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Alex Carnevale

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is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

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 We Always Pick The Wrong Woman

One Is Satisfying Where The Other Lacks


So much has changed since we last spoke. Lindsay Vonn broke my heart, but that is neither here nor there. Unlike my probable foe in the 2012 presidential election, my heart may be fucked, but at least my lungs aren't full of tar and bice. So much of what America is about consists primarily of getting a second chance to make the wrong decision.

On The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love finale, my aviator friend Jake Pavelka bonded with a particularly disturbing creature and she took him on a wild ride around the floating mountains. Speaking of which, why were the mountains floating? Wasn't anyone just a wee bit interested in that technology, or did they just have too much fun baking unobtanium into weed brownies?

the weirdest night at the fantasy suite ever James Cameron is so retarded I spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to write a screenplay where Robert Pattinson voices the part of an animated leprechaun who looks sort of like Tucker Max. Such was my desperate attempt to win some kind of achievement award from the MPAA, or at the very least, NAMBLA.

kids, just say no to tenleyThis year's Bachelor finale was looking to be a dud, until Jake and college admissions officer Tenley went for a sail as their last date before the final rose and while on the ocean he told her he wasn't physically attracted to her. To clarify, he explained that sexual attraction and physical attraction are two different things. Marshall McLuhan magically showed up in the boat and explained the error of Jake's ways, after which he, sobbing, dumped Tenley.

there is nothing a man hates more than a woman wiping sand from his face apparentlyWe can have no real sympathy for a creature such as Tenley, although to be fair when Jake was crying and she was crying, I was a bit surprised to hear him say, "I'll never forget you." He clearly stole this from Cesare Pavese, or perhaps Ray-J after he wrapped his sex tape with Kim. But I digress. Jake's chosen partner is a former Hooters waitress named Vienna, which is the name of a city, not a woman.

Vienna is clearly wild in bed; more precisely in one tender moment she informed Jake than he was permitted to defecate at any point during sex, a development he, being a pilot, equated to pissing in the air while flying a plane.

"tenley, we both suck at primetime television. thoughts?"Actually, Jake's conversations with women consist mostly of "I missed you," or "I'm hungry" or "Let's ride in a helicopter" or "I'm not physically attracted to you." He also broke out a personal favorite, "something just isn't right." In fact the immortal Chris Harrison and Jake shared a tender moment onstage gossiping about just this bon mot. Since Tenley never got the explanation she deserved from Jake (instead she made lifelong plans to be his ffffffriend), I'm happy to explain it to her.

Tenley, Jake didn't want to get with you for the following reasons:

1) You seemed sort of high maintenance, maybe not totally, but he didn't like the way you reacted when he said he wasn't physically attracted to you

2) You had maybe a good personality, or a mediocre personality, but caffeine really seemed to perk you up a lot

3) Jake was a little concerned that when he brought up a Dallas friend of his named Mark Bernstein, you sort of cackled and said, "A Jew!"

4) Vienna permit him the penetration of several more orifices than tame college admissions officers like yourself are generally used to

5) Tenley sounds like the name of a Scottish terrier

6) You dressed in Vienna's color on After the Final Rose and everyone was so embarrassed for you.

This was the polar opposite of the all-time greatest Bachelor dump on The Bachelor: Paris, when Travis told Moana that they had a fun fling, but it was now adult time. Still, this was one hell of a finale and I'll be happy to gift the newlyweds a copy of my forthcoming book, Pam and Jim Will Give Birth To Peter Dinklage.

In the far more dyspeptic world of Lost, Sayid also faced a critical choice of woman. He carried around a picture of the girl who married his brother while he was torturing people and being a hero in the war...against the United States. Then he hopped a flight into LAX, went to his brother's house, and caused a lot of unnecessary death.

honey, your uncle's a sociopath, your father's broke, and your mother is Jacob's most feared enemy  As if in answer to my quintessential 'j'accuse Cuse" of being a fervent racist, this week's episode started out ignoring all the show's white characters except Kate, which is something akin to making someone feel tall by surrounding them with short people. A similar strategy led to the creation of Julia Allison's role in Nonsociety.

Every time Sayid tries to get out, they pull him back in. It was obvious from his return to parallel Los Angeles that all he wanted to do was pack up that bulletproof SUV, move to New York, and intern for Crushable. Eventually, down the road, he wants to rewrite Associated Press articles like the great Alex Balk and hope he can integrate the holier-than-thou attitude over time.

Sayid spent most of the episode fighting the temple's noted samurai, Dogen. It maybe isn't the best idea to leave your opponent in the fountain of youth, but I guess this is all we can really except from Sayid. It's rare that a show can't find anything to do with a character with only ten episodes left its existence, but instead of writing the weird but difficult to avoid french kissing scene with Cindy, the stewardess from Oceanic 815, Sayid had to add to his body count, which has grown so large that he accidentally runs into the guy (Ben Linus) who he nearly killed when Linus was 8 and it's not even a plot point.

Benjamin Linus himself has taken the opposite trip of the meteoric rise of NYC's most highly regarded blogger, and now seems to be as high as 'intern' on the pecking order of Jacob's followers, or as I term them, the Obamapologists. Next week's episode is Ben-centric, and will likely involve Linus reprising his role as high school teacher and teaching civic virtue to the chumps from Starship Troopers (my favorite Verhoeven movie, obviously). 

Sayid's brother borrowed too much money from some shady people, and apparently was so annoying on set that they only gave him two scenes. It turned out the man he borrowed from is Keamy, which makes little to no sense. If - as I suspect - Lost's parallel universe is a training ground where candidates prove their mettle in different ways than they did on the island, Keamy's presence indicates that Sayid may have failed this test.

Evil Sayid is a lot better than soft-spoken Sayid, and they have already done a bunch of episodes where Sayid is revealed as the nicest torturer ever to torture. Next time you triple kill some bad guys, Sayid, it is best practice to blame one or more kills on a hunting accident; it worked for me. One man's lifelong ambition is another man's disturbing reality. I have ascended to the heights of the American political process, but all I really wanted was for people to think my blog was edgy (hence the Alex Balk reference).

Supposedly life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, and there is no better example of this than Vienna Girardi, who got proposed to despite the fact that she inscribed 'I love you' in mud on Jake Pavelka's stomach. The Man in Black has marshalled the forces of darkness for 2012, and I'm happy to tell you, he's going to get one hell of a fight once I mount a blonde for transportation purposes.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is the former vice president of The United States. You can find his previous Lost recaps here.

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"So Light Is Her Footfall" - Air (mp3)

"So Light Is Her Footfall (Metronomy remix)" - Air (mp3)

"So Light Is Her Footfall (Breakbot remix)" - Air (mp3)


In Which We Teach James Cameron A Thing Or Two

The Unsubtle



dir. James Cameron

161 minutes

There are still things Hollywood has yet to learn in this brave new age of cinema. Maybe most importantly —  no matter how good the CGI or whatever brand new visual technology they’re flashing before our eyeholes may be, nothing trumps a believable story and good acting. 2012 may have realistically wreaked destruction upon the Christ the Redeemer statue, but the fact remains someone cast Lloyd Dobler as the one American who can outdrive the crumbling earth in a limo. Oops.

James Cameron’s Avatar is saddled with this same problem. The 3D experience is incredible. It’s stunningly immersive and immaculately executed. The camerawork is exciting without any overly graphic scenes (a surprise stabbing in 3D could really spur a heart attack).

It’s like spending 3 hours in a Lisa Frank folder on acid. You might as well invest in 3D Lasik now — it will only save you money in the long run. The visual revolution is here. The only thing that could possibly be more entertaining than watching Avatar in 3D would be some sort of Avatar 4D screening, wherein James Cameron stands behind your seat yelling, “Watching you watch my movie is like watching two monkeys fuck a football.”

As an allegory, Avatar is a hit-you-over-the-head cautionary against American imperialism set on a moon called Pandora. There live a hot blue-bodied humanoid species, the Na’vi, and they inhabit a tree parked right over the mineral we grabby earthlings came for. It’s called UNOBTAINIUM. (Close runner up in the unsubtle naming pool: Nevergonnagetitium.)

For all you worrywarts out there, rest assured, despite all current signs to the contrary, America is still the number #1 world power in James Cameron’s future. The foreigners on base in Pandora can easily be divided into the good science-y Americans who just want to better understand the Na’vi people and the bad overly-militaristic ones who see the Na’vi as savages in the way of a precious resource.

Jake Sully, a paraplegic jarhead straddles the line between these two extremes, and he’s sent into the forest as a “dreamwalker”—a human embodying a genetically-forged, controllable Na’vi avatar. Jake lies in a pod, a scientist presses a red button, and poof he’s in the forest running around with a ten-inch electric blue cock.

Of course, when Jake’s journey begins his only goal is to spy on the Na’vi people. But as he learns more about them and is trained in the Na’vi way, he grows to like the Na’vi and see them as the benevolent, advanced society that they are. This of course is made easy because Cameron endows the blue people with English-speaking abilities, hot bodies, classically beautiful features, and the exact same family structure and benevolent rule as the greats of Western civ. It’s just so natural to love ‘em. They’re not ugly and they’re totally like us!

There are important lessons to be learned from these easily swallowed anthropomorphic creatures. For one, the Na’vi are super attuned to their environment. In fact, they can just plug their ponytails into trees and horse-like creatures and immediately become in synch with their surroundings.  Which is a good lesson for us—we Americans SHOULD be more plugged into the world, more in tune with our delicate ecosystem or whatever. When I got home from the theater I plugged my ponytail into my iPod receptor and immediately had the greatest synchgasm of my life.

But the more blatant lesson of Avatar is not that American imperialism is bad, but that in fact it’s necessary. Sure there are some bad Americans—the ones with tanks ready to mercilessly kill the Na’vi population, but Jake is set up as the real embodiment of the American spirit. He learns Na’vi fighting tactics better than the Na’vi themselves, he takes the King’s daughter for his own, he becomes the only Na’vi warrior in centuries to tame this wild dragon bird thing. Even in someone else’s society the American is the chosen one. He’s going to come in, lead your army, fuck your princesses, and just generally save the day for you. Got it? This is how we do it.

Lauren Bans is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. She blogs here. She twitters here. She last wrote in these pages on our robotic future.

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"Greenwich Mean Time" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)

"Trick Pony" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)

"Time of the Assassins" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)