Emess: The Unvarnished Truth


  • When I think of being REALLY 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 routine himself, a sad, not very funny, one. During his criminal trial for obscenity, he jumped up as an undercover cop was describing his comic 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 near scholar of the Law and it’s often unfair and unjust application, worshipping it as it was destroying him. As he pored through legal tracts and page after page of its complicated legalese jargon, he was in awe of its apparent “Majesty.” More so than were the judges who convicted him and his relentless-Javert-like–prosecutor in that dingy courtroom.

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 Coen Brothers movies, especially ones like, “A Serious Man”   Emmis

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, although often bizarre Truth about the real World the absurd situations we encounter and all the nutty and contradictory people in it, including ourselves.
Let me start off with a little mini-Emmes example from my favorite media source, the “weird news” reports. There was a case years ago, in Miami Beach, which involved a bartender calling the police to complain about an unauthorized person using a “private 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 (not by the Jewish officer involved), 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 footballer) barred from the premises for being Gay or not Gay, Hetero or something else 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, where everyone just takes his or her chances? Why shoot the guy? Was he a known drug dealer, or just as dangerous, a former player for the Miami Dolphins?  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 Truth is often ludicrous–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 in life by simply deciding to listen to their own self-centered self-interest and biased perspective (one side of a multi-sided coin) or based on a simple but pronounced (rather than profound) FEELING. Feelings? Nothing more than feeling? Let me tell you, raw unfiltered emotion is not usually recommended as a way to do business, elect a President or judge someones innocence or guilt……and yet we all do it, some more than others, practically every day of our lives, and often without ever looking back to see if maybe we made a “boo-boo”. There’s actually a lot of boo-boos out there….. some worse than others.

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SuperCuck/Ladies Man Writes about His Phily Girl/Tinkerbell With Brass Knuckles

 Disclaimer/Warning:  This blog is what is called “confessional” writing. CaptCliff is taking a bit of a risk to share his recent life experience and deeper feelings with his motley crew and feels a bit “vulnerable” about the whole “self-disclosure” thing. He also knows that only about two people on the planet will have the time, energy, or interest to follow his meandering metaphor strewn story to the not so bitter end. If TMI creeps you out because you need your Pirate Captain to be all tough, manly, stoic and immune to human heartache and pain, then move along…..nothing to see here. Ye have been duly warned. However, if you choose to stay you might want to pull out your monogrammed lace hankie or Pirates of the Caribbean kleenex box just in case…..and don’t worry there WILL be politically incorrect humor, obscure cinematic references, sarcasm and self-deprecation.

Posted onJuly 19, 2017by captaincliff




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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.
I’m not referring to traditional forms of mental illness or psychiatric disorders but a more insidious and disturbing cultural phenomena displayed increasingly by a deeply divided and polarized nation, an anxious self-medicating population, and a morally confused as well as contradictory citizenry. Other indicators suggest that people at various levels of society and economic strata are troubled and have begun to question the historical mythology about America including it’s inherent goodness, greatness and stature as a “beacon of light” for others. The United States as a role model nation may be finally losing its luster. Somehow the beacon thing is getting progressively dimmer and we may as a country have to accept ourselves as having lost our way in the dark forest of what once was termed our “manifest destiny”, a suspect concept itself. Generally speaking there is a lot of “free-floating” anxiety going on and a pervasive sense of foreboding that is still short of what might be called profound “doom or dread”. It’s more like a generalized form of anticipatory anxiety. Like many other things psychological in nature it’s uncertain whether sufferers of this existential pre-dread sensation are even consciously aware of this cultural virus , spreading affliction or understand it’s source. Regardless, large questions loom in the collective American psyche. Who are we now? What is going on?? Where are we headed? Is the United States washed up as a superpower? Are we no longer a globally respected model of  freedom, plurality and  democracy? These are just a few overarching questions about our identity and self-image that pertain not to any random individual that might seeking professional help but to a weakened and more neurotic nation even as the majority carry on with daily routines, plans for the Holidays, take selfies and update social media accounts. But who will be the country’s therapist?  
To some observers that which is wrong simply boils down to a deficit or decay in baseline morality, as if the nation’s 14 k golden “moral compass” has broken or gone missing along with its Jiminy Cricket-like conscience reminding us what is “right from wrong” (an important component of legal sanity). 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 changing modern world and melting pot culture. Some critics see this as the direct result of adding too many immigrants (legal and illegal), different religions with clashing ideologies, and fundamentally incompatible racial-ethnic groups to the Founding Father’s original recipe. Regardless of the reasons, there is an overpowering sense that something is wrong in Camelot and while political parties and TV pundits point fingers and argue aloud who and what’s to blame, signs of this societal sickness continue to grow and even show. Put bluntly, if social issues and psychological problems were toxic fumes and the country was a a coal mine, the canaries would probably 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 a general perception of unhealthy thinking, stress-related conditions and overall maladaptive behavior) that its difficult to say exactly who or what’s the very MOST crazy. The fact that relatively few people in power or so-called authority figures seem alarmed enough to do anything proactive about it may be what drives me the most crazy.  
As a psychotherapist, I feel less like the guy with his finger in the “dam of the deranged” that’s sprung a leak and more like Chicken Little the crazed handyman tasked with fixing an already crumbling hen house made of ash and toxic asbestos. On the subject of toxicity, it only takes cursory research and a few keystrokes to realize there are way more published books and magazine articles on toxic work environments, toxic marriages, toxic pollutants, and toxic politics than there are on the social ills that result from living in a highly toxic culture. In fact, I couldn’t find anything very substantial or comprehensive on the topic in the professional literature either when I google search “toxic American culture”. That seems kinda crazy to me too. Maybe I’m the crazy one…..
Certainly from media reports (both mainstream and alternative) it sounds like there are more “bad hombres” running loose and totally unhinged than combined flavors of Baskin Robbins and Ben and Jerrys ice cream. The phrase “another senseless act of violence” seems to show up practically on a daily basis. Trying to keep up with all the viral videos of incomprehensible antisocial acts and bonkers behavior or just remembering the name of this weeks mass murderer or suicide bomber is becoming impossible even for a seasoned psychologist and  information junkie such as myself.  Perhaps the head honchos in Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry in Bethesda, Maryland, Washington DC, or wherever they keep the gold standard for sanity and insanity have quietly thrown in the towel. Even they can’t seem to keep tabs on all the new and different mental and behavioral disorders crammed into the latest editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and (ICD) International Classification of Diseases. 
Unfortunately I don’t have a single all-encompassing explanation for the explosion of irrationality and off-the-wall behavior occurring in many sectors of society. It seems that no place is safe from random encounters with lunatics or bad seed behaving individuals. It’s even more crazy-making to hear neighbors or friends of the IL (identified lunatic) interviewed later saying, “He seemed so normal…he was pretty quiet and used to mow my lawn for free, etc.” This disparity in perspective includes the broad range of overtly disturbed or psychotic people and plain old regular folk who snap and melt down like cheap candles in a pile of gas soaked rags right next door to in Suburbia USA. Luckily in my neighborhood they make reasonable allowances for me. I believe I’m referred to as the “sort of funny bald shrink who thinks he’s a pirate” and “the bald guy who takes his trash cans up to the street in his bathrobe”.  Do they really HAVE to mention the bald part every time? The good news is that many of them also bring their kids over to see my pirate basement.  Certainly, the Internet, social media and 24-hour cable news haven’t been of much assistance in helping people to remain calm, sane or civil in these stressful times. Furthermore, for all it’s Steve Jobs hype and “interconnected” gobbledygook, the information revolution may actually do more harm then good when it comes to providing the support, safety and security that is shown to mitigate mental illness (see website at bottom). Ditto for the digital age having  failed to keep it’s utopian pie-in-the-sky promise of transforming sedentary gaming addicts and technology consumers into “healthier” and happier human beings. In reality it’s more like a mash-up of Wall-e, Westworld and Halloween 3 online and outside. 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 bad sign.
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 insane conspiracy theories or wacked-out delusions involving Jodie Foster, Vince Foster or Foster Grants. Plus, if you brought that kind of crazy thinking up at the family dinner table your mother (Ma), father (Pa) or grandmother (Granny) would wack you hard with a large wooden spatula… or worse. With more discretionary time on our ever-evolving hands and texting thumbs the industrial revolution and current information age have made it possible for millions of Americans to plunk themselves down in a cheap chair from IKEA and consume large quantities of caffeinated energy drinks and packaged honey buns from the local gas station to watch 1000 televised channels of shallow entertainment, reality TV shows, and informercials selling shiny objects. Who really wants or needs 285 hunting knives or 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.  Those who prefer to stay “well-informed” may now choose between highly polarized politically prejudiced TV news programs (can you spell “cognitive dissonance”) occupied by bombastic pundits, life-sized barbie dolls and desperate stand-up comics. What’s with that weird combination of so called “talent”? Who’s bright idea was that? Science aficionados such as myself are pretty much relegated to pseudo-science documentaries about Mermaids, Bigfoot, and Ancient Aliens…or some combination thereof.  
 The online universe may not be all that much better than the aforementioned “boob tube”. Access to the world wide web and the “internet of everything” (which includes the dark web and more pornography per band width than insects per millimeter of dirt) probably does have more to offer “content-wise” that is relatively constructive. It also makes it possible for more people as well as different types of individuals to connect including those who were previously isolated, disenfranchised or just plain alienated from the mainstream. Isn’t that a good or even great thing? Well, not necessarily, because now really sick and twisted Homo Sapiens like the serial-killer Hannibal the Cannibal Ed Gein (the prototype for Leatherface) who was safer for society stuck on his dilapidated pig farm in Wisconsin is also able to reach out and form like-minded social groups, web forums, and “meet and greet” events. Starbucks Coffee, home-made jerky and (real) “finger foods” anyone? Connectivity also allows these formerly isolated and demented individuals to listen to paranoid podcasts with “shock jocks” acting like know-it-alls and scientific authorities on topics ranging from the 9/11 “hoax” to alien abduction to verified sightings of Martian lizard men in Obama’s Oval Office. Crazy people often only need one other lunatic to agree with their nutbag thinking (or radical/violent philosophy and attached 550 page rambling manifesto) to convince themselves of it’s absolute merit. In other words, we all need to learn how to lovingly tell certain friends and acquaintances, “Um, sorry but that’s fucking crazy”. 
All I can guess is that “epigenetic” changes in the human brain, meaning 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…one in which “up is now down” and down seems to have no bottom. Good examples would be college students violently protesting AGAINST free speech on university campuses, “trigger warnings” on classical literature, and groups of otherwise sane individuals (including certain elected officials) believing it’s “understandable” and socially acceptable to bodyslam a news reporter and then blame it on Obama…or on something in the water.
HOW CRAZY IS MADE:  If you allow me to expand on my only slightly LESS paranoid theory (Disclaimer: CaptCliff’s theory currently lacks definitive empirical support or a well-replicated double-blind peer-reviewed study and published academic journal article) let me put it this way:  if the goal is to manufacture more unhinged crazy dangerous people in society, first you bombard the entire population 24/7 with offensive and psychologically damaging sound bites and computer bytes of stress-arousing emotionally disturbing news including traumatizing and/or empathy-habituating videos depicting random violence, the decapitation of innocents and children, recurrent episodes of road rage, suicide, etc. Then you add an overarching social climate characterized by fear and anxiety, status-seeking narcissism, general mistrust of others who are different and excessive conformity to overly insular values and authoritarian leadership (rather than humanistic, compassionate, cooperative or consensual cultural value and imperatives). Finally you eschew education both for young people and adults that promote critical thinking, interior growth (within the self), self-awareness relating to social-emotional intelligence and introspection, and basic skills for coping and psychological resilience. Hey, did I remember to mention rampant drug and alcohol abuse? Did I happen to include the over-utilization of legal and illegal psychoactive prescription medications that are often addicting, grossly under-supervised, mood-altering and rife with serious physical and psychiatric side effects? They are a big problem too….. a really big problem or as Donald Trump would say (one thing I actually do agree with him about) a “really really tremendous problem”. 
Over time, the inevitable result of all the above and probably at least a dozen other significant but still unmentioned factors such as thousands of young traumatized war veterans with PTSD returning to society without jobs, adequate follow-up help or effective treatment is a crackpot/crock pot recipe for societal disaster. At the very least these internal changes and external stressors may be promoting a kind of rapidly reproducing meme or cultural virus in the form of pathological social behavior/mimicry and psychiatric disorders that are neither quiet or primarily internalized (like say clinical depression usually is). Those with psychiatric and pharmacological expertise say the worst thing helping professionals can do is “energize” or “give legs” to a severely depressed person. What that means on a practical level is that a depressed person who may be considering suicide or violence is generally safer depressed in bed until he/she starts to feel better than they are jacked up on Paxil, Prozac or ANYTHING ELSE which if not properly supervised 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 type of wired, fired, emotionally disturbed and culturally conditioned individual (who is 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 nature of his affliction (either genetic, acquired, or both) he will desire his self-propelled and self-controlled psychophysiological “detonation” (literally or figuratively) to be videotaped for posterity and  live-streamed over the internet.
Many people assume (at least at first) that unusually violent acts and brutal crimes including mass murder are associated with longstanding clinical psychoses, gang or drug cartel related criminality or extremist religious ideology, ie., just another treatment resistant schizophrenic dressed as a ninja, radicalized Islamic terrorist or intoxicated illegal alien with a long rap sheet. In reality, however, it often turns out to be someone unexpected who is either around 23 years old, minimally employed, a “drop-out dreamer” or solitary gamer and/or internet addict who just broke up with his girlfriend or a married mid-life white guy who rather than just have an extra-marital affair or buy a red sports car decides to pick up a shotgun 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 “loser” (by societal standards of success) and perhaps a “bit idiosyncratic” in his primary interests. We ( the helping professionals) pull out our diagnostic manuals and start to think maybe Aspergers Syndrome /autism spectrum disorder with unusual aggressive or depressive tendencies, conduct disorder, antisocial personality, undiagnosed or untreated schizophrenia or bipolar mania. However, the possibly bigger problem is that off the radar and unbeknownst to most people these same individuals “primary interests” have increasingly become 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, yoga class, league bowling, craft beer tasting or any other far healthier social pursuit). More often than not they have experienced rejection, humiliation, and a loss of their once important dream of personal success, belonging, and 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 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 experience and expertise. In my opinion, we shouldn’t be relying so much on well-meaning professionals like myself or even so-called “esteemed” psychiatrists with prescription pads, Big Pharma connections, and another new atypical antipsychotic drug to “cure” our emotionally disturbed, psychiatrically struggling, and/or socially stunted kids. The same is true about believing there is some reliable professional fix for alcoholism and drug abuse at any age.  Yes all of these off-kilter emotionally disturbed people need professional help and affordable treatment but they also need a kinder, healthier and more balanced CULTURE to live in. That would begin with us all recognizing what is physically, socially and psychologically TOXIC to 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 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 is very 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 Afghanistan. That would certainly make me kind of 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, suicide-by-cop, and even the much despised suicide bombers often never had a chance to learn how to handle the uncomfortable truth that modern life is complex, unpredictable and that emotional pain, loss, trauma, tragedy and failure are inevitable. Helping others to learn how to better deal and cope with reality (rather than reality TV or Hollywood distorted versions of reality) is the name of the much better game we should all be playing.
Sadly, some of these troubled and highly disturbed people don’t get a second chance to “come back” (like in the violent video games) and never get to know that others in the real world can 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 truly 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. 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 problem. I keep forgetting just like after someone waking up from a vivid dream with obvious and important meaning that is GONE like fairy dust (or the quantum stardust we are all made of) in less than 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it’s often gone because I reflexively turned on the morning television news, immediately checked my iPhone for messages or opened my precious laptop (god forbid if it’s not already fully charged) to get on Facebook to argue politics or attempt like a flaming narcissist (or failed stand-up comedian really) to get more “likes” for being clever…as if I’m 13 years old and not a 63 years old Chicken Little Jewish guy in a fluffy bathrobe and Pirate costume going on slightly decrepit. 
Summary: Once again I apologize for my inability to ever be succinct. I tried. This time just hear my personal plea. 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 think) that are progressively blunting our empathy, our authenticity, and our essential humanity. Not to pick on China but I don’t want to end of like the Chinese people who watch with indifference while people get run over multiple times and then continue on with their day (see video below). While I may still be awake from last night’s dream (for some reason it had frogs in it…whaa?) I know I will still probably forget. Help me to NOT forget what I am trying to say about our toxic American culture. I don’t want to be another numb or narcissistic “numbskull” (my father’s word) who has lost the ability to see the healthy forest of our future from the troubled traumatized trees of today.  Things gotta change and I promise you there’s no magic red or blue pill to fix this. 
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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: https://youtu.be/RPBX47zSktc

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
When a Clinical Psychologist with attention deficit disorder and an obsession with all things Pirate decided to remodel his traditional 1970’s home in Atlanta Georgia beginning around Stardate 2000 A.D., all bets were off. As a single dad with three young sons and without benefit of intelligent feedback from a spouse, life partner, licensed architect or construction-related professionals of any kind, well-advised precepts of home improvement like “curb appeal”, cost/budget analysis and systematic planning were tossed overboard in favor of better ideas like multiple man caves, poop decks and secret passageways. Architectural treatments that would appeal to feral children, 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? Well, let’s just say that recouping my total investment in time, man-hours and renovation dollars is  less likely today than the probability of Captain Ahab pulling into port dragging a White Whale behind his battered dinghy on a doggy leash. I also now understand why Ernest Hemingway chose to call his classic novel “Old Man and the Sea”. The weather-beaten old guy Santiago probably started out the trip as a young Cuban stud with velvety soft hands, endless optimism and a full head of hair. Speaking of dog leashes, I have three canines (two mini-dauchunds and a rescue black lab) and they especially love the poop decks and use them on a regular basis. If the pirates of old were people who tended to reject conventional thinking, spurn traditional approaches and had an abiding love for adventure, personal freedom and independence of spirit (even when that might get them in a great deal of trouble) then my house could be considered CaptCliff’s flagship of rebellious remodeling and architectural anarchy.
Over the course of my long (and still unfinished) home remodeling, several things became clear to me and are worth mentioning:
1) Renovations of this size and scope are not just a collection of finite tasks or ordinary home improvement projects like replacing a broken hanging lamp or changing out shag carpeting for hardwood floors. They are closer to epic ordeals and  life-death struggles worthy of their own opera…or at least a biopic documentary narrated by Werner Herzog. Like Timothy Treadway, the manic protagonist in Herzog’s “Grizzly Man” a guy who was literally consumed by his ill-fated love affair with wild Alaskan grizzly bears, I too failed to receive the kind of intensive psychiatric care or psychoactive medications that I probably needed before casually venturing out to tackle my overambitious if not downright quasi-suicidal objective. Like a Kamikaze pilot version of Walter Mitty, I was interested to find out what it would be like to not just immerse myself in a complete home remodel but do it basically all myself. If that wasn’t crazy enough, as a result of watching “Pickers”, “Flip This House” and other related (and probably completely phony) DIY cable television shows, I developed a peculiar delusion that I could accomplish this daunting task by using salvage materials, “sustainable” second-hand building materials and leftover items stacked up or slowly rotting in my basement. Yeah, I know. I should have been watching more episodes of “Intervention” and “Hoarders” instead. On the positive side, I was able to identify and diagnose myself as suffering from a new psychiatric disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Renovation Disorder (OCRD).
2) Death, destruction, entropy, and financial ruin lurk like a gathering of hungry ghosts around every home addition or sizable renovation project. That includes the ghost of some very well-known architects, designers and visionary builders like Frank Lloyd Wright whose own residence burned down not once but twice from arson, electrical issues and extremely bad karma. As a result, throughout the demolition, construction and remodeling I attempted to remain keenly aware of the need to stay focused and well organized. I also knew that there was a certain method to my idiosyncratic form of creative madness. Unfortunately that method along with my very best intentions became lost repeatedly (along with my car keys, drivers license, prescription glasses and wallet) under an enormous pile of important papers, unopened utility bills, hand-drawn renderings on napkins, certified mail, and mountain of purchase receipts from Home Depot and Lowes that came to resemble the aptly named Devil’s Tower in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” .
3) When one ends up taking forever to remodel their entire home, many popular design ideas and current trends come and go. Similarly, ones personal preferences often change because, well, people change as they get older and mature…or at least theoretically mature in my case. Certain things one never considered before suddenly begin to cross our mental “renovation radar screen” or are brought to our attention by deviously clever Facebook ads, Pinterest posts, etc. Through data mining, cookies and spyware these advertisers use personal information and demographics to “target” what they consider to be our most relevant and/or greatest consumer needs. By the way, am I the only person getting a spate of spam and pop-up commercials for Viagra, home catheters and adult-sized Depends diapers? Who knew that those battery-powered and 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 theme  ie. Southwest style, as morphing into a much more “international” architectural stew. I happen to like design features of a number of different cultures and exotic far-away places including Africa, Mexico, Hawaii, and the tropical Caribbean islands. As a result, it was natural for me to want to incorporate bits and pieces of these mentally magnetized flotsam/jetsam and ortgeist/zeitgeists into my slowly emerging melting pot pirate residence.
4) While the design components, architecture and interiors I chose over the years are highly individual and personal (particularly in terms of art and aesthetics) they also represent a genuine expression of my overall eccentric and now rather eclectic personality. Furthermore, because of who I am and what I do for a living (professionally speaking) my house attempts to communicate certain things to those brave souls who cross my glass-tiled threshold and “come aboard” symbolically speaking. This includes a number of  key insights, core values, and humanistic principles that I believe are fundamental to “positive pirate living” and living rooms. Such notions include relatively obvious concepts and instrumental values like seeking “peace” and “balance” in all things, maintaining a sense of humor with an appropriate amount of existential irony/sarcasm, and recognizing ones individuality, uniqueness and inherent value in an unusually superficial and 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 didn’t make me very happy. At least my current home flaws and all makes me laugh quite often (mostly at myself) and reminds me of mankind’s repeated folly in thinking that human beings have complete control over anything from subcontractors to supernovas (or tsunamis for that matter). A very large home improvement project will most likely teach you this fundamental life lesson. Of course it’s also important to realize what a naive idiot and total fool you or I once 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 and/or reckless teenage years or even an embarrassing mid-life crisis in which a man I know thought he could restore a 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. True story and I am still missing a garage door…..
Hopefully my home remodel does succeed to tell a human story (my own) that is artistic, entertaining and possibly even psychoeducational. As a therapist I learned that once you “plumb the depths” of most people they actually turn out to be relatively interesting characters and multi-faceted personalities. Without exception they ALL have their own story to tell. Like Johnny Depp’s iconic Captain Jack Sparrow character who’s “rogue” persona and scoundrel personality is counterbalanced by a soft heart and rollicking sense of self-deprecating humor, most of us are a proprietary blend of positive, negative, and neutral attributes. A complete or seamless integration of such disparate aspects of one’s “whole” self (totality) is not always possible, nor is it necessarily even desirable. Similarly, my house has many different parts, paths, levels and leitmotifs but with a few common themes woven throughout.
My never-ending renovation and 15 year (and counting) home improvement project not only mirrors my contradictions and ADHD personality 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, miserable failures, heartbreaking losses, regrets, redemption, romance and resilience. Like my unfinished house and the many small cuttings of bamboo I planted in the untamed backyard, I have grown over the years and endured, at times bruised and bent but still not broken. Naturally, many of these dramatic themes are grist for the screenwriting and storytelling mill and as a result have ended up as major elements in practically every decent pirate novel, movie,  tune, and rum-soaked buccaneer tale told around a wooden pub table or bonfire.
Admittedly, life as a pirate parable or symbolic sea journey is not something often seen or architecturally expressed throughout a grown man’s residence in the leafy landlocked 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 standing on a fishing pier or when riding in the backseat of a slow moving car… However, once authenticity and imagination are given the green light, one is free to do as they please with their home. I chose to express myself and my inner pirate “CaptCliff” through a 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 Jewish mother, Claire Mazer was still alive (God rest her soul) I could easily imagine her saying aloud, “Wouldn’t a few pieces of Judaica and a nice paintings from Safat or Jerusalem have sufficed?” Maybe it would have. Instead, I fearlessly (or foolishly) forged ahead and created a pirate style palace where form and function exist 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 cautionary tale, depending on how you choose to look at it. I choose to see it as both sides of a gold coin with my name on it.
If my main goal in counseling is to help clients feel comfortable and safe while they learn to heal, grow and achieve balance between mind, body and spirit, then my home intends to do the same, but perhaps with my tongue more firmly planted in my cheek. By normal standards I realize one would have to be pretty “off the beam”, or different to custom design their primary domicile and largest financial asset in this way rather than just go to IKEA or call a licensed and bonded designer/architect/contractor. However, Cliff Mazer the Psychologist and CaptCliff the faux pirate both happen to believe that our “authentic self “(through the unfolding creative process and the passionate pursuit of wisdom) is not only the essential and enthusiastic spark of life that is so evident in small children (but too often lost over time) but also the real “buried treasure” that we seek whether we realize it or not. Making my house an honest expression of my dreams and youthful imagination (including my Captain Jack Sparrow-ish alter-ego) and a gallery/showplace in which to display my wonderful but not-so-perfect life story has been an ever-entertaining, exciting, and ego-humbling experience. Of course, on the other hand …or other side of the coin, finding real buried treasure in the form of Spanish gold or silver doubloons, shiny jewels and other awesome pirate booty on a beautiful far away tropical island would also be amazing too!
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 and plastic sword. Contact: 404-932-7193 His blog can be found at https://captaincliff.wordpress.com
Addendum: Eventually I intend to offer my home and the purely pirate basement level as a community space for free pancakes and pirate-related learning, personal myth and meaning scavenger hunts, a Titanic existential “escape room” and specialized theme Airbnb hotel/hostel.
Soundtrack:  Teach Your Children Well
You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
And you, of tender years can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well, their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

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Trip Advisor Review: Gus’s World Famous Spicy Fried Chicken


One of the downsides of being a semi-retired psychologist and part-time Pirate is that you can become lazy and/or complacent about “venturing forth” to try out new places to eat. Let’s just say the A (Adventure) in an aging suburban pirate’s life can get a bit stale. On the positive side,  you can stay in your fuzzy robe and slippers all day long and decide to do the dishes tomorrow…or even the day after.

Loath that I am to leave my self-imposed suburban Atlanta bubble, imagine my surprise when I saw they were putting in a Gus’s World Famous Spicy Fried Chicken location not even a mile from my pirate ship/survival bunker/money pit/ haunted house in Sandy Springs. It replaces the dearly departed Clay’s Pub which was a time-warp recreation of a stereotypical “Wings and Suds” hangout from up north. The great news is that Clay’s has  relocated and will soon occupy the Roswell Road strip mall location vacated by Jason’s Deli. To be honest, I grieved over Jason’s departure, not because Jason’s was so fabulous but because I swiped more free frozen yogurt and salad bar condiments from that eatery than probably anywhere else in metro Atlanta. Also, they never gave CaptCliff a hard time when they caught me foraging like a binge-eating squirrel on a mountain of bacon bits, sesame flatbread crackers, olives, brownie and blondie squares and assorted cut-up vegetables. But I digress…as usual. Anyway, also imagine my surprise when I pulled up to find out when Gus’s Fried Chicken was going to open only to see actual smiling patrons yucking it up inside while carrying around large plates of crispy fried chicken and fresh greens! Heck, last I saw there were still construction guys outside pulling wire and scratching their balls. They must have gone into warp drive to meet their contractual deadline and zoom through the final punch list with the owner. Maybe they were being paid in spicy fried chicken and sweet potato pie slices.

As a foodie and somewhat overweight person with little to no self-discipline,  I immediately recognized that this was their “soft opening” and that it would be restricted to family, friends, and local folks with favorable connections. Without hesitation or a functioning super-ego I decided to channel Leo DiCaprio in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” and marched into the small but appealing restaurant storefront and asked for the manager. Among the at least twenty identically dressed employees and smiling servers (all adorned in GWFSFC t-shirts) the manager emerged only to apologize profusely and tell me the place wasn’t “officially” open until next week…as if that would deter me. By this time, however, I could already smell the chicken frying in it’s Tennessee (actually Memphis) style spicy batter and noticed a young couple getting down on what looked like really good mac ‘n cheese and fried okra. The next thing I know I found myself shamelessly morphing into Andrew Zimmern from the Food Channel and lying like a psychopath. I propped my $2 Dollar Store reading glasses at half mast (low on the nose) and told the manager I was a “travel and restaurant reviewer”. Oy, I know….you don’t have to tell me. Im going to culinary hell. With that I was personally introduced to the new franchise owner (I believe his name was John) and was ushered ceremoniously to a private table with these explicit instructions, “Get whatever you want. I want to know what you think”. Whoa. I guess hunger and gluttony are also the mother of invention as well as outright deception and trickery when necessary….

Ok, that was the amusing backstory for my minions that realize this is standard larcenous but not quite illegal practice for CaptCliff. Here’s the actual review: The fried chicken was very good. Initially I was afraid that Gus’s signature spicy take on Southern fried chicken (and everything else they make besides the desserts) would overwhelm my taste buds but instead found that it added a nice but not too mouth-numbing flavor. The meat was moist enough and the skin extra crispy with a good amount of bite. The greens, among all other things on the plate were excellent and quite fresh. I like that they were unadulterated with all other kinds of treyf and traditional southern additives like bacon fat, pig hoofs, squirrel and highway-to-table  roadkill, etc.. I like to taste the actual fresh greens and Gus got it just right. Unlike some other online reviewers trolling other Gus’s locations, I did NOT find the coleslaw to be limp or watery and, in fact, it provided a nice if somewhat bland counterpoint to the cayenne pepper-infused main dish. The fried okra were similarly hot (temperature wise), fresh and while a tad commercial in their presentation and form (all the exact same size, color and battered texture) tasted quite good. The main take-away I got was that Gus’s goes for taste and consistency and attempts to establish a high franchise standard from the get-go (both in their limited menu and in the smiling service provided). There was a bit of a wait to get my order to the table but lying beggars and fake food critics can’t be choosers. Kudos to the attentive server as well who after the fourth time asking if I wanted a refill on my diet coke finally said, “I guess you want to savor that one…” After requesting a To Go box I snuck out the side door like a thief in the night, except that it was still only 4 PM and bright as day outside. Speaking of take-aways here’s my distilled reviewer take: Consider this place as a good and dependable place to get a moderately priced good-tasting meal of Memphis style fried chicken and sides all with a certain extra punch of peppery spicy goodness. I suppose I can’t really blame the free meal or Gus’s for the mild case of reflux I experienced later on. Perhaps that was just a bit of Jewish guilt……

Visited March 2017
4 of 5 bubbles
4 of 5 bubbles
4 of 5 bubbles


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Trump Think: Global Warming


While Democrats and others of their ilk are doubling up on their Lexapro prescriptions and checking out Priceline for one way flights to Puerta Vallarta, I still want to understand how Trump people think. In other words I’m interested in finding out what is in the head of the average Trump supporter so that I may better comprehend his/her peculiar worldview. I know this is a complex riddle that goes beyond anything I might learn by going to Walmart and kidnapping, killing and harvesting the brain of an obese middle-aged white guy wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. Not only would that be illegal but many organic diseases and forms of advanced dementia don’t show up on standard autopsies or brain scans. It would take a much “deeper probe” to plumb the depths of this cognitive conundrum. So instead I shall proceed by looking at one major issue at a time.

Global Warming:  I’m not an environmental lunatic. I don’t even recycle most of the time. I typically only do that when I eat at Whole Foods or when neighbors ask where I put my empty plastic bottles and styrofoam take-out containers. However, I do believe in science, especially when there is overwhelming scientific evidence at hand. Even tho there are plenty examples of shoddy scientific research on everything from penguin penises to Prozac, there is no doubt that global warming is an actual occurring phenomenon. There is also pretty good data and agreement among climatologists and biologists forecasting the effects global warming is having (and will continue to have) on our environment, the air we breath, and on human health and mortality. In saying that, I’m not even taking into consideration the emaciated polar bears, beach stranded porpoises, prairie dogs with attention deficit disorder or endangered arctic foxes that Greenpeace and other activist groups are so worried about. I may be an animal lover and lifelong student of ethology (animal behavior) but in any given “ultimate survival” scenario all the non-bipedal species will have to get in line behind me. I’m not frickin’ Noah. I guess the rub in the Global Warming argument comes in definitively determining what the direct effects of human associated pollution, deforestation, and environmental damage have in adding to or speeding up global warming.

What I don’t understand and really need to find out from a die-hard “Global warming is a damn hoax” type person is why does it matter whether our human contribution is minimal or catastrophic? Are Trumpettes saying global warming is NOT bad in the long run? Are they saying that it’s “natural” to go through historical cycles in which the polar ice sheets melt, desalinization occurs in the worlds major oceans and which will NOT significantly affect ocean temperatures, sea levels, commercial fishing and coral reef production? Do Trumps chumps think it’s NOT a big deal if weather patterns shift dramatically as a result and certain highly populated islands and coastal cities around the world suffer significant physical, environmental and economic loss as a result of beach and coastline erosion, tidal flooding and storm surges? What I’m saying is we have science saying it’s happening and getting worse. I don’t see how this is a political issue. What am I missing? Finally, are Trump voters missing pre-frontal lobes or lacking connectivity to parts of the brain necessary for critical thinking? I would be glad to check for anyone interested in participating in my study who is willing to sign a very comprehensive waiver/release form.  Just last year I received a lovely set of serrated knives for Hannukah from my cousin Donna made of surgical steel so just bring yourself and your Trump hat. Naturally, I’ve also got a good bottle of Chianti and fava beans….

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