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Showing posts from 2008

reject acceptance. accept rejection.

‘you have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.’
-ray bradbury

'so this is the new year and i don’t feel any different' (-DCFC), actually a lot has happened in 2008. A LOT.
this blog is simply a suggestion for those in need of new years resolution, or those who need another one to add to the list of things to change or improve on in the next 365 days. or 16 days, or 3 depending on your self discipline.

i heard a story recently (whether it was true or not i could not figure out but i did check out several websites that reverberated the same story) about producer steven spielburg and how he got his start by wondering off of tour on the universal studio’s lot and started meeting people and making connections which began his career.

that got me thinking, how much guts it had to take to knowingly sign up for the tour knowing full well that you just want to sneak off and begin a career even though your probably breaking the tour rules, and perhaps breaking a few law…

MODESTY GUILD. TWITTER

this way i can update easier from the cell phone out on the road.
-technologically inferior stephen

expose yourself to new music: DJANGO

i was just a kid when i heard about jean ‘django’ reinhardt; i heard about him in a movie called ‘swing kids’ which randomly still makes me tear up at the end. i never found myself interested in the big band sound, it was to... well i don't know, it just never sat right no matter how hard i tried to like it.
while writing this last record in new orleans i discovered a new type of jazz that really caught my attention, started by the above stated name. it was called gypsy jazz and had a different sound, a unique sound that makes me feel like im sitting on Frenchman street every time i listen to it.
the amazing thing about the man who created an entire GENRE of music is that django was trapped inside a house fire django had one leg paralyzed, and could only use two fingers; all the solos, and the chords were played with only two fingers.
when tragedy occurs in our own life, whether physical or emotional we tend to turn off parts of our life to accommodate our handicaps and shortcoming…

would my character survive survival?

i finished an incredible book called ‘the road’ by cormac mccarthy while on my travels in the UK. the book is a post-apocalyptic book about a man and his son trying to make their way south to 'the coast' where there is warmer weather and a chance to survive this ash covered world in which they live. it is quite a mystery as to where the man and his son are, and it remains so throughout the book. i theorize that they may be in a post nuclear world and almost all the inhabitants of the earth have died. the book is very much about endurance of the human will, the author said the inspiration for the book came from trying to imagine ‘what the city might look like in the future, and pictured fires on the hill.’ this book led me to many thoughts about the survival of mankind when faced with nothing but himself inside an empty world.

this book reminded me of another one of my favorite books of all time, a simple read called ‘lord of the flies,’ by william golding. the book is abo…

the six word memoir

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there is a (not so) current writing trend that is really pretty profound. short but profound. what it is is that authors, writers, and such are writing their whole memoir in just 6 words. some creative ones that i have found are...

Nobody cared, then they did. Why?
- Chuck Klosterman

70 years, few tears, hairy ears.
- Bill Querengesser

"For Sale: baby shoes, never worn"
-Ernest Hemingway

recently people have been putting pictures to their 6 word memoir and they have been incredible. here are some on this NPR LINK.

so i think it would be great if each one of us did one about ourself. perhaps post a photoshopped picture and 6 words, or just your 6 word memoir all on its own. either way, i think it would be so interesting to see each others lives in a simple 6 words.

HERE IS MINE:


..............LEFT BEHIND A LEFT BEHIND CHILD....................

alternates for mine:
always looking, never finding. feeling found.
lonely child found fame, lost self.


-stephen

so SO many good ones in the comments…

PACIFISM.

this is one of the hardest topics for me to discuss, so im going to keep a running tab on thoughts here till i come to my own conclusion.

tolstoy, ghandi, martin luther king jr., gk chesterton. and the list of pacifist's grow. this should seem like such an easy and logical decision.
war= not good. death. killing.
peace= contentment, stability, life.

but when you have grown up in a country where the church, state, and weaponry have all blurred into the same entity it is a much harder decision to come to.

there are SO MANY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE on this blog, just read through the comments! my LORD! you guys are brillant.

ang said "There is a time and a place for everything, it depends on the situation." but i would like to hear the situations in which violence is necessary. defend yourself? your family? but what about war, when do we have to kill?
'one murder made a villain, millions a hero'. your right ang this is hard because i would defend my family to the death which i…

the last lecture.

someone recently gave me this book, and if she is reading this thank you!
if you have time you NEED to watch this lecture. it is powerful, moving, and challenging.
this is a speech by randy pausch, a professor who died recently of cancer. this was
his last lecture to his college students and fellow professors where he taught.
i hope you get as much out of it as i did.
-stephen

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a tree and a stone.

to be honest i was a little confused when i signed up for philosophy classes at university. i thought that there would be actual classes to help you figure out what our own personal philosophies were. as if the classes asked you tough questions that you had to go research and come up with your own conclusions. man was i ever wrong. we just learned about dead guys who came up with the answers to questions no one asked.

since then i have always wanted to write a book. with no answers, just a series of questions. even aristotle said "the unexamined life is not worth living,' but he never really told us how to examine life. he just said to do it or die. today i was reading through a book and i hit several tough questions, ones that took me back and made me really think, stare up at the coffee shop ceiling and even tear up a little when answering them. (its weird to think of ones own death).

so here is your assignment for the day. it would be really cool if you do this in the comme…

to be a sinking ship or a lighthouse.

'Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.'
-Haile Selassie

i wanted a lighthouse. maybe i was supposed to be the lighthouse. either way with the fact is at moments life has a way of slowly putting a pillow over your face as you try to sleep. a slow and steady suffocation, i wish it was all of a sudden so that you could instantly deal with it and leave it in yesterdays wake.

at moments this feels like such a negative world we live in, the only bright spots in it we ourselves must create for others.
i woke to the sounds of an argument or 'discussion' with a loved one, i can't seem to make them happy, or maybe they can't make themselves happy. either way i feel very responsible and helpless this many miles away.
some time ago i got news that a friend nearly killed himsel…

reading of orphaned for fundraiser w/augusten burroughs!

hello modesty.
i will be doing a reading from my new book 'the orphaned anything's' in NYC september 4, 2008. i will be opening up for augusten burroughs and tegan quin (of tegan and sara). this is a fundraising event for 'housing works' an organization founded to help fight the spread of aids/hiv. below are details if you are interested. THIS WILL SELL OUT!
-stephen christian

Tickets available at www.livefromhome.org/events
All participants are available for interviews to preview the event and press tickets are available for event coverage.

Thursday September 4, 2008

Doors at 7:30 p.m.

Show at 8 p.m.

Housing Works Bookstore Café

126 Crosby Street (one block east of Broadway between Houston and Prince)

Subway: W, R to Prince; B, D, F, V to Broadway/Lafayette; 6 to Bleecker

General Information: (212) 334-3324

$20 and a new or gently used book

Tegan Quin and Augusten Burroughs Co-Headline

SPIN.com Benefit for Housing Works

Sept. 4 in NYC


Celebrate SPIN.com's Book Club

Mus…

can you blame the voice of youth for asking, 'what is truth?'

A little boy of three sittin' on the floor
Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"
"son, that's when people fight and die"
The little boy of three says "Daddy, why?"
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking
"What is truth?"
-johnny cash


this blog will shed no light on the answers, you will walk away just as confused as before you decided to read this… but i am learning slowly that it is all about the journey, not the destination (because in philosophy one rarely reaches a destination).


the scene is set, Jesus is being interrogated by pontius pilate before He was to be crucified, Jesus said “everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” to this pilate replied ‘what is truth?’, even 2000 years ago, in the midst of one of the most famous trials in history, the debate raged on.
‘what is truth?’ i…

attitude

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
-charles swindoll

Persist.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
-John Calvin Coolidge

1%

i wish i was born with self discipline. how is it that some people can set up a routine and completely stick with it; like clockwork in the brain, almost robot like. my uncle was like that, he heard that we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping and he refused. for nearly 15 years he would only sleep 5 hours a day, the rest he would study, read, write, and invent (he has several patents).
i did not get one single of those genes. in fact i enjoy sleep, im not lazy i promise, but there are moments when i wake up looking forward to sleeping!
can we change? how does one just choose to be self-disciplined? i have heard it said that pain is the biggest instigator of change. which i can see! if someone has been smoking their whole life and develops lung cancer, endures painful chemo, and watches their own health slowly dissipate then the next cigarette doesn't look so appetizing. why must it come to that, i want to change because i know i should, not because eventually i will have to.

is this som…

thank you modesty, thank you.

here i am in west hollywood, sitting in my office (better known as a coffee shop) and reading through the messages you guys have sent me these last few weeks on my modesty email account pertaining to those who have read "the orphaned anythings".
my chest swelled, i could feel my heartbeat, and i was tearing up (but played it off like i was yawning). thank you so much my dear friends for seeing through me, for belonging; for making me feel like i belong.
a conductor stands before his orchestra, prim and proper he approaches the podium, lifts his small cork-ended baton. he lifts it into the air and as if it was magnetically charged the instruments raise in unison at the same time. he taps, for the attention of not the crowd sitting behind him, but of the person's playing the instrument facing him. he then begins to swing frantically seemingly lifting and pulling notes out of thin air, commanding them to be louder and softer, harsh and bitter or light like a feather floating.…

human spirit.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
-e. e. cummings

humbling.

his words ring true, this speech is simply inspiring.

you have heard, but have you ever really listened?

each one of us have heard of this speech but how many of you have ever really seen it? one of the most influential voices in america's history speaks words that are not simply for that time only, but for generations to adhere and apply into their lives.

come become the change... INDIA!

Faceless International is taking a trip this winter to Kalcuta India & YOUR INVITED to come with us! the dates for the faceless trip will be: December 26th-Jan.5th.

We will be flying into Kolkata India; the day of arrival and will be staying there for 2 days for a time of sight seeing, good food, shopping, and relaxing. We will then take another short flight to Hyderabad, in Southern India. In Hyderabad, we will be volunteering at a school that is in desperate need of help.

The school is in a remote part of India where volunteers do not regularly come. They take in girls who have been trafficked, and teach them things like English and other school courses. Having an education gives the girls a chance to create a successful life for themselves and limits the chance of them re-entering the sex trade.

We will be participating in construction, to teaching English or music, or applying your gifts/talents to these beautiful children. Other activities that we will be helping with are up…

the orphaned soundtrack

the orphaned soundtrack: (songs to read the book to)

doves-some cities-black and white town
the stills-logic will break your heart-gender bombs
death cab for cutie-transatlantism-transatlantism
rogue wave-descended vultures-loves lost guarantee
sigur ros-hvarf/heim disc 2-staralfur
damien rice-0-blowers daughter
innocence mission-we walked in song-happy birthday
rachel’s-music for egon schiele-family portrait
bloc party-weekend in the city-kreuzberg
animal collective-feels-did you see the words
code seven-dancing echoes-roped and tied
blonde redhead-misery is a butterfly-elephant woman
the sea and cake-the fawn-sporting life
fiest-the reminder-brandy alexander
radiohead-in rainbows-videotape
ryan adams- easy tiger-two
nico-these days

one week.

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the (un)easiest acquisition.

praise is an easy acquisition, anyone that considers you a friend or you consider them a friend would instantaneously extend a kind word upon request. compliments seem to waterfall from most parents (hopefully) at random occasions and most of the time you don’t even have to ask for their approval, they simply profess it without a proposition.

the challenge in life is not to acquire praise but seeking criticism; Wilma askinas said “A friend is someone who sees through you and still enjoys the view.”
other people already know the dark/negative sides of us even when we ourselves cannot see it. it takes a real man or women to ask our true friends “what are some areas of my life you see i need to work on? what are some of my character flaws and how do you think i can improve them?”

by knowing the answers to these questions and NOT TAKING OFFENCE TO THE ANSWERS YOU RECIEVE, digesting them, and working on those areas in our life to improve ourselves we are not only working on/out our shortc…

Faceless International/ Anberlin

so as many of you know i am working with/co-founded an organization called faceless international. while in india this last year we worked with an orginization called made by survivors. two of us in anberlin designed a bag that will help several girls be able to sustain an income and not have to work in the sex-trade industry. anberlin is giving 100% of the profit back into helping these girls and made by survivors.

below is a description:
Help be a part of world change by purchasing one of these bags. These bags were designed by members of Anberlin on their trip to Calcutta, India in the winter of 2006. The bags were made by girls rescued out of the sex trade. The money you pay for these bags goes toward giving these girls hope for a bright future, by providing a sustainable income. Thank you for your purchase.

http://www.myspace.com/facelessinternational

you can view the bag by clicking here

learn.get involved. vote. please. UPDATED*

i have once again immersed myself into the political world, something that i never thought i would do again. politics continue to intrigue me, from the speeches to the marketing to the deceptive (which i recently explored in a book called "confessions of a political hitman" a book which talks about the dirty tricks each party does to slander the other parties candidate.)

i am not here to endorse any one candidate because i refuse to use my position as a entertainer to push my political beliefs on others. but i encourage everyone to explore all the candidates and formulate their own opinions on how they see america being run. this is my first and last political blog this election season!

here is a brief summary of what republicans stand for

here is brief summary of what democrats stand for as someone in the comments pointed out.

it was quite a task to find these biased comparisons, but if you have any comparison charts please put them in the comments!

here are a few videos from t…