Welcome to The Daddy Issue, our very fatherly tip of the cap to the father figures in our lives as well as all the fatherly stuff they can’t help but do — from pretending they’re not asleep on the couch, to the dad jokes that make even Tony Soprano smile. We’ll talk to famous dads and their equally famous progeny and also deconstruct fatherly influence in each and every one of its forms. In doing so, we hope to come out the other side with a better understanding of our own — and everyone else’s — daddy issues. Read all of the stories here.
On December 7, 2018, Twitter user @SadiqoJN chose violence — and made history. He did so with a take so exquisitely crafted for outrage, confusion and disbelief that it quickly became unforgettable. The proof is in the numbers: 3,000 replies and nearly 24,000 quote tweets would in most cases make for a punishing Ratio, especially given @SadiqoJN’s modest follower count, but with 30,000 retweets and 111,000 likes, the tweet is certified, untouchable gold. Enjoy:
This Father’s Day, we have to acknowledge that the above is the greatest dad post of all time.
None of the woke toddler shit, not that guy forcing his daughter to figure out how to open a can of beans for herself, not even something about driving your entire family crazy with puns. No, it’s this quasi-defense of deadbeat fathers that reverberates across the years, growing funnier with age. Certainly a joke, the remark so neatly parodies both the “just asking questions” male persona and elements of the aggrieved Men’s Rights movement that readers couldn’t help taking it at face value.
To his great credit, @SadiqoJN doubled down and didn’t let the mask slip. “Very disappointed with the replies to this thread,” he wrote hours later. “Attempted to spark an open discussion but people just wanna be mean :/” That faux sincerity and perplexed emoticon, though signaling a troll at work, made the attacks on him all the fiercer.
Soon, however, @SadiqoJN’s child-with-bad-vibes hypothetical found its audience and has since taken its place in the pantheon of outstanding shitposts. The air of cruel naïvité provides a tempting open door for the moralists of the internet to righteously enter, explaining in strident tones the role of a father in raising his child. The screenshot has migrated more than once to Reddit’s r/insanepeoplefacebook, where it always engenders serious discussion until a reader with a sense of irony notes that it’s just bait. Another prankster copy-pasted the tweet on Quora, where users are so literal-minded that none of the respondents blinked at the premise.
Some would say it’s too easy to get a rise out of the internet masses like this. To them I answer: go on and try it, then. You’ll never have this kind of impact, never walk the razor-thin line between “Wow, he almost had me!” and “Wait, was he for real?” On top of which, @SadiqoJN refused to delete his rhetorical query during the initial onslaught, as a lesser agitator would have, waiting instead to have his courage recognized. The incitement remains alive and well on Twitter dot com, a moving tribute to all who have sought negative attention on social media.
If fatherhood occasionally means being facetious, or playing devil’s advocate, or toying with expectations — and I’d argue it entails all three duties — then we have no choice but to salute @SadiqoJN’s tweet as a masterpiece of paternal humor. The dad who has never joked about giving his kid away is, in a sense, no dad at all. And, I’m guessing, just unpleasant to be around.