Book Review and Interview: The Real Bush Diaries
Author Peter Clothier offers a unique perspective on George Bush Jr., than all the rest of the Bush-bashing books, which began as a blog by the same name.
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiently or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
--- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th President of the USA (1901-1909)
BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW: THE REAL BUSH DIARIES
Helen Thomas, the White House reporter of every Presidential administration from Kennedy onward to Bush Jr, whom she called the "the worst President ever," expressed a sentiment that the majority of Americans share, but many are too afraid to mention their discontent, for fear of reprisal. Likewise, many books have been written about 'Bush the Liar,' 'Bush the Tongue-Twisted,' and even in one book, Bush Jr's psychological state was analyzed.
Among the hundreds of books published about Bush Jr. in the last six years, the one missing perspective was that of the AVERAGE JOE, the EVERYMAN.
In THE REAL BUSH DIARIES, Peter Clothier provides this perspective, with some downright interesting results. In this book, Clothier says the things that many are thinking, but are too afraid to mention, out of fear.
He tackles the problems of the Drug War, and the illegality of marijuana, honesty and lies, fear, depravity, the demise of democracy, and even the arrest and imprisonment of TOMMY CHONG, of the infamous comedy team CHEECH AND CHONG, who was arrested and served an eleven month prison sentence for selling GLASS on the Internet!
This book began as a blog, in which Clothier posted ideas, comments, and imagined communications with the 'Resident of the United States. When I read the book, I enjoyed Clothier's perspective, simply because he does not pretend to be an expert at political punditry. There were no megalomaniacal moments of inflated ego, as can be found in books by those who can be seen on the television political programs, such as Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, and Tucker Carlson, just to name a few names with which the reader may be familiar.
After reading the book, I had a chance to sit down with Peter Clothier, to ask him a few questions, which are below:
Peter Clothier - The Kentroversy Papers Interview
August 8, 2006
KDB - "Could you begin by telling my readers a little bit about who you are, and a few details about your writing background?"
PC - "I'm originally from England, in the US since the early 1960s. Did a doctorate in Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa, where I went to be a part of the Writers' Workshop. Taught Comparative Literature for a while at USC before getting more interested in art than literature; was Dean at Otis Art Institute and Loyola Marymount University for a stint, before quitting academia cold turkey in the mid-80's. Decided that was not what I was supposed to be doing with my life. And have been happily freelancing as a writer ever since. I'm mostly known as an art critic, and contributor to national art magazines. I've also published a couple of mystery thrillers set in the contemporary art world. Oh, and I'm much involved in men's work, and related personal development."
KDB - "How did you get the idea to do the REAL BUSH DIARIES blog site?"
PC - "I woke up the day after the last presidential election feeling that I had to DO SOMETHING. The only thing I really know how to do is write. I stumbled into the blogosphere by accident and realized I had found a whole new calling! It was a godsend!"
KDB - "Did you hear from the White House at any time? Any official or unofficial acknowledgement of your writings to Bush Jr?"
PC - "Never. And that was never really my intention. The Bush Diaries is a way of talking to myself (and my readers) and remaining conscious. And asking my readers to remain conscious. Writing, for me, is a way of finding out what I think. I believe in that old adage, 'How do I know what I think 'til I see what I say?'"
KDB - "Before you started this project, what was your opinion of our current President?"
PC - "I did not vote for him the first time around. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt after 9/11, but I was increasingly appalled by his willful ignorance, his lack of curiosity, his bellicose speech and actions. The invasion of Iraq was the last straw."
KDB - "Did that opinion change at any time during the writing of the TRBD project?"
PC - "No, not really. But please bear in mind that this is not Bush-bashing. I am a Buddhist meditation practitioner, and I believe very strongly in compassion. I trust that TRBD is permeated by that sense -- even though I do get angry from time to time!
KDB - "Could you comment on your book entry ON FEAR? What do YOU fear from this administration?"
PC - "I fear their aggressive attitudes, their apparent belief that they can do no wrong, their lack of perspective on the world and proportionate sense of America's place in it. I fear their inability to listen, to understand that the point of view of others is legitimate."
KDB - "By reading the book, it seems that you have a fairly progressive opinion of marijuana. Could you comment on this?"
PC - "I believe it's no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco -- and probably a lot less. I'm not a smoker myself, but I enjoyed a toke or two in my younger days!"
KDB - "It is my informed opinion through my own research on the subject that marijuana and hallucinogens in particular have been made illegal in order to slow down or delay spiritual ascension. Anything that harms spiritual ascension is ubiquitous, such as alcohol, while the things that do provide ascension carry the toughest penalties. Would you comment on this?"
PC - "I don't see it as a conscious effort or plot, but I do believe that many of us fear what we don't know and can't control. Drugs are one way to get past our everyday inhibitions, and can allow us access to insights we might not get in other ways. These may be spiritual in nature. Aldous Huxley seemed to believe so. The punitive mind will crash down on anything it suspects of being other than itself."
KDB - "The Global Elite use a code in their workings, such as their use of the phrase SHOCK AND AWE corresponding to SHEKINAH -- a term that relates to the divine -- which also indicates their belief that God is behind their war-mongering motivations. Any feelings about this?"
PC - "Oh, this is getting beyond my expertise! A bit too spooky for me. Anyone who attributes such things to God must, to my mind, have a very distorted idea of what God might be. Should he exist, I would wish to believe in him as beneficent and loving."
KDB - "If you could have Bush Jr's ear for a brief moment, what would you tell him?"
PC - "Listen to me. Listen to others. Listen beyond yourself. Listen beyond your own beliefs. Listen ... and hear."
KDB - "How did the idea for TRBD to become a book come about?"
PC - "I like books -- the heft and gravity of the things. I thought the first year of the Bush Diaries had the feel of a book. I wanted it to be available to others than bloggers."
KDB - "What do you want your readers to take away from the book?"
PC - "A sense that we have to change ourselves, and change the world. A sense that the time is NOW to get started, before it gets to be too late."
KDB - "Anything that you would like to comment on, that I haven't already asked?"
PC - "Just to say thank you for your interest. And good luck with that son of yours. A treasure! Give him all the love he needs. I'm counting on him -- and his generation -- to save the world!"
Kentroversy Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2 (out of five)
© 2006 Kentroversy Papers
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
The following sources were used in the creation of this Kentroversy Paper . . .
The Real Bush Diaries Blog Site - Peter Clothier
George Bush Jr.
George W. Bush
The Real Bush Diaries