 04, 2021 at 10:03AM EST by Adam.

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Bean Dad refers to musician and podcaster John Roderick who on January 2nd, 2021, tweeted a lengthy thread telling the story of when his 9-year-old daughter asked him to open a can of beans but he insisted she figure out how to open it herself using a can opener. Six hours after she first made the request, she figured out how to use the can opener and opened it. While Roderick tweeted the story as though it were a proud parenting moment, many criticized the story for teaching poor lessons to the daughter with some going so far as to call it abuse and others made jokes about the story. The thread also led people to discover some of Roderick's old tweets which featured problematic statements on a number of topics, leading to podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me to announce they would no longer use Roderick's song "It's a Departure" as the theme song for their podcast.


On January 2nd, 2021, John Roderick tweeted a lengthy thread telling the story of how his daughter wanted him to open a can of beans.[1] Seeing this as a teachable moment, Roderick encouraged his daughter to figure out how to open the can herself with a can opener. Six hours after the daughter made the request, not all of which was spent on the can, she figured out how to open it (story shown below).

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 2021 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. john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h Finally she squeezed down on it and, although it was a misfire, a light went off in her head. Many times throughout the day she'd yelled at me, “My brain is fuzzy! I can't think of anything else to try!!!" and Il'd say, "When your brain doesn't work, trust your hands." 11 27 2 214 john roderick She felt the tool click over the lip of the can. I saw it in her hands. By this point she'd developed a little ritual of addressing the tool to the can: starting with it on @johnroderick · 12h a vertical axis and rotating it to the horizontal while clamping down in a single motion. A choreography. 3 180 john roderick @johnroderick · 12h 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. 12 27 1 209 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h She set up again, carefully, and brought the Swing-a-Way to bear on the can of S&W baked beans with the meticulousness of Roger Moore extracting a detonator from an ICBM in The Spy Who Loved Me. A soft pop resounded in the room, so different from all the other sounds we'd made. john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h She didn't look up. She knew the action. A little baked bean sauce appeared. She savored each twist until the lid, as I hoped it would, rewarded her by standing perfectly at attention, saluting her effort and ingenuity. She was elated and carried it to the kitchen in both hands. 4 27 3 223 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h She knew this was a commonplace task and a common tool but also that this was serious business. She knows her dad, and the stock I put in these things. A more mechanically inclined kid might have figured it out in minutes. She factored the scale, but was rightfully proud. 12 230 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h I'm proud of her too. I know l'm infuriating. I know this is parenting theater in some ways. I suffer from a lack of perseverance myself, and like all parents throughout history l'm trying to correct my own mistakes in the way I educate my child. She sees through this. 27 27 1 380 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h The Swing-a-Way can opener is a little voodoo doll for us now. It will reappear as an allegory many more times in her life, you can be sure. She knows this too. But this is an allegory of triumph. I wish I had more of those for myself. I wish I had more stories like this. 27 393 john roderick O @johnroderick · 12h The only problem is now she wants to open every f------ can in the house!


The story was widely mocked and criticized on Twitter. Some felt that Roderick was teaching his daughter poor life lessons. User @JohannesEvans[2] posted a list of poor lessons he believed the anecdote displayed, gaining over 2,000 retweets and 13,000 likes (shown below, left). User @Jewish_activist[3] stated that the story was reminiscent of child abuse stories they'd heard (shown below, right).

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, 2021 · 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, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

There were many jokes related to the story posted on Twitter throughout January 3rd, 2021. For example, user @dinosaurthe3rd[4] edited the story to fit a scene from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, gaining over 1,900 retweets and 14,000 likes (shown below, left). User @thejoannagraham[5] posted an Are Ya Winning Son? edit based on the story, gaining over 7,600 retweets and 63,000 likes (shown below, right).

The tool is made to be pleasing but it doesn't have any superfluous qualities. Everything that moves does so for a reason. -I HATE YOU! You understand everything except how the tool addresses the can. ARE YA WINNING, DAUGHTER? i'm hungry

Past Problematic Tweets

Amidst the backlash and jokes about Roderick's story, some users pointed out problematic tweets he'd made in the past.[6] User @veryheathmiller[7] tweeted screenshots of some of the tweets, which include Roderick saying "I'm going to rape you next time I see you. Bad rape, not funny rape" and "The 4th has been perverted by activist (Jew) judges and mud-people apologists. The Founders intended the USA as a white homeland." This led the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me, which had been using Roderick's song "It's a Departure" as their theme song for a decade, to announce they'd stop using the song going forward.[8]

Heath Miller 000 @veryheathmiller Okay l've just been sent some of the greatest hits of Bean Dad and l'm thinking, parenting aside - maybe he's not that good of a dude? Just throwing that out there. Jonn foderiTCK @johnroderick @johnroderick Replying to @importantmeagan Replying to @daveanthony @daveanthony I'm going to r--- you the next time I see you. Bad r---, not funny r---. @ohmeags Maybe the white half of you that went to law school can get the black half out of jail on some "boo hoo" technicality. 22:44 · 10 Jul 12 · Twitter for iPhone 3:58 PM · 10 May 13 · Tweetbot for iOS meagan hatcher-mays @importantmeagan 5/10/13 Replying to @johnroderick john roderick O @johnroderick @johnroderick it SUCKS when people get off on a techni PEOP waahhhh your "fourth amendment rights" were violated mommy My armored car just arrived and. 01 SURPRISE! Full of Jew lawyers! john roderick O @johnroderick 5/10/13 @ohmeags The 4th has been perverted by activist (Jew We're taking guns, taxing, then mud-people apologists. The Founders intended USA as 01 SUING THE SURVIVORS! MBMBAM 000 MY BROTHER MY BROTHER & ME @MBMBaM For reasons we're sure you're all aware of, we're getting started finding new music for MBMBaM. You'll probably hear a filler theme song on this week's episode. We're not sure what'll come after that, honestly, but we hope you'll stick around to find out. 5:04 PM · Jan 3, 2021 · TweetDeck 2.5K Retweets 1.8K Quote Tweets 31.5K Likes MBMBAM @MBMBAM · 18h 00 MY BROTHER MY BROTHER Replying to @MBMBAM & ME We ap MBMBAM for nearly a decade, but his response to today's situation is emblematic of a pattern of behavior that is antithetical to the energy we try to bring to the things we do, and so it's time for us to move on. ciate John letting us use one of his songs as the theme for

Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, who had been co-hosting the podcast Omnibus with Roderick, stepped in to defend Roderick amidst the controversy. Jennings wrote, "If this reassures anyone, I personally know John to be (a) a loving and attentive dad who (b) tells heightened-for-effect stories about his own irascibility on like ten podcasts a week. This site is so dumb." When confronted with Roderick's anti-semitic tweets, Jennings said that on their podcast, Roderick is "always the pro-Israel one."[9]

Ken Jennings @KenJennings PLANET FUNNY 000 Replying to @KenJennings If this reassures anyone, I personally know John to be (a) a loving and attentive dad who (b) tells heightened- for-effect stories about his own irascibility on like ten podcasts a week. This site is so dumb. 3:38 PM · Jan 3, 2021 · Twitter Web App 55 Retweets 430 Quote Tweets 1.6K Likes Ed Zitron @edzitron · 19h Replying to @KenJennings Great Jo 000 What about his weird anti Semitic S--- 27 12 2.5K Ken Jennings If we're word-searching through old tweets now, it's pretty easy to find what he actually thinks about anti-Semitism. On our show he's always the pro-Israel one! @KenJennings · 18h PLANET 000

Roderick deleted his Twitter account amidst the blowback from his Bean Dad story and resurfacing of his old tweets.

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I remember my parent teaching my how to use the can opener by instructing me exactly how to use it, warning me of the dangers with the sharp tool and can lid, yet still letting me use the tool myself. Checkmark Guru over here thinks he's some kind of superparent for not coddling his kid when all he did was place a can opener on the counter then play with his jigsaw puzzle.


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