Aboard the Editor’s Pirate Ship – Johnism

[Editor's note: Aboard the Editor's Pirate Ship is pretty similar to "from the Editor's desk" or "The Editorial Section" of a "newspaper" (remember those, kids?) - thing is, I spend a lot of my day at a desk, so, when I get to twitblogging, it takes place on a creativity-inducing pirate ship where I can stretch my legs as I expand my mind. To you, dear readers, I say "Welcome Aboard!"]

Ideology just got exclusive, ridiculous and so much cooler!

Ideology just got exclusive, ridiculous and so much cooler!

Militarism. Communism. Conservatism. Fascism. Socialism. Liberalism. Pansexualism. Capitalism. Bullionism. Humanitarianism. Modernism. Post-Modernism. Cannibalism. Existentialism. Hylomorphism. Environmentalism. Idealism. Primitivism. Realism. Terrorism. Zoomorphism. Relativism. There is a long list of ideological isms out there. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, people are very, very delicious. They also control the universe through their sexual energy, but need to be cared for by the State lest their hedonistic ways destroy the environment to the detriment of exponential, free market growth! Or take democracy – democratism – as a great example of a fantastic, but horribly flawed, ideological system. As up-and-coming historical figure Winston Churchill, and his glass of whiskey, pointed out: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.” Zing, Winnie! In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville even warned America about “the tyranny of the majority” as a veritable Achilles-heal of our favourite social system. Democracy, claimed de Tocqueville, had the potential to marginalize minorities, fix peoples’ pursuits on material pleasures and/or relax people into seeking “to use government to protect them in their mediocrity by restricting the freedom of any who might challenge or endanger them” (evidently, Iraq didn’t get de Tocqueville’s memo).

Needless to say, whether it’s Vancouver Parks Board Commissioners using taxpayer dollars to pay for rehab or 3 New Jersey mayors (and 5 Rabbis) being arrested on international money-laundering charges or HST and BC Railahem - irregularities or the Shenzhen Construction Bureau spending much of their coffers on massages, foot rubs and other spa treatments or Obama being the re-incarnation of Hitler, well, democracy  just doesn’t seem to be working too well these days. Voter turnout around the world is a shadow of its former self. People are cynical and uninspired. But with all the other ideologies being even more terrible than democracy we’re pretty much stuck with what we have, right?


There is an answer. There is a solution. It couldn’t be simpler. And it’s called Johnism.

John in Chinese

John in Chinese

Like I said, it’s simple. See, fueled by democracy, the global political system is still built in a way that attracts and enables people who want to be the world’s powerbrokers and reap all the delicious, material, ill-gotten/gettin’ goodies that such power allows. So, we need leaders for our communities – from local to global – but we need a new selection process. Enter Johnism. Recent findings show that there are approximately 942,564,723 people on the planet named “John” (translation and regional dialects were taken into account during this study). So, this up-and-coming ideology isn’t based on status or age or experience or ability or education or qualification or being good at anything. It’s based on having a really common name. A name so common that, when the random, name-based selection of global leadership takes place, we can be sure that the new team in charge are truly drawn from all parts and places of society. Wow – think of how much extra cash we can spread around when credentials do not include the ability to raise $1 billion in campaign funds! People not last-named “Bush” or “Clinton” might be in the running.

The name “John” – after all – transcends all social classes, ethnicity and lines on a map. People named John are everywhere. Check this out:

Terrorism or Johnism? We know where John McClane stands.

Terrorism or Johnism? We know where John McClane stands.

…in Germany – Johann or Johannes

…in France – Jean

…in Denmark – Jens

…in Holland – Jan

…in Spain and Latin America – Juan

…in Italy – Giovanni

…in Russia, the Ukraine, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Croatia – Ivan

…in Estonia – Jaan

…in Israel – Yochanan

…in China (see named image)

…in the Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Morocco, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates – Yahya

…and, finally, in Armenia – Hovhannes

Clearly, when it comes to ideas from, literally, everywhere, Johnism has Planet Earth covered (I could’ve listed more countries, but my market research has determined that Scandinavia and most of Africa is a veritable lock for this idea). And that’s just the name John today. In the present. Let’s look to the past to get a bit of a sense of some of the more famous and “leadership-capable” Johns throughout history. This cross-section, when taken in an active historical manner, allows us to learn from the past as we plan for the future. The historical success of the name “John” logically determines that such success will continue into the future.

In no particular order, here are some Johns (multiple cultures acknowledged) of note:

Adams, John | Adams, John Quincy | Appleseed, Johnny | Ashcroft, John | Belushi, John | Bolton, John | Booth, John Wilkes | Brown, John | Cabot, John | Audubon, John J. | Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von | Gutenberg, Johannes | Peron, Juan | Swift, Jonathan | Yahya Khan | Yahya Jammeh | Swammerdam, Jan | Vermeer, Jan | Rousseau, Jean-Jacques | Favreau, Jon | Gosselin, Jon | Heder, Jon | Stewart, Jon | Carson, Johnny | Cash, Johnny | Depp, Johnny | Hart, Johnny | Horton, Johnny | Knoxville, Johnny | Unitas, Johnny | Cochran, Johnnie | Frakes, Jonathan | Franzen, Jonathan | Lethem, Jonathan | Rhys-Meyers, Jonathan | Calvin, John | Chretien, Jean | Kerouac, Jack | Nidetch, Jean | Piaget, Jean | Cage, John | Calhoun, John C. | Calvin, John | Candy, John | Cleese, John | Coltrane, John | Coolidge, Calvin | Cusack, John | Dalton, John | Daly, John | DeLorean, John | Dean, John | Denver, John | Dewey, John | Dillinger, John | Duns Scotus, John | Edward, John | Edwards, John | Ehrlichman, John | Flanagan, John | Ford, John | Fremont, John C. | Gillespie, Dizzy | Glenn, John | Goodman, John | Grisham, John | Hancock, John | Hanson, John | Hinckley, John Jr. | Holliday, John Henry “Doc” | Huston, John | Imus, Don | Jay, John | Karr, John Mark | Kasich, John | Keats, John | Kennedy, John F. | Kennedy, John Jr. | Kerry, John | Keynes, John Maynard | Krasinski, John | Le Carré, John | Legend, John | Lemmon, Jack | Lennon, John | Locke, John | Lord, Jack | Ivan the Terrible | Pavlov, IvanMacdonald, John A. | Madden, John | Malkovich, John | Marshall, John | Mayer, John | McCain, John | Mill, John Stuart | Milton, John | Muir, John | Newman, John Henry | Osbourne, Ozzy | Peel, John | Pershing, John J. | Phillips, John | Prester John | Proctor, John | Roberts, John G. | Rockefeller, John D. Sr. | Cherry, Jonathan | Singleton, John | Sousa, John Philip | Stanley, Henry Morton | Steinbeck, John | Stevens, John Paul | Tolkien, J.R.R. | Travolta, John | Tyler, John | Updike, John | Walker, John | Waters, John | Wayne, John | Williams, John | Woo, John | Wycliffe, John | Yoo, John | Yochanan ben Zakai | Pope John Paul II | John Evans | John Taylor

Political figures, writers, kingmakers, pirates, popes, entertainers, cowboys, revolutionaries, scientists, religious leaders, sex symbols. The name John/Johnny/Jonathan covers ‘em all and then some! Keep in mind this list doesn’t do justice to all the teachers, plumbers, architects, ninjas, fishers, businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, athletes, engineers, and community organizers who have made an impact on humanity but don’t appear on the list. Needless to say, if the past is any indication of the future (and it totally is) I think the world will be in good hands.

Does Kurt Heinrich support Johnism? Probably not, but he's giving a big "thumbs up" here!

Does Kurt Heinrich support Johnism? Probably not, but he's giving a big "thumbs up" here!

So, what are the tenets of Johnism? Well, they’re pretty similar to those of The Daily Gumboot. The ideology’s mandate is to “collect ideas from everywhere and use them to build community.” Other than that, no structure has been hammered out; however, should Johnism get picked up by the people of the planet, the upcoming Summit of John will see the collaborative development of a vision for the future and a strategic plan to carry it out. When it all comes together, I’m confident that you will be impressed. And, hey, people who aren’t Prime Ministers or Mayors or Aldermen or Premiers or Governors or Presidents or Ayatollahs or Dictators for Life or Directors get involved in their communities all the time in organic, contagious and meaningful ways. Just ask Paul Hawken. Like Paul, you folks not named John will totally have a role in the new way of doing things. We’re all part of the same team, after all.

Oh, one other thing. At this point the female readers are probably losing their minds (sorry, mom). Relax, ladies. Johnism is merely a well-thought-out selection process. As part of my very strong belief that women are smarter than men it should also be noted that each John will bring two women to the collaborative, visionary and strategic Summit of John [insert lewd comment here if you so choose]. For example, I will bring Michelle Burtnyk and Naomi Klein [again, insert lewd comment here if you so choose]. Savvy?

I don’t know about you, readers, but I find this all pretty exciting. And, really, what’s the alternative? Should we just exercise our collective voice in demonstrations of mass democracy in an effort to clean up our current social and political systems so they evoke an efficient, egalitarian and productive triple-bottom-line mandate that defines the true ideal of liberated human progress in a way that creates a healthy and happy global community in which we can all thrive? Man, that’s ridiculous!

Billy Shakes once asked, “what’s in a name?” As it turns out, a lot’s in a name. And the name is John. So, Johns, Ivans, Juans, Jeans, and Yahyas of the world: I look forward to working with you soon.

This has been from Aboard the Editor’s Pirate Ship. Thanks for your time.

Have fun with it!


15 thoughts on “Aboard the Editor’s Pirate Ship – Johnism

  1. Just for the record – I do not support Johnism. Further, I feel Johnism, like many other “isms” – discriminates against people named Kurt. Hence, we shall fight until the end to stop Johnist tyranny from taking over the world.

  2. I love this blog and the people who write for it!

    Quite right. As a female reader and three-quarters of the way through your post, I was losing my mind. And although you comment on how women are smarter than men, I have to say, it strikes me as a quick, smart-off the tongue quip designed to get you off the hook. Bringing two women to the table doesn’t strike me as equality (and the two women you’ve used as examples are excellent minds) – rather, it simply confirms that Johnism is really all about ‘Johns’ asserting their own choice.

    John- this has a lot of potential – you have a lot of potential – and now you’ve got a challenge – one that I know you’re up to – empower and equalize both the male and female identity in this proposal – maybe start with changing the language sans clever quips – something to explore in a future blog post.

    Keep up the good work, buddy!

  3. “Johns asserting their own choice.” Yes. Absolutely. That’s the main difference. The name “John” – as stated above – transcends everything. “Democracy” doesn’t. The political landscape needs more randomized, cross-societal shake-ups, rather than the same, tired – ahem – boys club that lives in the top social classes and continues to define global politics.

    And, please, a 2:1 female to male ratio in the world of global leadership totally and completely eclipses what we have now under a system of democracy that gives people like “Kurt” a vote. The fact that Johns choose them, again, is actually more democratic because they’ll be chosen from everywhere around the world. It’s just not fair for people not named John. I’m just saying…

    Still, point taken. I will go into further detail on the prominent role of women in Johnism in future posts.

    Kurt, what can I say? We’ll agree to disagree on this one. At least, when The Movement comes, I’ll know where you stand.

    Thanks for the amazing feedback and insight, readers.

    Your pal always,


  4. Hi John,

    Good post, a bit self serving, but that’s your style.

    One question: Wouldn’t Yochananism prioritize peoples from Judo-Christian backgrounds and converts in other parts of the world? I think most of you are names John because a few Yochanans play rather prominent roles in the Jesus story, dunking folks in water and spreading words and such. I just don’t know if a biblical name is the equitable foundation for this otherwise worthy political system.

    I also thinking Theo might have a point, but I’ll leave it to her to win that argument.

    Kurt, no system is going to support people named Kurt. Sorry, that is just the way of the world.

    Your biblically named friend,


  5. Self serving is right! Is this a joke? It must be a joke.

    It is well written, funny and made me think about the global laws of control, but I can’t buy into it. I think my frind and dad who are both named John will.

    And I kind of wish I was named John. How are you going to start this?

    - Pete

  6. While I revel at the idea of Christians doing Judo, I think there is more to your argument/criticism than disciples of JC shoulder-throwing non-believers like James Bond tosses henchmen. As an Historian, Jim, you should know well that language evolves over time – for example, the word “bored” didn’t even exist until the late nineteenth-century and, well, “gay” used to mean something totally different…but also the same as it does today. What began as part of a Jesus story has turned into something else entirely. A quick survey of parents who name their child John, Jens, Yahya, or Jean will tell you that the primary reason is to pay homage to an older family member, not because of the perpetuation of the Judeo-Christian story. I understand the symbolism you’re trying to link to the name, but, thing is, most people on the planet don’t. To quote another member of The Movement, John Laband, “you’re tilting at windmills, my friend.”

    Your acknowledgment of Johnism being inequitable for, say, giant political partners like India and China is a well taken point. Really, I could’ve called it “randomselectionofgloballeadershipbasedonthemostcommonnameofaregionand/orculture’spopulation” but, well, that wouldn’t fly for a couple of reasons:

    1. It’s just not marketable.
    2. I wanted to use my name and serve myself!

    You alluded to there being a science behind this and, well, there is. As we move forward, I’ll unravel some more of the complex issues of Johnism. For now, thanks for letting it sink in!

    As for Theo’s point and your support of it, I believe my main mistake was miscommunicating the idea through a glib tone which involved an allusion to my crush on Naomi Klein (I have a crush on Michelle, too). I can’t for the life of me grasp how a 2:1 ration of female to male global leadership is a bad thing. Looking forward to some ideas and explanation, though. Again, I won’t race through it next time and will provide some context and explanation of such complexities.

    Looking forward to this ongoing discussion, friends.

    - JCH

    PS – Pete, obviously one of the tenets of Johnism will be a “no name-changing” clause; sorry, pal.

  7. now I could really get behind randomselectionofgloballeadershipbasedonthemostcommonnameofaregionand/orculture’spopulationism
    it would make a wicked bumper sticker and/or button

  8. I love it.

    I have been following (and preaching) my own version of Johnism for several years now.

    I wonder if we now need to have a heated public spat to create offshoot branches of the religion?

    John B

  9. John. Couldn’t agree more.

    I’m not sure I’d call it a “religion”, but that’s part of the heated public spat, right?

    Glad to have you on board, good sir.

    See you at the Summit of Johns in February!

    John H

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