This is the most cheerful video on this topic I've ever seen online
January 28, 2021 10:36 PM   Subscribe

ADHD - "Under The Sea" Parody (SLYT) Penn Holderness does an extremely cheerful song parody. I figured there's enough folks around here with this issue that they might relate.
posted by jenfullmoon (34 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've enjoyed a lot of this guy's stuff. He's wacky and fun to watch. He has this vibe that's simultaneously really plastic and also somehow pandemic-genuine.

But I get a pervasive throughline of wife-as-support-staff from his videos. In that context, this video comes off as... justifying his wife's role as support staff? Anyway, it's very cheerful.
posted by gurple at 11:05 PM on January 28 [16 favorites]


As a woman with ADHD, I rue the fact that it’s much more socially acceptable for men to be disorganized and “need” a woman to do the organizational work that adhd brains struggle with. I need a wife or an assistant or both.

So yes, she’s probably support staff, but I don’t blame this guy, there just isn’t the right kind of help for people with adhd. It just happens that it’s more socially acceptable that a woman perform his executive functioning.

seriously, can someone wife me and let me be the absentminded professor in academia somewhere? I think that’s my true but stifled calling.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:36 PM on January 28 [30 favorites]


Cute! My partner's ADHD causes our family problems because I can't act as her second brain. Leaving tissues around? Ouch that hurts it's so accurate. I really love how positive this video is.

For more context I actually really enjoy the Holdeness' Facebook channel. Most of their videos are made by the wife, who is really funny. I'm not normally into family YouTubers, but she and her husband seam to respect their children and don't heavily feature them.
posted by Braeburn at 12:23 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Thanks for sharing this video. I'm glad this guy's got a constructive attitude about his diagnosis, and I'm sure he's had his share of struggles. Maybe this video isn't the place for it, but perhaps he could be be more reflexive and show gratitude to the multiple layers of privilege that aid him in his journey.
posted by St. Oops at 12:30 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Really looking forward to warmer weather and better vaccine distribution so that it's easier to get in on that whole exercising and going for walks thing again. I am a hot mess but winter isn't halfway done.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:57 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Oooofffff, i appreciate seeing this but as the wife of a man with adhd, this hits really close to home, right down to the money management and the old bag of fries.

I’m really, really glad my partner has found others with adhd online (mostly through YouTube, which has been GREAT for him) but I often wish I could find my own community of support people to our beloved adhd brains, because while this video is light-hearted, the reality from our side is actually pretty tough and lonely.
posted by third word on a random page at 3:11 AM on January 29 [8 favorites]


Making money!
Making money!
He quit his day job
Now just films for his blog
This post makes him money!
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:21 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Double ADHD brain household and what has really helped us is meds.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:40 AM on January 29 [14 favorites]


Well I thought it was fun. Thanks for posting.
Now I have Under the Sea stuck in my head.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:51 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Double ADHD brain household and what has really helped us is meds.

we're also a double ADHD brain household, unmedicated, & I spent a lot of the video marveling at how clean that guy's house was

did you struggle with "what if I take meds & my brain becomes unrecognizable to me & my creativity dries up?" I'm kind of hung up on that...

...well, that and having to maintain executive function long enough to find a psychiatrist...
posted by taquito sunrise at 4:53 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


we're also a double ADHD brain household, unmedicated, & I spent a lot of the video marveling at how clean that guy's house was

did you struggle with "what if I take meds & my brain becomes unrecognizable to me & my creativity dries up?" I'm kind of hung up on that...


I mean I'm on amphetamines I am more creative now.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:57 AM on January 29 [15 favorites]


I mean I'm on amphetamines I am more creative now.

oh shit no one sold this to me as getting to be on Philip K. Dick drugs
(immediately calls pharmacist)
posted by taquito sunrise at 6:20 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


We're a dual brained ADHD household, it's just that my wife had to deal with it the way so many women have had to- she's the one with the incredible coping mechanisms. I've been learning, getting better, more organized, etc. I write my own lists, set reminders for things, have trained myself to notice things out of place. I still miss things and will for the rest of my life. But that doesn't excuse just writing it all off. We all carry secondary brains in our pockets these days. We can use them. (It's odd, I'm the one who's always after her to hang up her keys in the right spot every time, although she came up with that system after I locked myself out of the apartment twice.)

We also play to our strengths. She organizes, I clean. I deal with the gross messes, fold the laundry, she figures out where things need to go. I try to keep things so she isn't in a management or mother mode, as that's not fair to her.

Anyway, I enjoyed the video, but it also hurt. It reminded me of a lot of the things I've worked to cope with and how I use to disregard them. And it hurts to see someone taking advantage of gendered issues in order to avoid working with their their brain. ADHD is useful. Hyperfocusing has been a blessing so many times. But being neurodivergent places a burden on us. If we want to participate in society, we need to (as unfair as it may be), at least pretend to conform to a certain degree. It's kinder to our loved ones, if nothing else.
posted by Hactar at 7:00 AM on January 29 [10 favorites]


Funny how I have ADHD too but I was still mostly the wife in this video throughout my marriage: doing the dishes, cleaning up his messes and mine, while okay, yes, he wrote me lists of chores I needed to do for the day. The (eminently reasonable) expectation was that I should pull my weight around the house with his list-writing/reminding serving as support, rather than I just fuck off to write songs and make youtube videos while he does my chores for me.

Could it be... could it be... that ADHD is not the reason he treats his wife like his maid/housekeeper/nanny?
posted by MiraK at 7:47 AM on January 29 [9 favorites]


Um his wife is the ceo of Holderness Family Productions while he is the cco. Its a content firm (parody songs and marketing). So she might play the maid, but i dont think its as pronounced as it looks like( beyond typical male societal emotional labor expectations)
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:25 AM on January 29


Well, wow.

As the father of a tremendously gifted kid who was recently diagnosed as being somewhere between ADHD and what we used to call Asperger's, I loved this. First I was amused, then laughing aloud, then crying from both laughter and joy. It's all so familiar.

For me, someone just beginning to learn to deal with the issue, and wondering about a child's future, this sends some positive messages-- that your brain can be wired this way, and yet you can be creative, fun, successful, find ways to get through your day and your life.

I appreciate those calling out the video's problematic depiction of his wife's role. But here's what I choose to take away from it -- that my son may find someone who will love him because his amazing spectrum-related gifts outweigh the challenges and annoyances.

That's what I want more than anything for him, and this silly little video gives me hope that will happen. I'll take it.
posted by martin q blank at 8:35 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


oh shit no one sold this to me as getting to be on Philip K. Dick drugs

Well.... Back in his day they would have called them diet pills. But, yeah, it's the exact same stuff.
posted by The Bellman at 8:55 AM on January 29


did you struggle with "what if I take meds & my brain becomes unrecognizable to me & my creativity dries up?" I'm kind of hung up on that..

I started meds at 41, so I spent a lot of time with my brain before meds, and, look, I totally understand the fear. But no, my creativity didn't change. Really nothing about my personality changed. What changed is that -- all those creative project I'd wanted to do but never could get around to or never could finish? I can actually do them now (for the most part. Meds are never 100%, but boy do they make a difference.)

Also, all the boring annoying stuff you have to do as an adult gets easier, so you can get it out of the way and have more time for the creative stuff you want to be doing. Meds basically have let me work closer to my potential, but they haven't changed my choices or values.

But ADHD meds aren't like other psychiatric meds. They wear off within 4 to 12 hours, depending on what you're taking, so if they really rub you the wrong way you can just stop and the next day you're back to your old self. Well, you might have a little dopamine withdrawal for a couple of days, but that's no worse than caffeine withdrawal.
posted by antinomia at 8:57 AM on January 29 [12 favorites]


So she might play the maid, but i dont think its as pronounced as it looks like( beyond typical male societal emotional labor expectations)

Satirical sexism still counts as sexism especially when the satire conforms so perfectly to Poe's Law. What the wife in that video is doing is absolutely the norm for millions - even *billions* - of people in the world. That is not an exaggeration. They made a video celebrating it. They might have intended it to be tongue-in-cheek but really it's just rubbing salt in our wounds.
posted by MiraK at 9:19 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


"My brain just goes off and on."

OOF, that's the line that really hit me. I like that he really gets at the fact that ADHD is not just about not being able to pay attention, it's about not being able to choose where and how to place that attention. And it often does feel like I am only ever on or off, no in between.
posted by lunasol at 10:54 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


They have another one on ADD (SLYT) as well.
posted by mkuhnell at 11:31 AM on January 29


As a woman with a (female) partner with ADD, this hit so close to home that it was both hilarious and cringe-inducing! I am definitely the support staff and it can be so exhausting---though she has many qualities that make it totally worth it to me.

Thank god that my partner can carry a secondary brain in her pocket (when she hasn't lost it). I don't know how we would function without it.

It's become very clear that our daughter (6) has ADHD too, and the chaos seems to increase exponentially. I'll let you know if I survive.
posted by mkuhnell at 11:40 AM on January 29


The sexist element is definitely there. As a queer person in this same situation, I found myself wondering if it would have been better to show a same-sex relationship in a video like this or if that would just contribute to the erasure of typical women's labor?
posted by mkuhnell at 11:41 AM on January 29


Kim has been very open about the fact that she struggles with anxiety and as a result is a compulsive cleaner and organizer. They take turns poking fun at each other's quirks and appear to have a healthy, well-balanced relationship.

You could just watch the video and enjoy someone celebrating their neurodiversity. Or, you know, you could keep staring at that plate of beans I guess.
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 11:42 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Satirical sexism still counts as sexism especially when the satire conforms so perfectly to Poe's Law.

Point taken and i apologize. Dumbass privilege over here.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:57 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


You could just watch the video and enjoy someone celebrating their neurodiversity. Or, you know, you could keep staring at that plate of beans I guess

Yeah, why don't you lighten up and just enjoy the sexist video, ladies.
posted by MiraK at 11:58 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


I hate the trope that ADHD comes with all these amazing "gifts" to celebrate like creativity. People have gifts, disabilities don't. Mine didn't come with any extra creativity or any other "superpower" except hyperfocus, which doesn't actually bring anything useful to my life except occasionally allowing me to do (after a huge amount of stress) the work that a neurotypical person would have done with no issues weeks ago. Not to mention plenty of creative people don't have ADHD.

I also would love a support staff. My partner has no interest in that and I guess I can't blame him, but it sounds awfully nice to have.
posted by randomnity at 12:51 PM on January 29 [9 favorites]


After watching the video I was excited and wanted to comment on how it gave me a new perspective, but man this thread brought me down. His wife's obviously in on the bit, her grimaces convey that. Why does she put up with him? I dunno, maybe she loves him. Maybe their life is multi-dimensional and we know nothing about any of it.

And while he's making light of the gender imbalance he's also owning it. He's basically flat out confessing his sins to make a greater point, he's sticking his neck out, and people here are acting as if they caught him red-handed. I don't care for that kind of cheap negativity.

Let those folk who are uniformly woke judge this bloke.
posted by hypnogogue at 2:36 PM on January 29 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I'm sorry I posted it now. I apologize for that. I didn't realize how horrible it is, and I should have.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:08 PM on January 29


Oh, no, jenfullmoon, the video clearly resonated with a lot of people and while there are elements that can be judged critically, that doesn't make it worthless or not fun or just plain all-bad! I'm sorry if my comments here are coming across as a blanket condemnation, I don't mean them that way. I mean, as long as folks don't tell me to ignore the sexism in the video and just lie back and think of england or whatever, I'm happy to enjoy the video, even... The thing is, the best aspects of the video went over my head because I've never watched The Little Mermaid and I don't know this song.. I personally can't appreciate this video the way most others here clearly can, but that's ok, the others *are* here, and they're enjoying it! IMO this is a good post given the level of positive *and* critical engagement it's getting.
posted by MiraK at 3:54 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]


It is a good post! It can be a good post even if the thing that gets posted is in itself a mixed bag. Please don't be sorry.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:20 AM on January 30 [9 favorites]


I usually find the Holderness family videos pretty funny, fwiw, and although I wasn't into this one, it's given me a lot to chew on, and I appreciated the opportunity to continue working through some of this stuff.

Like some others in this thread, I'm a woman in a double ADHD relationship, and I identify very strongly with both the partner who puts their phone in the fridge and the partner rolling their eyes while picking up a pile of someone else's abandoned tissues. Whereas my boyfriend was diagnosed as a child, I was only a couple years ago (in my mid-30s). Whether because of that history or because of internalized gender roles (and afaik, late diagnoses are especially common among women, so these things aren't separate issues), I think that I have worked extremely hard to develop workarounds (writing everything down immediately before I can forget it, making extremely detailed calendars and to-do lists, setting a zillion alarms, doing lots of Container Store shopping so that all of my clutter has a designated spot), whereas my boyfriend's reaction to forgetting something at the grocery store or not paying a bill on time or leaving random piles of laundry everywhere is just to shrug it off and say, "Oh well, this is just the way I am." That mentality is probably a little healthier than how hard I am on myself (to a point)! But I also really resent it, because it just feels like men are allowed to be bad at this stuff in a way that women aren't. So when I watch this video, my reaction is, "I don't want to make you a list! I don't even want to make myself a list! I force myself to do it anyway because I know I can't function without one." But Kim Holderness probably doesn't feel this way -- staying organized may be something that comes really easy to her. And all couples have to strike compromises and find their own fair distribution of labor, and hopefully they are both doing things to take care of each other and compensate for each other's weaknesses (we've all got them). The way they presented themselves as "she does all of the organizing and cleaning and I do, like, the, creative stuff, man," really, really, really doesn't land great, but I also think that the intensity of my negative reaction also involved me projecting some of my own shit onto it.
posted by naoko at 7:51 AM on January 30 [7 favorites]


It's okay to like this video. It's okay to not like it. But it would be cool if we weren't dismissing people for "engaging in cheap negativity" or "staring at a plate of beans," especially in a thread in which people are sharing their personal experiences with gender and ADHD.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 8:26 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


I've always avoided their videos on Facebook, but I watched the video (with the sound off to help prevent earworms, because I have ADHD). I thought I was going to hate it, based on the comments here, but I actually liked it. I thought that she had a large enough role that it was made clear who was dealing with the leftover French fries, etc. We all picked up on it, after all. I presume they have a partnership and that he's bringing his own strengths to it; I could be wrong, but you can't tell that from the video.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:23 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


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