Monday, November 28, 2011

Thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Over the past few months I've had a lot of mixed feelings when it came to the Occupy Wall Street Movement. On one hand, it was a breath of fresh air to see people interested in making a difference and wanting to change things that they don't like happening in America. In fact, it was only a handful of months ago where I was watching a documentary on the band Nirvana and there was an interview with Curt Cobain talking passionately about certain issues he had with media, politics etc., and it made me realize that there weren't many people like that anymore. Nobody seemed to give a damn in this day and age. With the economy in the shape it was in, everybody seemed to be more concerned about financial survival and holding on for dear life to what was left of the American Dream. Saving the world wasn't anywhere close to being on their list of priorities; indifference and apathy seemed to be rampant; dissent and discourse seemed to be dead. But then the Occupy Wall Street movement happened and it reminded me that there are, indeed, still people out there who want to save the world. It rekindled some of my hope in humanity.

That all being said, I didn't necessarily feel the need to join the movement myself. I feel like I protest in my own ways (mainly through writing) and going to an organized protest for me would be like a spiritual person feeling the need to attend Church for no other practical reason than to show off his spirituality. But I can understand why others would want to go to the protest. And it gives Washington, Wall Street, corporate America and the wealthy "one-percent" a good wake-up call - basically, that Americans apparently aren't as complacent as previously thought. They're not going to just allow Wall Street to get away with stealing billions of dollars from taxpayers in bailouts, run their shady credit default swap schemes, purposely destroy the economy to eliminate the middle class etc.

One thing I've found most fascinating (and frightening) about the Occupy movement is how the 'elite' have been responding to the protesters. The first thing they tried to do was demean the people by painting them as bums, misfits, menaces and outright criminals. I was recently watching an interview on TV where Newt Gingrich said - with the signature Republican smirk - that the protesters needed to "get a job and take a bath". Frankly, I can't believe that anybody would ever take a politician seriously who makes such childish, immature, negative and hateful remarks. What kind of America are we living in when protesters embracing their American right to change things and make a difference are made to feel like absolute shit? Bullying leaders like Gingrich are about as anti-American and unpatriotic as they come. At some point in his life, Gingrich made the cowardly choice NOT to be free and - out of sheer insecurity - he's now ridiculing those who actually choose to be free. This is a man who is a bigger "enemy of freedom" than any terrorist out there in the world.

But demeaning the protesters ultimately proved ineffective, so Gingrich and the rest of the elite then tried to lay a guilt trip on them. They started scolding the protesters because all the police presence at the protests was supposedly costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. This may very well be true but it's important to remember why the protesters are there in the first place. Maybe if Wall Street didn't swindle the American people out of billions of dollars in bailouts, run their Ponzi schemes, hand out all their bogus loans, bet against these loans in the futures market and generally fuck up the economy in an inexcusably malicious way, the protesters wouldn't have to be on Wall Street to begin with. Besides, what kind of America are we living in when protesters are made to feel guilty for simply wanting to change things and make a difference? A true America cannot exist if protesting is depicted as being something that's too costly. That's basically like saying freedom is too costly so you better shut up no matter what's going on, be complacent and save the taxpayers' money. If there's anything the taxpayers SHOULD be funneling money into it's freedom, not into "bailouts" for banks that are supposedly "too big to fail".

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that true freedom is something being battled against by the ruling powers, whether it be Wall Street, Washington, corporate America or the wealthy one-percent. With the help of the media, they constantly chant "Never Forget 9/11!" and remind us about Al Qaeda and Bin Laden and Zawahiri and underwear bombers and "homegrown terrorists" and "lone wolves" to take attention away from themselves and their own hatred of freedom. The truth is that the only "homegrown terrorists" we really need to be afraid of are morons like Newt Gingrich who ridicule people for simply being free, tell them to get a job and take a shower etc. Gingrich talks a big game about loving freedom, but the truth is that the only kind of freedom people like him love is the kind that secures his position as rich and powerful while the other ninety-nine percent struggles every month to pay its bills. He is part of a larger movement to essentially redefine freedom as something that only serves the wealthy elite, destroys the middle class and prolongs a society where wealth is distributed in an absurdly disproportionate manner.

Whether you're for the Occupy movement or against it, one thing we can hopefully all agree on is that protest and dissent are essential to a society that is going to be truly free. Once we become hostile towards this kind of freedom or try to guilt-trip those who embrace it, we might as well be living in 1930s Germany.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Psychic Vision

I just thought I would post this brief video clip of a psychic medium describing a vision she had of me. I'm not quite sure what the vision means, but it sounded kind of cool, and it reminds me of the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi for some reason, though you may not agree with me.

The vision...

Danielson and Mr. Miyagi. You see the parallels, right? Of course you do.


NOTE: I wrote the blog below sometime in 2007, but never published it for reasons I don't remember. It's a little tongue and cheeky, but worth posting. Some strong language/sexual content. Don't read if you are easily offended.


This is a letter from me to a German girl I had a weird, two-hour “moment” with at a bar in Boston on Fat Tuesday 2006. I write it in hope that one day the girl will remember my name, look me up on the Internet and find me here. So if you're not the German girl, you shouldn't be reading this, as things are going to get really erotic and steamy. If you are the German girl, then, "Hey, how's things going? Remember me?"

February 2006. Fat Tuesday. I was experiencing the blues. Only days earlier I discovered that all four of my wisdom teeth had cavities and needed to be removed. Bad news for a man with no dental insurance. Certainly a date with Mr. Anheuser-Busch was on the bill.

A friend from college was going to be in town for a few days, visiting his sister. We decided to get together and do a good old-fashioned bender. We started at a bar called the Pour House on Boylston Street. It was 11am. We got hamburgers and several mugs of beer. The hours began to blur. The buzz began to set in...

By early evening, we ended up at a bar formerly called the White Horse Tavern. I'm not sure what it's called now but I'm sure it's something stupid. I was sitting at the bar, going off on my usual loud, drunken rants:

“No, Paris Hilton is really, really smart.”

“Ok, Burns. Sounds good.”

“No, dude, Paris Hilton is, like, really bright. People don’t understand her.”

“All right, Burns. I believe you.”

“No, Paris Hilton’s REALLY smart. I’m gonna marry her and have her babies.”

“Ok, Burns. Good luck with that.”

“No, you don’t understand...”

When suddenly, I felt a pair of eyes on me. I glanced to my four o' clock and saw this girl sitting alone in a booth, looking in my direction.

I didn't think much of this at first. It wasn't unusual for me to draw attention to myself when going off on my drunken rants. But the glances kept coming and soon I began to realize that, "Holy shit, that girl over there wants my balls!”

Yes, it appeared to be the case. But should it have really surprised me? I mean, who wouldn't be attracted to a guy who sticks up for such misunderstood celebrities as Paris Hilton? Duh!

The question was what to do about it, as I wasn't in the mood for bullshit. All I really wanted to do was go over and ask, "Are you into me or what?" None of this, "Hey can I buy you a drink?" mumbo jumbo. But I was too afraid. Sure, I was drunk and more confident than usual, but when it came down to it, I was still my usual, nervous self.

Ten minutes or so passed. My friend had to meet another friend and had no choice but to take off and leave me. "This isn't good," I thought. My buzz had reached its peak and I was feeling really swell. I sure as shit didn't feel like calling it a night and riding back to the suburbs on a train full of boring commuters. I wanted to party. But there was no one to party with.

I looked back over to the girl who only minutes ago was giving me all sorts of eye-action. "Should I talk to her?" I asked myself. "No, bad idea," I thought. I didn't know her. What if she was a sex addict and wanted to go back to her place and she had Aids? "Aids wouldn't be a good thing to have," I realized. So I packed up shop and left the bar.

Stumbling down Boylston Street in a drunken haze, I started hearing an infuriated voice in my head: "You fucking pussy, Burns! That girl wanted your balls and you just ran away from her! She wanted to take you back to her place and give you Aids! How can you live with yourself, pussaaay?!" I knew the voice was right: I wanted that girl’s Aids.

I was back to the bar in ten minutes - maybe less - and, to my luck, the girl was still there. But I was still too scared to make my move. Where would such an action lead me? What road could it take me down? What radical changes could it possibly bring to my life? But, most importantly, would the girl really have Aids?

All the questions freaked me out, so I made a quick beeline to the bathroom and tried like hell to muster up a leak. I eventually managed to shake a few drips into the urinal, flushed, took about three minutes to wash my hands and, finally, came to the point where I looked in the mirror and said...

“All right, Burns, you hot shit. Let’s do this!”

I reentered the bar, immediately put the girl in my cross-hairs and took a deep breath: “That girl over there is gonna get it so hard and ya know what? I’m the one who's gonna give it to her!!!”

I strutted closer and closer and closer to the booth...shoulders up, chest out - I had never looked so jacked. And, then...

I sat.

"Can I buy you a drink?" I asked in a voice reminiscent of a pubescent Peter Brady.

", I'm all set," she said in what I soon realized was a German accent. That’s right: she was German, which, by the way, did not disappoint me in the least. She actually looked a lot like Lola in that movie Run Lola Run, except with bigger boobs and nicer thighs...oh, and she had brown hair, I think - not red.

“Why’d you come back?” she asked.

“I needed to go to the bathroom.”

“Oh...but why’d you sit down?”

“Oh, um, you know, I saw a pretty girl here and, thought, ‘what the heck?’”

Damn, I was smooth. Hell, Humphrey Bogart himself should’ve been taking notes...if, you know, this was 1946, not 2006.

But the Bogart-like charm I exuded was a stark contrast from what was going on in my head:

“Holy shit, is she gonna ask me back to her place, god, I need rubbers, well there’s a C.V.S. a couple doors down, Aids isn’t really too bad of a disease, do you think we’re gonna do it in the shower?”

Clearly my brain had mutated into a bottle of Budweiser.

But the question was how the transition was going to take place? How was I going to go from the booth in the bar to the hot German girl’s shower? I didn’t know the answer to this...

So once again I panicked and struck up a conversation with her! Yes, I know, I know. Stupidest fucking move a horny dude could make, right? But I did it and, goddamn, I had to follow through.

I learned she was a singer studying music at Berklee College of Music...

“...I’d get HIV first, maybe I’ll never get the Aids...”

That Johnny Depp was her favorite actor...

“...I’ve dealt with strep throats, certainly I can handle the Aids...”

That Guinness was her favorite beer...

“...Magic Johnson’s still alive, right..?”

And that she had a mom and a dad back in Germany. They were both worried sick about her.

Eeeeeeeerrrrrrrcccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhh!!! Crash!!! Hubcaps rolling on pavement.

And that was that: my buzz was killed.

It was like suddenly snapping out of an acid frenzy and finding yourself in the middle of a desert...a whining wind shivering your bones...vultures circling your head. “What the hell am I doing?” I asked myself. “Where am I?” “Why am I here?” The recollection of rubbers, CVS’s and showers flooded back into my mind, but it seemed like these memories were all part of something that happened years ago - not minutes.

It was the image of her “Mom and Dad” that killed the buzz. Why were they worried sick? Among other things, because of horny drunkards like myself, prowling the streets of Boston. Their daughter was Little Red Riding Hood and I was the Big Bad Wolf - the sleazy guy in the Lifetime movie, the guy at the truck stop in Thelma and Louis, the dog trying to piss on the new fire-hydrant, the…well, you get the point. Yes, I was all those and more. And it made me feel like a horrible person.

So I decided to continue the conversation and pretend like I never had any thoughts of going back to her place and contracting her Aids. And, I must say, it wasn’t that bad of a conversation, though I couldn’t tell you what it was about because I don’t remember any of it.

Two hours later we decided to call it a night. I walked her a little ways down Boylston, asked for her email, and gave her a hug. Part of me still wanted some first base, but by that time I had stale booze breath and figured it would be better to part on a higher note (my hugs are irresistible). Besides, now that the booze was almost completely out of my brain, I realized I didn’t like her that much, anyway. She was just somebody to fill the space before I found Paris Hilton and had her babies.

Anyway, as fate would have it, I ended up losing her email, so this is just my shout out to her. If you read this, I enjoyed the conversation, even though I hardly remember any of it, and good luck with the Aids! Magic Johnson’s done well. You will too!

Love Always,

Matt Burns

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crossing Over

On March 18, 2010 I witnessed something very fascinating that I think people will also find rather fascinating. A circle of mediums congregated at a place in Easton, Massachusetts to cross a woman's (her name is Linda in the video) grandmother over to the "other side". Linda's grandmother had been pestering her for two years after passing and refused to "go into the light". She was afraid of having to face God and look back on what she had done during her time on earth.

I was fortunate to be able to videotape the 'crossing' and I share it here for others to view. Among other things, the video begins to answer our questions about what happens to us after we die. It also explores concepts such as "life reviews" and "life contracts", the importance of forgiveness, and the soul versus the body.

The 'crossing' is conducted by a renown medium named Liam Galvin. His voice may sound strange at times because he is actually channeling his spirit guide who is helping with the ceremony. Enjoy!



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Soul Mates

I just thought I would post the interview below for anybody currently having relationship troubles or for anybody who is currently pissed off at an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend. If you're anything like me, you can get really worked up about certain issues, sometimes get absolutely irate, and have trouble letting the negativity go.

I stumbled upon the interview recently and I had actually forgotten that I had it. It was recorded in early 2010 for a documentary I was trying to do about a psychic medium named Ava. She says some really interesting things here about soul mates and reminds us that we need bad relationships in order to learn how to be treated and how to treat others. It's this learning process that eventually prepares us to be with our "soul mates".

This means that it's kind of stupid to get so pissed or worked up about a relationship-gone-sour. It went sour for a greater purpose, not because of bad luck. Learn to forgive the girls/boys who back-stab, betray you and act insensitive to you; they teach you how you want to be treated and how not to treat others. Also, learn to forgive yourself for being insensitive/selfish in a past relationship; move forward and know how to treat your significant other better the next time. Remember that it's all a learning process and - like with anything else - you can't learn unless you make mistakes.

So, without further adieu, here is a brief clip from the interview. It may brighten your day or at least allow you to let any beef you have - with either your ex or yourself - go.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Beast in the Jungle

Over the years I have to confess that I have been a bit of a worrier when it came to my financial situation. In fact, I guess I've been a worrier ever since I graduated college about seven years ago and got spat out into the "real world". To my misfortune, the economy seemed to get a little worse every year that went by and then in 2008 it completely tanked and, well, it hasn't gotten much better since then.

Needless to say, I felt very anxious about the uncertain times and my uncertain future. It also didn't help that I chose the life of an artist, writer, wedding videographer, freelancer and overall odd-jobber. With few exceptions, I rarely had a dependable income coming my way. Financial ruin always seemed to be imminent, lurking around the corner like a beast in the jungle. However, to this date, it has yet to come, and even though my financial situation today is probably more fragile than ever, I'm starting to wonder if it will ever come at all.

Looking back at the past seven years, I can't tell you how many months I went into not knowing how the hell I was going to pay my bills that were due by the month's end. Sometimes I wouldn't have the money until a week before or sometimes even a few days before the bills were actually due. At first, I'd spend most of the month worrying how the hell I was going to pay the bills, but, one way or another, the money would come and I'd realize that all my worrying was needless. Over time, I would worry less and less and, eventually, I hardly worried at all.

Anyway, the conclusion I've drawn from this entire seven-year experience (and see if you can follow me with this) is that the future is a beast, but it's a beast that only exists as an abstraction in our minds. After all, the future doesn't exist. It never exists. It is only a potential reality, but never an actual reality. So if we work ourselves up about something that may or may not happen in the future (like, in my case, financial ruin) then we are becoming a victim of something that doesn't even exist to begin with, which makes no sense whatsoever.

When people say they are in financial trouble, what they usually mean is that financial ruin seems imminent, but the fact of the matter is that - at the present point in time - they are living and breathing and they've been fed, clothed, sheltered etc., so, technically, they are in no financial trouble; the only trouble that they have is in the future, but the future doesn't exist, so there is no trouble.

Most people who actually do experience financial ruin in their present reality are experiencing it because they deserved it. They spent way more money than they have...on things like widescreen TVs, ridiculously large homes, nice cars, vacations etc. They basically got what was coming to them for being materialistic and living outside their means. I truly believe that as long as you're living as decent/modest/humble a life as you can, then you will never experience financial ruin in the present; and even if you do, it's not worth worrying about it for every day leading up to it. If you do this, then your worrying becomes the "beast" that ruins you, not the actual event of experiencing financial collapse. You end up panicking and doing something rash like getting a job you don't like, doing something unethical, screwing somebody over, stealing etc. You sacrifice happiness and maybe even morality for financial security.

If you haven't made the connection already, much of this blog was inspired by a short story by Henry James I recently re-read entitled THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE. The story is about a man named John Marcher who is convinced that he's been singled out by God to experience some sort of catastrophic event in his life. He doesn't quite know when the "event" will take place, but he constantly feels that it's imminent and he hardly does anything with his life other than put all his time and energy into worrying about what the "event" will be.

Among other things, the moral of James' story is that worrying about an event that may or may not happen in the future is actually worse than any actual event that may or may not occur. The so-called "beast in the jungle" is, essentially, the uncertain future, but it's up to the person whether they want the uncertainty of the future to frighten the life out of them. If the beast ever strikes, then that's unfortunate, but worrying about the beast striking isn't going to make things any better. In other words, it's better to live life to the fullest - without worry - up until the beast strikes, instead of living a paralyzed life of fear.

Overall, James' story is a rather philosophical tale about ignoring the future and concentrating only on the present, which is the only true reality. This is a life philosophy that can not only be applied to things like financial fears, but to just about all of life's worries, whether it be in relationships, love, jobs, travel, school...yes, just about everything. The bottom line is that the future is a cunning little devil that tricks us into thinking it is real when it is only an illusion. If you remember that, then you will worry less and your life will be better.


Read the second installment of this blog (THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE PART 2) by clicking HERE.

The Importance of Being Happy

At the risk of sounding like Wayne Dyer or some other New Agey positive-psychology guru, I just wanted to share a minor revelation I had recently about the importance of being happy. Up until recently, I saw happiness as...well, not very important, in the sense that it was up to me if I wanted to be happy but as far as anybody else was concerned it was none of their business how I felt. I also felt kind of selfish about wanting to be happy, which is a feeling that quite possibly stems from my Catholic upbringing where the insinuation is that one needs to make unpleasant personal sacrifices to please a God that is superior and external to ourselves.

Lately, however, I have seen "God" in a much different manner from which I was taught in my CCD classes. With the help of the author Caroline Cory (and her book The Divine Plan: Beyond 2012) I have come to understand God as a tremendous intelligent energy that we all stem from and that we are all a part of. Every single thing in the universe is an extension of this "God" and, although we all possess our own individual free will, it can be said that WE ARE ALL GOD. As my mentor Ray Carney once said, we are "God's eyes and ears, his arms and hands and fingers, his taste buds and nostrils, his consciousness..." - in other words, our experiences and actions in the world (good or bad) comprise the massive universal experience that is God.

In this light, "happiness" takes on a whole new importance to me, because it is no longer a personal issue that only affects the individual, but it is actually something that affects God and the harmony of the entire universe. If we aren't happy, our souls are not at peace, and if our souls are not at peace then there is a small piece of God that is in pain as well, and, if there is a small piece of God that is in pain, then there is a disruption in the universe (a 'disturbance in the force' to use Star Wars terminology) and universal harmony is damaged.

Therefore, we basically owe it - not just to ourselves - but to the entire universe to be happy in our lives. Contrary to what I used to believe, it is not at all selfish for us to want personal happiness but it's actually a selfless desire to keep God and the overall universe in a state of peace. Whether it's a job we despise going to every day, or a group of friends we don't feel comfortable being around, or a marriage we don't feel is right for us, or a religion we don't really feel comfortable following, or a lifestyle we lead that isn't true to ourselves...we owe it to the people around us and every other single being in the universe to change our lives in a way that makes us more happy.

Now, when I talk about being "happy" I don't mean to imply that people should have a big Jack-Nicholson-like smile on their faces 24 hours a day. And I don't think people should spend their free time frolicking through a meadow shouting "Wheeeeeee!" All I mean when I say 'happiness' is that our souls should be in a state of comfort. We should be doing what we WANT to be doing in our lives, not what outside influences (whether it be religions, corporations, politicians, celebrities, media, family, friends, grandparents, dogs, cats) want us to do. As selfish as it may sound, we should live to please ourselves and nobody else and in doing this we are selflessly pleasing God.