"And what will it mean, er, for the wider region ..."
March 10, 2017 6:53 AM   Subscribe

An expert on South Korean politics gives his opinion on the current turmoil in the government, and is briefly joined by small surprise guests. (SLYT, 43 seconds, cute)
posted by Countess Elena (219 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
I liked how she came flying in the room... ZOOM!!!!! He should have locked the door though.
posted by Pendragon at 6:59 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


That toddler saunter is a thing of beauty.
posted by Catseye at 7:02 AM on March 10 [38 favorites]


I have had similar things happen to me while working from home. It is mortifying.
posted by elizilla at 7:05 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


People on Twitter are upset that he didn't just put the kid on his lap and keep going but personally I'm impressed, I would have spontaneously combusted into a small pile of ash
posted by Panthalassa at 7:05 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


But also what's going on in South Korea is super interesting and important and relevant to a lot of the members here (a corrupt president being successfully impeached after months of media scrutiny and peaceful protest!) and someone with more skill than me should make a FPP about it
posted by Panthalassa at 7:07 AM on March 10 [20 favorites]


excited at the promise to learn in this thread how something about this is actually horrible
posted by beerperson at 7:11 AM on March 10 [74 favorites]


People on Twitter are upset that he didn't just put the kid on his lap and keep going...

I'd like to think I would have reacted that way myself but:

1) It's so much harder to be that cool in the moment than it is to imagine being that cool in the moment. Live TV with the BBC must be pretty nerve-wracking on a good day.

2) It would work well with some kids but not with others, and dad likely knows better than we do how it would go with his.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:11 AM on March 10 [11 favorites]


Years ago, my colleague and I were sharing an office and she was taking a conference call on speaker so she could record it. I was happily working away at my desk listening to the call when suddenly, someone on the call flushed a toilet. Plain as day. It was so very difficult to maintain composure.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:11 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


the unflappable british...
posted by judson at 7:12 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


My kids routinely do stuff like that, as they seem to have a sixth sense for "daddy's in a conference call and he needs to sound professional, so now's the ideal time to come into the room and demand to know the answer to a very important question".

One of these days it's going to be "HOLD ON A MINUTE WHILE I ASK THE INFORMATION SECURITY TEAM AT HSBC WHO THEIR FAVOURITE NINJAGO CHARACTER IS".
posted by pipeski at 7:14 AM on March 10 [71 favorites]


It's what I've been saying all along, kids are assholes.
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 AM on March 10 [22 favorites]


Wow. I have certainly had conference calls barged in on when working from home, and I totally get the immediate feeling of 1) I AM BEING PROFESSIONAL BUSINESSPERSON YOU ARE RUINING MY COOL BUSINESSLIKE FACADE AAAAAA , mixed with 2) You are incredibly cute and I know you want something but why couldn't this have happened at literally any other time? with a bit of 3) My kid needs something I must take care of my kid's needs, and a non-zero amount of 4) This is actually pretty funny.

But I'm also a woman so unless I know the other person on the line is a mom of small kids who will get it, I feel like there's an extra weight of judginess on the other side for not having my work/life balance more divided and letting this happen. So I need to shut it down immediately, and am really mortified by it. BUT - when I know it's someone on the other end who gets it, or if there's no way to hide what just happened, I laugh about it and respond the way I would if I had my end on mute: give the kid a hug, send them out kindly and generally with a bribe of something good.

This guy seemed like he was all #1, with no access to 2-4 at all. The way he pushed the kid away without even a smile? I mean, I get all the things he must have been thinking and feeling, but it's still cute. It's still his kid(s). I just can't even imagine a mom on TV getting away with that level of coldness.

I worry for the mom or nanny. This guy does not seem like he is going to laugh about this once he's off camera.
posted by Mchelly at 7:24 AM on March 10 [37 favorites]


My kids do this pretty much every time I work from home. It is all good though, the concentration break is rough, but most people empathize on snow days.

I only run the camera though when it is Spring and Summer time and I can make people regret going into the office. Kids in those images, splashing in a pool, playing fort... well, then they are meant to be in those pictures...
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:24 AM on March 10


But also what's going on in South Korea is super interesting and important and relevant to a lot of the members here (a corrupt president being successfully impeached after months of media scrutiny and peaceful protest!) and someone with more skill than me should make a FPP about it

Heartily seconded and will just be clear that (a) this video is absolutely wonderfully cringeworthy and (b) this is not the SK post and someone should still make one of those.
posted by cortex at 7:24 AM on March 10 [13 favorites]


Is it somehow encoded in our DNA that hunching over makes us think we're less visible to a predator/camera/etc?
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:26 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


So funny -- I came into work this morning and one of my co-workers was literally sobbing with laughter over this. And she doesn't even read metafilter.
posted by knownassociate at 7:27 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Kid in the walker really scooters, doesn't he?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:27 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


I feel like we're giving short shrift to the mom(?)'s sudden slide into the frame.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:30 AM on March 10 [27 favorites]


The way he pushed the kid away without even a smile?

Definitely not gonna earn any parenting optics awards for that, yeah. But I'm sympathetic in the comic hopelessness of the scenario: I sort of love the deliberate parent instinct (you need to not do that right now) clashing with the panicky impossibility of actually committing to parent mode and engaging with the kid (i.e. he can't just say "sorry, gotta pay attention to my kid now") and producing that awkward skooching situation instead that neither solves the problem nor plays it off cool.

It's the in-the-moment nature of it that works for me: this is, so very clearly, him not having a good plan for this eventuality and probably very slightly dying inside while trying to play it cool amidst the obvious blatant destruction of the pundity scene-setting. Add on to that the baby in the walker as a second hit, and then the OH SHIIIIIIIIIII Benny Hill scurry from her to collect the kids complete with that final floor-level oblique reach back in to close the door. There's a lot going on in that short impromptu scene.
posted by cortex at 7:33 AM on March 10 [34 favorites]


This guy seemed like he was all #1, with no access to 2-4 at all.

I disagree - you can definitely see him trying to hold back a smile in places. I'd put him at #2, with a dollop of #4.

It reminds me a lot of the whole Oscar Envelope debacle - he found himself in a situation that 0.000001% of people in the world will experience. We can muse "oh, I would've done THIS or I would've done THAT", but until you're being interviewed live on BBC in front of millions of viewers and your kid comes scrambling in, you just don't know.
posted by Lucinda at 7:38 AM on March 10 [26 favorites]


mom(?)

It's definitely his wife.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:42 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


This just keeps getting better throughout the video. It is perfect physical comedy, complete with the book falling off the table and the mom sitting on the floor to close the door at the end.
posted by JDHarper at 7:44 AM on March 10 [7 favorites]


and then the OH SHIIIIIIIIIII Benny Hill scurry from her to collect the kids complete with that final floor-level oblique reach back in to close the door. There's a lot going on in that short impromptu scene.

She Wyle E. Coyotes right into the frame and it is great
posted by schadenfrau at 7:45 AM on March 10 [12 favorites]


Linda Holmes took a good journalism lesson from this video, an example of how important it is to allow experts to contribute even if they have to do it from non-traditional spaces instead of a tv studio. Things don't always go smoothly, but the content improves.

I worry for the mom or nanny. This guy does not seem like he is going to laugh about this once he's off camera.

I really hate these kinds of snap internet musings that are actually extreme judgments. It will make people more afraid to contribute, and sanitizes our media.
posted by Think_Long at 7:46 AM on March 10 [69 favorites]


Also the styling of the toddler is A+++. She saunters in like a tinier version of Olive from Little Miss Sunshine
posted by schadenfrau at 7:46 AM on March 10 [12 favorites]


The responses to this video have been completely fascinating to me; I didn't think I had any parental instinct at all, and yet I found this video really hard to watch. The way he held his kid off and the desperate scooping by the wife/nanny (I am not able to make such a positive ID based on a blurry video...) made me intensely uncomfortable and sad, and it's very odd to look around and find the majority of people are reading this in a totally different way.
posted by AFII at 7:46 AM on March 10 [15 favorites]


What struck me about the video was that it reveals that he's actually working from home, and that means he probably gets to actually, you know, be part of his kids lives during the day. Hard to imagine you could work from home and not take a more active role in child rearing than someone who spends all their time at a faraway office. I've known men who like spending time at the office because they get to escape that.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:47 AM on March 10 [21 favorites]


I worry for the mom or nanny. This guy does not seem like he is going to laugh about this once he's off camera.

I really hate these kinds of snap internet musings that are actually extreme judgments. It will make people more afraid to contribute, and sanitizes our media.


I mean, maybe. But Mchelly isn't the only one who had an instinctive fear reaction to the father's obvious anger. (And I thought the kids were funny! I contain multitudes!)

My own experience is that anger like that doesn't usually just get subsumed. Like the problem is having an anger reaction to your kids for being kids in the first place. Which happens to everyone, yeah, but that doesn't mean it's not a bad thing when it does happen.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:49 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


guys i'm pretty sure that goat is dead
posted by beerperson at 7:51 AM on March 10 [13 favorites]


Like the problem is having an anger reaction to your kids for being kids in the first place. Which happens to everyone, yeah, but that doesn't mean it's not a bad thing when it does happen.

Sure, but, as you say, it happens to literally everyone. Parenting is a long series of fuckups and imperfect acts, of people not being their best selves in little moments of crisis and frustration. I've seen friends who are unambiguously wonderful parents have far worse moments under far less pressure; sometimes your kids are unwitting disasters at unworkable junctures and you just don't have your Parent Of The Year jersey within easy reach.

Much of what I like about this video is having that context and being able to recognize the same "oh god is this really happening" dynamic playing out; the rest of what I like is that literally nothing bad actually happens in the video despite that.

There's actually outright shitty parenting galore in the world to worry and be upset about, it's definitely a real thing, but this is, y'know, a goofy video people are enjoying. We don't have to sublimate it into a speculative worst case scenario.
posted by cortex at 7:57 AM on March 10 [58 favorites]


The way he pushed the kid away without even a smile?

Nah, you can see him smiling a little in the shot from the studio (and more later when she's trying to herd the kids out of the room). And I'm pretty sure he has himself in a corner of his screen, so he's not just waving randomly when stopping the first kid from climbing all over him (note that she didn't care at all, she just sat down on the bed next to him and focused on whatever it was she meant to show him (a toothbrush?) -- definitely not the first time she'd crashed in on him when he was working).

The bit where about 98% of Twitter seems to have decided that white man and asian woman means she's obviously an obedient nanny kind of soured things for me, especially combined with all the "he's a horrible father" and "she can expect to be beaten/fired" nonsense. Some people should just get the fuck off the Internet.
posted by effbot at 7:58 AM on March 10 [51 favorites]


"I feel like we're giving short shrift to the mom(?)'s sudden slide into the frame."

That was a world-class Kramer entrance.
posted by howling fantods at 7:58 AM on March 10 [54 favorites]


I like to imagine that Dad is sitting there in his pajama bottoms and fuzzy slippers...
posted by jim in austin at 7:58 AM on March 10 [12 favorites]


I totally just double FPP posted this because it was so funny I couldn't even be bothered to look at the front page.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:05 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


And here I thought it was embarrassing when I had my cat butt into my introduction on a conference call. His ability to do this is uncanny.

What everyone else heard: "Just joined: 'fifteen schniztengruben... *MROWRRRRRRR*'"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:07 AM on March 10 [13 favorites]


This will blow up the internet, finally plunging us into the dark ages.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:09 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


The way he pushed the kid away without even a smile?

he totally did smile several times on camera. and he did show some frustration. kids frustrate their parents sometimes. there is nothing wrong with that.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:13 AM on March 10 [20 favorites]


Wow I would never shove my kid.

At least not on camera; I'm a good parent.

-Typed while ignoring my kid. She's watching Diego. Diego's educational, it teaches about animals and anthropomorphic cameras and rescue packs.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:14 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


I just love that this was posted on the BBC News official youtube account, like "yes we had a serious interview with this guy but check out his cute kids!"
posted by paisley sheep at 8:21 AM on March 10 [14 favorites]


The little one in the baby walker is fast
posted by kurumi at 8:22 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


Good parents never get angry or frustrated when their children behave in unexpected ways.

Sent from my iPhone which has been dunked into a glass of grape juice, which only makes me beam with pride
posted by beerperson at 8:25 AM on March 10 [11 favorites]


When the second kid comes in, THAT'S timing.
posted by w0mbat at 8:26 AM on March 10 [38 favorites]


Oh God this is so amazing, it could not have been planned better. The contrast between the obliviousness and serenity of the kids (the way that baby floats in with her walker) and the all out panic of the woman while the man tries to pretend none of this is happening is the best thing, and then her arm rising up from the floor to pull the door shut? So good!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:32 AM on March 10 [13 favorites]


There is not a lot of good commentary in English about the two Koreas. Robert Kelly's blog and his Diplomat columns are pretty good.

He hasn't written for the Diplomat in a while because it recently changed editors (new editor Ankit Panda's in-depth and technical look at THAAD is a must-read) and the Diplomat doesn't/can't pay much for articles.
posted by My Dad at 8:33 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


I'm also finding the comments expressing fear for the family a little odd; the kids seem perfectly happy and the dad seems like he makes the best of a challenging situation; he's on live TV and trying to pretend this isn't happening which seems like a perfectly reasonable reaction when you don't have time to think about it. I'm certainly not discounting the possibility that something is wrong because that possibility always exists but I have to say that if my husband were giving a live TV interview and our baby wandered in this is pretty much exactly what I'd do too and he is a very loving and respectful husband and father.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:36 AM on March 10 [25 favorites]


OMG FUNNIER THAN ADVERTISED. That baby in the walker!

Daily Mail link (so click advisedly), but it is his wife, and the older kid is four. And there are screencaps where you can clearly see he is cracking up.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:40 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Yeah, let me clarify, I am not trying to say this guy's a shitty parent or he's going to beat his wife or that this funny kid video is evidence of something darker that needs investigating.

What struck me was a real unshakable feeling, is that if this were a woman analyst, there's no way that level of "not my job / someone needs to manage this / I'm trying to work here" without any gentleness toward the kids would be passed around as primarily a cute kid video.

We've all been there. But some of us, when we're there, are constantly aware that as soon as a kid intrudes, we're also being judged on our parenting. I don't get that from him at all. I do get it from the mom for the time she's onscreen.

So maybe I'm doing the shitty thing of judging him for it the way I expect I would be judged, and that's not cool. But I think it's weird that he's not only getting a pass for doing zero parenting in the moment, he's being defended for it. People are assuming that of course we would do the same thing, that of course he's loving under normal circumstances. More of that for women, please.
posted by Mchelly at 8:52 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


Yeah, this has been going around my office all morning. My main observations are that all the parents think it's hilarious and about half of them seem to identify more with the mom.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:56 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I'm a work-at-home dad who does the majority of childcare, so maybe I'm just projecting my own experience with this kind of thing, but what I saw was:
• A kid who is totally comfortable wandering into his dad's office to see what's up
• A dad who is trying to keep his kid off-camera without turning his back on live national TV
• A mom who probably promised that she would keep an eagle eye on the kids during this interview, and took her attention off them for a tiny fraction of a second and suddenly they disappeared, and now she feels really bad about it and is frantically trying to fix the situation
posted by yankeefog at 8:57 AM on March 10 [79 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that tomorrow morning, someone is installing a lock on that door.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:00 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to weigh in on this until I've read a minimum of seven think pieces about it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:02 AM on March 10 [27 favorites]


the OH SHIIIIIIIIIII Benny Hill scurry

Well, someone had to do it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:17 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


People on Twitter are upset

What a surprise.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:17 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


We've all been there.

You have toiled in relative obscurity and have finally been interviewed by the BBC in front of a global audience to talk about something that for the longest time only other specialists have cared about?

This was a big deal for Kelly. I wish he hadn't pushed the child away, but as a parent I can tell you that "we've all been there."
posted by My Dad at 9:20 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


So maybe I'm doing the shitty thing of judging him for it the way I expect I would be judged, and that's not cool. But I think it's weird that he's not only getting a pass for doing zero parenting in the moment, he's being defended for it. People are assuming that of course we would do the same thing, that of course he's loving under normal circumstances. More of that for women, please.

Even your phrasing "doing zero parenting" is weirdly judgmental. You don't know this person, or his family, or their dynamic, yet you (and other people in this thread) have somehow determined that not only has he failed as a parent and isn't even trying by this singly momentary action, but that this is proof of his coldness and inability to control his anger and that his family should be feared for.

What's weird is how hard some people are coming down on this person. Now I get why so many parents complain that the world is judging them all the time.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:26 AM on March 10 [57 favorites]


I get the feeling a lot of people are projecting their own experiences on this. I suspect people who fear for the safety of the kids/wife probably experienced some form of abuse. I laughed, but then I didn't grow up in an abusive household.

The way he holds his upper body while trying to restrain the first child makes me think he's hoping he's in a head-and-shoulders framing and the kid is out of the picture. I know for damn sure the wife thinks she's outside the picture with that oblique stretch.

Pro tip: if you're accidentally on camera, act like you belong there. The more you try to hide or disguise yourself, the more the eye is drawn right to you. If the wife had simply walked in and ushered the children out calmly, this is quickly forgotten. Instead, we have internet gold.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:27 AM on March 10 [18 favorites]


I'm not going to weigh in on this until I've read a minimum of seven think pieces about it.

1) North Korea Weaponizes Child to Distract From Its Reaction to Events in Seoul
2) Childcare in the Trump Era: A Video That Explains Our Future
3) Protest Is Useless, As Shown By This Baby Being Forcibly Removed From an International TV Broadcast to Wild Acclaim
4) Media Attention Hog Ignores Child and Gains Clicks - Sad!
5) Can We Be Sure This Child Isn't a Church of Eternal Life Plant? We Go Frame-By-Frame to Uncover Cult Activity
6) Open Letter to the Toddler from Branyon Polumbus, Viral Star Turned Troubled Tween
7) Doctored Video??? Careful Examination of Pixels May Reveal Photoshoping and Crisis Actors!!!
posted by Copronymus at 9:27 AM on March 10 [32 favorites]


HOLD ON A MINUTE WHILE I ASK THE INFORMATION SECURITY TEAM AT HSBC WHO THEIR FAVOURITE NINJAGO CHARACTER IS

It's Kai.
posted by The Bellman at 9:28 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


The way he pushed the kid away without even a smile?

As a parent, I figured that move was roughly one-third flailing-at-horesflies and two-thirds ohshitohshitohshitImonTV.

I won't criticize him for it, though: we grew up knowing that "if the phone in the den rings, everyone be silent because it's probably someone in Japan or Hong Kong calling for Dad." The family makes some small accommodations for the work, because that work allows the parent(s) to be at home.

I have been on conference calls where children can be heard in the background, and if anything I am jealous as long as I can still hear everyone. *shrug* I should be so lucky!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:44 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


But I think it's weird that he's not only getting a pass for doing zero parenting in the moment, he's being defended for it.

He's on international TV and this a huge thing. He's not supposed to parent at that point.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:53 AM on March 10 [21 favorites]


It's not just this thread, it's the whole internet. I'm finding the immediate negative hysteria over this very funny little video extremely depressing. Oh my god. They are people trying to do their best.

I hope they stay off the internet completely for the next few days, because they surely don't deserve all this shitty commentary from people who have never met them.
posted by something something at 9:55 AM on March 10 [40 favorites]


Also, I'd bet good money he's not wearing pants.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:03 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


As a work-from-home freelancer myself, I was totally waiting for the older kid (who clearly, adorably, does not give one. Single. Fuck.) stick his face right up in the camera and howl DADDY WHO YOU TALKING TO HELLO?!?
posted by gottabefunky at 10:06 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Yeah no shit. I have pushed my kid out of the way at some point every single day going on 15 years and I've never once been on camera talking about either Korea. And I'm a really good father.

This is nothing but funny. You can not get into this man's head or life by watching 30 seconds of him on YouTube.
posted by bondcliff at 10:07 AM on March 10 [24 favorites]


Yes, gottabefunky, many of my work colleagues immediately went to "he's so clearly freaking out that somehow this is going to reveal that he's in either pajama bottoms or no pants at all and that's why he's being so stiff and weird with his body." He's framed himself carefully and is trying to stay in place as much as he can. I've done that too. It means I'm rocking my Hello Kitty jammies, typically.
posted by potrzebie at 10:15 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


I hope they stay off the internet completely for the next few days

I'm not sure that would help. Judging by some of the reactions he'll be lucky if there aren't petitions to have his children removed from him.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:16 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


It really bums me out that the most vociferous shaming of this man is coming from other parents who likely freak right the hell out whenever their own parenting methods are criticized. The sanctimommy brigade is out in full force on FB, hand-wringing over the "danger" that the family is in.

Oh, and the constant assumptions that the lady is the nanny? Wowwwwwwwwww.
posted by palomar at 10:17 AM on March 10 [18 favorites]


I'm trying to unpack why anyone assumes that the mom and kids are in danger. Like, what's going on with that assumption?

I'm also very weirded out by how many people assume she's the nanny, not the mom.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:21 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


I don't want to worry anyone unnecessarily, but I can't currently confirm if the snack in the daughter's hand was organic.
posted by ODiV at 10:24 AM on March 10 [80 favorites]


It's not just this thread, it's the whole internet. I'm finding the immediate negative hysteria over this very funny little video extremely depressing. Oh my god. They are people trying to do their best.

That. Made the mistake of having a brief look at social media over this and many - not a few, but many - commentators were hysterically banging out drive-by angry condemnations of the dad and/or mom. After the third mention of "jail" I gave up.
posted by Wordshore at 10:24 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


I love seeing how he has framed himself as 'professionally' as possible (I mean, everyone does this) with a map on the wall and books all around – clearly an expert in global affairs! And then the whole illusion begins to fail. The first kid so casually but so definitively cracks the facade, and then the second bowls through the growing fissure. Mother comes crashing in and the chaos grows. The carefully stacked books fall off the table – no wait, they bounced! That's a bed! This is no university! All the elements start to come apart. It could only have been choreographed better if the map dropped of the wall when she closed the door, followed by the whole back wall falling backwards to reveal his true location — an unfinished basement strewn with dolls and legos with a heap of laundry piled on the washing machine next to the furnace.
posted by Kabanos at 10:31 AM on March 10 [153 favorites]


He's on international TV and this a huge thing. He's not supposed to parent at that point.

Technically in the gaze of a telebroadcasting camera his marriage is also suspended and any crimes he commits cannot be prosecuted
posted by beerperson at 10:35 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Welcome to Metafilter!

(please be Robert Kelly)
posted by ODiV at 10:45 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


@twolinepass: i can't wait for the BBC baby thinkpieces. "is jerking a toddler by the arm during skype session good parenting?"
posted by Wordshore at 10:53 AM on March 10


I'm also very weirded out by how many people assume she's the nanny, not the mom.


Racism is a hell of a drug, and I say this is as person who, I'll admit, kind of made that assumption.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:53 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I read that as the Gentle Push of Redirection that gets a bored toddler wandering off in another direction, but THAT toddler is clearly trying to see why the BBC man is talking to daddy and the Gentle Push of Redirection is not going to do it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:54 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


(please be Robert Kelly)

He's on the tweety.
posted by lagomorphius at 10:55 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


A decade from now:
"Dad, you can just drop me off here."
"Oh, would it embarrass you to be seen with your father? Are you on global television?"
posted by Etrigan at 10:59 AM on March 10 [110 favorites]


You know that cliche bit from 30s and 40s movies where a character will suddenly see a montage where the character imagines all of the troublesome headlines that will result from the current/impending disaster? Like in Miracle on 34th Street where the political fixer conjures for the judge a slew of "Judge Says There's No Santa!" headlines?

In a similar vein, at about 0:26, you can actually see this man's face reacting as he closes his eyes and sees all of the Buzzfeed, YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit humiliation this is going to cause him.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:01 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


I suspect people who fear for the safety of the kids/wife probably experienced some form of abuse

I mean... yeah. Maybe my connection is shitty bc it's sort of pixelated, but I couldn't see the ghosts of a smile in his expression that people keep referencing, nor could I see the race of the lady who Kramer'd in -- all I saw was the physical panic of her movements.

The dude's anger and the lady's panic was what made me uneasy, and I imagine is what made a lot of people uneasy, because you never know how that ends later on and some of us are just always going to have a visceral reaction to that. Jumping on people for flinching at that is ALSO KIND OF SHITTY, because in fact you do not know how that ends!

The children giving absolutely zero fucks was, however, the salve.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:05 AM on March 10 [7 favorites]


The dude's anger and the lady's panic

But how do you know he's angry? Why do you say the woman is panicking? Or more precisely, panicking out of fear, presumably of the husband's rage?

You're already starting from a baseless assumption.

Jumping on people for flinching at that is ALSO KIND OF SHITTY, because in fact you do not know how that ends!

You're entitled to your reaction, but not to projecting onto the situation and then making judgments based on that. I'm sorry if you experienced abuse as a child, but there's no reason at all to make the assumptions you are here about this situation.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:11 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


People are very clearly projecting onto this video. The dad seems at most mildly annoyed. He very clearly smiles at 0:12 and holds back laughter at 0:24 and 0:32. That's why he keeps closing his eyes, to keep himself from breaking character. Clearly everyone has their own interpretation, but calling him out as a potentially abusive father is a bridge too far given the extremely limited dataset.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:14 AM on March 10 [39 favorites]


I suspect people who fear for the safety of the kids/wife probably experienced some form of abuse

Maybe some, but not all. The people in my social circle who are pushing this weird-ass notion are wealthy white women who don't work outside the home and already have difficulty acknowledging their advantageous lives. But most of them assumed the mom is just a nanny.
posted by palomar at 11:17 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Some people really missed their vocation when they missed the Nuremberg trials.
posted by biffa at 11:26 AM on March 10 [12 favorites]


He's on international TV and this a huge thing.

Yeah, but.....is it really the end of the world if INTERNATIONAL TV gets interrupted for a few seconds? BBC producer might throw a fit I guess but fuck 'em.
posted by thelonius at 11:29 AM on March 10


I just re-read the thread and am chuffed to see that crunching the numbers, the Relax, you guys; this is funny and he knows that contingent greatly outnumbers the Holy shit, he is going to beat them all savagely contingent. Although I'm a little unnerved the latter group even fucking exists.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:29 AM on March 10 [20 favorites]


I found the video hilarious and the family charming. It seemed obvious that neither of the adults had a good idea of when they were/were not in the frame - hence the dad stiff-arming the daughter to keep her out of view and the mom's Bethesda RPG stealth-crouch. I'm pretty sure she leveled her sneak skill in that clip. The toddler stiff-arm (both Heisman and reverse style) is such an automatic response, and useful in so many different situations (curbs! stairs! the stove!), that I was surprised to read so many sinister interpretations. I assumed immediately that the woman was the mom based on her total physical commitment to the scene from entrance to exit.
Favorite moments: baby floats in like Funky Krang
mom valiantly hyperextends arm to close door
posted by Svejk at 11:31 AM on March 10 [59 favorites]


baby floats in like Funky Krang

Goddammit, I'm trying to get work done here.
posted by Etrigan at 11:35 AM on March 10 [14 favorites]


The toddler stiff-arm (both Heisman and reverse style) is such an automatic response, and useful in so many different situations (curbs! stairs! the stove!), that I was surprised to read so many sinister interpretations.

On a friends Facebook, one of the comments on his sharing of the video is from a very right-wing relative trying to tie in the actions of the dad to something something garbage conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton manipulation and cover-up.

At some point shortly, I'm expecting - or perhaps hoping for - Tim Berners-Lee to announce that the Web was in fact a spectacular social experiment but as it's obviously failed and completed the investigation it'll be turned off tomorrow.
posted by Wordshore at 11:39 AM on March 10 [18 favorites]


It's funny how Hillary and the Democrats seem to control literally everything, can commit any crime no matter how heinous with impunity, and cover-up any evil action, but somehow lost the election.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:42 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


At some point shortly, I'm expecting - or perhaps hoping for - Tim Berners-Lee to announce that the Web was in fact a spectacular social experiment but as it's obviously failed and completed the investigation it'll be turned off tomorrow.

(cancels rest of day's schedule to begin building a giant plaque honoring this comment)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


What this family really needed was the open/closed eye overlay from Skyrim stealth mode so they would know when they were on camera

Final skill tally:
Baby: +1 Athletics, +1 Speechcraft
Toddler: +1 Alteration, +1 Illusion
Dad: +1 Block, -1 Security
Mom: +1 Athletics, +1 Sneak, +1 Hand-to-Hand

Household: Bed looted, -1 Skill Book
posted by Svejk at 11:51 AM on March 10 [13 favorites]


My niece used to stroll into the room exactly like that when she was that age.

I don't know how many times I've watched this video today. It just gets better and better.
posted by lagomorphius at 11:58 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


"is it really the end of the world if INTERNATIONAL TV gets interrupted for a few seconds? BBC producer might throw a fit I guess but fuck 'em."

You can hear the producer/other behind-the-camera-staff giggling. The on-air guy was amused, calm, and gracious, and the BBC's public response has been delighted and charmed. I think 99% of the world is like, "OMG that was adorable, what a charming family, and man do I feel for working parents with curious children!" and 1% of the world is just determined to be outraged by something.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:01 PM on March 10 [37 favorites]


I don't know how many times I've watched this video today. It just gets better and better.

I think I have been every member of that family in different life stages and situations. Truly, this BBC video is the Riddle of the Sphinx for our age.
posted by Svejk at 12:08 PM on March 10 [25 favorites]


Mom reaching desperately for the doorknob is how I feel inside.
posted by Think_Long at 12:11 PM on March 10 [19 favorites]


Which one are you?
  • A discomfited dad
  • A kinetic mom
  • A headstrong toddler
  • A nimble baby
Take this quick 1-minute quiz to find out!
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:26 PM on March 10 [7 favorites]


chaotic neutral nimble baby
posted by griphus at 12:27 PM on March 10 [35 favorites]


Truly, this BBC video is the Riddle of the Sphinx for our age.

What is it that goes on two legs and four wheels in the morning, two legs and a whole lotta style in the slightly later morning, its hands and knees in the afternoon, and two legs and four wheels again, though this time they are four different wheels, assuming that desk chair even has wheels, in the probably slightly later afternoon?
posted by The Bellman at 12:44 PM on March 10 [14 favorites]


It could only have been choreographed better if the map dropped of the wall when she closed the door

It looked like it was going to! A breeze from the slammed door puffs the map away and I thought it was going to fall for even better comic effect.

When that toddler’s a teen, I hope they see this and think, “Ha, I can make the whole world move!” It’s like when Neo comes into his powers and flexes his muscles and the hallway bulges outward around him for a moment & then snaps back into place. Actually that’s what’s probably happening offscreen. That kid just rewrote the matrix from inside it
posted by miles per flower at 12:50 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to weigh in on this until I've read a minimum of seven think pieces about it.

The "you do not know what happens next!" will-somebody-please-think-of-the-children thing above was a good hot take, but British media do hot takes better than anyone else: "The BBC pundit's children video is NOT FUNNY. It's patriarchy in a nutshell". You hear, NOT FUNNY AT ALL.
posted by effbot at 12:55 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: curbs! stairs! the stove!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:04 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


The baby totally reminded me of a Dalek, cruising into the room with cold, silent menace at 0:09.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:08 PM on March 10 [29 favorites]


That little girl isn't one bit trepidatious about approaching Dad at his computer.

Which may not be all ye need to know about their family dynamics, but it's pretty damn close.
posted by jamjam at 1:16 PM on March 10 [42 favorites]


as you can see, babies are bad
posted by poffin boffin at 1:21 PM on March 10 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I'm bemused that anyone could look at that toddler confidently strutting into the room (she's practically the personification of the they see me rollin', they be hatin' meme) and default to thinking she's abused. She's clearly not at all anxious and afraid, certainly not of the father she's approaching. Mom's a little more frantic, but she's an adult and thus knows what "live interview on the BBC" means.
posted by tavella at 1:26 PM on March 10 [23 favorites]


The “you do not know what happens next!” will-somebody-please-think-of-the-children thing above was a good hot take, but British media do hot takes better than anyone else: “The BBC pundit's children video is NOT FUNNY. It's patriarchy in a nutshell”. You hear, NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

This take is basically a transcribed MetaFilter comment, stretched a few extra paragraphs.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:36 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


I'm also imagining that Mom had gathered the kids in the other room and switched on BBC so that they could watch Daddy on TV. The kids watched, mesmerized and quiet for once, and she thought to herself he was doing okay, he had actually listened to her coaching. He needs to get a new tie though, if he's going to do this more often. Oh, and the kids look so cute too... THE KIDS !!!?!?!?! (@!&*^#($*^&@#$(*&^@#$(*^&!@$&* ELASTIGIRL NINJA MOVES
posted by Kabanos at 1:36 PM on March 10 [51 favorites]


I love how the mom sliiiiiides into the room, and then you can practically hear the cartoon xylophone boopity-boopity-boop SFX as she frantically scrambles back out into the hallway
posted by wenestvedt at 1:37 PM on March 10


I clicked on it again and the ad was Tai Lopez! Now with more swanky cars! When did he come back??? I didn't wait to see if those kids wandered into his video.
posted by lagomorphius at 1:46 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


That just made me cry laughing for the third time today, so... thank you.
posted by bq at 1:51 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Breaking Down the Father on BBC Being Interrupted by His Children: it gets funnier if you dissect it.
posted by Nelson at 2:03 PM on March 10 [19 favorites]


So is he wearing a black jacket with a white tie or a navy jacket with a baby blue tie?

I AM COMPLETELY KIDDING PLEASE GOD DO NOT DO THIS.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:06 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]




Oh man this thread right here is like Metafilter in a nutshell. Parenting! Politics! Abuse! Cuteness!

I have to admit that I too thought the woman was the nanny. Because she seems younger than the guy, and yes, because she's asian. But most of all because she seems panicked and the way she crouches down making it seem like she fears the guy and all that. I'm sorry I had a racist assumption.

Several places have corrected me on the nanny/versus mom thing, but one mom on some Scary Mommy Facebook post mentioned that the woman looked as if she had her pants and underwear weirdly looking, which explains a lot if we assume she could have tried to go pee, then the kids disappeared from her view and she rushed out of the bathroom to get them, not thinking about how she was about to be on international tv with her underwear on display. Hence, the panic and hiding.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:14 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


This exchange on the comments on Dr. Kelly's About page (specifically the response by Dana) made me laugh.

Thank you Kabanos for pointing out the bounce and the set dressing hilarity!
posted by brainwane at 2:16 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]






I really think people out to vilify this guy and/or his wife are looking at the wrong things.

He totally did so smile. He tried really hard to suppress and to carry on with doing his job in front of millions of people. He got stressed not at his child but because he lost his chain of thought and was struggling to express his answer.

The toddler walked into his room with complete confidence and no fear. They did not flinch or recoil when he gently moved them back. I see no sign whatsoever of a harsh parenting environment. That tends to shows up in children's non-verbal behaviour.

I think it's ridiculous to think that woman was crouching and hurrying out of some fear of her husband or some such rather than the completely normal embarrassment of suddenly being live in front of millions of people, which is so far as we know not HER job. She's crouching to try to avoid being unintentionally on a live BBC broadcast, hello?
posted by lastobelus at 2:25 PM on March 10 [20 favorites]


Related story: Kid interrupts Mississippi weatherman’s forecast to fart on him

oh my God this would have been its own single link FPP on some different day. ("There are farts everywhere and toots -- " **boy is lifted by the waist and swept off camera in one movement**)

(This is the second time I've posted a cute video of a kid doing something naughty and gotten an unexpectedly long thread from it.)
posted by Countess Elena at 2:32 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I see a ton of other people have posted the same thoughts as I, which relieves me greatly. Still, what is the actual deal with people who watch that and turn it into some kind of horror movie trailer in their mind?

The breakdown Nelson posted a link to was great.

Something on a much smaller scale happens to me about once a week (I'm a software developer who works from home and have a rather assertive 4-year-old)
posted by lastobelus at 2:44 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


The wife's hand reaching for the door at the end? That brought to mind the terminator hand withdrawing into the molten metal.
posted by Joh at 3:21 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


> I'm also imagining that Mom had gathered the kids in the other room and switched on BBC so that they could watch Daddy on TV.

Someone pointed out that the broadcast delay would also explain the timing of the mum's entrance, and I'm now convinced she was proudly watching in the other room right up until her eldest strutted into frame.

In the breakdown gif of it, I think you can almost pinpoint the frame where he clocks what those jaunty footsteps mean.
posted by lucidium at 3:45 PM on March 10 [7 favorites]


But most of all because she seems panicked and the way she crouches down making it seem like she fears the guy

A less judgmental way to view this: she seems panicked because the children are totally fucking up her husband's appearance on global television, and she's crouching down to grab the kids while trying to avoid being on camera.

I gotta say, the wildly negative interpretations of this are really revealing...
posted by palomar at 3:47 PM on March 10 [15 favorites]


God I've watched this so many times.

I'd bet like 100 dollars that the mom's desperate urgency is because this isn't the first time these damn kids have embarrassed daddy in this exact way. My daughter once loudly informed 50 of my husband's closest work colleagues dialed into a meeting about what had just happened in the potty and I feel I will still be getting grief for it on my death bed.
posted by potrzebie at 3:49 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Also, y'all who are examining this video with the eagle eye of someone trying to spot abuse... how are you missing that her pants are unfastened, as if perhaps she was trying to drop a deuce in peace before the kids went rogue?
posted by palomar at 3:50 PM on March 10 [7 favorites]


Parenting is a long series of fuckups

QFFT

Dad's proprioceptive handling of Miss Strut My Stuff is in my book fantastic and just screams "I've been to this rodeo before, this is a no fly zone kiddo"
posted by Caxton1476 at 4:03 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


The Reddit thread points out that the girl yells "mom, whyyyy?" in Korean.

There is also some speculation that he may not be wearing pants. "At best he's wearing pyjama pants."
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:09 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


It was mid-evening Korea time, so I'm guessing he had pants, but possibly not matching suit pants. You probably don't want to show grungy house jeans on BBC either :)
posted by tavella at 4:19 PM on March 10


As a woman parent who does this kind of stuff from home occasionally, I would do exactly do what he does, and suspect my husband react exactly like his wife does. And vice versa, if it was my husband on camera.

I like to think I'd be slightly less embarrassed but otherwise, yeah.

Basically, when this stuff happens I assume (a) people with kids will mostly get it (b) people with kids will mostly not get it - but there's nothing we can do about that!
posted by 8k at 4:24 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I'm now watching a bunch of Dr. Kelly's old videos. ("My hair this time is exceptional. Hah!" is his video description for one of them.) I'm grateful that there are academics who want to do public intellectual work and help ordinary people understand the context and likely implications of things happening in the news. This makes me want to sign up for The Op-Ed Project or Help A Reporter Out.
posted by brainwane at 4:35 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


The way he pushed the kid away without even a smile

If this is the worst you've done to your kid/s, I doff my hat to you. I have - in moments of weakness and otherwise - done quite a bit worse, and I don't think it makes me a bad parent, or an abuser.
posted by smoke at 4:36 PM on March 10 [7 favorites]


There are many gifs of this event to choose from, but this one is my favorite.
posted by danny the boy at 4:45 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


He didn't strike the child. He gently pushed her back and then she started playing with her pencil. No harm, no foul.
posted by maudlin at 4:45 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


People really are unhinged on the subject of other people's parenting.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:47 PM on March 10 [16 favorites]


and 1% of the world is just determined to be outraged by something

I watched this fully intended to be delighted but it legitimately chilled me! And my first thought was "maybe he's just melting down inside, and upper middle class professional people are used to putting on this kind of facade and there's really nothing he can do," rather than "omg he's abusive," but I think it's pretty bullshit to act like everyone who doesn't see a smile there (I didn't) is a hysterical monster. People on Facebook demanding that the authorities take his children are overreacting, but I would imagine a lot (not all) of people who don't work professional jobs find the face saving at all cost mildly uncomfortable, and a lot (not all) of women are amazed that the reaction isn't 99% judgment. Which doesn't mean the video is not funny or evil, but it's OK to have powerful gut reactions to videos other than "ha ha!"

Anyway, the video is hilarious in how incredibly staged it seems.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:52 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


But why was that your first thought? What was chilling about it? In what was is he "melting down inside"? Where is that idea coming from?

It's okay to have any reaction, but a gut reaction is just that: a gut reaction. It's worth examining why you had that gut reaction, and on what basis you're making that judgment.
posted by Sangermaine at 5:00 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


If you zoom in you can tell that the baby is blinking S-O-S in morse code guys
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:03 PM on March 10 [18 favorites]


Which doesn't mean the video is not funny or evil, but it's OK to have powerful gut reactions to videos other than "ha ha!"

This looks like a way of saying that it's totally ok to judge someone you don't know, who you've never met, and have zero context about, all based on a few seconds of video. It is saying it's totally ok to believe the worst about a person, without any evidence because "feelings".

I'm glad you personally did not join the pitchfork wielding internet mob, but I think it's useful to recognize that this kind of thought process is what allows people to treat others really poorly.

My worst fear is that the internet will some day notice me.
posted by danny the boy at 5:16 PM on March 10 [33 favorites]


This video is mostly only related in the sense that it's also a video involving public spectacle, but I feel like this is the right place to share this on a Friday afternoon: #ICYMI, a woman kissed a rando on 'Kiss Cam' because her boyfriend rejected her 😂 (Atlanta Hawks Blue with some Disney product placement thrown in, quite possibly staged, but yeah). Skip to 1:17.
posted by zachlipton at 5:51 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


to the father's obvious anger

this is called "projection."
posted by listen, lady at 5:51 PM on March 10 [16 favorites]


So I've been interviewed on TV, which was a little terrifying. I also have RBF, which tends to be exacerbated by stress.

End result: I apparently seemed to be furious about literally everything, which I know because a stranger posted comments online to that effect. And let me tell you, having your facial expressions publicly analyzed by someone you do not know is very, very weird.
posted by eponym at 5:57 PM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Anyway, the video is hilarious in how incredibly staged it seems.

Are we sure that everybody watched the same video?
posted by destructive cactus at 5:58 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Anyway, the video is hilarious in how incredibly staged it seems.

Are we sure that everybody watched the same video?

Staged, I think, in the sense that the timing is almost too perfect.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:08 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Are we sure that everybody watched the same video?

In the same way that everyone looks at the same inkblot, yes.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:10 PM on March 10 [11 favorites]


I find it interesting that the mother's crouching down was interpreted as her being in fear - I didn't particularly notice anything amiss about her crouching. I think it's because so much of Korean home life happens at floor level - people will often sit on the floor in front of the couch and not the couch, and sit on cushions on the floor instead of chairs. And then you try to avoid standing up as much as you can, getting into a kneeling position or on all fours if you need to reach out for something. She was already crouching or sitting on the floor, so it just seemed natural she'd reach out from that position to close the door. The father is a professor at a Korean university, and the interview was taking place in their house in Korea. Oh, and you can slide pretty fast on Korean house floors on sock feet, since floors are usually smooth.
posted by needled at 6:11 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


It seems to me all the comments talking about how people here or elsewhere are overreacting (which began before anyone said anything critical and at this point is most of the thread) are making the level of opprobrium in this thread seem far higher than it actually is. Chill and look at the speedy Dalek baby.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 6:20 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]




Wer ist eine Kitty? Du bist!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:32 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Called the parents to check up on them. Recent hospitalization and surgery complications for mom which meant stressed out dad home alone with little constructive to do about anything. So, not expecting a fun call, but an important call. First words out of dad's mouth, "You gotta see this video. This guy in Korea..." Me: "I know! I've already seen it three times!"

A little simple joy is a good, good thing. Thanks, Countess!
posted by Gotanda at 6:34 PM on March 10 [11 favorites]


I would prefer all my nightly news pundits to be depicted like this, in their actual, natural homes.
posted by esto-again at 6:48 PM on March 10 [9 favorites]


"look at the speedy Dalek baby."

I know, right? It's hilarious how he just hover-zooms, even though I know he's in a walker. You don't realize quite how unnatural that motion is until you see it on video!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:55 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


I thought she was crouching hoping to avoid being seen on the screen and because, y'know, the kids are closer to the floor as they're short and all. She probably didn't want to broadcast herself bending over to pick them up. Quick thinking on her part!
posted by asteria at 8:03 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


From the way the little girl struts in, I think she rules the roost there.
posted by LoveHam at 8:25 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


From the way the little girl struts in, I think she rules the roost there.

This is clearly "Daddy's on tv, so I'm gonna be on tv, too. This is my TV walk!"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:20 PM on March 10 [8 favorites]


lol yes in the sense that it was hilariously perfect, not that it was literally staged.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:20 PM on March 10


This looks like a way of saying that it's totally ok to judge someone you don't know, who you've never met, and have zero context about, all based on a few seconds of video. It is saying it's totally ok to believe the worst about a person, without any evidence because "feelings".

This sounds like a way to believe the worst about a person based on a few sentences, with no evidence but your reactionary, defensive anger.

There are plenty of ways to feel uncomfortable with someone that don't involve accusing a stranger of crimes. I'm just objecting to the idea that if you don't find bourgeois family relations with a traditional gendered division of labor inherently peaceful, you're 1) lying or 2) purposely looking to be upset. By all means, call out people making unwarranted attacks, but you don't have to call people who are gently uncomfortable and may or may not be traumatized by prevalent gender dynamics that are almost crystallized in this video crazy hysterical pitchfork-wielding liars. No one in this thread is freaking out, but the pushback acts as though there is already a witch hunt happening before our eyes. It's a bit much!

Anyway, it's generally a losing battle to ask for any level of sympathetic critique on Metafilter when bourgeois norms are involved, so I'll leave short of putting on a live performance of Oleanna in the thread.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:27 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I love everything about this. It just keeps getting funnier and funnier. I wish I could send them all gifts.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:29 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


I'm just objecting to the idea that if you don't find bourgeois family relations with a traditional gendered division of labor inherently peaceful, you're 1) lying or 2) purposely looking to be upset.

No one has argued that a gendered division of labour is inherently great, only that you can't really diagnose the division of labour in a person's home based on about a minute of video. If Kelly had written a blog post about how he does no childcare and his home office is sacred and his wife does it all, then it would be reasonable to make that critique of his home life -- but it's terribly judgmental and uncharitable to make it based only on this tiny snippet of an extremely atypical moment in any family's life. Perhaps if the kids wander into the wife's yoga classes while she is teaching, Prof Kelly also flings himself wildly into the room on his knees and hauls them out. (Though probably not with his wife's grace and speed, she's pretty amazing). Or perhaps not. We just don't know, and I think it's unfair to speculate.

I don't have any liking for gendered divisions of labour in the family either. But I think it's safest and best to criticise things like that 1) in the abstract, based on good statistical data or 2) drawing only on individual stories that you have detailed insight into (eg your own experience, experience of someone you know well, experience of someone who has chosen to disclose their thinking around these issues at length, well-reported detailed stories about people in the public eye). Casting some random five-seconds-of-accidental-exposure individual as a lay figure in your personal morality play is pretty distasteful, regardless of the moral point you're trying to make.
posted by Aravis76 at 11:50 PM on March 10 [20 favorites]


how are you missing that her pants are unfastened, as if perhaps she was trying to drop a deuce in peace before the kids went rogue

I just assumed in that house of horrors belts and suspenders were a privilege, not a right, and confiscated for obvious reasons.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:53 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


'They probably thought they were Skyping grandma!' (Daily Mail, contains an interview with Ellen Kelly [the kids' grandmother], and is a slightly expanded article from the Daily Mail story linked earlier)

The sudden parent strong arm response is especially funny to me. My mom used to employ that tactic all the time when I was small, especially in our old Chevy which was pre-airbag, pre-shoulder belt, and pre-child seat. She got in the habit of doing it whenever she braked suddenly, and inadvertently found herself deploying it on anyone who was in the front passenger seat. Got a reputation, and a lot of teasing, for protecting her fellow teachers when they'd go on trips together.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:55 AM on March 11 [3 favorites]


He is working from home in an office with a bed and no lock. I won't say it is feminist but it is a far fuckin cry from Ye Olde Patriarchy.

And i have literally covered my kid's mouth with my hand because she would not stop talking during a meeting call.

Plus, Mama dragged that kid out of there, not dad. That's the bit that screams 'projection' to me. Focusing on the straight arm shove out of view, not the scrambling haul to get them out of there because she knows how big of a deal this is.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:58 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


I couldn't see this when it was posted because I couldn't have the sound on. Now, I've seen it five times, and I'm going back. There are so many great details, it's hard to get them all in one viewing. This is possibly the best thing I've seen for months.

The guy totally smiled, at least two big grins, and several meeker ones.

My first impression: this is an underpaid professor who lives in a two room apartment with his wife and two kids, and they've worked hard all day to make their bedroom which is filled with books and computers and laundry look like a home office. And he has put on that one tie and one jacket he owns and really (over)worked on his hair, but he is still wearing jersey pants because WTF. And it's going fine and he's on international TV, and maybe finally this will get him a raise or even a promotion.
And then the little princess comes in. NONONO!!!. But isn't she sweet? And then everything breaks down and the raise disappears from his dreams and the promotion will never ever happen because he has been exposed as an underpaid professor living in a two room apartment, and nothing can change that ever. And it is hilarious and I hope he will become very famous and adored by the masses and everyone will develop an interest in Korea because they really hope to see more slapstick from his family.

It's funny because it is a distillation of life as an academic.
posted by mumimor at 2:59 AM on March 11 [23 favorites]


On belated preview - that Daily Mail article honestcoyote linked is also good fun. I love it that his mum is trying to make herself the centre of the story. Now we know why he lives in Korea. And he looks cute in his normal clothes and hair.
posted by mumimor at 3:53 AM on March 11


call out people making unwarranted attacks, but you don't have to call people who are gently uncomfortable and may or may not be traumatized by prevalent gender dynamics that are almost crystallized in this video

Wait, what? This video clip is 44 seconds long. Here's what happens in it:

Sitting at a desk, a man is taking about Korea. He is being interviewed live by the BBC. A small girl, his daughter, comes in (00:00:04) and dance-walks over to her father's desk, standing behind his left elbow. She does not seem shy or scared, but curious and cheerful. The interviewer notes to him that one of his children has appeared. He reaches back, touching her collarbone before finding her stomach and, with an open hand, pushing her back, perhaps the full length of his arm. She steps back and fumbles with her candy, while her brother comes in in a rolling tray (00:00:14) and glides partway across the room. The children's mother slides into the room on stocking feet (00:00:19), crouches down to grab the scooter baby, and then grabs the arm of the small girl, pulling her away and, in the process, knocking some books off of the bed. Their mother takes them out of the room while their father says, "My apologies," and pauses. He has an expression on his face that may be a grimace or a small smile (00:00:31). The older child sounds distressed, but it is not clear how serious it is. Once the children are out of the room, their mother slides in on her knees to grab the handle and close the door (00:00:39).

That's what happens. That's it. As descriptively as possible, that's it.

Here are some things it is impossible to determine: whether the mother's expression is fearful, alarmed, annoyed, embarrassed; whether the father is angry, and what level of anger he might feel, or whether he is embarrassed, irritated, amused, etc., and in what combinations; whether he routinely pushes his children out of the way and how he behaves toward them in the course of everyday life, both when they have his full attention and when he is distracted; how he treats his wife; whether their marriage is abusive or cordial; whether the gendered dynamics in their relationship mean she provides disproportionate care for the children & household maintenance; whether they like each other; whether she crouched to try to stay out of the frame or because she was cowering in fear or because "Korean life happens at home level"; whether either parent is worried about an international televised interview being interrupted, or whether he gets angry at his wife when dinner is burned; whether the family speaks English or Korean or some combination or perhaps some other Asian language at home; whether Mom has a job. Here are some things it is too blurry to see or difficult to see: whether Mom has her pants undone because she was rushing into the bathroom; that the children do, in fact, look like both of their parents. There's no way I would call anything there "crystallized."

Something something something fake news!

We have the reactions to things that we have, and that's fine, and they matter—and we also need to be clear about what the reactions mean and what it is possible to know and what we assume we know. I'm not unsympathetic to any of those reactions. There are bad things have happened in my life that I might be reminded of by something in the video, but not because those things are happening again as I experienced them. To be perfectly clear, I have a very long trauma history that dates back to events in my childhood home. I have been shoved like that. I'm reminded of my traumas all the time. But my sense of the present moment isn't only defined by that—they're not the only real thing in the room, as it were. (And I note that I feel compelled to divulge that history to even have an opinion about it that isn't immediately dismissed as out of touch or unsympathetic or willfully ignorant. Some of that is also a projection!)

There is no one here who couldn't be captured on film for 44 seconds doing something or behaving in some way that isn't actually characteristic or revealing (including bad or mediocre or careless parenting) but nonetheless becomes part of everyone else's story about what's going on. We just don't know anything about this family and our reactions are typically about what matters to us in our own lives, not what might or might not be happening in theirs. People who are gently uncomfortable are still having their own projective reactions. It doesn't make them "crazy hysterical pitchfork-wielding liars." It makes them, you know, people.
posted by listen, lady at 5:58 AM on March 11 [29 favorites]


I love the way the little girl comes dancing into the room, and the way her brother zooms in after her.

I think it's also worth noting that because of the time difference, he's most likely doing this interview in the evening (his time). I mean, if he's doing the interview for the morning UK news, then it's go to be around 5 or 6 pm in South Korea. So I think we can extrapolate exactly nothing from this clip about how he and his wife divvy up childcare duties, etc, on a normal day, because he's doing it after the normal work hours. And from looking at his YouTube channel, he's done interviews like this from his home office something like 95 times without incident, so I think it's pretty understandable that he got flustered this time when all of a sudden the system broke down.

Also, this thread and people's reactions to this video makes me think about something that people say on AskMe fairly often: feelings aren't facts. It's possible to feel something, and feel very strongly that it is true, but that doesn't mean that that feeling is always true. So I think we can all look at this video and feel very strongly that it means this thing or that, but that doesn't mean that we're right, and I think it's good to remember that.
posted by colfax at 7:55 AM on March 11 [7 favorites]




I have no doubt I'll be struck by lightning for saying this, but that Daily Mail article honestcoyote linked to is really good and worth reading. Also, I was glad to be able to see the lovely photo of his wife, because I bet that's the image she would much prefer us to have of her!

And A+ for the photo of the daughter having fallen asleep over her dumplings, complete with Miffy book. Adorable.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:28 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


A friend posted this on fb to much liking. Comment #3 was "Mom??? Looks like 'nanny' to me..."

People can be such fucking shits.
posted by Caxton1476 at 10:47 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Lots of comments about the Dad gently pushing the first child in the chest while not looking at her, but no comments about the Mom dragging the same child out of the room along the floor by the arm?

(No criticism from me about either action, BTW. What an incredibly stressful situation.)
posted by nnethercote at 12:47 PM on March 11


It's funny because it is a distillation of life as an academic.

I've been imagining that I will someday have my life neatly organized, and I won't just be surrounded by stacks of books and papers all the time, and the more time I spend around academics, the more I realize just how hopeless that fantasy is.

But also your description of all that with regards to this video just made it that much more charming.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:07 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


This video is hilarious, and I see nothing weird about the mom back-gainering her way into the room in an attempt to reverse time and get the kids out before they got in. I'm a full-time stay-at-home mom who does easily 85% of my kids' daily care, but on the rare occasions when I'm doing something where I get to have a public-facing role in some other capacity -- like when I sang the National Anthem to open our state's Senaate session this year -- I would expect my husband to be just as quick to snag our kids to keep them from interrupting my big moment.
posted by KathrynT at 1:43 PM on March 11 [4 favorites]


I think Mom's slide-in on socks is getting insufficient attention.
posted by nnethercote at 1:50 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


A pet peeve of mine is people criticizing other people's behaviour in unusual and/or stressful situations based on limited information. So this thread is hitting my buttons in a big way.
posted by nnethercote at 4:02 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


Much of what makes it so hilarious is that most of the action is based on the belief that it's hopefully happening off camera, when absolutely none of it is happening off camera. "I'll, uh, just put my arm out here, and she won't get in the shot." "I'll just slide in real quick close to the floor and I'll stay out of the shot."

I've seen similar (but not nearly as funny) things happen on video conference calls. "They can't see me because I'm sitting over here to the side." WE CAN ALL TOTALLY SEE YOU.
posted by lagomorphius at 6:04 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


If you look at Dr. Kelly's past blog posts, you see a bunch of interesting thinking on international relations and other topics (film reviews, his moderate Republicanism and his horror at the current state of the GOP, academia stuff). He likes video games and is worried about the politics of certain first-person shooters, and thinks US political scientists need to communicate better with people outside their field, in particular conservatives. But I'm particularly struck today by his amused resignation that "my posts on Asian political economy or what-not get little traffic and a lot of yawns, but K-pop brings huge numbers". Here is someone who is 100% aware of how the caprice of the internet attention economy is affecting him right now; I hope the end result includes bringing more attention to international relations news & analysis of Korea. I've certainly learned a lot today.

Also any of you want to help him with his Google Scholar woes?
posted by brainwane at 6:28 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


> I think Mom's slide-in on socks is getting insufficient attention.

OMG, thank you for saying this! She zips into the room so swiftly and smoothly that I cannot get it out of my head that she must have been on rollerskates. (Socks makes much more sense.)
posted by Westringia F. at 7:28 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


People who are gently uncomfortable are still having their own projective reactions. It doesn't make them "crazy hysterical pitchfork-wielding liars." It makes them, you know, people.

That was, y'know, my point. And yet there were not a few people getting their knickers in a preemptive knot at the idea that anyone would detect (projecting or otherwise!) anger in this video, as if a little terror in an unknown situation with a strange man is going to be the downfall of society and is also their fault for looking for trouble. It very much rankles me when "people are sometimes afraid of men in tense situations" becomes somehow a unique badge of shame on those people, how dare they, there's a man's reputation at stake. And I wish the dude no harm and would never want his fifteen minutes of fame! And yet, it does strike me as tasteless to lash out in resentment at people who are clearly reacting out of some kind of fearful or traumatized experience with men. Disagree with them, absolutely, and even suggest they may be projecting, but the disgust is as telling as any other form of distaste for victims in our society.

And sorry, but besuited dignified professor on live television pushing his children away while a mother in casual at-home dress frantically scoops up her children and tries to keep herself out of frame is, while completely and totally understandable given the highly unusual circumstances, also a pretty obvious crystallization of gendered division of labor, whether it's anyone's individual fault or burden or not.
posted by stoneandstar at 7:57 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


Data point for people who are like "how does the Twitter blue checkmark work? how??": @Robert_E_Kelly just got the blue "verified" checkmark.
posted by brainwane at 9:46 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


"people are sometimes afraid of men in tense situations" is really very different from "I worry for this particular guy's wife's safety", though. I don't resent people who have a knee-jerk terror reaction to male anger. (I think I can put myself in that box, actually.) But I object to people unselfconsciously projecting their emotions - any emotions - on to others, and then tarring them with negative public judgments without taking any responsibility for those judgments. I feel this way is a valid statement to make, and a good reason for instrospection and sympathy, but it's a lousy reason for making specific judgments about another person, in the absence of actual knowledge about them.

Even finding male anger in this video - as opposed to acute let-me-die-now embarrassment and some suppressed hysteric hilarity - is a major work in projection. So is finding it to be a perfect crystallisation of gender inequity at home. That's fine, in itself; it's completely reasonable to say "oh, this video brought up some bad memories for me, my dad's anger was very like that". It's equally fine to say, as many here have, "I wonder if people would react the same way if he was a woman." But it's not reasonable, or just, to say "wow, what bad parenting / I worry for his wife / what kind of father is he" &c. People are making comments like that about this guy all over the internet - Metafilter has been comparatively restrained - and yes, it's unfair, it's scapegoating. It's irresponsible to manage your emotions or opinions by expressing a bunch of negative judgments about someone you know nothing about, even if they are a man, and I do think it's pretty distasteful.

I don't think I find this stuff so distasteful because I think men are more important than abuse survivors. (In fact, I think we see this scapegoating dynamic affect women in the public eye much more often than it does men, for obvious reasons.) It disturbs me because it exemplifies one of the nastiest trends in human nature, which has been massively magnified by the internet. People take a tiny (sometimes accidental) fragment of someone's visible persona and build a whole morality fable around it, so that they end up telling a story about their own (often understandable and sympathetic, sometimes not) resentments on those strangers, their bodies and their lives, without conceding that they are engaged in a work of fiction. I think this is one thread in Gamergate, and in the Daily Mail's weekly flood of stories about Somali Woman With Thirty Children in Millionaire Mansion, and a lot of other horrible stuff in our current public culture. The current US President is the very image of a person who can't distinguish his own emotions from the separate existence of the people around him, and does nothing but draw huge sweeping conclusions about others (that judge is corrupt, that guy's a loser, those people are all terrorists) based on his moment-by-moment emotions. Of course his emotions are far less sympathetic than the emotions of abuse survivors, but the mechanism of projection is the same and needs to be recognised so that judgments based on it can be rejected.
posted by Aravis76 at 12:03 AM on March 12 [12 favorites]


When we're at the point of bringing the psychology of the current US president into this, I want to beg everyone to just let it rest and enjoy watching this guy's interview being interrupted by his cute kids. I get where everyone is coming from, but sometimes a cute video is just a cute video.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:04 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


tasteless to lash out in resentment

This is also projection.

also a pretty obvious crystallization of gendered division of labor, whether it's anyone's individual fault or burden or not.

No, it resembles it, and I think that's different. How we choose to read those "pretty obvious" things is reiterative: it's partly what crystallizes them.

And sorry, but

Uh huh.

Given that you agree that I didn't do the things you didn't like here, I'm not sure why you're trying to chide me for it.
posted by listen, lady at 5:32 AM on March 12


& this, from Aravis76,—people are sometimes afraid of men in tense situations" is really very different from "I worry for this particular guy's wife's safety", though—sort of goes to your point about individual fault or burden, stoneandstar. If you want to argue that it's generic or representative, I think you also have to detach that from the projection.

I get where everyone is coming from, but sometimes a cute video is just a cute video.

Oh, I disagree, which is also a perfectly cromulent position, despite the fact that lots of people find it irritating. (I'm not saying you do.) It's a cute video and also lots of other things, and critique doesn't make it go away. You don't have to engage with those other things if you don't want to. There are clearly parallel conversations going on here, which I don't see as a problem.

I personally LOVED the fucking thing & I think about Marion and her yellow sweater at least once an hour.
posted by listen, lady at 5:41 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


I must say that after initially seeing it on a television and then grabbing a high-resolution download from the OP link and watching it on a laptop much closer to my face, it much more clearly seems that the guy is having difficulty not laughing throughout most of it.
posted by XMLicious at 8:03 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


Some people on the internet may be apprehensive of this guy's reaction but those kids don't seem to be worried at all.
posted by rdr at 9:39 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


the highly unusual circumstances

What's unusual with doing a video call from home when you're in different timezones or just in different physical locations? It's 2017. What tiny bubble do you live in if you haven't noticed that people do that all the time?

Jess Phillips: "For people like me who fight for a world of parent-friendly, agile working, the video was a sweet reminder of why our forebears favoured the boardroom over the playroom."
posted by effbot at 10:20 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]




What's unusual with doing a video call from home when you're in different timezones or just in different physical locations?

You're leaving out "live on the BBC" from your consideration of what's unusual.
posted by Etrigan at 11:16 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


So I'm puzzled, but isn't deriving "bourgeois family relations with a traditional gendered division of labor" from the video just making an assumption based on that very stereotype? For all we know, given that this was evening in Korea, the wife was spending some time with her kids, who had been cared for by their stay-at-home dad all day, after she had come home from a long day in her high-paying CEO day job and changed into casual clothes to play with them.
posted by Preserver at 11:25 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Even finding male anger in this video - as opposed to acute let-me-die-now embarrassment and some suppressed hysteric hilarity - is a major work in projection. So is finding it to be a perfect crystallisation of gender inequity at home.

I think it's fine to push back on someone's perception of something you don't see in the video, but Metafilter is fundamentally always going to be an exclusionary community if we say that there is strictly one way acceptable way to express your discomfort as a survivor/outsider/regular person without an identical cultural background to 90% of Metafilter. People make mistakes or projections or assume too much; not ripping their heads off when that happens because we're rushing to defend traditional family values is maybe one way for this place to not feel so stifling. (I see plenty of benefit of the doubt for the dude in this thread, which is fine and good; less to no benefit of the doubt for people who got spooked by the video. If we only give benefit of the doubt to people who we agree with and who remind us of ourselves, what good is the concept? Who are you to scold people for not giving the benefit of the doubt when you seem incapable of it as long as you perceive the person as vaguely hysterical? I'm no fan of mommy blogger hostility but there's really no reason to attack people here as a proxy for that, except, I guess, projection.)

The fact that people are telling me I'm "projecting" because I see gendered division of labor in the video (not placing the blame on even one particular individual! just providing it as an explanation for some dis-ease) is laughably defensive, though. Yes, I am projecting a world where women often take care of the children. It is definitely NOT a projection to claim that gender dynamics are only interesting when they make us feel bad and either highly abstract or beneath examination when they make us feel good and we find class validation in them, however. If we ourselves might be complicit in a system of gendered labor which enables our identification with a particular class, it is necessarily only acceptable to discuss it terms of middlebrow philosophical abstraction.

And the idea that feeling discomfort and unpacking that discomfort is not a "natural" reaction, only seeing yourself and your family and your own experiences in a tableau of middle class family life is "natural," and anyone else is looking to be offended, I mean, to use the popular smear term in this thread, that's a lot of projection. Probably one of the reasons Metafilter is not terribly class diverse.

Anyway, throwing around the word "projection" is grade A Metafilter passive aggressive bullshit psychoanalysis bitchslapping and I wish there were less of it here.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:41 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


not ripping their heads off when that happens because we're rushing to defend traditional family values is maybe one way for this place to not feel so stifling.

I also think no one's head should be ripped off for making a mistake, and doing so in defence of traditional family values is a mistake. Whose head has been ripped off in this thread for doing that? It's pretty hyperbolic to describe "I disagree with your reading of this text (NB this text is not fictional, so I also find your reading somewhat uncharitable)" as an exercise in ripping anyone's head off. How do you propose people should respond to comments that - as you say - seem to make mistakes, or project, or assume too much? If"I don't see it + here is my take" is too aggressive or head-ripping a response? Is respectful silence and zero disagreement the only way to give people the benefit of the doubt?

I also don't see the relevance of class to this particular issue. The major problem that some people were seeing in the video was that there was something potentially abusive or cold about the father's response. Others disagreed. People on both sides of the disagreement seem to have experience of cold or abusive or otherwise fucked-up parenting. How did that conversation suddemly become about the homogenous bourgeoise defending traditional family values?
posted by Aravis76 at 3:04 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


I can't find the original, but here's a public Facebook post of a charming cartoon of the kids with the caption, "Live your life like you just burst through the door of your dad's super important live broadcast Skype call and yo mama is finna snatch you up."
posted by ob1quixote at 3:43 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


On the same day that the family invasion occurred, BBC news had another unscheduled moment, though this one was much more minor, and also less surprising. The weatherman, Tomasz Schafernaker, was confronted with a place name and ...

Why less surprising? Tomasz has something of a reputation (and also for some inexplicable reason has a massive army of adoring fans). Here he is forgetting the name of another place, getting a county a bit wrong, and making a slight but unfortunate mistake somewhere else, though he's hot on Icelandic volcano pronounciation when he's not dissing his fellow presenters or forgetting how time works.

Though perhaps not so hot on covering up obscene gestures to news presenters, or remembering to put his microphone in. Poor Tomasz; things never seem to go right for him, be it while reading the Shipping Forecast or dealing with tech.
posted by Wordshore at 6:59 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Fwiw, the video felt pretty icky to me too. For exactly the gender dynamics reasons described above. None of us here can possibly know what happened before or after the video. I posit that besides the two adults in the video, no one on the planet knows what happens before or after the video. Therefore every single one of us is just projecting what we think might have happened.

It's extra icky that those of us that saw some potential for gender essentialist nastiness there are being told that we're wrong. Im sure some folks said "oh, I saw that differently" and took ten seconds to think about why people saw it differently, and that's great. But a lot didn't and just jumped to "wrong!" which was pretty uncool.
posted by susiswimmer at 12:21 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about why I am so comfortable diagnosing gross misogyny in this text about a relationship, and so uncomfortable with the idea of diagnosing anything bad in the relationships we see in this video. Of course, I don't know the people or their relationships in either case and there is an element of reasoning from my own experience - projecting, if you like - in my reaction to that article. So clearly a kind of absolute principle of charitable interpretation, where we never make judgments without total knowledge of a situation, is not possible (or in any case, not possible for me).

But I think the difference is that the family in this video have not sought this kind of public exposure, have not invited any judgment by sharing their own story of their relationship, and have not demonstrated anything visibly and unambiguously awful in this tiny scrap of evidence about their lives. So I feel like, in their case, it's better to react to uncertainty with the best interpretation (or at least no negative interpretation) of what we are seeing. Icky gender essentialist dynamics may or may not be present, in the same way that icky misogyny may or may not be present in the other guy's article about his ex. But I feel like the act of writing articles about your relationships is fairer game for negative interpretation than the act of having an ambiguous moment in your personal life randomly caught on camera by mistake. Of course I don't think we can say "wrong!" about a negative interpretation in the sense that such an interpretation is definitely factually incorrect. But I think it's fair to say "hang on a minute" about negative interpretations, on the grounds that suspending negative judgment in the face of uncertainty is the fair and charitable thing to do in a situation like this one.
posted by Aravis76 at 2:11 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]


Long time ago, I was in an abusive relationship, it took me many years to recover, and I can easily see what triggered people here. It's OK. But an important part of my recovery has been to examine the situations which scare me carefully, and make sure I am not projecting. Not for the other people's sake, but for my sake. Because the perspective I had "gained" from that abuse was ruining my daily life, let alone my relationships. Loads of everyday situations were triggers for anxiety and I have made terrible decisions because of it. Heck, the reason I'm here, sitting on my ass, surfing the internet on sick-leave is the end of a chain of events caused by my distorted view of reality.
This video, I just saw it and laughed out loud, because it is so much like my own life as an academic who is often in the media all dressed up and with a stiff smile, while everything is chaos behind me. I never do Skype interviews for that reason. I identified with the guy, and I thought if that happened to me I would explode in giggles when the call went off.

But because of the discussion here, I looked at it with my "recovering victim" eyes, and I can see how his styling and stiff attitude could remind me a lot of my abuser, how the fact that the woman is Asian and he is Caucasian could remind me of some of my friends' situations, and how the fact that she is f***ing crawling could lead to a rather natural assumption that she is cowering in fear. I get it. But today, with my "standing up" eyes, I believe more in my first impression. First of all, the kids: those kids are not kids with an abusive dad. The reason I pulled myself together and got out of my marriage was the obvious damage his abuse of me was doing to our toddler. The kids I care for as a relief parent have an angry dad, and they are not like these kids at all. Second, his face: he is so obviously fighting a giggle, not anger. Maybe you need to see this on a big screen though. Jung-a Kim appears so briefly, it is really hard to see anything, but I agree with others that she is trying to stay out of view of the camera, and the failure of that attempt is hilarious - also after seeing it 10 times, I agree she might have a wardrobe malfunction adding to that fun.

I am not an expert, and maybe we will learn in a couple of years that yes, Kelly was an abuser. I just don't think so. I think he is a nice guy struggling with life with toddlers as an underpaid academic in Korea. And that video is hilarious.
posted by mumimor at 3:10 AM on March 13 [15 favorites]


It's a piece of media, and I think it's totally valid to say, "This piece of media shows traditional gender dynamics at play," without that automatically leading to "Therefore this couple is a traditional patriarchal marriage." Media can be analyzed in its own context, which is different from the context of the private lives of the people depicted. The reaction to this man basically ignoring his children (for likely good and non-abusive private reasons) and getting positive feedback for that reinforces a certain cultural narrative about how "business professionals" (who are generally assumed to be male) behave, and how "supportive partners" (who are generally assumed to be female) behave. Talking about that narrative and how this clip plays into it says nothing about this particular couple's marriage or family.
posted by lazuli at 7:06 AM on March 13 [6 favorites]


I agree, lazuli, which is why I think speculation about how the world might have reacted if the genders were flipped is perfectly reasonable. But speculation about whether the wife fears her husband, or how he is exhibiting zero parenting skills, or how he seems to dislike his children for being children, is different and closer to a commentary on the people in the video than on the media response to it.
posted by Aravis76 at 9:09 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


What would have really icing'ed this cake for me is if he stood up and was wearing pyjama bottoms.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:20 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


He was wearing jeans, not PJs. Sorry!

(Fairly detailed follow-up with video of the whole family.)
posted by maudlin at 10:47 AM on March 14 [10 favorites]


Hah, it's funny how much internet speculation turned out to be true, based off that article:
>Dad was wearing "comfortable jeans"
>Mom was wearing socks (thus the amazing entrance)
>She was watching with the kids in the other room, and noticed the kids were gone when she saw them on-screen
>Dad admits it was his fault for forgetting to lock the door
posted by perplexion at 10:54 AM on March 14 [14 favorites]


and also:
> Perfectly nice people who love their kids, not sick monsters filled with rage
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:46 AM on March 14 [25 favorites]


As the interview began, the couple’s 4-year-old daughter Marion jumped up and down at the sight of her father on the screen. Perhaps recognizing his location, a room at the end of the hallway, she wandered off to find him. She was in high spirits after enjoying her birthday party earlier that day at kindergarten, her father says... “She was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party,” said Mr. Kelly, an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea.

This is delightful.
posted by eponym at 11:57 AM on March 14 [16 favorites]


Aw, they're adorable and charming and handling it with panache. I'm curious about the press conference with the Korean press he's giving later, if anyone sees any coverage of that!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:24 PM on March 14


It's also nice that BBC talked with them into letting it go viral, persuading them that it was not a career-ending event.
posted by mumimor at 12:41 PM on March 14


“Yes I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me,” Mr. Kelly said.

Truly an abusive monster!
posted by tavella at 1:38 PM on March 14 [8 favorites]


When she walks, she's like a samba
That swings so hippity and sways so hoppity
That when she passes
Each one she passes goes, "Ha!"
posted by Kabanos at 1:50 PM on March 14 [7 favorites]


Wow, that follow-up video. Glad I don't have kids: they were atrociously-behaved.

That @KevOnStage parody clip was on-point though.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:15 PM on March 14


Yeah update, this is now my favorite gif
posted by danny the boy at 9:32 PM on March 14 [10 favorites]


Kelly family press release.

BBC interview, 9min30sec.

I seriously do want to watch the whole press conference. If you search for the mom's name plus "kelly" on YouTube you find a few clips, e.g., here and here.
posted by brainwane at 6:27 AM on March 15 [4 favorites]


Glad I don't have kids: they were atrociously-behaved.

If you think that’s atrociously behaved, then god help your kids if you ever do have any. The girl is 4! Expecting a four year old to sit still for ten minutes is like asking for the moon. Sometimes four years olds play up: They especially play up when you don’t want them to.
posted by pharm at 12:17 PM on March 15 [7 favorites]


This is the longest clip of the Koran press conference I could find, from KBS News Busan's FaceBook page. the family shows up around the 3:31 mark.
posted by needled at 1:08 PM on March 15


Welcome to the age of the manufactured meme
When a professor's live TV interview was interrupted by his kids, BBC made him a star.
Sure, the BBC could have brought in some political expert from London. But instead they wanted a well-informed commentator, immersed in the issues and living Korea. So they picked a guy whose knowledge was much greater than his access to recording technology. The result, as Holmes noted, is not "super-perfect." But Kelly, who writes a blog about security issues in Korea as well as teaching political science, was the perfect person to talk about how the ouster of Park Geun-hye might affect relations between North and South Korea.

Then, in just a few seconds, Kelly demonstrated what countless commentators on the news never could. Reporters and experts are just average folks with families and Skype connections. The charmingly wholesome BBC dad video reveals that broadcasting the news isn't a subversive activity done by paid operatives. It's something that regular folks do, just to share what they know before putting the kids to bed. Considered in that light, it's easy to see why the BBC didn't consider the episode a humiliating disaster. Instead it was the perfect opportunity to manufacture a pro-media meme.
posted by XMLicious at 2:48 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


Thanks, needled!

This set of clips from the news conference includes some of Kelly's answers to questions that aren't in the video needled linked to. For instance, at the end, Kelly says, "Korea just gave the world a textbook lesson in how to impeach and remove a president: civilly, peacefully, nonviolently. Korea's institutions worked the way they were supposed to" and notes:
Park Geun-hye left office peacefully, the military didn't go out on the streets, it didn't turn into Arab Spring. I think that's actually, you know, that's a fantastic achievement. Very few countries impeach their presidents. Richard Nixon's case is the most obvious, for many people, but Richard Nixon resigned before he actually was impeached. The Koreans actually completed the entire impeachment process with almost no violence whatsoever. The only violence was at the very end by the Park supporters, on the very last day. But for four months? Six months? Millions of people were on the streets. No one's car got burned, the protesters even picked up their trash. I find that -- that's just a model of appropriate civic behavior. I -- I think Korea just -- this is your finest hour. In my opinion.
Also, right after that, at 5:24, Jung-A Kim and Robert Kelly walk with their kids on the university campus and each parent holds Marion by one arm and they swing her up in the air with a "whoooo" sound a couple times and it's adorable. So, you know, srs political commentary AND cute kid moment, but this time in a setting the family chooses, which feels like a nice bit of bookending.
posted by brainwane at 6:22 AM on March 16 [13 favorites]




I fuckin' love that one
posted by grobstein at 11:06 AM on March 17




of fucking course they don't get her name right in the "parody"
posted by anem0ne at 1:20 PM on March 17


seriously, how many fucking times does it have to be made painfully clear to fucking westerners which part of the name is the fucking surname?
posted by anem0ne at 1:22 PM on March 17


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