Saturday, January 24, 2015

Things I Believe In...

And Things I Don’t…

Some things that, in my opinion, probably do not exist, except in people’s imaginations: Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, Enlightenment, Stillness, and Free iPads.

(I mean enlightenment as in a state of permanent transcendence of self-interest. The "New Age carrot" as a facebook friend put it…)

I do believe in the existence of energy fields around the body, but only the verifiable kind, like infrared or heat energy, or static electricity.

I do believe in the existence of Eskimos, although I’ve never met one.

I do believe in the existence of aliens, just not here on Earth. I don't believe inter-stellar travel is possible. I could be wrong of course, but the space and time barriers, seem insurmountable to me. Interstellar communication of some kind is far more likely. I will not be convinced of the existence of aliens on Earth by the way, until one is standing in my front yard with a ray-gun.

Love at first sight? Not fully realized love of course. That takes time and energy. But I do believe it's possible at first sight to know that another person is someone with whom one could do that work, that the other person is right for you.

Sasquatches, Yetis, Bigfoot? No way. A huge social mammal on Earth that has so far eluded us? Not a chance.

Bargains, I do believe in, but not if they are labeled as such.

Stillness to me is only relative. Everything is moving, vibrating, or spinning in some way.

And I would add "Silence" to the list as well. I know there is no sound in space, but there is vibration and to me, silence means no vibration.

I don’t believe the human mind can move objects except through the actions of our physical bodies. I don’t believe people can fly, levitate or even increase their hang time when jumping beyond the limits set by gravity.

I believe the only thing that can beat good physics is better physics.

I don’t believe that anything is “supernatural”. If it exists, it’s natural.

I don’t believe in immortal souls, Heaven or Hell. I’d love to be wrong about that, but only if there’s no Hell. Although, what the Hell?, Hell might be better than nothing. I don’t believe in reincarnation or any of the other afterlife scenarios. I barely believe in this life, let alone the next one.

I don’t believe restaurants with “high school” kitchens, that is, restaurants staffed primarily by high school kids, are safe to eat in, which pretty much rules out fast food joints. This is because underpaid overworked young people with very recently formed senses of right and wrong are not likely to follow all the appropriate hygienic procedures and in fact might deliberately violate them.

I didn’t believe “2012” would be any different from any other year in terms of disasters and such. If the Mayans were so prescient, why didn’t they see the collapse of their own civilization coming? And remember, their calendar had to stop somewhere. They couldn’t keep chiseling indefinitely. Even our calendars don’t go on forever. I was right about this one.

I do believe that most “alternative” medical therapies work, at least for some people, but usually not for the reasons the practitioners of them think they do.

I do believe that so called “Western” medicine has a lot to offer, but unfortunately the entire delivery system is so corrupt and money infiltrated that I don’t trust it.
I believe that exercise is best when it’s integrated into daily life, rather than sequestered to discrete workouts and places like gyms. And, other things being equal, outdoors is better than indoors.

I believe that cell phones, the internet and the digital revolution as a whole are making our brains lazier and lazier. Just as cars weakened our legs, so computers are weakening our brains. We do not think, we ask for information from the net.

I don’t believe in “purging” or “eliminating” things from our psyches or lives. We can learn to relate to things differently, but nothing can be done away with entirely.

I do believe in love. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January News

From Gene Burnett

Happy New Year Friends. Winter is upon us but now the days are slowly getting longer. I got some great new training toys for Christmas…a kettlebell, which is basically a cannonball with a handle used for strength training, and a wobble board, which is basically a circular piece of wood with a hard plastic semi-circle underneath it—you stand on it and try to keep your balance. Samarra’s dad Ed visited us for the holidays and we had a very nice time. I made a video of our decorated apartment which is included below in the New Videos section.

We had a big storm last month which knocked down dozens of trees around Ashland. I videoed some of them and set it to my song “Some Damage Here”. Again, links below in the New Videos Section.

In spite of the holiday busyness, I did make quite a few videos this month. In addition to the two mentioned above, I made more sky videos of songs from my newest album “Crooked Love”, some videos from my Winter/Holiday Songs Themed Open Mike, three new Rogue Poetry Slam videos, and four new T’ai-Chi videos as well.

So here we go…starting with the usual information about where to find my music, videos and pictures, including information about new projects, and then followed by information about local shows in case you’re in the Rogue Valley.

There is so much to listen to and watch on the net these days…I’m amazed anyone even gets this far in the newsletter let alone watches or listens to anything I’m doing. I’m sincerely grateful for every view, every listen, and every nice comment I receive. I’m happy if anything I post truly reaches even one person. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit.

Recorded Music

My newest album is called Crooked Love and like all my other albums (31 so far…), it’s available for downloading free or with a donation at my website:

Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 1000 so far! I'm not trying to build a fan base...In fact, I'm not trying to build anything. I'm not expecting you or anyone else to follow what I'm doing or watch all of these videos. Posting videos is just part of my overall plan to make my music (and my T’ai-Chi and Nature videos too) as freely available as possible and see what freely comes back. I think of each video as sort of like a message in a bottle...and more I toss out there the more likely one of them will land on a friendly shore and something good will come back to me. So here are some video links in case you're interested:

How to Find My Videos: First of all, I've set up a "Videos" page on my website ( with a menu similar to what you see below as well as a digital tip jar in case any of you want to contribute to my cottage industry. Every little bit helps and not just financially. 

I've also set up some blogs that make navigating and viewing my various videos much easier. You can go to any of these blogs and see thumbnails for all of the videos posted there. Scroll across the thumbnails and you will see the titles of each video. Click on it and a page will open that will let you watch the video right there without going to youtube. My latest videos are always in the upper left hand corner.

To see all of my Music videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Videos

To see all of my T'ai-Chi videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Movement

To see all of my Nature videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Nature

For a quick and easy way to sort through, listen to, or download all of my albums free or with a donation, click here: The Unforced Music

To see my regular blog “The Unforced Life”, click here: The Unforced Life

To visit my youtube channel and possibly subscribe, click here: My Youtube Channel

To see all of my youtube playlists click here: My Youtube Playlists 

New Videos

My “Doubles Hitter” youtube playlist. Includes videos for all the songs from my last album:

Here are some new videos of songs from my latest album “Crooked Love”:

Here are some new videos from my “Winter/Holiday Songs” Themed Open Mike:

That's The Way The World Goes 'Round (Cover)~Gene Burnett

My song “Some Damage Here”:

Here are three new videos from the latest Rogue Poetry Slam:

Our apartment decorated for the holidays featuring my rendition of White Christmas:

And four new T’ai-Chi videos:


I've stopped posting as many pictures on facebook, (for many reasons), and started posting them instead on Flickr, which I like much better.

Here's a link to my "home page" at Flicker: Photostream.

I have many photo galleries there but a few of my favorites are:

Small Miracles (mostly Nature related stuff)

The Dish Whisperer (I started posting a daily picture of my dish stacking work over a year ago. I recently crossed the 1000 straight days mark. I have no idea how long I’ll keep doing this. I’m so used to it, it hardly takes any effort at all to continue. I made a video for my song “I'll Do The Dishes Tonight” that featured a slideshow of the first year. I made it through my second year recently, and hope to create another video slideshow set to another of my songs. Stay tuned…)

"Head" and "Boot" (devoted to our two gerbils)

Upcoming Shows:

Monday, January 5th , I'll be playing at one of my favorite Ashland venues, Liquid Assets. A relaxed living room vibe with great service, excellent food and wine, and a really nice place to listen to music. I'll be playing from 7-9pm, maybe longer...

Wednesday January 7thI'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose CafĂ© & Bar. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of every month. This month's theme is“Whiny Songs~Pissin’, Moanin’, & Complainin’” so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems, originals or covers, that are about or mention anything to do with whining or complaining about anything under the sun. Let’s start the year out right! ;~)  We're never too strict or narrow about the themes for this event. The main idea is to focus our attention a little to hopefully inspire and motivate us creatively. These are always fun. No Cover at the friendliest bar in Ashland. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm. *A heads up for next month: Wednesday, February 4th, 2015: “4th Annual Love Songs”

Tuesday, January 20thI'll be competing with many other poets at the Rogue Poetry Slam which happens at Northwest Pizza and Pasta in Ashland. Sign-up is at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8. $5 cover, all of which goes to the winning poets. If you've never been to or competed in a Poetry Slam, I highly recommend this one. Come to watch, compete, or be one of the judges. Some people think of slams as hardcore hip-hop events or places where people are mean and talk trash, but nothing could be further from the truth. All kinds of poetry are welcome and people are very supportive. And it's so nice to participate in an event that is all about the words, or in my case, lyrics. For me it's really not about winning or losing, but just the fun of sharing my words with people and seeing what happens.

For more info on these and all of my shows, and to confirm that there have been no cancellations, click here: Calendar  

Since I'm putting this newsletter out once a month, it's possible there may be a cancellation of a given show by the time it happens. Please double check with my web calendar if possible to be sure the gig is still happening. I'd hate to have you come out for nothing. Also another gig or two might be added or times or locations might change, so do check the calendar for the latest info.  


I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or with a donation at my website: I started doing this about 7 or 8 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years passed and I decided to start calling it my "ongoing creative experiment" as I have no plans to stop. Since I returned to my folk roots and stopped climbing, or trying to climb, the industry ladder, I've been enjoying music in my life more than ever before. And enjoyment, rather than achievement or worldly success has always been dearest to my heart anyway. So now I focus totally on what I love most: writing, recording, performing and sharing what I create. If other people like it, so much the better, but getting other people to like me or what I do is no longer my goal or focus. I'm out to please myself first. I want to do my music exactly the way I want to do it and see who likes it that way, not figure out what people will like and try to do it that way. I put it out there freely and see what comes freely back. So far so good. I've never had more success and appreciation than I have since I started doing it this. Go figure. 

Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes even if you don't make to any shows.