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Entries in dick cheney (131)

Monday
Apr252016

In Which We Look Forward To Our New Throne

Something So Good, So Pure

by DICK CHENEY

Everything is better on Game of Thrones now. We have put the miserable, awful fifth season of the show behind us for good. HBO put so much money in Vinyl and the other raging shit on their network (besides that white supremacist sitcom Silicon Valley) but now Game of Thrones is all they have, so they might as well end this thing with the gross excess the show deserved from the beginning. The checkbook is open, and pretty soon Arcade Fire will be playing Mereen and Bobby Cannavale will fulfill the rest of his contract with HBO by getting a huge engagement ring for Sansa Stark. Synergy, son.

Jon Snow was maybe the worst actor on television besides the guy who plays the son on Empire, but now he is mercifully gone. This change alone takes Game of Thrones from a seven to a ten. They teased bringing Jon back, but even if he does return someday as the Red God, we no longer have to hear his pathetic whining about the wildlings or those cold people he hates. Game of Thrones is all fealty and vague lesbian affection, the way it was meant to be from the fucking beginning!

I honestly couldn't stand that they left a whimpering Cersei in her prison cell for like a million episodes. She is free and making the same face no matter what is actually occurring:

I love this face, it reminds me of Lynne's expression when she first saw Bernie Sanders criticize Hillary for being a woman. Cersei's killed about a billion people and she is only now monologuing about having to see her dead mother, whose name I believe was Adele Lannister? My reservoir of sympathy was exhausted by the fact that Sansa Stark would rather endure endless sexual abuse than stroll through a very chilly river.

Meanwhile, Jaime is trying to make us forget about all the terrible movies he made while he was not laying with his sister. I did not forget.

Given some of the dialogue in this episode, Game of Thrones would be better off just moving to a silent collage of scenes. So much here was unnecessary, with Ser Davis bleating, "I'd like some mutton," and the inane patter of the Khal's wives in the desert outside Mereen. Game of Thrones badly needed a new character or two to come into the light. For a time I thought that would be Podric, but I think he is being held back because they don't want him to outshine the tall woman.

Fantasy used to be mainly about male power fantasies, but now it's mostly about watching women murder men twice their size with kitchen knives. (The clear metaphor for feminism murdering multiculturalism was lost on no one.) The revolution in Dorne was long overdue, given that it probably should have occurred at the end of last season. Instead all we got was a soft deadly kiss and a ship returning with a corpse we never saw. In Thrones, it is always best to demand we view the body.

The only woman not reconstituted as a superhero is Arya Stark, who is a long way from becoming Daredevil. Maisie Williams' overly broad performance as this character has not aged well at all, although I am willing to forgive it given she was only a child when she lost her dad (Sean Bean?). HBO might want to consider recasting the role and letting that little boy from Room play Arya Stark by inserting him in the rest of the series in retrospect.

But again, who cares. This hour looked like it cost more than all of last season combined, which had about the same budget as three episodes of Stargate: Atlantis. Now we get to see all the jaunty, electric places of Westeros. Summer in King's Landing! Spring break at the Citadel! Christmas at Casterly Rock! It is all within our grasp, provided we stop a Trump presidency.

As for the last scene, I guess Melisandre knows a way to stave off death. In retrospect it appears her relationship with Stannis Baratheon was more age-appropriate than it seemed at the time. Otherwise, I'm not quite sure what the big deal is: that's what I and about seventy-five percent of Americans look like in the mirror. Just because a body has a few wrinkles and sags here and there doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. On Outlander the main character shaved all her pubic hair and nobody said word one. 

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Mayday" - Wild Rivers (mp3)

"Speak Too Soon" - Wild Rivers (mp3)

Monday
Apr112016

In Which We Wanted To Hold On To The Feeling

Be My Husband

by DICK CHENEY

Outlander
creator Ronald D. Moore

This weekend's premiere of Outlander was the most fun I have had in years. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) returned from her time in Scotland during the mid-18th century and she was cranky as hell. The noise of airplanes and cars was absolutely disgusting to her, and she was astonished by the fashions of the 1948 season. After showing up in the middle of the street, she screamed at a passerby in order to find out who won World War II. Perhaps not surprisingly, she was left unsatisfied by the answer.

It got better from here. The husband she left behind in 1743 had a big penis (shockingly large IIRC) and impregnated her. So she tells her 1948 husband this, and at first he is all happy. Then you see his visage crumple as he realizes a number of key things: (1) he is sterile and (2) he is not the father of this child. His next move was most amusing: he balled up his fist like he was going to smash Claire's face in and looms over her. He backed off, but what a moment! I love this show.

It got better from here. Frank, her 1948 husband who is this douchy professor apparently prone to striking pregnant women heads into this old workshop that his buddy, a Scottish priest, has handy, and he's so angry that he smashes the entire place up. God Outlander is incredible; he was like this deranged guy feebly smashing boxes, and it went on for what felt like five whole minutes of just agony because his wife hadn't recovered from her ordeal in the few days he gave her to recuperate and acknowledge he was the most important individual in the world to her.

He gets with God and then returns to his wife for more tawking. It's obvious that she no longer cares for him. He tells her that he can give her time, but that they have to pretend the child is his. She agrees, and he burns all her old clothes. He asks her to move to Boston and she says yes to that too.

At that moment I knew this whole thing was bullshit or some kind of setup because a woman would never agree to move to Boston unless she had no other option. It got better from here. The setting shifts to France in the 1740s. Claire and her fertile ginger husband Jamie observe a man with smallpox coming in on a ship. Claire loudly shouts that she is a healer even though the man is already dead. They end up burning the entire vessel and its cargo, even though that seemed maybe somewhat excessive for one case of smallpox.

Claire is from the future, but unfortunately she knows very little about how to aid Jamie. She wants to prevent his people from being wiped out by the British, but she maybe glanced at a history textbook once ten years ago and forgot the rest. This is all well and good, but she could have aimed higher and stopped the Holocaust or the First World War. If you start actually thinking about this show it will make your head hurt.

There's actually a lot wrong with Outlander – the performances are not the best, and the soft lens they shoot everything with makes it look like Skinemax. But who cares, the B-movie feel to the proceedings just adds a certain flair missed from other dramas. The reason Outlander is so fucking great is because it does not shy away from going hard, verging on completely silly and overwrought. Most people would say a scene where a grown man flails about like a five year old just isn't realistic, but that is the brilliance of this entire endeavor. Outlander remains unafraid.

The world is likely flush with time travelers at this very moment. Most of them are trying to prevent Trump from becoming president; a select few were sent back to blackmail the press into giving Batman v. Superman bad reviews. This was a brilliant movie with a lot of subtext, and if you did not see it, at least google the scene where Superman slips it in Lois Lane (Amy Adams) while she's in the tub. I haven't been that turned on since I watched two lawyers who work for Paul Giamatti have really intense sex on Billions.

Someone once asked me whether or not all the things I write in my reviews are things I really believe, or if I am just exaggerating for pageviews. Hah hah. I am always serious unless I am talking about how Shonda Rimes' characters all talk and fuck the same. Then I am slightly tongue-in-cheek, but then again that is annoying. Especially the latter.

Outlander is my jam, but come April 24th I will be returning with my Game of Thrones reviews. I say reviews, but they will really be essais which weave in all the major events of our time: police brutality, my feelings on Ted Cruz's wonderful wife Heidi, the troubling rise of Russia, the anti-human rights legislation passed in the state of North Carolina, how I can't wait for Uncharted 4, and other such major news stories. I have gone on media blackout, since I want to experience it all fresh, knowing nothing, just like Terence Winter when he watches season two of Vinyl.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. 

 

Monday
Mar142016

In Which The Son Of The God's Enemy Shoots Your Photography

Subsumed By It

by DICK CHENEY

Damien
creator Glen Mazzara
A&E

The antichrist is a photographer. I can continue. No, I can keep going. An African-American woman befriends the antichrist, and he is noncomittal. He doesn't really know if he wants a relationship with her (she is also a photographer, but not as good a photographer as the antichrist).

Bradley James plays the antichrist in Damien. When he squishes his face together (he does this when he is thinking, or as he terms it, thanking, since his American accent is not the best) he looks like a pigeon defecating on someone's leather jacket.

Damien goes to visit a biblical scholar who his adopted father consulted about him. The man tells the antichrist to seek Jesus, and he grumpily responds, "Well this was a waste of time." The scholar is eaten by dogs, rottweilers presumably possessed by Satan. I would have found it a lot scarier if they were schnauzers.

The scariest movie of last year was It Follows, which ended horror by making it so the most frightening thing you could think of was a person walking towards you. Satan can't compare to that, but Damien's black friend is swallowed by a conveniently timed sinkhole. He is distressed by so much morbidity, and calls the cops to take the body away.

Fortunately, this mediocre photographer has a sister. Comparing the looks of the two of them is a useless task, each is perfect where her rival fails. They bond over the death of the more appealing one (Tiffany Himes RIP), who I presume will eventually return to the show as a sex slave to Satan, since why not.

Damien wants to get back to Syria; he is going to take a bunch of pictures of a ghetto there. When bad things happen, he does not intervene, preferring to snap as many cute pics as he can on his camera. He only shoots film, since I cannot imagine a bigger waste of time, and it is all he has.

To get back into this awful country he enlists the help of Ann Rutledge (Barbara Hershey). I don't know what has happened to Ms. Hershey since I saw her last. It is a little offensive that her age is used to accentuate her inherent villainy. Still, she succeeds at playing a great deal younger than her actual years: she is IRL almost 70. The irony that she once played Mary Magdalene is subsumed by the caked-on makeup she is wearing here.

That is it — the entire show. Damien eventually will embrace his nature, but he will not able to manage this around any convincing characters and in any kind of satisfying or dynamic way. I doubt this show even makes it to a second season, since its idea of fun is a creepy old woman appearing in a lot of Damien's photographs.

Any story about the antichrist needs Jesus, God and the rest of it. Damien reminds me that we have never really had a worthy Jesus television series. At the age of 30, it emerges, the man started his church, and it is implied Damien could manage the same. The casting of Jesus as the antagonist in Damien is a touchy subject. Most of us want him to be played by Daniel Radcliffe, since he has nothing else to do except to lick his lips when he smells baked cod.

The devil offers no credible alternative to Christianity. He is more an avatar of atheism, feeding on a nonbelief which eschews faith as a silly leap of logic. There are many people whose advanced knowledge of the world around them amazes me, and chief among that group is Richard Dawkins. Just ask yourself — what does Richard Dawkins really want, besides to tawk about himself constantly at every opportunity? To restore Satan to his rightful throne on Earth.

In the end, though, the best Satan could manage, when it came time to bring the world to its knees, was the services of a photographer. I mean, what's next, a blogger becomes vice president of the United States?

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location.

"Waiting" - Sarha Bialy (mp3)