VALLEY VISTA

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

THE MAKING OF THEM: TV Documentary Review (belated)

I revisited my childhood yesterday.  I have been readingWounded 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

BOYHOOD: Not Exactly a Film Review

(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

MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE: Book Review

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 Dairies and, checking back in the archives, I see that

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR: Book Review

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

A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: Book Review

As a product, myself, of the privileged British boarding school/Oxbridge education system, I know a thing or two about the stiff upper lip, the Old School ethic, and loyalty.  The upside is what used to be, at least, the best

INVISIBLES: Book Review

There’s a formulation I use when I ask myself why I write–or why I continue to write well past my realistic “shelf-life” as a writer: it’s because this is what I am given to do.  That I continue to ask

RICHARD BRULAND and SOPHIA DIXON DILLO: Art Review

Those who favor a meditative kind of art could do no better than a visit to the current dual exhibition at Lora Schlesinger Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.  The front gallery offers a selection of recent paintings by

THE OTHER BLACKLIST: A Very Personal Book Review

I’m reading The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s, by Mary Helen Washington with special interest because of the work I did back in the early 1980s on a study of the artist, Charles

CHOMSKY’S VESSEL: Art Preview

I’m pleased to note that Gary Lloyd’s 1978 work, “Chomsky’s Vessel,” will once again be on public display in “Valley Vista,” a group show curated by Damon Willick and opening in August at CSU Northridge.  I wrote about this particular

ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW: Book Review

Nathaniel Rich has a fine sense of the apocalyptic absurd–its comical as well as its dark side.  Odds Against Tomorrow sets us in the not-so-distant future, in a world where the threat of global climate change has become all too

MISADVENTURES…

… of a Parenting Yogi is the title Brian Leaf gives to his new book, whose subtitle is “Cloth Diapers, Cosleeping, and My (Sometimes Successful) Quest for Conscious Parenting.”  Together, the title and subtitle pretty much say it all.  It’s a humorous