Posts Tagged ‘Friends


Project: Human Barrier Deconstruction IV

I am proud to announce another superb contribution to the Human Barrier Deconstruction project. Christine, the author of the cognition-provoking blog, all the elbows, was kind enough to posit her thoughts for my loosely defined initiative.

I consider myself fortunate that Christine and I crossed Internet paths. She has a delicately poised light and darkness composition that mirrors my Earthly experience. I consider Christine a fellow universal consciousness enlightening traveler. This is from her blog:

i want to be a ballerina pointy toed graceful
perky ones maybe an astronaut into the sky
burrow up find God president of the united
states no more war everyone eats and has a
a doctor? save lives cure rickets a
poison minds a model ugly will be
the new beatiful
i will be beautiful in my ugly
a mother mutha fucker patient and kind
cookies always on hand and a lacy apron
a soldier buffalo soldier soldier of P E A C E a
good friend
happy wife i’ll have a garden filled
with taller than usual snapdragons and violas
bumble bees ladybugs holy virgin clean sky
sky sky blue and so on

when i grow up-

Here is Christine’s contribution to the project:

When Johnny Peepers began Operation Human Barrier Deconstruction, i was very excited. Those who’ve contributed thus far have impressed me greatly and i secretly wondered how i could contribute. When he asked me i was excited- and arrogant.

i thought i would be able to whip something out quick and easy, as i have many thoughts about how screwed up and senseless the world can be. i thought, thought, thought, but each time i attempted to write something, i froze up.

The thing is, i was- am- distrustful of people. i fear them, the many ways i can hurt them, ways they may hurt me. That is my human barrier. And i am thinking that perhaps many people in this world operate from distrust.

i think, try to believe and practice, the idea of folks as individuals. i like to think that i take people one at a time, doling out benefit of the doubt. i bumped into this while trying to come up with something good, worthwhile, meaningful for Johnny. i’m thinking maybe i don’t practice this as much as i’d hoped.

So all that’s led me to this- in order for me to connect with people on a human level, beyond skin or genitals, appearance or status, sexuality or location- i must set aside fear. i must take a chance and trust. i have to make a conscious effort to find all that is common amongst us, what unites us, what we all share.

Ruminating, i found and discarded many things. i attempted to be positive. Laughter, i thought. All people cherish laughter, but then i thought of people who live in constant fear of being bombed, losing their sons and daughters, people not knowing when their next meal will be. Folks in such circumstances might not be interested in laughing. i thought hope is something all people share, but hope has become a cliché to many, a joke, some lofty, far off la-la-land kind of sentiment so many’ve lived without it. God? Yeah right. People kill one another in the name of this god or that god.

i wanted something universal. And i was brought back to the idea of fear. i know that sounds totally negative and in direct opposition to the purpose of Johnny’s mission. i thought so too, at first. Fear motivates humans to do unspeakable things, to hide, hurt, maim. But think about it a little more, and though it is sad, it is something we’ve all experienced- everyone of us- and it is something we can help one another through. Realizing that we all experience this may, if we allow it, may arouse in us compassion, empathy and understanding.

The need to be loved and understood also unite us as humans. Even when some of us do terrible things, there is a longing to be known, understood. Knowing that many are afraid of being hurt and making an effort to reach out, to understand, to learn others, can change the world i think, can melt away the fear.

i wish that, pray that; hope for a world in which we could go beyond the superficial, below the skin, over the borders, through the miasma of propaganda to the marrow, the rich valleys, to the clear sky of human spirit and freedom. True freedom- a desire in which we are also united. Not license, but freedom.

Gosh. This sounds so good to me. i can almost taste it. How though? How? i begin with me and you. i’ve revealed my mediocrity of thought, my fairytale idea- my dark fairytale. It probably sounds stupid. i’m afraid of doing Operation Human Barrier Deconstruction a disservice, but i take this chance because what unites us and what i wish to unite us are different. i wish peace to connect us. i wish that love did.

(copyright 2008 ) c A Hughes


Project: Human Barrier Deconstruction III

The Human Barrier Deconstruction Project is an ongoing campaign designed to educate and enlighten one another about our universal similarities, needs, and aspirations (see Part I and Part II). The ultimate aim is to break down the false barriers and artificial mental constructs that humans use to compartmentalize and divide one another.

Nono is a 21-years-old Muslim-Sarawakian-Malay young lady from Malaysia. She is a mechatronics engineering student studying at International Islamic University.

Nono possesses many endearing and kind qualities. Her outlook on life is refreshing and innocent, while projecting a spirit of compassion and understanding beyond her years. I am very grateful to Nono for taking the time to write about her life, country, and views for this effort. Her blog is I am Myself Again.

Nono writes:

I am living in a country with a multiracial mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other native races such as Iban, Kadazan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Bajau and etc (a lot to mention here). I am living in a country that has undergone a complete and rapid metamorphosis in every aspect of its people’s lives (be it in the sector of economic, political, social and cultural). I am living in a country that has a lot of interesting places that will definitely appeal to visitors. I am living in a country that offers a wide range of delicious cuisines, such as Malay, Chinese, Nyonya, Indian, Iban, and even Thai’s cuisines. I am living in a country called Malaysia.

Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that I am a Muslim and I am Malay. In Malaysia, our official religion is Islam and our official language is Bahasa Melayu (Malay language). But those from different religions can practice their religion freely without any restrictions. The same goes for the languages too.

Living in a multiracial country has taught me to be more aware with anything that I do, whether it is in the form of action or words. This is because each and everyone who is living in my country may have different sensitivities, therefore, each and everyone needs to adapt with that. In addition, I am living in a country surrounded by people, Muslims and non Muslims, whereby religious issues do really matter to everyone. Although sometimes we do have some problems associated with races and religions, but alhamdulillah, we are still able to live together in this harmonious atmosphere. I am really in awe because of the toleration, understandings, and respects of all Malaysians. From the bottom of my heart, Malaysia is a place that I couldn’t wish anywhere better to live in this world. I realize that I am being very excited here. I am not trying to make an exaggerated claim about my country or about my people. I am just proud to be Malaysian. 😉

In Malaysia, we celebrate Chinese New Year, Eid Fitri, Deepavali, Gawai Dayak, Christmas, and some other big festivals (a lot to mention here). Every year, the spirits of celebration exist during the major festive season of all religions and races, without discrimination and hatred. Instead, everyone is very supportive and excited about it! As one of my friends wrote in her blog, it is so rare in today’s world to see a melting pot of culture and to have everyone be understanding and supportive about this matter. Don’t you think it is a very good thing?

Probably, the understanding that we have here in Malaysia may be used to break down the mental barriers and artificial mental constructs that humans use to compartmentalize and divide each other as aimed by Johnny. Who knows?

But personally to me, in order to achieve the mutual understandings with each other, we need to have freedom in our thought. We should not pride ourselves in our thoughts and opinions, as it may lead to personal judgments, which are more weighted to one party benefits, and leads the other party to terror. We should think for the sake of all because we are all the same. One more thing, it is not enough to say that you should be good and fair to all. You should show it.

In a nutshell, human beings share the same nature at which it indicates innocent, liking the good and hating the bad. All humans like moderation while extremism is abnormal to the human nature. We are not only responsible to ourselves and our people, but to other people as well, because they are also human beings just like you, who likes moderation.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream. Not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France

Do you know Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad? Let me just give you a clue here. He is the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia. I adore him very much because of his sharp tongue and mind. I adore him because of the way he treasured our beloved Malaysia with his assertiveness-professionalism-brainpower. I adore him because of the way he spread his words about Islam and the Muslims in a simple, direct and respectable manners especially to the westerners. To me, he is super intelligent.

He is the man who makes what Malaysia is today.

I wasn’t planning on writing anything specific in this entry, as I have no experience in writing something serious or something formal. I could not even think about the suitable things that I should write for this project though. So, I would like to apologize in advance and I really hope you enjoy my writing. 😉


MTV, Teenage Suicide, and a Girl from China

I was a wide-eyed impressionable youngster at the beginning of the MTV generation. A clicky little brown cable box would transport exotic sights and sounds to my buddy Danny’s house. My first experience with MTV and music videos was sitting in Danny’s den struggling to make sense of this new media music-pimping creation.

The neighborhood kids would congregate daily at Danny’s house and watch the newest offerings from RATT, Twisted Sister, and ZZ Top. Since my family was too poor (and Christian) to have MTV at our house, I would absorb my devil music indoctrination across the tracks. Years later, the Satanic music that Danny loved so much was a contributing cause to his teenage suicide.

Danny had a rough life. He had a short fuse and liked to torture animals to let off steam. He lived with his grandmother (who represented herself as his mother). She told Danny that his father was a lumberjack who died when a tree fell on him (in an act of Karmic forest retribution). His real mum actually lived next door to him, but Danny was told that she was his sister. She was a martial arts expert and was married to a muddle-headed Lou Ferrigno look-alike. It is complicated I know.

I suspect that his mom (pretend sister) became pregnant at an early age by a naughty fella with sweaty palms and an tingling rod of boy-meat. The maternal deception was created so the neighbors wouldn’t ostracize the family on moral or religious grounds. The Kingdom of Heaven is denied to those who satisfy their carnal urges at a young age, especially if the lusty endeavor produces a sin-child. Sadly, my pearly gate entry has been precluded due to sexual self-abuse. When I was 11, I throttled the one-eyed milkman on my parents bed will ogling Marsha Brady on the telly.

Like me, Danny had a bevy of teenage psychological problems. One of his favorite games was lining up large rocks on the railroad tracks behind his house in the hopes that the train would derail. Other times, we would meet at the designated train arrival time and try to take out the conductor with rocks. Of course, that was when we were both young and relatively innocent. I later graduated to high-level felony property damage, arson, and pellet gun sniping. Danny moved onto to devil worship, grave-robbing, and Russian roulette.

I did not have a lot of contact with Danny when he hit his mid-teens. He got involved in the heavy metal scene – donning trench coats and black boots (ala Colombine killers Klebold and Harris). At night he would rob graves for skulls and bones to decorate his room with. I was deeply entrenched in the skater culture and happily filled my days vandalizing curbs, benches, and hand-rails. Danny morphed into the silent brooding type jamming to Guns and Roses and Metallica endlessly.

Danny was sent off to boot camp by his grandmother to straighten him out. He was home for a visit and pleaded desperately not to be sent back. As a kid, Danny would have explosive outbursts and make threats about this or that, but would never follow through. He made good on his last one. Since his mum wouldn’t waver on shipping him back off, he sat on his bed and removed his head with a shotgun blast.

Back to MTV.

I vividly remember David Bowie’s video for “China Girl”. It was pretty heavy for 1983. Around that time, you had David lee Roth exhibiting his high-kick gyrations, Michael Jackson was leading zombie parades, and the Talking Heads were threatening Americans with domestic arson. The song stuck out a bit from the typical sex-drugs-rock and roll MTV blueprint. It was arty and sensual – concepts that I had not been exposed to.

China Girl was written with Iggy Pop during their West Berlin days in the late 70’s. The video was banned in many countries due to its adult themes and partial nudity. It garnered Bowie the title of Best Male Video at the 1984 Video Music Awards. As a kid, this video put me in a trance whenever it came on the tube. Bowie’s delivery is haunting.

Here is my favorite lyric from China Girl:

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow

Visions of swastikas in my head

Plans for everyone

It’s in the white of my eyes


Project: Human Barrier Deconstruction II

This installment of Human Barrier Deconstruction honors an extremely gifted writer/blogger named Veronica Romm. As a young girl, Veronica, and members of her family, left Russia for the United States.

This is from her About Me page:

I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1973 and my family bravely immigrated to the states in 1979. We arrived in Brooklyn, Brighton Beach to be precise, with all the other Russian immigrants hungry for the American Dream. Unfortunately the Cold War was still in full swing and my arrival was met with some rather harsh tormenting and teasing. Good news, it made me a stronger kid and taught me very quickly the ways of the world. Perhaps because of this early experience I am always rooting for the underdog, and am sensitive to injustice in all areas.

Her blog is entitled Who knew, and comes highly recommended. Her depth of understanding and insight into the human experience initially captured my attention. Veronica was very supportive of Johnny Peepers in the shaky leg days of Dillsnap Cogitations. For that I am eternally grateful.

Below is her blog entry detailing her abandonment of the old life in exchange for the new.

Goodbye Leningrad

A little girl I am whisked away. All together, Mama, Papa and Babushka (grandma) board a plane to who knows where. We all land safely, on some ground. I ask “Is this where we are moving to?”

“No, dear not yet, this is where we wait.” I am told.

Wait? Alright then, it is a lovely place. Near the beach we stay with Senora Maria. They don’t speak my language here, I quickly realize. They speak Italian, we are in Lodispoli, somewhere south of Rome, Mama tells me. There are children there and they are friendly, we play outside, mostly on the beach and I learn “ciao” and many new words as I play each day. I understand them soon enough and they laugh when I say something funny in Italian but they help me and I learn.

Three months fly by and the wait is over, we must board another plane. Babushka is tired and somewhat ill; she seems scared as mama and papa explain that we have the “Visa’s” whatever those are, but they are happy so I know it must be a good thing. As the plane lands safely once again I ask “Is this where we are going to live?” Mama says yes while busy making sure our parcels are all there.

There are very few parcels, and I was only allowed to bring my favorite doll, just one. I left the rest behind with my best friend, Katya. She seemed happy but still cried that morning when we left. She knew we would not see each other again; she was older than I and much cleverer.

So there we are in a very busy airport once again, waiting. Suddenly I am whisked into the arms of a beautiful young girl. She hugs me as black tears rush down her face. Mama is confused but I know this girl, it is Marina my only cousin. Mama is shocked she has grown so much, a woman she is and they hug and cry. Bella and George my Totya (aunt) and Dadya (uncle) are there too. Everyone is crying, but not me, it’s too exciting with all the commotion.

I hold Babushkas hand as we walk through “JFK” and it is a long walk for her. She is tired, very tired and I want to leave this place with all the strange people speaking another language I don’t understand. Marina speaks it well and I laugh when I learn my first word, “OK”. Everything is “ok” as we get into the van with our parcels and everyone in the van together. Mama and Bella keep crying and laughing, they act strange and nervous but I am OK. We are on our way to our new house, it is May 10, 1979 and it is hotter than I have ever felt before.

Johnny Peepers

----> is a socio-pathetic degenerate with a penchant for cheap booze, ruphy-laden broads, and dim sum soup.


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