Passion Fruit: The best of


THE PAST TEN YEARS have borne witness to two landmark events in the realm of publishing, each of which rocked the industry oligarchy, changing the landscape in ways we are only now beginning to understand.

The first was the introduction of desktop publishing on the Macintosh. In the mid-1980s, for the first time since Gutenberg, it became possible for a single person to fashion their words into publications of professional quality. But while this freeing of minds unleashed thousands of new publishers and writers upon the world, it suffered from traditional distribution restrictions – large amounts of capital were still required to move one's words to the reader.

Today, with the development of the web, the final barrier has come down. Ideas in the mind of the writer can now move directly to the reader with little more hindrance than that required to type. Physical location is unimportant – that vast gulf separating the minds of writer and reader has been bridged.

For the first time since Gutenberg, desktop publishing made it possible for a single person to fashion their words into publications of professional quality.

One of the most important aspects of the web is its democratizing effect. Among the biggest problems with traditional publishing is that even the most mundane and banal document required a J.P. Getty-esque pile of dough. Since cash is traditionally something the disenfranchised classes are short of, that kept the reins of gab in the mitts of the rich and powerful. If your opinions differed from that of the tight-collar crowd, they were squelched. No more. The rise of the web means that, today, all have the chance to play Randolph Hearst for a day. This present site is an example.

Rejection slips

In my brief writing career, I have more rejection slips than Bill Clinton has mistresses, but I have yet to have an editor reject any of my writings with the comment that they were not well-written, or did not educate or entertain the reader. Instead, in most cases they resulted from the fear of upsetting magazine owners. A typical session went like this:

  1. Editor receives article.
  2. Editor rejects article because Hughes refers to a military government as "raving bunch of toad-licking acid casualties on serious Stalin binge."
  3. Hughes asks editor how he/she would describe that government.
  4. Editor answers: "Raving bunch of toad-licking acid casualties on Stalin binge."
  5. Hughes asks why he can't say that in print.
  6. Editor answers: "Because magazine owner is trying to sell lava lamps and military is biggest customer."

Since anyone on the web can play the part of publisher, censorship is now a moot point.

The Devil unchained

You get the picture, but are probably wondering what it has to do with the web? Well, since anyone can now play the part of publisher, censorship is a moot point. And the Richard Hughes/RWH Publishing & Books web site is a case in point. Within these pages you will find my writings on gems & gemology, many of which are appearing uncut, uncensored for the first time. With each article I have added a short afterword that lists bibliographic information on where it first appeared and personal notes of interest.

But this site is not simply a static shell. It lives! As I write new things, I will post them here first, in all their uncut glory. So here you have it. For the first time ever, the Devil unchained (but certainly not unplugged). I hereby dedicate this site to the reader, whom no writer can do without. You will find a contact form on the site. Feel free to leave your comments. As for editors whom might be passing through, also feel free to leave your droppings. But just remember, now I get to wield the red pen.



This site may not be for the sensitive. If you are disturbed by images such as large winged rubydicks, or if no-holds-barred discussion of issues such as religion, politics and the effiacy of feng shui put your panties in a whirl, by all means, change the station. This is a pablum-free zone.

The morality involved at is not that of fake injury, only the genuine article…


This site is about idea exchange, give and take, the construction/destruction of ideas. It is not about the tearing down of personalities. Nothing is personal here. Morality? Only the real type. If Bill Clinton wants to sleep with Hillary, Monica, his cat Socks or the three of them together, so long as it is consensual, I do not regard it as immoral. The "morality" involved at is not that of fake injury, only the genuine article, that of the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, do no physical harm to others or their property. Everything else is fair game.

Treasonous reasons

Nothing is sacred at Only ideas are special. Good ideas. And for an idea to be elevated to the pantheon, it must withstand the scrutiny of others. If you think my ideas unworthy, feel free to say so. Just allow me the same privilege. All ideas are up for grabs, for praise and disdain. Let the best stand, but let all ideas stand in front of public scrutiny. And let those that don't pass muster be torn to pieces. Allow me to attack the ideas of Jesus, Lucifer, Mohammed, Hitler, Ne Win, Buddha, Stalin, Martin Luther King, Clinton, Chavalit, Reagan, Nixon and anyone else with equal abandon. I am an equal-opportunity offender. Just remember, it is ideas under attack, not personalities. So have at it. Right, wrong, let them all fall down. Let only the good take the beating and climb back up.

Richard W. Hughes

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Page updated 25 May, 2010