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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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« In Which Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall »

The Dying Mirth


Who has it better, gays in New York or television critics? I spent the last three hours digesting the second season of Showtime's The Real L Word. I now know more about an arbitrary set of lesbians in Los Angeles than even my proudly out daughter. Here are some conclusions I have come to about lesbians:

- there's a lot less talk about Celine Dion than I had been led to believe

- by and large they work at Marc Jacobs or in advertising

- they're just like us

"i just decided i want to start a lifestyle magazine called Dirty Boudoir"

- Turquoise is a frequent motif in their swimwear

- Lafayette's last name is Reynolds and his boyfriend is straighter than Sam Merlotte

I connected more with a bunch of lesbians way outside my age and price range than I did with the entire cast of True Blood. Try achieving empathy for a newly-turned lesbian who stages MMA fights in New Orleans for some reason and tongue kisses her "opponent" afterwards. Try feeling sad for a bunch of people who turn into horses.

not so subtle allusion to the four horsemen of the apocalypse

Most shows end with a deux ex machina, they don't begin with one. The first eight minutes of True Blood were about as intelligent as all the horrible things Mother Jones has been writing about Michele Bachmann. Your magazine was named after a female politican, maybe you shouldn't spend your entire website criticizing one. After you spend 80,000 words picking on one woman, she starts to sound pretty good simply for defying you. The only magazine more unfaithful to its mission than Mother Jones is Cat Fancy.

Am I going too fast for you? Are you the kind of person who needs 8,000 well-crafted words in order to understand that True Blood is simply a propaganda vehicle for the Democratic Party? (Don't worry, David Frum is working on a column about this.) Harry Reid sketches out True Blood storyboards on bar napkins in between bong rips. The entire Sookie-is-a-fairy storyline came about when he used a derogatory word to describe Barney Frank.

[stage whisper] sookey?

The only good part of True Blood was Bill Compton's office as the King of Louisiana. A Bill Compton as Patrick Bateman-montage might be the only thing that would ensure Alan Ball spends enternity in heaven. But you didn't come here for mediocre jokes about True Blood and cutting edge observations about Mother Jones. You came for the throne, and also for my summer reading pix.

Last Sunday's season finale of Game of Thrones featured no horse being cut in half, no raunchy sex scenes between inappropriate partners. There were some heads on pikes, but thankfully no one was decapitated. Someone did get suffocated with a pillow, but there was a very strong feeling the individual in question was already dead. There was only one prostitute and she was bored.

Boring a prostitute is no easy feat. Even when Karl Rove is tired of "consulting", he goes for the reach around to make sure you're receiving something tangible in return for $1500 an hour. After he's finished serving you, he gets roughly the same expression on his face as Khal Drogo did after his vaginal rejuvenation.

he's still most likely going to be voting in the Democratic Dothraki primaries

After the black magician restored her husband to some semblance of life, Daenerys did what any one of us would do - she got really high and set herself on fire. Sir Jorah Mormont's facial expressions during this scene were so cartoonish it's truly a wonder he didn't scream, "No, you'll burn on the pyre, Khaleesi!!!" Try shrieking "Khaleesi!" wildly during oral sex and when you're at the ATM. The rewards are great.

A dreadful scene between Varys and Littlefinger proved that nothing of any interest was happening in King's Landing except for King Joffrey's awesome tyranny. In the books, Joffrey is about as likeable as Joe Biden, but in the show he has a striking charisma. When he ordered his guard to slap Sansa in the face my cheeks immediately grew rosy at the thought of the ensuing gifs.

With a big lack of protagonists in King's Landing, Tywin Lannister had a fatherly moment with Tyrion and sent him off to be his grandson's Hand of the King. He'll have to sit on a high seat, but he won't be any more out of place than Arya Stark is "disguised" as a boy. If you want to make someone seem like a boy, shave their head, or draw a picture of a dick on a piece of paper and put it inside their pantaloons.

sansa stark after hearing dance with dragons will be delayed again

While you're waiting for season two of Game of Thrones, it is best to educate yourself in the interim. My summer reading picks are thematically oriented around "If You Like Game of Thrones," because let's face it, who doesn't? The rest of George R.R. Martin's oeuvre is a little hit-or-miss, never read his music novel The Armageddon Rag unless you want to fall asleep and never talk to George about it unless you want to hear him bitch about his publisher for six hours.

Here are all GRRM's hits:


A Song for Lya

Sometimes I'm at a loss for what made this novella one of George's most popular stories. On the surface, A Song for Lya is a familiar tale about two psychics falling out of love. There's nothing new in the light satire of an alien religiosity. Instead it's the little details that make Lya distinctive - all of its relationships, especially the main love relationship, seem completely alive and real in a setting where such emotions are often overlooked and cast aside in favor of the weirdness that surrounds them. Lya makes us seem like the real aliens. The novella, available in GRRM's story collection Dreamsongs, is most memorable for its stunning ending, which never ceases to create a warm feeling in my bowels.



Martin's collaboration with Lisa Tuttle serves as the template for his strong-minded heroine whose society just doesn't understand her. He also experimented here with an island setting for the first time, foreshadowing the inimitable Iron Islands and Dragonstone, the place Littlefinger eventually takes Sansa.

In Windhaven this oldest of science fiction conceits concerns a generation of fliers, ending with a broken-down old woman who can't get in the air anymore. Whether the idea was Martin's or Tuttles doesn't matter, it's George's usual tact of following its story past where most authors would cease entertaining themselves.



Saying Sandkings was the best thing George R.R. Martin ever worked on is not that difficult a summation of this novella. Sandkings is the one of the greatest pieces of horror fiction ever composed, concerning a man who walks into a pet store looking for the next big thing and getting more than he bargained for. It was also later adapted into a fabulous graphic novel/one-shot, pre-figuring the Targaryen-era Westeros stories GRRM would later release, including The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword, both of which are well worth seeking out.


Tuf Voyaging

Martin was only honing his chops as a stylist when he created this series of popular stories about a cat-owning space detective. Modeled after his idol Jack Vance, the tales take on a strange environmental cast that makes them a little wooden at times, but given a chance to follow in Vance's humorous footsteps, Martin does as least as well as Vance's other imitators.




Fevre Dream

Martin's attempt at the vampire motif came about two decades too early. Set in a slave-owning American south where a riverboat is a marked sign of status, Fevre Dream contains a scene where an African-American baby is eaten by savage vampires, and is not for the faint of heart.

What made Fevre Dream such a distinctive horror novel at the time was its gluttonous, unconventional protagonist, who makes a rather dire setting romantic in its finer moments. The twist ending is enough to make it an ideal present for your mother; mine preferred Clive Barker.

Songs of the Dying Earth

Martin co-edited this tribute to Jack Vance, and his contribution to the volume, "A Night at the Tarn House," ranks with the now-deceased Kage Baker's awesome story in the style of her hero. Martin's magnetic introduction details his gesture towards Vance in Tuf Voyaging and where he believes he diverges from his progenitor.

You can read GRRM's recollection of writing "A Night at the Tarn House" here. His own personal blog is awesome - every month, he posts high definition images of the lice living in his hair.


Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording and the CIA's foremost analyst on George R.R. Martin. You can find his Game of Thrones recaps here.

"Stargazer" - Thievery Corporation (mp3)

"Where It All Starts" - Thievery Corporation (mp3)

"Light Flares" - Thievery Corporation (mp3)

The new album from Thievery Corporation, Culture of Fear, was released on June 28th.

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    The students are in their learning age so that if that type of people they have in their surroundings so how that they can be in ethical state of mind. They learn the cheap words which are not good in their language. So that the grooming of kids is very bad. ...
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Reader Comments (1)

Dick Cheney is a genius. I can't believe I'm going to have to watch Game of Thrones just to read his reviews. But then again I sat through LOST for them so what's a few more hours?

June 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharif

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