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Peter Clothier
Peter Clothier is an internationally-known novelist, art critic, and blogger. A student of Theravada Buddhism, Peter hopes to use his online platforms to integrate compassion, non-attachment, and political engagement into our contemporary discourse, even as he gradually integrates those same qualities into his own life.

In addition to his Huffington Post blog, you can find Peter's work on his daily blog, The Buddha Diaries and his monthly podcast, The Art of Outrage.

Entries by Peter Clothier

'The Voices' by Michael Dennis Browne: An Appreciation

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 12:39 AM

I learned two things in personal conversations with Michael Dennis Browne (and probably a lot more, but these two stand out!) for both of which I'm grateful. The first, many years ago, at the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, was the adage that I still repeat quite often when I'm...

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Brian Ransom: Art Review

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 5:42 PM

I had not previously been aware of Brian Ransom's ceramic works until I came upon a recent series yesterday at Couturier Gallery. More's the pity. I have missed out. The artist -- and, not incidentally, musician -- has been exhibiting widely for more than three decades, though not in Southern...

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No Bird? A Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 5:57 PM

In this story, Whiplash, jazz teacher Terrence Fletcher nurses a core belief in the myth that it was only after escaping decapitation by a cymbal thrown in anger at his head that Charlie Parker became the Bird. That it was out of this ultimate threat to...

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Jim Morphesis 'Wounds of Existence': Art Review

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 5:37 PM

The word "baroque" kept returning to my mind as I walked through the exhibition "Jim Morphesis: Wounds of Existence" at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. In part, it's the sheer, intense, sometimes massively over-the-top materiality of many of these "paintings," with their surfaces of nailed...

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Leave Them to It: Some Geopolitical Reflections

(6) Comments | Posted February 7, 2015 | 10:43 AM

It's a tempting response to the latest act of barbarism in the Middle East, especially in the wake of the unending violence of sect upon sect, tribe upon tribe, nation upon nation: Leave them to it. I've heard the sentiment expressed by a good number of friends, and by intelligent...

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Night Will Fall: Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 1:37 PM

I have been wanting to write about Night Will Fall, aired last week on HBO. It's a documentary about a documentary. The original, produced by Sidney Bernstein for the British Psychological Warfare Division in 1945, had the working title, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey -- a...

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(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 8:59 PM

A good half-century after it started, Roland Reiss's career continues to surprise and delight in a new exhibition at Diane Rosenstein gallery. The last time I caught up with this artist's work, a couple of years ago, he was already painting, um... flowers -- a bold, provocative gesture, fraught with...

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Ashes Rain Down: A Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 6:07 PM

We are in Southern California, in years not very far hence. We are not post, but rather, let's say, mid-apocalypse. Not the cataclysmic event of "science fiction," it is in process, happening, very slowly, all around us. "Over there" is perpetual warfare, of the kind that seems already to have...

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Mark Strand

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 5:38 PM

My friend Mark Strand died last week at the age of 80. I say "my friend" not because we were close. We were not. But because he was once a good friend to me at a moment when I needed one. I can say without exaggeration that he changed my...

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'Rosewater': A Film Review

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2014 | 7:37 PM

I'm sorry, Jon Stewart. I'm really sorry because I love your Daily Show. I love that your satire holds the feet of politicians to the fire. But your film... well, someone needs to say this: it's not what it's cracked up to be. I think that, because you're "Jon Stewart,"...

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Men and War: Art Review

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 3:40 PM

There's a stunning exhibition of paintings by the early 20th century American artist Marsden Hartley at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


The fact that this substantial body of work spans only two years, from 1913 to 1915,...

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The Political Schtick: Theater Review

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 5:28 PM

In New York last week, I made it a point (no pun intended!) to see "Tail! Spin!", a hilarious political satire on our wayward politicians and their penises. You'll remember Anthony Wiener's infamous--and virally viewed--selfie ("I was hacked," he moaned); and Larry Craig's "wide stance" in the airport men's room;...

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A Mystery Solved? Art Review

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 7:08 PM

Amelia Earhart buffs might be surprised to learn that the remains of her aircraft, widely reported to have gone down off Howland Island in the South Pacific, made it all the way across the Pacific Ocean to the Santa Monica Bay, where it was only recently rediscovered and...

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Wounded Leaders: Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 3:33 PM

Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion, by Nick Duffell.

First, don't assume from this book's subtitle that is irrelevant to us here in America, or to our leadership. It is of vital relevance, no matter the specificity of his argot. Nick Duffell's title will have resonance...

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(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 5:30 PM

Reading Matt Bai's recent article about Gary Hart in the New York Times Magazine (Sunday, September 21, 2014) brought to mind how the rash, naughty-boy action of a mindless moment could alter the course of history. Back in April, 1987, Hart had a commanding, quite possibly insuperable lead...

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The Making of Them: TV Documentary Review (belated)

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2014 | 2:39 PM

I revisited my childhood yesterday. I have been reading Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion, a recent book by Nick Duffel, (I'll have more to say about the book in a later post) and came across a reference to a video made in 1994 for the...

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Valley Vista

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2014 | 2:33 PM

I drove out yesterday with the artist Gary Lloyd to California State University Northridge to see their current exhibition, "Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley ca. 1970-1990." I wrote a "preview" about Chomsky's Vessel, the Gary Lloyd piece selected for the show, and wanted to see...

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Boyhood: Not Exactly a Film Review

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:51 PM

(for Luka, a bit later in his life)

I woke this morning thinking about Barack Obama, and how perfectly he fits the model of manhood proposed by Rudyard Kipling in his unjustly maligned and frequently parodied poem "If." In case you don't remember it, here's how it starts out:

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Midnight in Europe: Book Review

(1) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 8:56 PM

I've been a fan of Alan Furst ever since receiving a copy of The Foreign Correspondent as a birthday present from my son. I wrote a review in The Buddha Diaries and, checking back in the archives, I see that it was in August, 2007. I've...

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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 12:18 PM

It's summer reading time for The Buddha Diaries. I just finished this (mostly) entertaining mystery novel by Joel Dicker...

Imagine you're doing a jig-saw puzzle. Do you do jig-saws? I enjoy the challenge but they eat up so much time that I rarely allow myself the pleasure, except...

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