Success on a cosmic level completely eludes me. I'm deeply suspicious of things being too good. It's part of my superstition, I think, to generate pain in order to give the illusion of gain. I'm not saying I reject success, but honestly, I don't quite know how to deal with it. It's an old feeling: As soon as you have the thing you've been going after all your life, that reasonable degree of security, you start kicking against it, doubting it.
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I remember watching Mel Gibson on some show once, and he was being asked about his belief in the afterlife. Gibson said: 'Well, I can't believe this is all there is'. And I thought: 'Wait a minute. You're Mel Gibson. You have millions of dollars. You're a great-looking chap with every conceivable blessing that could be bestowed upon a man. And that's not good enough ?'
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I do have a huge problem, a huge problem. In fact, worse than watching is hearing. I cannot stand to hear my own voice. When it's coming out of my mouth right now it sounds fantastically interesting to me. It's rich in light and shade, it goes up and down. But when I hear it either on TV or even on someone's answering machine, I just sound like I've had half my brain removed.
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Boxing is fascinating. It's good for the soul to be made to feel clumsy. I swank around during the week thinking I'm a big cheese, but you don't feel like that when you're in the ring with a chap who knows what he's doing. It's ritual humiliation. I'm going to be slugged about and probably killed, but I love it and have to do something to keep fit.
People talk about nightfall, or night falling, or dusk falling, and it's never seemed right to me. Perhaps they once meant befalling. As in night befalls. As in night happens. Perhaps they, whoever they were, thought of a falling sun. That might be it, except that that ought to give us dayfall. Day fell on Rupert the Bear. And we know, if we've ever read a book, that day doesn't fall or rise. It breaks. In books, day breaks, and night falls. In life, night rises from the ground. The day hangs on for as long as it can, bright and eager, absolutely and positively the last guest to leave the party, while the ground darkens, oozing night around your ankles, swallowing for ever that dropped contact lens, making you miss that low catch in the gully on the last ball of the last over.
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It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I'm about to go bungee jumping or something-I'm not. I'm not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
I once met an RAF pilot who told me of what he called a "bird strike". This, rather unfairly in my view, made it sound as if it was the bird's fault; as if the little feathered chap had deliberately tried to head-butt twenty tons of metal travelling in the opposite direction at just under the speed of sound, out of spite.
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I was shown into a room. A red room. Red wallpaper, red curtains, red carpet. They said it was a sitting-room, but I don't know why they'd decided to confine its purpose just to sitting. Obviously, sitting was one of the things you could do in a room this size; but you could also stage operas, hold cycling races, and have an absolutely cracking game of frisbee, all at the same time, without having to move any of the furniture. It could rain in a room this big.
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If your life, or the life of someone you love, is hanging in the balance, of course you would withstand any amount of abuse to get the job done and to get the life saved. Of course, you have to be convinced that person knows what they're doing. In real life, you have no way of knowing that you're dealing with the best person for the job. It's only on television that you can know that.
[...] and as I walked, I tried to see the funny side. It wasn't easy, and I'm still not sure that I managed it properly, but it's just something I like to do when things aren't going well. Because what does it mean, to say that things aren't going well? Compared to what? You can say: compared to how things were going a couple of hours ago, or a couple of years ago. But that's not the point. If two cars are speeding towards a brick wall with no brakes, and one car hits the wall moments before the other, you can't spend those moments saying that the second car is much better off than the first.
Driving a motorcycle is like flying. All your senses are alive. When I ride through Beverly Hills in the early morning, and all the sprinklers have turned off, the scents that wash over me are just heavenly. Being House is like flying, too. You're free of the gravity of what people think.
I was too shy, I think, to sing publicly. It takes a particular kind of person. And when I was young, I was not that person. In the first instance, when a record company said to me, do you want to try and make your record, my first reaction was, no, I'm not worthy - I couldn't possibly, and so on and so forth.
I think pain is a very - it's an extremely hard thing to empathize moment to moment. And you often don't remember your own pain, you know, that moment that you broke a limb or you burned yourself or, I think, this is a common thing that women talk about with childbirth, that the memory of the pain is hard to summon up and relive, thankfully.
Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless were going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes.
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I personally believe that the iPod is a frankly corrosive device because it encourages you to surround yourself with your favorites. The whole idea of a playlist is to surround yourself with your favorite things, and the interesting thing is that when you do that, they cease to be your favorites.
In books, day breaks, and night falls. In life, night rises from the ground. The day hangs on for as long as it can, bright and eager, absolutely and positively the last guest to leave the party, while the ground darkens, oozing night around your ankles, swallowing for ever that dropped contact lens, making you miss that low catch in the gully on the last ball of the last over.
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"'Cause the battle is in my hands" -Hugh Laurie" title="Up to the walls of Jericho
He march with spear in hand
"Go blow them ram horns", Joshua cried
"'Cause the battle is in my hands" -Hugh Laurie">
He march with spear in hand
"Go blow them ram horns", Joshua cried
"'Cause the battle is in my hands" -Hugh Laurie">
"'Cause the battle is in my hands" -Hugh Laurie">up-to-walls-jericho-he-march-with-spear-in-hand-go-blow-them-ram-horns-joshua-cried-cause-battle-is-in-my-hands-hugh-laurie
People are more open about seeking help these days. They recognise the fact that the alternative to having a shrink is that you bore your friends stupid. So I figured that I might as well give someone 100 bucks an hour to hear my woes. At least someone can make a living out of listening to my tedious problems.
I grew up with an impatience with the anti-scientific. So I'm a bit miffed with our current love affair with all things Eastern. If I sneeze on the set, 40 people hand me echinacea. But I'd no sooner take that than eat a pencil. Maybe that's why I took up boxing. It's my response to men in white pajamas feeling each other's chi.
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As a real person, he wouldn't last a minute, would he? But drama is about imperfection. And we've moved away from the aspirational hero. We got tired of it, it was dull. If I was House's friend, I would hate it. How he so resolutely refuses to be happy or take the kind-hearted road. But we don't always like morally good people, do we?
Music is one of the noblest callings I can think of. It's the highest of all the art forms to me. For example, if my kid said to me, 'I want to give it all up,' whatever it is that they're doing, 'and I want to take my saxophone and go out,' I would say, 'May God go with you. This is a great and noble thing that you're doing.'
L.A. runs on optimism, enthusiasm and flattery. I think you can go a little bit crazy. I've heard people say there's a limit to the number of years you can stay in this city without going slightly mad. It's just too damn sunny in every dimension - weather-wise, socially and professionally.