I spent an entire day watching 'Johny Johny' videos and achieved true enlightenment 2 years ago

I spent an entire day watching 'Johny Johny' videos and achieved true enlightenment


We are firmly in the midst of an epidemic.

The very fibre of what constitutes as humour is in turmoil. Nobody knows what's funny anymore. The line has been blurred beyond recognition. There's now a category of hilarity that is legitimately referred to as 'So unfunny that it's actually kind of funny'.

Enter, Johny Johny Yes Papa, a series of videos presumably although not verifiably aimed at children. The concept is offensively simple, whereby Johny is caught by his father eating sugar, denies the accusation and is ultimately proven to be a liar.

This whole debacle is peak 2018, as are think pieces, so I decided to sit down and watch these videos on a continuous loop for an entire working day (9 hours, which includes a 1 hour lunch break). Along the way I thoroughly lost my mind, but against all odds, somehow found it again.

Behold, my learnings from these perturbing videos which culminated in my reaching of true enlightenment.

If you want to get anywhere in life, you need to lie about everything

Put yourself in Johny's shoes, or lack thereof. You've just been caught topless on the kitchen floor shovelling sugar cubes into your toothless gob with the determined ferocity of a horse that needs to gain the maximum amount of weight possible in a very short space of time for an upcoming movie role. You've been exposed. Your secret addiction laid bare for all to see. So what are your options here?

  • Lie through your yet to present themselves teeth
  • Pretend you're sleepwalking and therefore sleepeating
  • Cry uncontrollably
  • Refuse to acknowledge your Grandfather's accusations
  • Take a moment to gather yourself, figuring out how you've ended up in this embarrassing situation
  • Shit yourself, putting your diaper to good use
  • In an attempt to lighten the mood, laugh

Easily, the best choice here is to laugh about it. After all, you're a baby. Babies laughing is an irrefutably cute thing. A baby could murder me, then start laughing and all would be forgiven, especially if it had the ability to distinctly pronounce 'Ha ha ha'. No family member can stay mad at an adorable laughing baby.

On a deeper level, laughter is the key to true happiness. You can trick yourself into feeling certain emotions by pretending you're already experiencing them. How do actors make themselves cry on command? They pretend they are crying. How do you fall asleep at night? You pretend you're already asleep until your body is tricked into doing so. Basically, if you want to achieve anything in life, fake it.


Unfortunately, the truth will always find a way out

Have you ever seen that video of twins when they're put to bed? They build a goddamn pillow fort and then just sit there staring at each other for ages, until their parents come in and put them to bed for the second time. Little sneaks cannot be trusted. Sure, Johny is a fictional baby, but he's also a menace to society. Luckily, his motivations at present extend solely to food, but once he gets an appetite for crime or worse, anime, Papa is going to struggle to contain his thirst for adventure.

You cannot trust a baby, ever. They haven't got the brain capacity to be loyal, not yet. But what you can do is mould them into being precisely what you desire, all you need is some determination. Papa is fully aware that his child has been eating sugar, he can see it. But he gives the baby a chance to confess first. In a fully expected move, the baby denies everything. It's the act of opening his mouth that exposes Johny to be a liar. On a spiritual level, this is firm proof that the truth will always emerge, regardless of you attempts to conceal it, you big dumb baby.


Food shaming - the ultimate expression of love?

What's so wrong with eating? We have to do it to survive, it is literally a matter of life and death. Yet all it takes to put you off your seventh chocolate bar of the day is an overfamiliar coworker remarking 'Eating again?' and eyeing up the pile of rubbish your desk has accumulated, which is an apt metaphor for the quality of your work these days. Anyway, how dare Lucy from accounts comment on your life. Similarly, how dare Papa food shame Johny every time he tries to sate his unquenchable baby appetite.

In one video, Papa is giving out to his wife for eating pizza. Granted, she was eating an entire pizza to herself without offering anyone else in the house, which is an incredibly selfish act. But still, let the woman eat. You're going to give her a complex, Papa. She's going to spend the rest of his life eating in secret, fearing that someone will force her to open his mouth for proof of his indiscretions. You married her for better and for worse, in sickness and in health. Yes, her sharing abilities could use an overhaul, but love can defy anything. Love is all that matters, not food shaming. Let your wife eat in peace. Stop food shaming her, instead, start smothering her, with love.


Treat others (kitchen appliances included) how you want others to treat you

Not only are fridges sentient, they are filthy rotten liars as well. You might think you've got milk in the fridge when you're in a suitable establishment where milk is available for purchase, but when you get home, it will no longer be there. How has this happened? Has your mind tricked you? Unlikely. What's a more plausible explanation here is that your refrigerator has discarded the milk carton in a malicious act to assert its dominance over you. Disrespect it and your yoghurts will prematurely turn sour. Coincidence? I have lost my mind. These videos are insane.

In the instance pictured above, the fridge was lying about not having any sauces. It later transpired that it was indeed full to the brim with sauce, along with sass, mischief and disrespect for its owners. Why would a fridge lie about its contents? What could it possibly gain from this? Well, I have reason to believe that this fridge is the victim of ill treatment. Its owners aren't mopping up spills, they haven't defrosted the freezer in years, they're even trying to store ice cream cones in the goddamn fridge. It's chaos. The fridge is fighting back and you know what? I support it. We need to take better care of each other, especially our appliances. They feel things, just like you and I. Treat others and objects how you would like them to treat you.


Never change yourself for someone else

At this stage during my journey through time and space via Johny Johny videos, I realised that they had, at some point during the creative process, decided to rebrand. The graphics became trippy and resembled a college project. Nothing made sense, much like life itself. In a way, we're all rebranding ourselves constantly. We mould our personalities to suit certain situations. At work, you're making small adjustments to curtail your authentic self depending on whether you're in a meeting, chatting with your boss or simply catching up on your colleagues' weekend activities during lunchtime.

Fundamentally, that's bizarre. We shouldn't have to dull our respective sparkles pertinent to the situations in which we find ourselves. Who are we trying to impress? If the Johny Johny team felt their message would be better put across due to an overhaul of their graphics, that shows a real lack of confidence in their purpose. Would Martin Luther King's message have been disregarded if he wore a monocle? Or a toupée? Image means nothing. It's what's inside that counts. Johny Johny still tells lies whether he's in 240p or full 1080p full HD resolution. Do not amend yourself for anyone. You are enough.


Babies are just tiny drunk people, but also very good?

They can't stand up properly, they wear the most bizarre combination of clothes, they're always spilling things and knocking stuff over and they're obsessed with food. The above baby has a thinning hairline and he hasn't even learned how to pay taxes yet. They are a comical species, one that cannot control their bowels nor do they particularly want to. We must respect babies more than we respect ourselves, for they are good and pure and still see the good in everything. They still have a chance to make this world a better place.

So why, then, does Papa take such a firm stance with his dear boy Johny? Is it tough love or overprotective parenting? Is he projecting his insecurities and failures onto his own flesh and blood, determined to prevent him from making the same mistakes in life, the main one being gluttony? Perhaps Papa suffered health complications from an imbalanced diet and can't stand the thought of his child experiencing the same fate, I thought, as I entered hour seven of this absurd task. Then Papa gave out to his son for eating a nutritious sandwich, and I went back to square one again. These videos are excruciating.


Elderly people, although sometimes garbage, deserve undying respect

Papa's Dad or Grandpapa, if you will, was stuffing his face with what appeared to be a jar of fruit scones, AS IS HIS GOD-GIVEN RIGHT. Rather than leaving the man to gorge himself in peace, Papa was hot on his tails since he has firmly established himself as the Food Police. He was berating poor Grandad for eating a bit, when the man is in the prime of his life and has surely earned the right to do as he pleases.

The whole family chimed in, giving Grandpapa a hard time for having a quick bite. Their judgemental eyes weighed heavy on a man that had to lie his way out of a tricky situation. What ever happened to having respect for our elders? Simply turning a blind eye to their indiscretions and allowing them to go about their business in whatever manner they see fit. Sure, that is precisely how the housing market collapsed, but at least everyone felt respected while it was happening. Bring back respecting our elders. They build this godforsaken land, the least they deserve is to spend their final days without the weight of societal and familial expectations resting heavily upon them. Be nice to everyone, ffs.


Food is the one thing that will truly unite us all

The whole premise of Johny Johny videos is about people eating food behind their family members' backs. That's the main plot point of every excerpt I watched, painfully, over the course of an entire working day. Regardless of the implications of this mentality for Johny in later life, at our very core, we are all alike. Food is the one thing that connects us all, even to animals and sea creatures and Tories. We all need food to survive. Sugary food, savoury food, spicy food. Food.

Think of your enemies, their stubborn ways that irritate you to the point of insanity. Well, they sit down and enjoy a meal every morning, lunchtime and night, just like you. Despite your differences, they too need sustenance to survive. Perhaps Papa is trying to create a hardened family, one that can withstand starvation. They are breaching his admittedly strict training conditions every time they eat and he will not raise a family of quitters. This man is a hero. He will withstand the impending apocalypse, along with his family if they get their act together. His seemingly rash actions are born out of love. He wants them to survive.


Don't waste time hating things because we're all going to die :)

Throughout the course of the day, I questioned everything about my existence. Why I'd undertaken this unnecessary task, was this how I saw my life panning out, whether I was putting my Masters to good use. But I stopped myself, drowning out the negative thoughts and focussing solely on the matter at hand. Do the Johny Johny videos serve a higher purpose in the world, or are they merely a means of entertaining children?

That's when I figured it out. Nothing matters. Literally nothing. We're all going to die. Some sooner than others, but none of us are going to escape the inevitability of our impending mortality. With that perspective, what purpose does Johny Johny serve? Honestly, none. But it has united countless internet users across the world for the briefest of moments. In the grand scheme of things, will we remember the intricacies of this food shaming family, or will we simply remember the feeling of being involved in something bizarre but quite funny?

I do not care about this ugly family with their weird hair and questionable fashion choices. I do not care that they are obsessed with preventing each other from eating, in some sadistic game whereby death by starvation is the ultimate price to pay for obeying the house rules. All I know is that it took my attention away from all the garbage things happening in the world right now, even just for a couple of hours. Johny Johny has realigned my spirituality and provided me with some real insight into this confusion we call life. Nothing matters. Don't get annoyed over things you can't change. Waste your life making memes if that's what ignites your soul. Eat in front of your parents even if they forbid it. Be whoever you are. Lie through your teeth if it makes you feel good. Life is too short to conform to nonsense rules. Namaste.



Images via LooLoo Kids