The Man Up “Restore Relationship” App…. Just for Men


If you are a man who procrastinates, is self-absorbed, not at all consistent with the doling out of affection, verbal expressions of love, physical complements, gift-giving, card buying, lack understanding/patience with women and their emotional bullshit, are selfish in bed, ie. forget about concepts like foreplay, female orgasms or your partner’s pleasure in any conventional sense, are not good at hiding your habitual anger and annoyance, cant tell if your spouse or partner has gotten their hair cut, nails done, lost 2 lbs, or is wearing a brand new (fill-in the blank) or just plain dont cotton to all the lovey-dovey stuff that chicks dig including celebrating important events like birthdays, anniversaries, half-birthdays, quarter-anniversaries, the calendar turning to 1111 (wtf is that?) …you may want to download CaptCliff’s “Restore Relationship” app.
The basic premise of the Man Up phone app and it’s algorithm derived “SAVE RELATIONSHIP” default mode is as follows.  Most women even if they are crazy in love with you at first are likely to get fed up with your and my respective bullshit because:  1)  we ARE quite often stupid pricks and can be bastards  2) we DO say dumb,  insensitive and hurtful things… especially when mad or tired and  3) we ARE hopelessly inferior and not even a fraction as romantic, muscular or well-hung as the Prince Charming/Mr Wonderful dude (see photo above) described in every damn book, novel, song, movie, fairy tale and age-old hen story told around the tribal bonfire and inside the menstrual hut and communal kitchen by women, their friends, and their female relatives including their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers (who you would think would know better). The main reason they DONT know any better (or accept actual reality about us) is simply because they fucking love their ROMANTIC TARZAN-SUPERMAN MYTHOLOGY. I’m serious. That’s their mental, emotional and sexual super-caffeinated Red Bull energy drink. It’s their pablum growing up, their teen-aged recreational cognitive drug of choice and Queen bee royal jelly and extra fortified mothers milk. They consume this stuff like we eat rashers of bacon.  In fact, I suspect their wholly unrealistic love and romance fantasies are expressed directly (like mother Goddess milk) into large clay jugs right from the ample breasts of the Aphrodite love deity they worship on a daily basis.
By the way, dont try to tell me your woman has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and doesn’t think that way. Bullcrap. James Holmes the orange-haired Batman theater mass murderer in Colorado was on his way to getting his Neuroscience doctorate and look how useless that empirical information was in keeping him from going totally psycho fruitcake. Even tho the rational part of a woman’s brain may tell them that “fantasy is not reality” and that reality often involves things like man farts, body odor, poor oral hygiene, ball scratching and sniffing and occasional sexist language and derogatory comments…the much larger part of their brain (approximately 90%) tells them Prince Charming  (much like Baby Jesus, Sasquatch, trickle down economics and winning the lottery is for many red hat wearing Trump supporters) is still a distinct possibility. In cinematic terms consider this. The movie and the novel “Dr. Zhivago” is seen as an uber sexy snow-covered Russian love story by a large number of women even tho five minutes in an actual Siberian winter would freeze my pecker off and reduce my basal temperature and biochemically related sex drive to sub-zero.  Dont ask me why they are so persistent in torturing themselves (and us) with such obviously nonsensical and counterproductive relationship fantasies. I dont know and frankly I’m way too busy pretending on Facebook that Im 20 years younger than I am and fantasizing that there is a Playboy bunny somewhere on the planet who has a unique sexual fetish for a bald semi-retired psychologist with drooping nipples and a FUPA. Dont ask. It just seems statistically possible based on probability theory, quantum physics and the law of averages……
Anyway, I talk too much and often forget to get to my main point. Here’s my point:  Let’s face it. We ARE basically selfish dumbasses. That’s not gonna change. However, with this mental reminder/action plan/ phone app you can teach yourself to ACT and BEHAVE like you’re not nearly as big of an ASSHOLE as you really are… at least for short periods of time and for a specific purpose. Which of course is exactly what we all did when we were first dating.  Scientific studies show that there are only two things that motivate human beings such as ourselves and they are as follows : 1) money and 2) pain.  Actually I may have taken that particular finding from research on psychopaths and serial killers but I still believe it applies to us…. So hear me out bros. If you fuck up your marriage and she divorces you… that is going to cost you a BOATLOAD OF MONEY (trust me on that) and THAT will be very very PAINFUL.  Also, even if you never took Psych 101 or are a big dumb jock with a brain the size of a walnut due to sports injuries and multiple concussions you had to have noticed that even if you are BORED TO DEATH with your spouse’s crap, their ways of doing things, their tendency to act just like their mother (who you see as the ultimate NIGHTMARE VERSION of what you fear your partner will become) the  QUICKEST WAY to realize how much you love, adore, and need her is made crystal clear ten seconds after she kicks your sorry ass to the curb. You can hate her, be disgusted by her face and body, her squinty eyes, that annoying mole or skin tab on her cheek or upper back and the color of her toenails on Tuesday but on the Wednesday after she packs up her shit and leaves you will be masturbating obsessively to her Instagram photos and trying to use satellite technology and the “zoom” feature in the computer tool bar to spot clues as to who she might now be fucking. That’s some right brutal shit on the male ego gentlemen, and its totally unnecessary if you do the one thing you have never done before…which is to have an organized action plan ready to go ahead of time.  I know. We hate to do that and just like the sick fucks that we are we get obscene pleasure from rushing out at the last minute to do the things we were supposed to do for them last week and then pretend that the sloppy wad of wilted flowers from Publix (that you got half-priced) was really ordered from a premium select organic grower in Napa Valley who you’ve been corresponding with on a regular basis for weeks… if not months. Dont act like you dont know what I mean or that your self-centered manshit doesnt stink. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and told your beloved she should take the chair that faces the dining room because its “prettier” and has a better view of the open kitchen but really it’s because you can see the Falcons game on the big screen TV the other way…. not to mention the supermodel in the red miniskirt and riding boots who keeps crossing and uncrossing her legs like she’s sending Morse code/ maritime distress signals to the bartender? Alrighty then….you need the app.  Now all I gotta do is create the algorithm. I can tell you that it will at LEAST include doing one thing each week that your better half loves to do and you absolutely despise (while lying or seated in a certain “cuddly”/comfy/close but totally non-sexual position). That’s not the really hard part. The hard part is teaching yourself to not let it leak out of your pores just how noxious it is to sit and watch reruns of Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City or the Twilight Saga vampire film series without your cellphone in hand and your laptop with game scores and postgame highlights within your visual field 24/7. How incredibly lame are vampires with no shirt on? Just try to remember: This is gonna hurt but in the end will save you a bundle. So bite the silver bullet before it’s too late and “Man Up”.
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CaptCliff’s Restaurant Review of Din Tai Fung

shumaishrimp dumpling
How can I begin to describe an authentic Shanghai steamed dumpling that one does not (God forbid) gulp down or drown in store bought chili oil or plastic packets of “soy sauce” but instead allows to dance on one’s tongue until it decides on it’s own to release it’s ample flavors of pork, chicken and savory broth? How can I explain the difference between a run-of-the-mill Hong Kong style noodle house or standard Dim Sum palace whether in SF’s Chinatown or Atlanta’s budding Buford Highway and a bona fide heaven-on-earth eatery like Din Tai Fung in Arcadia California?
Even for a jaded foodie and pseudo Pirate Psychologist such as myself, Din Tai Fung delivers on it’s promise. Practically every dish arrives looking simple, even coy and unpretentious, but then when eaten proceeds to perform perfect pirouettes of taste on one’s pirate loving palate like a Bolshoi ballerina on pointe. Similarly, there is a matter-of-factness about the servers and seating hostesses that borders on cavalier right up until the steaming food is brought to the table. However, now look at your server. She/he is suddenly smiling ever so slightly because she/he knows what’s in store. The moment you bite into a mound of fresh garlicky green beans or shrimp topped pork shu mai there is a palpable culinary awakening afoot. After my first swallow I nearly dropped my chopsticks on the floor in a clatter and bowed in reverence while facing the glass enclosed prep kitchen. Inside, a dozen identically aproned chefs work deftly to cut, roll, shape and stuff the sacred Shanghai dumplings. Like Santa’s helpers in late December they could barely keep up with consumer demand. Also excellent is the chicken fried rice with green onion and dry fried pork chop over steamed rice. Multiple orders of everything is the norm here rather then the exception. A Zagat rating of 26 amid so many competing Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean restaurants and other plentiful food establishments in metro Los Angeles is no small feat. It was also obvious by the long line at the door that diners are willing to fly, drive, surf, parasail and carjack their way to Din Tai Fung for the privilege. I’m not kidding. I think I saw Crips and Bloods seated together at an adjoining table flashing gang colors and making hand signs I interpreted to mean “This is fricking awesome, man”. I would bet it’s the same at Din Tai Fung’s other locations including an outpost in Sydney Australia surrounded by Great White sharks and poisonous jellyfish. Such obstacles will not and do not deter determined Shanghai dumpling devotees. Real food fanatics, much like star crossed lovers are more than willing to persevere and take unusual risks for love… or in this case, lunch.
To me, it’s quite often the simplicity and compactness of a dish (or even of a person) and some initial hint (whiff) of their uniqueness (true essence) that first casts it’s magic spell. I only know that in my world (the domain of psychology) we call that attribute “coherence”, a seemingly divine aspect which when nurtured properly  leads to not only happiness but also a profound sense of satisfaction. That in a nut shell is what made me surrender my ego and swear an oath of allegiance to Din Tai Fung.  Alas, now I am hooked like some forlorn suitor and Don Quijote-like food junkie who not only dreamt his “impossible dumpling dream” but ended up falling in love and left the restaurant both supremely satisfied but also wanting more like some culinary crack addict. Yes I said love.  Love starts in the heart but germinates, grows and gives forth it’s very best fruit (or amazingly flavorful chao fan fried rice) in a consciously cultivated garden of delight. If my one-of-a-kind brother Neal is correct and life truly is a “bountiful feast” meant to be enjoyed with Zorba-the-Greek like Epicurean gusto, then Din Tai Fung has certainly earned it’s place at the communal dining table. If that sounds a tad exaggerated, exotic, erotic or esoteric then so be it.  Din Tai Fung is all of those things and more. As I fly back to Atlanta I can only close my eyes and savor the memories while hoping to return someday soon to once again experience love in the form of truly authentic Shanghai dumplings ….at Din Tai Fung.
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Claire Mazer and the Talking Unicorn

Lady and the Unicorn


by Cliff Mazer, Ph.D., aka CaptCliff

We live in what’s now called a quantum universe. While that means nothing to most people, to others it denotes something extremely complex and exciting ( typically folks with large brains who enjoy listening to Neil Degrasse Tyson and watching The Big Bang Theory). The rest of us bird-brain types whose lives and grey matter toil towards the middle of the bell-shaped curve have to try extra hard to grasp the significance of quantum mechanics.


Quantum theory postulates (theoretically) that there are endless number of “realities” and endless dimensions of probabilistic possibility where infinite versions of ourselves exist in space/time unseen by one another. The people we think we are (like the guy Cliff writing this blog) are only one version of us based on the unique ways our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences have shaped (and been shaped) by our sensory perceptions. In so doing, we continually reinforce what we believe we see, smell, touch, hear, etc.  In other words, most things are “real”, “believable” and “concrete” to us only because we have convinced ourselves of it based on repeated interactions and multi-sensory experiences as well as what is sometimes called “consensual reality” (what others see and together we all choose to believe). This includes simple things like believing that that thing over there is a “chair” or that I just brushed my teeth with what we all probably agree is a “toothbrush”. However, if there was somebody here who had never ever heard of or seen a toothbrush or chair or anything at all like it, he wouldn’t immediately know what those things were and very likely wouldn’t even “understand” or be able to process what he thought he saw  if we showed him those exact objects. Even more remarkable (besides his really bad breath from having not yet discovered toothbrushes or toothpaste) the objects we show him that we take for granted to be chairs and toothbrushes might appear completely different or nonsensical to his innocent eyes and unfamiliar optical lens. In other words those objects might look nothing like what we normally see when we look at a chair or a toothbrush. It’s a tad bit like doing psychedelic drugs like LSD which mess with our brain and chemical receptors just enough to give us a glimpse of what its like to see the world in a vastly different way based on what we know and don’t know already. One advantage to getting glimpses of such “non-ordinary” or altered reality is that it reminds us just how “soft” and malleable so-called “reality” really is.      Of course if you are a very scared, close-minded or rigid person and need the world to be “solid”, “fixed, and familiar” then taking such a drug would probably freak you out or it might just give you a bad headache and nothing else because your brain would use “fuzzy logic” to keep “resetting” things back to what it’s used to seeing and believing.  I imagine if my dad, Robert Mazer, a chemical engineer by trade and training took LSD he would probably just get a slight headache and some indigestion, pop a few Tums and go to bed…and not notice the TALKING UNICORN in his closet that had a number of illuminating and esoteric ideas to discuss with him about his mother, his childhood experiences in Milwaukee Wisconsin, and possibly God and the entire Cosmos. I might be wrong about that speculation. It’s just a guess just like it’s my hunch that my mother Claire Mazer (especially if she was still young and vibrant and not the old lady version with multiple hip replacements, painful osteoarthritis, severe bipolar illness and dementia) after taking LSD would begin noticing some interesting changes occurring to the various Native American paintings on the walls of her condo in Longboat Key Florida and about an hour or so later might be seen riding down to the beach on a talking unicorn without any clothes on. I might be wrong about that too but it’s what some would call an educated guess.


The other day was my mother’s Yahrzeit. She passed away on August 10, 2016.  It’s been a long tough year for me since she died and I don’t think I’ve thought about her or allowed myself to truly feel the significance of her passing nearly enough. Maybe if I did I would have avoided some of the pointless pitfalls and maddening misfortunes that followed not long after I became a card carrying member of the “Both My Parents are Gone” club. Some of the “stories” we tell ourselves and carry as our “absolute reality” based on past experience and what we think we saw, heard or interpreted in a certain way probably need to be reconsidered or even changed. Like our computers and cellphones, our mental programs require ongoing updates and pragmatic “patches” that allow for uncertainty and continued growth. It’s generally not a good idea to become too rigid, too certain or too “absolute” about anything, especially in a quantum world. Luckily there will be “billions and billions” of other Carl Sagan like opportunities to get it right based on quantum probability, serendipity, and the human capacity to see past our ego-based illusions. I say this both for myself and for all the CaptCliff permutations in infinite dimensions who like me are probably stumbling around the multiverse doing many of the same dumb things I tend to do like putting my t-shirt on backwards (again), losing my car keys (look in your hand dummy) and having single socks disappear into some dark matter/black hole located directly behind the laundry room dryer… again and again and again.

Mom, I hope you had a fun ride on the TALKING UNICORN and please do enjoy the lunar eclipse next week and the Perseid meteor shower tonight and tomorrow. They say it’s going to be absolutely heavenly.   Love, Cliff

Unicorn Symbolism ~ Mythology & Meaning. . .  Legend and Lore 

The symbolic meaning of The Unicorn is all about Opening up to Infinite Possibilities and that infinite possibilities surround you and are available to you at all times.  Many times we cannot see that possibilities abound, or even exist. Unicorn gives us the “eyes to see” those hidden possibilities, and “the wisdom” to take advantage of them.

Spiritually the Unicorn symbolizes success. If you summon the power of the Unicorn, the Unicorn will give you the blessings to be a success in whatever you choose to pursue.

Unicorn is the symbol of the most magical of all animals! The Unicorn can shift between the visible world and the invisible world easily like walking from the shore of a beach, into the sea for a refreshing swim, and back to the shore to sun itself on the sand.

The ancient myth and lore of the Unicorn speaks of original innocence, purity, grace and mystical healing powers.  To touch or be touched by the horn of the Unicorn can bring total and complete healing.  The healing of the Unicorn brings everything in mind, body and soul into renewed perfect balance. 


Unicorn Symbolism:
Unicorn’s Magical ~&~ Mythical Powers. . . 

Unicorn brings the gifts of:
all possibilities, wisdom, and the clever pursuit of dreams 
Unicorn totem brings the magic of:
Magical Manifestation, Summoning of Dreams, Calling Upon The Universe For All Answers
Unicorn spirit animal brings the energies of:
transmutation  (passing through of boundaries ), spiritual sight ( to see past all ego based illusions, until the deep truth is revealed ), manifestation ( to bring all that you imagine into reality
The Musée de Cluny, also known as the Musée national du Moyen Âge, is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Paris, a former townhouse whose construction started in 1334. Yet beneath it is something even older: the ruins of Gallo-Roman thermal baths believed to have been used by 3rd-century boatmen.
Inside the museum is a vast presentation of medieval life through sculptures, furnishings, stained glass, and manuscripts. The most significant objects are a group of Middle Ages tapestries known as “The Lady and the Unicorn.” Woven from wool and silk, five of the tapestries fixate on the five human senses, with a woman interacting with a unicorn, as well as a lion and sometimes a monkey. For example, in the “sight” related tapestry she holds up a mirror to the unicorn which looks at its gaze, possibly admiring its beautiful reflection. In “touch” she has her hand on the unicorn’s horn.
The sixth tapestry remains more of a mystery with its text ”À Mon Seul Désir” (“To my only desire”) interpreted most frequently as a personal declaration of independence or purity. No matter the meaning, it’s hard to escape the charms of the strangely captivating unicorn as it confidently poses through the scenes.
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Bags of Balinese Dicks




The Balinese people are a sweet, kind, artistically inclined populace. They paint, sculpt, carve wood, dance, and mass produce thousands of colorfully decorated penises for the tourist trade. Yes I said penises. I cant say I know the cultural or religious significance of these ubiquitous phallic symbols. Nor do I really know why foreign visitors need so many cock shaped bottle openers in various sizes and colors but nevertheless they hang prominently and quite realistically in the markets and make-shift stalls of many venders throughout the countryside. Maybe it’s a fertility thing or maybe like in Imperial Rome they’re meant to ward off bad luck and counter the “evil eye”, Kinnehora! Either way it’s a startling sight seeing pasty white tourists in beachwear and sunburned middle-aged Aussies shlepping down the streets of Benspasar carrying a bottle of SPF50 sunscreen in one hand and a bag of Balinese wood dicks in the other.

Of course, CaptCliff with his non-stop creativity compulsion, custom pipe craftsmanship and entrepreneurial spirit couldn’t help but see a unique business opportunity. I decided to engage in peace pipe “alchemy”. I would turn lewd Balinese bottle openers into one-of-a kind penis pipes for my growing pipe art collection in Atlanta. While the other foreigners and hotel guests were being relentlessly accosted by street vendors and hassled to buy novelty items and tourist crap they really don’t need or want, I would accost the same Balinese vendors and sell them the Chinese fidget spinners I bought for $5 at a Sandy Springs garage sale the week before…and guess what? Mission accomplished!  For 12 zillion rupiah ($35) I closed the deal with the first  stall vendor I spoke with. I told him and sold him my “one-of-a-kind” American fidget spinners even tho there were 6 of them all exactly the same and all bearing “Made in Hong Kong” stickers on the bottom of each box. My Australian muse/partner in crime Debbie preferred the word “bamboozled” or “swindled” to “sold” but whatever….Then I bought a “sample pack” of small Balinese bottle opener penises from the same guy including a much larger anatomically correct black wood penis which I made him throw in for free at the end just to sweeten the deal. My idea was to take my bag of Balinese dicks back to the resort hotel and figure out how to extract the cheap but firmly installed metal bottle opener part off the balls (“berry”) end of the twig and berries item without causing a catastrophic injury to the wooden shaft. Breaking the shaft would have been somewhat akin to what can and does occur occasionally when acrobatically-inclined young people engage in excessively vigorous sex acts including the notorious “reverse cowboy” sexual intercourse position. Being a sex therapist as well as a legendary artiste ( solely in my own mind) I know that penises don’t actually break in two but wooden reproductions very possibly could. Luckily this is not my first rodeo in either arena so I knew what had to be done. Plus I am also a vasectomy survivor who went through the surgical procedure many years ago and suffered no ill effects besides recurrent PTSD nightmares involving my testicles and some guy with ginormous landscaping shears from Home Depot..  Paging Sigmund Freud….. Unfortunately I hadn’t thought to bring any of my specialized wooden penis bottle opener extractors or Black and Decker power tools on vacation with me. On the other hand, the housekeeping staff at the hotel have a standard policy of always asking guests, “Is there anything I can do to help you, sir?”  I admit to hesitating for only three seconds before “plunging in” so to speak. The irony and “bent” humor of having some sweet young Balinese boy and wholesome housekeeper (named Saran) fetch a pair of pliers and do bound and determined battle with the metal bottle opener end of a large wooden dick in front of the resort swimming pool and health spa was almost too much for me… so naturally I filmed the whole thing for posterity.  
Here it is:
Video to be uploaded (as soon as I find a technologically proficient Balinese teenager to do it for me)


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Out of the Ashes I Rise

Out of the ashes I rise. I am preparing for a two week trip to Bali on Saturday to meet a pen pal from Melbourne.  Son #2 (Eli) has taken electric sheep shears (rented from the Tool Shed at Home Depot) to my entire old man hairy body and created a large mound of …you don’t even want to know. Even the dog won’t get near it. Let’s just say there’s a sweet child with cancer somewhere that will soon be fit for a large Jew-fro made completely from authentic Baby Boomer back hair. That’s right. Baby got back (hair). Eww.
The beard is newly dyed (Just for Men, Light Brown). I was told to do this body prep ritual because the Balinese are unusually kind, soft-hearted, gentle and spiritual people. The very sight of an older White Man with copious back and shoulder hair scares them unnecessarily and reminds them of a nameless mythical creature said to haunt their dreams.  Apparently the demon looks a lot like the weird looking bat thingy in “Jeepers Creepers” that kills obnoxious teenagers and uses their severed heads as spare parts for it’s totally hideous body. In my case the beast has the body of an aging social worker and the head of a Jew-bu Pirate/biker wannabe with  hearing loss and tinnitus. Now if only I can find my dozen prescription medicines, my fungus creme and the Japanese product my SF friends gave me that when put in the toilet in an amount as minute as a single drop masks the odor of anything from human excrement to a rotting fully dismembered water buffalo….not that I’m planning on doing anything strange with a water buffalo in Bali. It’s just that my mother Claire Mazer always said there are two things human beings cannot and should not consider living without: extra paper towels and a fully functioning bathroom fan. I agree with her completely and try to live by her wise counsel. If you’ve read my recent “CaptCliff and Tinkerbell” blog then you have seen and heard me at my very lowest. Now it is time for me to rise to the occasion.
Thanks to CaptCliff’s psychological near-death experience (see previous blog) and  proprietary “Dumpee, Divorce and Depression Diet (DDDD) I have once again lost 10 lbs and while not exactly “sleek” or svelte my nipples appear to be drooping somewhat less than usual. As a scientist and sex therapist I’m also aware that looking down on ones “manhood” (called “foreshortening” in the sex therapy business) like many other self-evaluations represents nothing more than an artifact of ones limited perspective . Hell, the same thing may be true about our view of the world and of ourselves at any given moment in time. Life is truly bigger than the sum of it’s parts. Hence, I don’t want to “foreshorten” myself at this important life stage. I am getting a little sick of myself but there’s not much I can do about that.  Summary:  Maybe there is still hope and time enough to do as Tom Robbins the author said , ie. “it’s never too late to change your childhood”
Regardless, I CaptCliff, faux Jewish Pirate, web blogger, peace-pipe maker, compulsive home remodeler, therapist (who sometimes can’t fix his own psychotherapeutic toilet)…aka Cliff Mazer, Ph.D., prepare now to “sally forth” to Denspasar Bali, a flight of over 22 hours from LA. It is an airplane marathon that I hope to survive by 1) not being seated next to a morbidly obese person with bad gas and 2)  self-administering a variation of the Michael Jackson sleeping cure (minus the death, grisly tabloids photos and funeral). As the song goes in the movie (and show) Bye Bye Birdy……….”I’ve Got a Lot of Living To Do”. The video below tells you everything you need to know….
Bye Bye Birdie:
Peace Out My Loyal Peeps. See you on the backside Balinese style.
Tom Robbins relevant quotes:
 1)  We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
 2)  We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we often have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.  (I keep forgetting #2 and then remembering it but on the other hand I know plenty people that never seem grasp that concept at all).     
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Emess: The Unvarnished Truth


  • When I think of being REALLY honest (truthful) with myself and with others I think of the Yiddish word Emess. Two sources come to mind: 1) my mother who always said “It’s the Emess”, when she either told the truth, lied, or didn’t know she was lying and completely made shit up out of thin air (confabulation) and 2) from the late great comedian Lenny Bruce who would tell the most outrageous and unbelievable stories, while swearing all the time that they were absolutely true. And–they WERE! Poor Lenny, toward the end of his unfortunate life became a Lenny Bruce comedy routine himself, a sad, not very funny, one. During his criminal trial for obscenity, he jumped up as an undercover cop was describing his stand-up routine and tried to inject Emessness into the proceeding by yelling “I object! He’s stealing my routine and not paying me for it.” One laughed and cried at the same time. Lenny became a quasi- scholar of the Law and it’s often unfair and unjust application, and worshipped (with tongue in cheek) its linguistic complexity as it was destroying him. As he pored through legal tracts and page after page of its overcomplicated legalese jargon, he remained in awe of its apparent “Majesty”.

The essence of EMESSNESS is often total ridiculousness and absurdity underneath the garb of seriousness. Its the “stuff” in life that makes you drop your head in disbelief and mutter to yourself, “I can’t fucking believe this…”   It’s a concept liberally sprinkled throughout the best Coen Brothers movies, especially ones like, “A Serious Man”.

Emmis or Emess simply means The Truth, the Real Truth. I’m not talking about “Revealed Truth,” like some Kabbalist or Biblical Fundamentalist. Or even some kind of “Eternal Truth,” just the plain, easily verifiable, often bizarre truth about the real world and all the absurd situations we encounter. Of course that includes all the nutty contradictory people in it, like ourselves. Real honesty and outspoken truth telling is something often talked about and valued but rarely realized.
Borrowed from another blog here is a good example taken from my favorite source, the aptly termed “weird news”. There was a case many years ago in Miami Beach, which involved a bartender calling the police to complain about an unauthorized person using a “private women’s bathroom.” In response three PLAINCLOTHES officers rushed to the locale, and two of them broke down the door to the toilet stall, with guns drawn. The occupant then bolted and was shot and wounded. He then sued the establishment. The above-description only reflects the plaintiff’s side of the story–which is obviously not a real Emmes.
First, the place is Miami Beach, well known for its gayness…..not that there’s anything wrong with that. Was the plaintiff (a former NFL football player) barred from the premises for being Gay or not Gay, Hetero or something else far more “fluid”–and why was he in the ladies room? If the only complaint was that of trespass, why three armed cops? All in PLAINCLOTHES? Did any of them bother yelling the simple word “Police” prior to or during the bathroom break-in? Or, is this Syria or Afghanistan , where everyone just takes his or her chances? Why shoot the guy? Was he a known drug dealer, or nearly as dangerous, a former player for the Miami Dolphins with concussion syndrome?  In short, what’s the Emmes behind the Apparent Emess?


This case is a paradigmatic example of Emess-ness and I choose it only because the real Truth is often ludicrous and elusive–and some people such as myself absolutely revel in ludicrousness and contradiction. Translation: Life and truth are often complex phenomena but most people prefer to resolve complexity by reflexively going along with own prejudices, self-centered interests and biased perspectives (one side of a multi-sided coin) or even worse based solely on a simple but pronounced (rather than profound) FEELING…… Feelings? Nothing more than feeling?  Summary:  raw unfiltered emotion is not usually recommended as the very best way to do business, elect an American President or judge someones innocence or guilt……and yet we all do it, practically every day of our lives, and often without ever looking back to see if maybe we made a big “boo-boo”. There’s actually a lot of boo-boos out there….. some worse than others.

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CaptCliff and His Tinkerbell/Philly Girl with Brass Knuckles

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