In 2020, Everybody Working From Home Is 'BBC Dad'
The year was 2017, March 2017 to be exact. Season 3 of Rick and Morty was about to hit the airwaves, with RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 in full swing. Lorde had just released her first Melodrama single, the certified banger "Green Light." We could actually go to concerts and bars without wearing a mask. The good old days! Anyway, around this time, one of the world's most wholesome viral videos of all time skyrocketed to the front of our cultural consciousness --- a phenomenon known as "BBC Dad."
To give you a bit of a refresher, as it has been a VERY long three years, the heartwarming video depicts Professor Robert Kelly partaking in a video interview for BBC News about North Korea, when suddenly, an adorable little girl wearing a bright yellow shirt tosses open the door and confidently marches into the room. As soon as the news presenter points out his child in the background, yet another one of Professor Kelly's kids wheels in on a baby walker. We then see a very panicked Mom spring to action, bursting into the room at full speed, scooping up both kids and attempting to pull them from the shot, all while books fall from tables, and Professor Kelly, clearly mortified, profusely apologizes to the anchor.
At the time, this undeniably cute video garnered media attention from all around the world, the clip itself garnering tens of millions of views on YouTube, with the famous family appearing for interviews in The Wall Street Journal and, of course, The BBC. Yet since this video went viral, reality itself has decided to go full Black Mirror, meaning that in some weird karmic shift, we are now all have experienced a Robert Kelly moment or two -- either on camera or off -- as we navigate the nuances of working from home.
Earlier this week on Twitter, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy, Gretchen Goldman, decided to give her Twitter followers a little behind-the-scenes look at her WFH setup as she did an interview with CNN about leadership amid climate change. From the view of the camera, everything looks pristine, her tasteful yellow blazer, her tasteful decorative art, and even the quaint quilt resting atop her couch. Yet from the side ... well ... not everything is as it seems. Kids toys are strewn across the floor, her laptop sits on a chair that's resting on a coffee table, and a box for some sort of LED lighting system on the ground beside her.
And she's far from alone. Swap out her kids' toys for an empty Dunkin cup, a shoe rack at war with itself, and a random pair of shorts, and there you have it! Welcome to my super fancy office!
My luxury setup aside, we've all run into our own Professor Kelly-esque technical snafus. A few weeks ago, I had a good cry after my phone died during an unexpected meeting. A few days ago, while on a phone call, I was forced out of my little workspace on my couch to the front stoop of my building, as one of my roommates decided noon on a Tuesday is the perfect time to yet again run our garbage disposal for 15 minutes straight. 2070's version of Mad Men is going to be weird.