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


To the Dummies and the Haters: This is SATIRE bitches. I’m not serious. It’s not a real thing. It’s a satirical essay about MEN and how we are sometimes. Comprende?
If you happen to be a man who procrastinates a lot, is self-absorbed, is not at all consistent with the doling out of affection, verbal expressions of love, positive complements, gift-giving, card buying, having any understanding or patience with gfs and their emotional bullshit, are totally selfish in bed such as forgetting about little things like kissing, foreplay, female orgasms or your partner’s pleasure, are not good at hiding your anger and annoyance, cant tell if your spouse or partner has gotten their hair cut, nails done, lost two lbs or is wearing a brand new (fill-in the blank here) or just plain dont dig all the lovey-dovey stuff that chicks are into including celebrating every event like birthdays, anniversaries, half-birthdays, quarter-anniversaries, the calendar or digital clock turning to 1111 (wtf is that?) …then you may want to download CaptCliff’s “Restore Relationship” cellphone app.
The basic premise of the Man Up phone app and it’s empirically derived “SAVE RELATIONSHIP” algorhythm 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 man bullshit because:  1)  we are quite often stupid pricks and can be big jerks  2) we do say dumb, insensitive and hurtful things especially when mad, annoyed or tired and  3) we are hopelessly inferior and not even a fraction as hot, muscular or well-hung as the Prince Charming/Mr Wonderful dude pictured above and described in every romantic book, novel, song, movie, fairy tale and hen story told around the ladies-only bonfire and inside the menstrual hut/communal kitchen by women, their best friends, and all their extended female relatives including mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers (who you might think would know better with advanced age). However, the main reason they dont know any better or accept actual reality about guys is simply because they fucking LOVE THEIR ROMANTIC TARZAN MEETS SUPERMAN MYTHOLOGY. I’m serious. That’s their mental, emotional and sexual caffeinated Red Bull energy drink. It’s their baby pablum/mothers milk growing up, their teen-aged fantasy drug of choice and their Kim Kardashian Queen Bee royal jelly body lotion. They consume this romantic fantasy stuff like guys enjoy endless rashers of fatty bacon at Waffle House and IHOP.
By the way, dont try to tell me your woman has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and doesn’t think in this unrealistic way about you. Bullcrap. James Holmes the orange-haired Batman mass murderer in Colorado was on his way to getting his Neuroscience PhD doctorate degree too and look how useless all that scientific stuff was in keeping him from going totally psycho fruitcake at the movie theater. Even tho the rational part of a woman’s brain may tell them that “fantasy is not reality” and that reality often involves yucky things like dirty fingernails, man farts, body odor, poor oral hygiene, ball scratching and sniffing and occasional sexist language .…the much larger part of their brain (approximately 90%) tells them Prince Charming ( like Baby Jesus, Sasquatch, trickle down economics and winning the lottery is for psychos and rabid 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 a man’s dick off and reduce his basal temperature and  sex drive to sub-zero.  Dont ask me why women are so persistent in torturing themselves (and us) with such obviously exaggerated and counterproductive fantasies. I dont know and frankly I’m too busy pretending on Facebook that I’m 20 years younger than I am and fantasizing that there’s an exotic Playboy bunny somewhere who has a fetish for an older bald psychologist with droopy nipples and a FUPA. Dont ask. It just seems possible based on probability theory, quantum physics and the uncommon law of averages.
Anyway, I talk too much and often forget to get to my main point. I have ADHD. Here’s my point:  Let’s face it. We ARE basically selfish dumbasses. That’s not going to change. However, with this mental reminder/action plan/ phone app you can teach yourself to 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 very specific purpose. Which, by the way is of course exactly what we all did and do when we first start dating anyone, even a gorilla.  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) physical pain.  Actually I may have taken that  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 your wife divorces you… that is going to cost you a BIG BOATLOAD OF MONEY (trust me on that one) and THAT will be very very PAINFUL.  Also, even if you never ever took IntroPsych 101 in college, didn’t go to college or are just a big dumb football jock with a brain the size of a shriveled walnut due to sports injuries and multiple concussions you had to have noticed that even if you are  totally BORED TO DEATH with your spouse’s crap, their ways of doing things, their tendency to act just like their crazyass mother (who you see as the ultimate NIGHTMARE VERSION of what you fear your partner will eventually 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 beady squinty eyes, that annoying black mole or skin tab on her right cheek or upper back and the weird color of her toenails on any given Tuesday but on the Wednesday after she packs up and leaves ……you will be masturbating obsessively to her old Instagram pics and trying to use satellite technology and the “zoom” feature in the laptop tool bar to spot clues as to who she might be fucking. That’s some right brutal shit  on the surprisingly delicate male ego gentlemen, and its completely unnecessary if you do the one thing you’ve never done before…which is have an organized  plan ready to go ahead of time.  I know. I know. We hate to do that and just like the sick fucks that we are we tend to get obscene pleasure from rushing out at the last minute to do the nice romantic things we were supposed to do for them last week and then pretend that the sloppy wad of wilted flowers from the supermarket (that you got half-priced) was really ordered from an exclusive organic flower grower in Napa Valley California who you’ve been corresponding with on a regular basis for weeks… if not months. Right. Dont act like you dont know what I mean or that your self-centered manshit doesnt stink…  Be honest. Have you ever gone to a decent restaurant and told your beloved she should take the special chair that faces the dining room because its “much prettier” and has a much better view of the open kitchen/grill but really it’s because you can see the Falcons football game on the big screen TV the other way…. not to mention the hot supermodel in the red miniskirt and riding boots who keeps crossing and uncrossing her legs like she’s sending some special Morse code or maritime distress signals to the head bartender? Alrighty then….you need my app.  Now all I gotta do is create the special algorithm. I cant tell you everything  right now but I can say that it will AT LEAST include doing one thing each week that your better half really loves to do and you absolutely positively despise (probably while lying or seated in a certain “cuddly”/comfy/close but totally non-sexual physical position). Have you ever heard the sentence, “Noooo…I just want to cuddle..”?  That’s not the really hard part. The hard part is teaching yourself to not let it leak out of your pores just how horrible and noxious it is to have 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 two laptops with game scores and postgame video highlights within your visual field 24/7. Plus, how incredibly lame are male vampires with no shirt on and bulging pecs? Ok..Ok, Just try to remember one thing: This is gonna hurt ….but in the end it will save you a fucking bundle. So bite the so-called silver bullet before it’s too damn 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 about being REALLY honest (truthful) with myself and with others I think of the Yiddish word Emess. Two sources for the word emess come to mind: 1) my mother who would always say “It’s the Emess”, when she either told the truth, lied or more likely didn’t know she was not being truthful/lying and instead completely made shit up (confabulation) out of thin air and 2) from the late great comedian Lenny Bruce who would tell the most outrageous and unbelievable stories, all while swearing up and down that they were absolutely true…and usually they WERE! Poor Lenny, toward the end of his unfortunate comedic life became a Lenny Bruce comedy routine himself and even worse, a sad not very funny one. During his criminal trial for obscenity, he jumped up out of his chair as an undercover cop was describing his comedy routine and tried to inject humorous Emessness into the proceeding by yelling “I object! He’s stealing my routine and not paying me for it.” Lenny became a quasi- scholar of the law as a result of all the unfair persecution against him and it’s often unjust application, and he worshipped (with tongue in cheek) its linguistic complexity even as it was destroying him. As he pored through legal statutes and page after page of its complicated legalese jargon, he remained in awe of its apparent “Majesty”.

The essence of EMESSNESS is often how there is immense ridiculousness and remarkable absurdity underneath the garb of seriousness and objectivity in our society. 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 very best Coen Brothers movies, especially ones like, “A Serious Man”.

Emmis or Emess simply means The Truth, the Real Truth. Here I’m not talking about revealed truth like some Kabbalist or Biblical Fundamentalist. Nor am I referring to even some kind of eternal truth, just the plain, easily verifiable but often bizarre truth about the real world and all the amazingly absurd situations we encounter. Of course that includes all the nutty contradictory people in it, including our family members and  ourselves. Real honesty and outspoken truth telling is something often talked about and seemingly valued but rarely realized. Most often it’s not realized because the truth hurts and denial is an easier road to hoe for most people. To me Jesus probably should have really said, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they have done. They are in denial and they prefer it that way”.


Some people such as myself absolutely revel in ludicrousness and contradiction but in the end prefer the real emess.  Translation: Life and the so called truth are often complex phenomena like a complex crossword puzzle but most people prefer to resolve complexity by reflexively going along with their own prejudices, their self-centered interests and biased perspectives (one side of a multi-sided coin) or even worse basing their beliefs solely on a simple but pronounced (rather than profound) feeling/emotion…… 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 in the rearview mirror to see if maybe we made a big “boo-boo”. There’s actually a ginormous shitpile of boo-boos out there….. some of course much worse than others.

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CaptCliff and His Tinkerbell/Philly Girl with Brass Knuckles

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A Crazed Psychologist Explains Why Things Are So Crazy

 I think most people would agree the world is pretty crazy right now. 
Fasten your seatbelt. This is going to be a long rant about the crazy times we live in. I’m not talking about rampant mental illness. I’m referring to a more insidious cultural phenomena typified by mounting social ills within a deeply divided and polarized nation. It appears that we’re becoming a country characterized by random violence, mass shootings and an anxious self-medicating population with growing uncertainty about the future.  Research suggests that more and more people are troubled and beginning to question the accuracy and veracity of the once proud American narrative that we were all taught in grade school. This storybook mythology about the United States dating back to the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War includes a basic belief that our nation is inherently good and a “beacon of light” for less developed countries and less fortunate people. As a role model in sovereignty, however, the United States may be losing its longstanding luster. Not only is the guiding light fairy tale image of America dimming but it’s being replaced progressively by a stark realization that We the People” may have taken a wrong turn and gotten lost in the dark forest of our dubious “manifest destiny.”
Psychologically speaking, there is a lot of “free-floating anxiety” going on today as well as a queasy feeling of indistinct foreboding. More existential angst than overt apprehension this conflicted state of mind still falls short of what helping professionals call “profound dread” or “impending doom”. Maybe it’s more like a generalized type of “anticipatory anxiety”, a more nuanced but persistent feeling of uncertainty about what terrible thing is going to happen next. Like most things psychological in nature it’s unclear whether sufferers of this specialized strain of existential angst are even aware of this spreading culture borne virus. Regardless, large questions loom in the collective American psyche like, “What the hell is going on in America? Is the United States washed up as a superpower? Are we no longer a global leader and respected role model of freedom, plurality and democracy? These are just a few of the questions that plague many Americans about our national identity and geopolitical self-image.  Such questions pertain not to any random individual seeking psychological help from a psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist but to a conflicted and neurotic populace even as the majority of its citizens carry on with their daily routines, make holiday plans and regularly update their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media. But who will be the country’s shrink willing to tell us what’s wrong with the U.S. and what ails us as a social institution?  
To some observers that which is wrong simply boils down to a growing deficit in our moral foundation, as if the nation’s “moral compass” has gone missing along with its Jiminy Cricket like conscience meant to remind us to be “good” and to know “right from wrong”. Others contend that societal norms related to acceptable social behavior (the stuff that guides rational decision-making and keeps us from behaving like cavemen) are either absent or in transition due to a rapidly changing world and melting pot culture. Other more conservative critics see this as the result of adding too many immigrants (both legal and illegal), different religions with clashing ideologies, and incompatible racial-ethnic groups to the Founding Father’s original Constitutional recipe. Regardless of the reasons, there is an overpowering sense that something is wrong in Camelot (our most positive fantasy and romantic view of America) and while political parties and TV pundits continue to point fingers and argue who’s to blame, signs of this “societal sickness” keep growing and showing. Put bluntly, if social issues and psychological problems were toxic fumes and the country was a coal mine (metaphorically speaking)… the canaries would be dead already.
As a Clinical Psychologist in practice for almost 40 years and as a cultural critic, it’s scary to have to admit that it’s gotten so bad in terms of stress-related conditions and overall maladaptive behavior that its difficult to say exactly who or what’s the MOST CRAZY. The fact that relatively few people in power or so called authority figures seem alarmed enough to do anything proactive may be what drives me the most insane.  
As a practicing psychotherapist, I feel less like the guy with his finger in the leaking dam or “dike of the deranged” and more like Dr. Chicken Little the crazed Psychologist and helping professional handyman running around screaming “the sky is falling” in a futile effort to warn the authorities. In reality it feels more like I’m just shoring up an already crumbling hen house made of termite infested boards and toxic asbestos. On the subject of toxicity, it only takes cursory research and a few keystrokes to realize there are more books and magazine articles on toxic work environments, toxic marriages, toxic pollutants, and toxic politics than there are on the social and psychiatric illnesses resulting from living in a TOXIC CULTURE. In fact, I couldn’t find anything substantial or comprehensive on the topic in the professional literature when I googled “toxic American culture”. That seems kinda crazy to me too. 
Certainly from media reports it sounds as if there are more “bad hombres” running loose and  unhinged than all the existing flavors of Baskin Robbins and Ben and Jerrys ice cream combined. The phrase “another senseless act of violence” seems to show up in the news on a daily basis. Trying to keep up with all the viral videos of incomprehensible antisocial acts and totally bonkers behavior is becoming impossible even for a seasoned psychologist and information junkie such as myself. 
Unfortunately I don’t have a single all-encompassing explanation for the explosion of irrationality, violence and off-the-wall behavior. It seems that no place (even schools) are safe from random encounters with lunatics or “bad seed” individuals. It’s even more crazy-making to hear neighbors or friends of the identified lunatic interviewed later saying, “He seemed so normal…he was pretty quiet and used to mow my lawn for free, etc.” This disparity includes the broad range of overtly disturbed and psychotic people as well as the plain old regular individuals who  just snap and melt down like a lit candle in a pile of gas soaked rags. Certainly, the Internet, social media and 24-hour cable news haven’t been of much help in assisting people to remain calm, sane or civil in these highly stressful times. For all it’s Steve Jobs hype and “interconnected” gobbledygook, the information revolution actually may do more harm than good when it comes to providing support, safety and security (and especially the kind of tangible help that is shown to mitigate mental illness..see website at bottom). Ditto for the digital age failing to keep it’s Utopian pie-in-the-sky promise of transforming “gaming addicts” and sedentary consumers into “healthier and happier” human beings. In reality it’s more like a mash-up of the movies ‘Wall-e”, “Westworld” and “Halloween 3” online and outside our double bolted and triple locked front doors. Finally, as far as I can tell NOBODY (including myself) is getting the doctor recommended 7-8 hours of “deep restorative sleep” every night. That alone is probably a really bad sign. On the other hand, Melatonin and Ambien sleeping pill sales are skyrocketing.
Let’s put the topic in historical perspective. In the past, when most of the population worked on farms or in factories, people were too busy or too tired to develop floridly psychotic conspiracy theories or wacked-out delusions involving Jodie Foster, Vince Foster or Terminator wireless Foster Grants. Plus, if you brought that kind of crazy shit up at the dinner table your mother (Ma), father (Pa) or grandmother (Granny) would wack you in the head with a large wooden spoon or spatula… or worse. With more discretionary time on our texting thumbs and hands the high tech information age has made it possible for millions of Americans to consume mass quantities of caffeinated energy drinks and pre-diabetic sugar soaked honey buns from the gas station while watching 1000 different channels of shallow entertainment, reality TV shows, and informercials selling shiny objects like “fidget spinners”. Is it crazy to ask,”Who really wants or needs 285 hunting knives made in Hong Kong or knock-off samurai swords in 15 different colors?” Don’t tell me. I don’t really want to know….altho I suspect many of those people live in Florida or Ohio.  Those who prefer to stay “well-informed” on current events can choose between highly polarized and politically prejudiced TV news programs (can you spell “cognitive dissonance”) occupied by bombastic pundits, life-sized talking barbie dolls and extremely desperate stand-up comics. Who’s bright idea was that? Science aficionados such as myself are unfortunately now relegated to pseudo-science documentaries about Mermaids, Bigfoot, and Ancient Aliens…or some bizarre combination thereof.  
 Some say the internet will save us. It’s unregulated and driven by consumer demand and free market principles. Not really. The online universe of “everything” may not be any better than the aforementioned boob tube. To be fair, access to the world wide web and the “internet of everything” (which also includes the dark web and more pornography per band width than number of creepy crawly insects per millimeter of mud) probably does have more to offer content-wise that is reasonably constructive. However, It also makes it possible for more people to connect with one another including those who were previously isolated, disenfranchised or just plain alienated from the so-called mainstream. Isn’t that a good thing? Not necessarily, because now really sicko twisted Homo Sapiens akin to the serial-killer Ed Gein (the prototype for Leatherface in the Chainsaw Massacre movies) who was much safer for society stuck on his dilapidated pig farm in Wisconsin is now able to reach out and find like-minded individuals, web forums, paramilitary parades, and “meet and greet” cannibal culture type social events. Finger foods anyone? Connectivity also allows these isolated and demented individuals to listen to wide ranging but completely wacko-psychotic podcasts with “shock jocks” acting like know-it-alls and scientific authorities on topics ranging from the 9/11 “hoax” to alien abduction and sightings of lizard men in Obama’s Oval Office. Crazy people often only need one other totally cray-cray bosom buddy to agree with their thinking or their radical/violent philosophy and rambling Unabomber manifesto to convince themselves of their own merit and veracity. In other words, we all need to learn how to lovingly tell certain friends and increasingly paranoid acquaintances, “Um, sorry but that’s fucking crazy”. 
All I can conclude is that “epigenetic” changes in the human brain including active mutations in the neurological and cortical structure are now occurring as a result of living in a continuously stressful, topsy-turvy and crazy-making world. The social universe we live in today is one in which “up is down” and even worse, down seems to have no bottom. Good examples would be college students violently protesting AGAINST free speech on university campuses, “trigger warnings” being put on classical literature, and groups of otherwise sane individuals (including certain elected officials) believing it’s “understandable” or acceptable to body slam a news reporter and then later blame it on Obama…or on something in the water.
HOW CRAZY IS MADE:   If for some crazy reason the goal was to manufacture more and more unhinged and dangerous people in society then first you bombard the entire population 24/7 with offensive and psychologically damaging videos and sound bites of stress-inducing emotionally disturbing news (both fake and real). This includes both traumatizing and empathy-habituating videos depicting random violence, the death and decapitation of innocent people and young children, recurrent episodes of road rage, suicide, etc. Then you add to it an overarching social climate of fear and anxiety, status-seeking narcissism, general mistrust of others (especially those who are different) and excessive conformity to insular xenophobic values and authoritarian leadership (rather than humanistic, compassionate, cooperative or consensual cultural ideals, values and imperatives). Finally you eschew education both for young people and adults that promote objectivity, critical thinking, interior growth (self-knowledge), self-awareness relating to social-emotional intelligence and introspection and fundamental skills for coping and psychological resilience. Wait, did I mention rampant drug and alcohol use and abuse? Did I remember to include the over-utilization of legal and illegal prescription medications that are often highly addicting, toxic, grossly under-supervised, mood-altering and rife with physical and psychiatric side effects? They are a big problem too….. a really big problem.
Over time, the inevitable result of all the above and probably at least a dozen other still unmentioned factors (including thousands of young often suicidal traumatized war veterans with PTSD returning to society without jobs, adequate mental health treatment or follow-up help) is a crackpot/crock pot recipe for societal disaster and social decay. At the very least all of these epigenetic brain changes and external stressors may be promoting a kind of rapidly reproducing meme or cultural virus in the form of maladaptive thinking and behavior, social mimicry (like competing to be the best school shooter) and psychiatric disorders that are neither quiet, reserved or primarily internalized (like say normal variety clinical depression usually is). Those with psychiatric and pharmacological expertise say that one of the worst thing a psychoactive medication (like an SSRI antidepressant) can do is “energize” or “give legs” to a severely depressed or suicidal person. What that means on a practical level is that a depressed person who may be considering suicide or violence is generally safer (to self and others) remaining depressed in bed or at home until he/she starts to feel better than they are “jacked up” on Paxil, Prozac or ANYTHING ELSE. In fact,  if not properly supervised (quite often) it might TRIGGER a suicide attempt or murderous rage.  Now insert “radical religious ideology” or “super crazy delusion” or “dangerous political belief” for Paxil or Prozac.  Rather than suffer in silence, this newer type of hybrid wired, fired, emotionally disturbed/culturally conditioned individual who is now walking around with a REALLY BAD motherboard in his head wants his name in lights and trending on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Put another way, due to the basically antisocial and radicalized violence-prone nature of his affliction (either genetic, acquired, or both) he will desire to achieve (rather than a college education, job, family life, etc.) his own “detonation” (literally or figuratively) and have it be videotaped for posterity as well as  live-streamed over the internet. Why is that so hard for people to understand? 
Many people assume (at least at first) unusually violent acts and brutal crimes including mass murder to be principally associated with longstanding clinical psychosis, gang involvement , drug cartel criminality or extremist religious ideology, ie., just another treatment resistant schizophrenic dressed as a ninja, radicalized Islamic terrorist or intoxicated illegal alien, etc. . In reality, however, it often turns out to be someone quite unexpected who is either around 23 years old, minimally employed, a “drop-out dreamer”,  gun collector, solitary gamer/internet addict who just broke up with his girlfriend. Alternatively it turns out to be a married mid-life white guy who rather than just have a simple extra-marital affair or buy a red sports car decides to pick up a shotgun (from his growing collection) and use it on someone. Even later it’s revealed that he was “kinda nice but a little weird”, kept to himself a lot,  was socially unpopular, somewhat of a “nerd” or “kind of a loser” (by societal standards of success). We ( the helping professionals) pull out our diagnostic manuals and start to think maybe Aspergers Syndrome /autism spectrum disorder with unusually aggressive or depressive tendencies, conduct disorder, antisocial personality, undiagnosed or untreated schizophrenia or bipolar mania. However, REGARDLESS OF THE DIAGNOSIS the bigger problem is that off the radar and unbeknownst to most people these same individuals “primary interests” have increasingly become dangerous obsessions like learning how to make a nail bomb, collecting an impressive cache of automatic weapons and reading up on the current world record holder for mass murder (all at the expense of much needed therapy, meditation or yoga class, league bowling, craft beer collecting or any other far healthier social pursuit). More often than not these individuals have experienced rejection, humiliation, and a recent loss of their once important dream of personal success, personal belonging, and life fulfillment…yeah the American dream thing. The final outcome is someone inexplicably blowing up a packed music concert full of innocent teenaged fans, randomly shooting a completely helpless elderly man, a nightclub full of gay and straight people, beating a sleeping homeless person to death with a claw hammer, or for some god-forsaken reason murdering their entire family and then committing suicide …all while live-streaming it on Facebook. Now that’s what I call REALLY CRAZY and unfortunately I think WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. Before you take that the wrong way what I mean is we need to “wake up” and get better at helping ourselves and others around us including those people outside our personal “bubble” of comfort, experience and expertise. In my opinion, we also shouldn’t be relying so much on well-meaning professionals like myself or even “esteemed” psychiatrists with thick prescription pads, undisclosed Big Pharma connections, and touting another new atypical antipsychotic drug to fix our emotionally disturbed, psychiatrically struggling, and/or socially stunted population. The same is true about believing there is some super reliable professional cure for alcoholism and drug abuse at any age.  Yes many to all of these off-kilter emotionally disturbed individuals need professional help and affordable treatment but they also need a kinder, healthier and more balanced CULTURE to live in. That would begin with all of us recognizing what is physically, socially and psychologically TOXIC to healthy human beings. For starters I”m pretty sure being deployed in combat at the age of 19 or 20 years old (especially if one is already psychologically vulnerable and who isn’t?) is generally toxic to good mental health. It’s impossible to be fully “prepared” or vaccinated for extraordinarily violent and traumatic experiences of that sort. Then these brave young men and women return to a country that busy arguing over everything, playing silly games on their “smart” phones, and watching shows on TV with names like “Survivor”, “Naked and Afraid”, and “Fear Factor”. Imagine what they (combat vets) think of that after having their legs blown off by an IED or having watched their best buddy bleed out in some dusty village in Afghanistan. That would certainly make me crazy.
In much the same way, the many thousands of victims of domestic violence, childhood sex abuse, social media bullying, drug addiction, drug overdoses, suicide attempts, suicide-by-cop, and even the much despised suicide bombers very often never had a chance to learn how to handle the uncomfortable truth that modern life is stressful, complex, unpredictable and that emotional pain, loss, trauma, tragedy and failure are inevitable. Helping others to learn how to deal and cope with current reality (rather than reality TV or Hollywood Kardashian distorted versions of reality) is the name of the much better “game” we should all be playing together.
Sadly, some of these troubled and highly disturbed people don’t get a second chance to come back like in the violent video games they play and never get to know that others in the real world can and should learn to be more loving, more compassionate, more present, less judgmental and overall better (humane) human beings. Rather than argue politics or point fingers we could learn to give hugs and train ourselves to listen with empathy and genuine compassion EVEN if we disagree on a number of major issues like politics or religion.  I keep saying this but I’ll say it again. I’m 63 years old going on 64. I’m a Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D………but I myself have a long way to go in improving on most to all of the things I just mentioned above. It’s an ego thing.  I keep catching my mind making reflexive judgements and self-serving conclusions. In my fear, anxiety and anger I catch myself (usually after the fact) falling into the trap of blaming, inflaming, shaming, and defaming the so-called bad guys rather than reframing the basic underlying problem. Just like exercising more I know I should do it but tend to put it off or “forget”. Unfortunately, it’s often forgotten because I reflexively turned on the morning television news, immediately check my iPhone for messages or open my precious laptop (god forbid if it’s not already fully charged) to get on Facebook,  to argue politics, or to attempt like a flaming narcissist or failed stand-up comedian to get more “likes” on social media.
Summary:  Help me (and help one another) to get outside of our ego-centric selves, our electronic addictions and our ingrained “habits” (which includes how we choose to habitually think) that are progressively blunting our empathy, our authenticity, our compassion and our essential humanity. Not to pick on China but I don’t want to end up like the “modern” Chinese people in the viral videos who watch with indifference while children get run over multiple times and then continue on with their busy day (see video below). Help me to NOT forget what I am trying to say in this essay about our toxic American culture. I don’t want to be another numb or narcissistic “numbskull” (my father’s term) who has habituated to a “crazy culture” and lost the ability to see the healthy forest of our future from the troubled and multiply traumatized trees of today.  Things gotta change and I promise you there’s no magic red or blue pill to fix this one. 
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How to Make America Great Again: Nuke North Korea

How to Make America Great Again: Nuke North Korea Now!
by Cliff Mazer, Ph.D., aka CaptCliff

Disclaimer: I happen to be a Clinical Psychologist in Atlanta Georgia. That means it’s my job to understand people. I’m also a light in the loafers liberal who has difficulty grasping the mindset of the tweeting troubadour better known as Donald Trump. Unlike the majority of people I interact with I consistently found myself “at odds” with practically everything he espoused both as a presidential candidate and now as the “weird orange guy” who is our Commander-in-Chief.  At the same time, I perceive our society as a whole to be increasingly polarized and divided.  As a result, I really wanted to find a way to personally bridge this troubling political and psychological divide. I reasoned that just as marriage partners must learn to understand, overcome and appreciate their differences, members of opposing political parties and adherents of different sociopolitical viewpoints would be best-served to do the same. But how could this be accomplished? Many of us live and work in self-imposed geographic and/or demographic “bubbles”. More often than not we belong to social networks occupied by people relatively similar to ourselves. Homogeneity reinforces what psychologists call “group think”, the tendency of group members to adopt uniform beliefs over time, even if they are wholly irrational or dysfunctional. In addition, this separation or bifurcation of beliefs may be exacerbated by popular social media platforms like Facebook which give users the option of deleting or “unfriending” others with whom they disagree, dislike, etc.

I pondered long and hard how I might stifle my ego and socially programmed biases as an overeducated liberal-minded Jewish male of Baby Boomer age raised since birth to have reflexive empathy for the needy and less fortunate members of society.  I strategized on the various ways I might access my “other side”, meaning my normally repressed Dr. Strangelove rabid Republican shadow self.  A Vulcan mind meld was clearly not possible and getting the current POTUS or Sean Spicer to lay on my home-office therapy couch was out of the question due to security concerns (my own). As a result I was forced to come up with an admittedly controversial alternative solution to plumb the murky depths of Trump think. Always one to innovate and push the envelope of “participant-observer” research, I decided to artificially alter my own consciousness and temporarily “become” a Trump follower. After leaving a set of written instructions for my political alter-ego and briefly consulting with both of my token Trump supporter friends, I proceeded to hypnotize myself using guided imagery, mindful meditation, three very large rum and cokes and a handful of brain-numbing Benzodiazepines. In this way I temporarily assumed the identity of a Donald Trump acolyte and instructed my “Make America Great Again” Republican self to jot down his “top political priorities and core values” while in trance state, a controversial technique sometimes called automatic writing. Somewhat reminiscent of my recent pre-surgical colonoscopy appointment, I felt vaguely apprehensive, like Jeff Goldblum in the “The Fly” about to teleport himself (in his case accidentally) directly into the physical body and mental state of a creepy conscience-less hive-minded insect.

The written transcript below is verbatim what “TrumpCliff” wrote down using a standard #2 pencil and a reproduction feather quill pen I purchased on an 8th grade trip to Williamsburg Virginia. Don’t ask. I don’t know why he chose that implement. Strangely, during this automatic writing session and manic diatribe TrumCliff chain-smoked unfiltered Marlboro cigarettes (something I’ve never done in my life) and put them out in the palm of his own hand like G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame, rather than just use an ashtray or bottle top.  Since undertaking this  experiment (about a week ago) I’m already on my third tube of Neosporin for the still blistered burn mark on my (non-dominant) left hand and my house still smells of cheap Jamaican rum, unfiltered Marlboros and testosterone gel. I will leave the interpretation of the “raw data” to you, the reader. As a result of the experience, however, I will be busy resurrecting my 1960’s era fall-out shelter in my Pirate themed basement.
TrumpCliff Transcript: Let me answer your libtarded questions by first saying this: As an alt-right supporter and Donald Trump surrogate (SS…get it?), I am generally more of an isolationist and NOT a knee jerk warmonger. I dont take going to war lightly and this is especially true if it involves me personally risking my own life, possibly losing a limb or ending up a quadraplegic without the ability to use of my golf clubs or genitalia. I also don’t support ANY military action that might result in higher state or federal taxes, even tho I dont pay any. Anybody who does is likely a schmuck who is not only unaware of pro-business corporate loopholes but also clueless in regards to the Cayman Islands. That being said, as a nation we must face some urgent political realities and do the right (selfish) American thing.

Donald Trump’s White House is in serious disarray. Failure to repeal Obamacare or stop the flow of illegal aliens or radicalized Democrats from ultra liberal states like Hawaii and California are threatening to derail the Trump presidency. I believe we desperately need the following: 1) a BIG POLITICAL WIN for the Republican Party and 2) a HUGE DECOY-DISTRACTION from all the intelligence and congressional sub-committees investigating WH ties to Russia and everywhere else in the near galaxy. Still unconfirmed reports of a video showing President Trump making out with his own daughter Ivanka are also worrisome although who could really blame him? She is so HOT!

Let me get to the real point. The Syrian missile strike was good but not good enough. I believe we are on the brink of war with North Korea. Every single American (with the exception of Dennis Rodman) is at risk given North Korea’s rogue status, nuclear capability, and unstable dwarf-ish leader, Kim Jong Sick-in-the-Head-Un. The North Korean populace themselves are so hungry and brainwashed that they dont even consider trying to import produce from American agricultural sources and they continue to disregard our warnings about the ill-effects of eating gluten-free diets. Even tho they do keep their body-fat ratio down due to starvation and forced exercise (not a bad idea) they still dont grasp the Ayn Rand logic of taking personal responsibility for their own health by working out regularly ONLY in a Crossfit affiliated gym, going to AMA accredited western-trained doctors paid to prescribe Big Pharma meds (not an acupuncturist, herbalist, or Tai Chi master) and eating nutritious fast food like Domino’s Pizza (Trump’s officially branded power meal). I’m saying it’s not completely their fault but they are still Commie savages with the kind of bad breath that makes you literally turn your head and go, “omg, eww!” How does anyone expect us to negotiate with heads of state or rag-tag military leaders reeking of charcoal, halitosis and kimchi? That kimchi stuff, by the way, is just rank, and I dont care if it’s “anti-inflammatory”. Obviously their leader is not.

Bottomline: I dont always agree with Dick Cheney and the NeoCon cabal but they might have been right about a few things including Iraq. Once again President Trump was on point from the very get-go about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said so on Twitter at 4 AM, 5AM..and 6AM, etc. He said if we’re going to do it then don’t do it half-assed.  Translation: We should have just gone in there like ballbusters and taken the oil and good looking women and then NUKED THE REST TO HELL. The women alone would have been worth a fair amount of cash with their high cheekbones, exotic eyes and submissive attitudes (visualize Melania but much shorter). Now of course they are getting all “westernized” but not necessarily in a good way, i.e., all uppity and refusing to engage in arranged marriages like all of the Trumps. In fact its starting to look like a Hilary Clinton convention in the Middle East and that’s not even mentioning Bengazi or the puppet leaders and proxy regimes we BRIBED and PUT IN PLACE after very briefly consulting with the CIA and NSA. Dammit, we taught these people how to use deoderant soap and toilet paper! Before we got there they were still squatting and wiping their butts with their non-dominant hand. That’s why Trump doesn’t like to shake hands for Christ’s sake! Can you blame him? You can’t negotiate deals with religious lunatics who would rather use their cellphones as IED explosive triggers than cutting edge technology capable of playing games and sorting through Tinder profiles while simultaneously sexting high-resolution photos of your penis to people you’ve never met. We invented that! What a pitiful waste.

Let’s face it, you cant make a “silk purse from a sow’s ear” and the kind of folks who live in North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and certain parts of Florida and Georgia just cant be educated or rehabilitated. It’s like in my all time favorite movie “Deliverance” with Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight. If you turn your back on indigenous people with poor dental hygiene and no basic knowledge of college football they will basically fuck you in the ass…which goes right back to the sow’s ear analogy (insert hog call here). If you need one last related “bullet point” to get what I’m saying then get this: many of these foreigners absolutely REFUSE TO EAT BACON. Enuf said?

I believe I’ve made my case. You want to know my main “priority” libtard?

We need to man up and make a damn decision. Obama only got Bin Laden because key Republicans told him to pull the trigger or else they’d release his phony birth certificate and a video of him, Michelle, and Hilary working out naked in the White House private gym. According to confidential Breitbart sources, they’ve never seen a P90x routine quite like that even tho group sex on a weight bench and yoga mat bearing the Presidential seal might just qualify as a form of “resistence training”. Anyway we need to act RIGHT NOW and launch a preemptive military strike on Little Kim/Psy Weirdo and his North Korean sheeple people. I suggest we use a combination military tactic of Team America’s World Police (see video on You Tube) and Norman Schwartzkopf’s “Hail Mary” armored blitzkrieg from Desert Storm…. minus the cultural respect and religious tolerance. Passover or Easter Sunday would have been as good a day as any for D-Day. I doubt the North Koreans even know what an Easter egg or box of Matzah looks like. I realize General Schwartzkopf passed away in 2012 and therefore can’t physically lead the charge Patton-style but his manly body could be exhumed and mounted on the hood of the lead Humvee like in Mad Max Thunderdome. If that turns out to be legally or physically impossible then let Arnold Swartzenegger take his place. He still looks good for an old man, his name is similar, and the North Korean Dwarf King knows “Ah-nold” all too well from all the times he jerked off watching his live-action movies. Plus, Arnold can redeem himself for publicly criticizing the POTUS, shtupping the help while still married, getting caught, and then ADMITTING IT like a ginormous cuck. Couldn’t he afford an expensive smiling-while-lying defense lawyer like Johnny Cochran or Jose Baez for God sakes? I said Jose Baez (Casey Anthony’s slime-ball attorney) not Joan Baez, libtard.

My fellow Americans, I’m talking about a “Win-Win” situation for America and for our Commander-in-Chief, except for the fact that Korean women are not quite as good-looking as Persian chicks, that’s just my personal opinion. Finally if the liberal wimps in the audience think nuclear weapons are too “drastic” and are afraid of a little gamma radiation or a nuclear winter or two in retaliation keep in mind we now have MOABs (Mother of All Bombs) and “tactical” nuclear weapons in our military arsenal. We can bomb the shit out of them or nuke ’em in surgically precise missile strikes that will wipe out their ICBMs and shitty rat-infested cities while still keeping select shrines and Chinese built skyscrapers intact for our commercial use as legal gambling casinos and sex tourism destinations . Genius or what? I say “Nuke ’em Now”!

Team America Movie Trailer:

P.S. Once we get there, forget swiping North Korea’s so-called nukes. There’s a good chance they dont work anyway. Israeli hackers already made sure of that. We really only want their land, their mineral resources, their women and their tourist attractions. Another Disneyland just outside Pyongyang would be just perfect if we can teach them to not piss or shit on the monorail or Main Street. They can keep all their stinky ass Kimchi.

Cliff Mazer, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Humorist, and Satirical Blogger living in Atlanta, Georgia. He loves all things Pirate. Contact: 404-932-7193

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Pirate-Style Home Remodeling


pirate paintbrush
As a Pirate crazy Clinical Psychologist with ADHD, it was fairly obvious to anybody who knew me that things were not going to go exactly as planned when I decided to completely renovate my 70’s era split-level home in Atlanta. What they didn’t know and what I didn’t imagine at the time was that I would soon be entering a supernatural realm that Rod Serling talked about at the beginning of every episode of one my favorite TV shows, The Twilight Zone. While he talked about a “journey into a dimension of mind.. limited only by ones imagination”, he failed to caution me that my home renovation would take me to a place far less wondrous and wholly inhabited by madmen, drunks, crack addicts, liars and thieves. Of course, like Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) in Apocalypse Now, I turned out to be the chief Mad Man and the signposts ahead pointed not towards the “sights and sounds” of the Twilight Zone but instead toward two predominant states of mind, “Temporary Insanity” and “Total Chaos”.  
As a single dad with three young sons and without the benefit of intelligent feedback from a spouse, a life partner, a licensed architect or a sober construction professional of any kind, well-advised precepts of home improvement such as “curb appeal”, “cost/benefit analysis” and “careful planning” were tossed overboard in favor of more appealing ideas like man caves, poop decks and secret passageways. Architectural treatments that would entice Tom Hanks in the movie “Big” or anyone with more imagination than good sense gained immediate favor over lesser considerations such as how much money I had in the bank. How much money you might ask in retrospect? Well, let’s just say that recouping my total investment in time, man-hours and renovation dollars is less likely  than the chance of Captain Ahab pulling into port dragging his elusive Great White Whale behind him on a thin retractable doggy leash. I now understand why Hemingway chose to call his classic work “Old Man and the Sea”, one of my favorite classic books in high school. That weather-beaten totally exhausted old man Santiago probably started out his chosen adventure as a buff young stud with soft hands, endless optimism and a full head of long curly hair. Speaking of dog leashes, I currently have three dogs (two mini-dauchunds and a rescue black lab) and they are the only living creatures who use the custom designed poop decks and use them on a regular basis…to poop on.  
Pirates of old were often considered to be individuals who rejected conventional thinking, spurned traditional approaches and had an abiding love for adventure, personal freedom and complete independence. If true, then my house could be considered CaptCliff’s flagship of rebellious home remodeling and architectural anarchy. In “Apocalypse Now” terms I was Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) , the blood-stained totally whacked out military leader who had seen too much and witnessed things so horrific and debilitating to the human mind and spirit that all he could manage to utter was “the horror, the horror….”. In my case I witnessed the horror of a home renovation so out of control that it made the movie “Money Pit”, also starring Tom Hanks, seem like a nursery rhyme. Still one must endeavor, even in their total madness to find a silver lining. So here are a few to consider when doing a large remodel of ones primary residence:
Introduction: Over the course of my long (and still unfinished) home remodeling, several significant insights occurred to me and are worth mentioning (not counting the primary insight about being really stupid and crazy to do it):
1) Renovations of this size and scope are not just a collection of finite tasks or ordinary home improvement projects like replacing outdated lighting or changing out the bedroom shag carpeting for newer and more resilient hardwood floors. Instead they are closer to epic ordeals and life-death struggles worthy of their own Opera or at least a biopic type documentary narrated by Werner Herzog in his signature monotone voice. Like Tim Treadway, the manic protagonist in Herzog’s “Grizzly Man” a guy who was literally eaten and consumed by his ill-fated obsession and love affair with Alaskan grizzly bears, I too failed to receive the kind of special skill training, psychiatric care or psychoactive medications needed before  venturing out to tackle such an overambitious (quasi-suicidal) remodeling project. Like Walter Mitty on crack cocaine, I was interested and excited to find out what it would be like as a “regular person” not trained in architecture, design or construction to immerse myself in a total home remodel and do it basically all by myself (not counting my trusty but often jailed and deported personal assistant JhonyIf that wasn’t nuts enough, as a result of watching too many episodes of “Pickers”, “Flip This House” and other completely scripted and staged DIY television shows, I developed the additional delusion that I could accomplish this daunting task by using mostly salvage materials, “sustainable” second-hand building stock and leftover items stacked up and slowly rotting in my unfinished basement. Yeah, I know. I should have been watching more episodes of “Intervention” and “Hoarders Buried Alive ” instead. On the positive side, I was able to further my counseling career by identifying and diagnosing myself as suffering from a completely new psychiatric disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Renovation Disorder (OCRD).
2) Death, destruction, entropy, and financial ruin lurk like a gathering of hungry zombies around every major home addition or sizable renovation project. That includes the tortured ghosts of some very well-known architects, designers and visionaries like Frank Lloyd Wright whose own residence burned down not once but twice from arson, unexplained electrical issues and really bad karma. As a result, throughout the demolition, construction and remodeling phases of my home I attempted to remain keenly aware of the need to stay psychologically grounded, highly focused and well-organized. Of course that never happened and yet deep down I knew there was a certain method to my creative madness. Unfortunately that method along with everything important I just mentioned became lost immediately and repeatedly along with my car keys, my drivers license, my social security card, my prescription glasses and my wallet under an enormous and perpetually growing pile of papers, unopened utility bills, hand-drawn renderings and certified mail. The purchase receipts from Home Depot or Lowes alone eventually grew to closely resemble the Devil’s Tower prominently shown in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.
3) When one takes forever to remodel their home, many popular design concepts and current trends come and go. Similarly, ones personal preferences change because, well, people naturally grow and change as they get older and mature…or at least “theoretically” mature in my case. Certain things one never ever considered viable before suddenly begin to cross their renovation “radar screen” or are not so randomly brought to our attention by deviously clever targeted Facebook ads, Instagram and Pinterest posts, etc. Through data mining, cookies and spyware these savvy advertisers use our personal information to “target” what they consider to be our preferences or greatest consumer needs. For example, am I the only one getting a spate of spam and tidal wave of pop-up commercials for Viagra, home catheters and adult-sized diapers? Sorry, I had to ask. Who knew that those electric chairs that take you up and down the stairs would start to look pretty good over time? Ditto with those walk-in bathtubs and thick stainless steel safety hand-rails. If anything, I came to view my original renovation design and preferred architectural style  ie. “Contemporary Southwest”, as morphing into a more “international” or eclectic architectural stew. What started as single off white walls with open gallery-style niches for indigenous art and sculpture naturally transformed into something that incorporated various bits and pieces of different cultures, far-away places and exotic ports I had either been to or fantasized escaping to (since they lacked extradition agreements) in my slowly emerging crock pot/melting pot pirate residence.
4) While the design components, architecture and finished interiors I chose for my home are highly individual (particularly in terms of native art and aesthetics) they also represent a genuine expression of my admittedly eccentric personality. Furthermore, because of who I am and what I do for a living (a pirate psychologist/writer/humorist) my house attempts to communicate certain things to those brave souls who intentionally or accidentally cross my glass-tiled threshold and “come aboard” (symbolically speaking). This includes a number of key insights, core values, and principles I consider fundamental to “positive pirate living” living rooms, and quite possibly living in general. Such notions include relatively obvious concepts like seeking “inner peace”, tranquility (not counting all the shit in the basement), achieving “balance”, maintaining a sense of humor (with an appropriate amount of existential irony and sarcasm) and especially recognizing ones individuality, uniqueness and innate value in an unusually superficial, materialistic, “show-off” oriented society (think Kardashians, Trump, or literally any of the Wives of Wherever reality TV shows). Honestly I’ve already been there and done that and it really didn’t make me very happy. Well, ok, I was possibly temporarily happy until my AMEX card spontaneously combusted. At least my current home with all its many flaws makes me laugh quite often (mostly at myself) and reminds me of mankind’s perpetual folly in thinking that human beings have control over anything from unsavory subcontractors to unsafe supernovas.  A very large home improvement project will most likely teach you these fundamental life lessons. Of course it’s also important to realize what a naive fool and total idiot you or I were and then forgive yourself for it. That’s not all that different from learning to look back on and forgive oneself for their lost time, reckless teenage years or even embarrassing mid-life crisis in which a grown man I know thought he could totally restore a broken down 1993 Jaguar XJ12 convertible in his garage even tho the classic car was in 378,298 pieces and he didn’t even have a garage door….because of his total home renovation. True story….and I am still missing a garage door.
Hopefully my home remodel does succeed to tell a very human story (my own) that is entertaining, artistic and possibly even psychoeducational. As a therapist I eventually learned that once you “plumb the depths” of most human beings they actually turn out to be relatively interesting characters with multi-faceted personalities. Without exception they all have their own story and personal adventure to tell with many applicable life lessons. Like Johnny Depp’s iconic Captain Jack Sparrow pirate character who’s rogue scoundrel persona is counterbalanced by a soft heart and rollicking sense of humor, most of us are a proprietary blend of positive, negative, and neutral human attributes. A complete or seamless integration of such disparate aspects of one’s total life and “whole” self is not always possible, nor is it necessarily desirable. Similarly, my house has many different parts, paths, levels and disparate leitmotifs but with a few common elements and themes woven throughout….especially if one looks and listens carefully and follows the many “keys” and clues scattered throughout.
My never-ending renovation and 15 year (and counting) home improvement project not only mirrors my many contradictions but also demonstrates my desire to improve myself, primarily from within. At 63 years old (and counting) my exterior or “curb appeal” has gone the way of my hippie-era long hair, bell-bottom jeans, and silver plated “ID bracelet” from 8th grade at Edgewood School in Highland Park, Illinois. In it’s place is a primarily “trial and error” lifetime that includes many memorable successes, multiple miserable failures, heartbreaking losses, regrets, redemption, romance and hopefully sustained resilience. Like my unfinished house and the groves of bamboo I planted in the untamed sloping backyard so many years ago, I have grown over the years and endured, often bruised and bent but still not broken.
Admittedly, life as a pirate parable or symbolic sea journey is not something often seen or expressed architecturally in a grown man’s leafy landlocked residence in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. That’s probably especially true when the homeowner happens to be a 60-something Jewish Psychologist who in real life gets seasick just standing on a fishing pier or riding in the backseat of a slow moving car. However, once authenticity and imagination are given the green light, ones self-expression and creativity is free to do as they please with their home or anything else for that matter. I chose to express myself and my inner pirate “CaptCliff” through a literal as well as metaphoric never-ending voyage of self-discovery through psuedo-nautical art, hand-crafted peace pipes, satirical sculptures, and through culturally diverse architectural spaces. If my very upfront and honest Jewish mother, Claire Mazer was still alive (God rest her soul) I could easily imagine her saying to me, “Wouldn’t a few pieces of Judaica and a nice painting or two from Safat or Jerusalem have sufficed?” Maybe it would have…but now that I think of it she did the same exact thing artistically speaking and let it all hang out both in Chicago and at her condo in Longboat Key Florida. She expressed herself fully in her living quarters and intimate spaces regardless of existing trends or current styles in vogue.  Similarly, I fearlessly or foolishly forged ahead and created a pirate style palace where form and function coexist but are often superseded by personal meaning. Just like in my therapy practice, my home uses humor, metaphors, cultural symbols, and mental (cognitive)  “anchors” to express both a colorful life narrative and a cautionary tale, depending on how one choose to look at it. I choose to see it as both sides of a valuable gold doubloon coin with my name on it.
Cliff Mazer, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist living in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He has three grown sons and three female dogs. His favorite Halloween costume growing up in Highland Park, Illinois was a hand-made pirate costume his mother made from scratch and a plastic sword. Contact: 404-932-7193 His blog can be found at
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