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We have been taught to keep the commandments, and we have kept them all too well. We have enshrined them like religious relics in sealed containers on the altar. Thus, it could be said that one lives by the commandments in much the same way as many persons live by a neighbor, never learning his name, let alone having any understanding communication with him.

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There is only one man in the world and his name is All Men. There is only one woman in the world and her name is All Women. There is only one child in the world and the child’s name is All Children.

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I try not to name too many labels – not because it’s not cool, but because it starts getting political.

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I tell this anecdote with tongue in cheek at the start of my book William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination, but my academic involvement with Burroughs was entirely due to my tutor at Oxford, Peter Conrad. I was discussing with him the idea of staying on to do graduate work and when I tossed the name of Burroughs into the conversation – well, he let it fall loudly onto the floor, and proceeded to cross himself as if warding off an evil spirit. Since I was very ambivalent about an academic career in any case, that decided it for me.

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My parents were hippies, and the story is that they went through a dictionary looking for a beautiful word to name me. They nearly called me Banyan, but flipped a few pages on and reached "China," thankfully. The other reason they liked it is that "china" is Cockney rhyming slang for "mate." People say "my old china," meaning "my old mate," because "china plate" rhymes with "mate.

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I know this golf tournament has my name on it but it’s not about me. It’s about the Louisiana Tech family. There is nothing greater than being a part of the Bulldog family.

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I had now made about 45 pictures, but what had I become? I knew all too well: a phallic symbol. All over the world I was, as a name and personality, equated with sex.

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I have a girlfriend, but I don’t really want to talk about her. I won’t name her. She isn’t in show business, has nothing to do with it. So I’d rather just keep her out of it.

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He stood and went to read my pin as I approached. “America, is it?” he said, a smile playing on his lips. “Yes, it is. And I know I’ve heard your name before, but could you remind me?

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People have been kind enough to compare me to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. I think it’s amazing that they even put my name in the same sentence.

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People need to put my music in a perspective where they use other established artists from the past, and almost all the names I see related to my music are great musicians.

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The plain wooden toothpick, it may be argued, is among the simplest of manufactured things. It consists of a single part, made of a single material, intended for a single purpose-from which it gets its simple name. It is also among the most convenient and ready of things. It can be used directly out of the box-there being no instructions to read, no parts to assemble, no priming or booting required, and no maintenance expected. When it has served its purpose, it is simply discarded.