It's classic parent-teenager strife, revamped for the Internet age: A 15-year-old takes to Facebook to curse her parents and complain about chores and the pressures of youth. Her disgusted father videotapes and posts a lengthy rebuttal punctuated by nine gunshots as he empties his pistol into her laptop.
The bizarre tech-xecution has garnered more than 26 million views on YouTube and tens of thousands more on Facebook, touching a nerve with others tired of their kids' attitudes but also drawing backlash from parents who have kept such desires in check.
"It represents a fantasy scenario for parents," said Anthony Rotolo, a Syracuse University professor of social media. "Most parents would not respond in this manner but many parents have certainly felt unappreciated and imagined taking similar action."
The furor began when Tommy Jordan of Albemarle, N.C., aired his feelings in the video he posted last week. Sitting in an Adirondack chair on an expansive stretch of grass, Jordan is wearing jeans, a plaid shirt and a wide-brimmed hat, a lit cigarette between his fingers.
Then he launches into his diatribe, quoting from his daughter's Facebook post, in which she told her parents "I'm not your slave, I'm tired of picking up after you," and "You know how hard it is to keep up with the chores and schoolwork? It's freaking crazy."
Jordan is clearly infuriated by his daughter's suggestion that she be paid for her chores and disturbed by her decision to go public with her criticism.
"You don't have to worry about buying a new laptop battery. You don't have to worry about buying a new power cord. You don't have to worry about buying a new camera. Because you won't be using any of them till probably college," he says in the video. "I don't know how to say how disappointed I am in you and how disrespectful you were to every single adult in your life. But, kid, you've got it easy, way easy. It's about to get harder." Rising from his chair and picking up the video camera, he settles the image on the laptop, set on a patch of dirt among the grass. He shows his .45-caliber gun for the camera, then fires nine rounds into the computer. "I hope it was all worth this," he says to her. Jordan hasn't given interviews.
"He's a parent after my own heart," said Sonia Carballo, 37, a mother of three. But Carleton Kendrick, 65, a Mills, Mass., psychotherapist and father of two, called Jordan's actions "frightening and humiliating."