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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

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Felicity's disguise

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Entries in dick cheney (149)

Monday
Jul132015

In Which This Concerns A Female Investigator

The Same Mother

by DICK CHENEY

True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

So it now seems obvious that Rachel McAdams is deeply intent on torpedoing whatever is left of her career. "Lost in the light..." she murmurs to her sister. "Lost on the water." Then she went on about memories for about twenty-five minutes before executing a bunch of Mexicans who had offended her in some way. Being a police officer comes with a lot of strange duties.

Did she grow up inside of a Walker Evans photograph or something?

I guess her mom and the daughter of the mayor's mom were probably the same woman, given that they both knew Dr. Pitler. Or did Pitler just have a harem of spiritually accessible women he could turn to in difficult times? In any case, most reviewers haven't noticed we already suffered through a long scene with Pitler. He seemed awesome.

McAdams can revel in the fact that her scenes are the strangely-compelling sort of bad, like watching two attractive people whisper poems to each other. Her boss explains that the department's investigation of her is not gender-motivated, even as she whines, "Would this be happening to a male detective?" Pizzolatto does his best to make Ani Bezzerides extremely unsympathetic: his writing for her is outright unsalvageable at times.

I really hope Colin Farrell pulls off his hair and it's a wig, too.

I am just waiting for the actual flashbacks to begin. This happened on Netflix's Bloodline. Flashbacks are awful; they just remind us of how terrible child actors are. Chad basically ruined this episode by just sitting in his backyard like a sack of shit, accepting a trophy from his not-father Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell).

True Detective is basically the not-so-believable Olympics. Each scene competes wildly to be less realistic than the next. When Taylor Kitsch hopped into a diner to offer a proposal to the woman "pregnant" with his child, and he was still wearing that leather jacket... I really wish this show would spring for some costume changes — or did HBO reduce their budget that much? In any case, his dialogue was as rough around the edges as his gay sex.

It is best to avoid all echoes of Edward Hopper in your art design. The man beat his wife.

Actually, I thought last night's episode was going to push us over the line into full The Spoils Before Dying territory. If you were not aware of this Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiig project, consider yourselves lucky. It is a parody of old movies airing on IFC for some reason. None of the jokes are funny, and most of them occur in the title sequence.

Michael Kenneth Williams has sacrificed his own career for the project, in what is now called a McAdams. The weirdest thing about The Spoils Before Dying is that The Onion A/V Club ran completely serious reviews of the show, recapping the plot details and mystery in intricate detail. I have no words. Do they plan to recap The Big Bang Theory next? The show's humor rests in the narrative space between Leonard's sexual repression and his wife's lack of the same. I mean, read a book.

Guess we'll be returning to this location.

I also watched that Will Ferrell Lifetime movie with Wiig, A Deadly Adoption. He played the author of a series of successful financial books named Robert Benson. The only joke I could find in the entire movie is when he skypes with his editor, he got off the call by saying, "Love you."

Welcome to Me was also a disaster. Maybe hire Amy Schumer's agent?

Wiig as a blonde had a lot of potential, though. She seemed fitter, happier and more productive.

I did judge both of those things as amusing, but the rest of the plot was relatively straightforward: he and his wife Sarah (Wiig) connect with surrogate mother (a gorgeous Jessica Lowndes) who is actually a fan of Robert's books. She means to kill his wife and take over his family. You have to be really familiar with the Lifetime movie genre to find this a laugh riot.

She should really get around to supporting her husband on just one of his decisions.

If comedy is so much more difficult than drama, why do I have such a hot laugh every time Vince Vaughn asks his wife to get some more tests. "It might have been the operation," she explains, as if they wouldn't have gone over every step of her medical history once it became clear they were struggling to conceive a baby. Her infertility is going to be resolved in the five minutes after he yells at his gardener because his avocado trees are dying.

Vaughn hasn't been all bad on this show, but Pizzolatto gave him almost nothing to work with this time out. His threats are all vague and not very scary. He never gets angry, he just chokes the anger back. This seems like a good idea in theory, except what he does is never very monstrous. I mean he knocked some guy's teeth out, but the teeth were fake to begin with. He probably lost them originally to nonpareils, which are about as threatening as Vince's low whisper.

The story of a gangster trying to reclaim what is his would be compelling, except who throws away their empire and invests it in public transportation in the first place?

The final twenty minutes of last night's True Detective were a callback to the show's triumphant midnight raid of an African-American housing project in Beaumont, Texas. Watching cops get murdered by a bunch of vigilantes who were looking to pawn some jewelry seemed a little excessive, but who am I to judge someone for using overwhelming force? Hopefully this gets this police triumvirate off the streets and into a safer profession, like security at the American Girl store. They are terrible cops.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Into the Canyon" - Tom Holkenburg (mp3)

"Brothers in Arms (extended version)" - Tom Holkenburg (mp3)

Monday
Jul062015

In Which We Are The Truest Of All Detectives

Moment of Conception

by DICK CHENEY

True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

Frank Seymon (Vince Vaughn) is getting a blow job from his red-haired wife Jordan (Kelly Reilly) somewhere in the first ten minutes of last night's True Detective. It has been a long, arduous Fourth of July weekend, and Lynne is on my last nerve. "Ew," she exclaims, "Why is she doing that? Does he have a gun pointed at her?" I calmly explain to Lynne that they are trying to have a baby.

"You can't even have a baby that way," she says, and spits out some of her Big League Chew into a steel bucket.

You know, if he just stood on the chair, she probably wouldn't have to kneel at all. She might even need a stepstool.

"First of all," I say, "you don't know that for sure. I mean you might be right, but if that's the case why has Orlando Bloom fathered so many children and yet he is still a virgin?"

She is already distracted by the next thing. Colin Farrell wears these unflattering shirts that hide his body usually, and since he was shot last week, he is showing his torso for the first time. He looks fantastic, but Lynne is distracted by the grey highlights in his hair that remind us he is not Colin Farrell, but Ray Velcoro. (If these names sound absurd, it is because they were invented while Pizzolatto was on whippets.)

Rachel McAdams would have been a far more believable Daenerys Targaryen.

"How old is he?" Lynne asks of Velcoro. "Why do they make him look so old? Is this why no one wants to work with this guy? If he was going to ruin someone's career, it should probably have been Matthew McConaughey. I mean, that is a meaningless statement: we get the world we deserve. It's a tautology."

"Colin Farrell is thirty-nine," I say. She considers this, and then makes a hand-motion like she is masturbating a violin. "Careful," I say, "you could get pregnant doing that." While she is the kitchen I think a lot about Rachel McAdams. It is hard to take her very seriously in the role of a police detective named Antigone who carried knives around with her everywhere she goes. She explains that she is from a tough background — two of her siblings committed suicide, and another one is in jail. The last of her siblings works as a cam girl, and Rachel obviously had some kind of quasi-sexual relationship with her. Incest is the last thing I want as a theme of shows Dwayne Johnson or Bill Paxton is not involved in.

Taking shots at Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson is just the tip of the penis for Pizzolatto

Reviews seems to have completely missed the point of this show. Watching it, the only thing I can think to myself is, finally, the person who wrote this stuff is more of an asshole than I am.

The third member of True Detective's triptych is a highway patrolman portrayed far too broadly by Taylor Kitsch, whose studliness wanes with each moon. Unlike any other gay man on HBO, Kitsch's growling, mewling act consists of hiding his homosexuality from his mother, his girlfriend and his fellow officers. (He seems to have had homosexual awakening and subsequent sexual experiences in Iraq. Would I be presumptuous in suggesting this may be justification for several wars I may or may not have caused?)

And the Emmy for worst scene in recorded memory goes to

As I am typing this, Lynne is still talking about McAdams' haircut. "She looks like a skunk fucked a mountain lion," she whispers. We are in bed by this point, since Pizzolatto's dialogue makes Lynne kind of sleepy. There was this one scene where Vince Vaughn was poignantly explaining how his Dad used to lock him in the basement when he drank, and that he is not sure if he still actually down there, if he died in the dark place. "This is Lost all over again," Lynne said worriedly.

It is actually refreshing to see television taking itself seriously. As these police officers investigate the murder of a city manager connected to Vince Vaughn's land deal and the future of public transportation in Los Angeles, you start to focus in on why exactly True Detective feels so different from other shows. It is because the vast majority of artistic visions of the world paint it as a hopeful place, but Nic does not care about that at all. He is dedicated to explaining at great length why things are worse than ever.

This was some mean shit. Go after Woody - he can take it

"The man is so jaded," I say to Lynne as I am looking up at some water spots on the ceiling, recollecting some disturbing anecdote from my childhood that made me what I am. The scene where Farrell and McAdams visit the set of an alcoholic director who looks exactly like Cary Fukunaga was kind of a racist low point, but I wish more people would take up the example of insulting their former colleagues Matthew Weiner-style through characters in their fiction. If someone had done that to Christopher Nolan, maybe I wouldn't have to sit through the big bag of trash that was Interstellar.

The best part of True Detective is trying to solve the murder myself, and I believe it comes back to the miniature sculpture of a woman drowning in the bathtub they found in Ben Casper's house. Ray also makes miniatures — the concept of enjoying putting them together with his kid and then doing them by himself so does not fit at all with the character. There must be some kind of point to it, like maybe he uses them to spy on his kid when he is motorboating with his stepdad, Chad.

Who will be surprised if this boils down to the culpability of evil corporations? No one.

The connection between all the various traumas on the show — Taylor Kitsch's time working for military contractors, the overseas connections of the Russian mob, the inviability of all the women on the show's wombs to conceive children (it seems like they are all being poisoned by the local toxic waste) may revolve around the CEO of Catalyst. He is one probable villain — the other, Ray's ex-wife's rapist, is probably from a neighboring township. Given the genetic makeup of Ray's son, he should not be terribly hard to find. Lynne offers that they should just hold a ginger casting call.

The mayor is just the best. Strong leadership.

Lynne doesn't understand why I like True Detective. "The dialogue is soooo bad," she keeps saying as she strokes my forehead lovingly and murmurs like a kitten. "Half the sentences have the same grammatical subject or object: The world. The world is an undergarment. We marry the world we observe. We inoculate the world we conserve."

The reason is that I like having to figure things out and then not enjoying what I discover. Why do you think I watched Lost, read Donna Tartt books, and married my wife?

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording and the star of the Bravo original series Odd Mom Out.

I think this was a shot at George Miller also?

"Paradise" - Little Boots (mp3)

"Get Things Done" - Little Boots (mp3)

Monday
Jun292015

In Which Allegory Is The Only Proper Form Of Argument

Poldark Times

by DICK CHENEY

Poldark
creator Debbie Horsfield

What remains of National Review magazine after William F. Buckley expired and left the reins to a bunch of cranky weirdos who loathe homosexuals presented a symposium this week. The topic was the Supreme Court's legalization of gay marriage. None of their regular writers were included in the symposium — besides opinion pieces by presidential candidate Ted Cruz and columnist Kevin Williamson, no one wrote at length on the decision. "The Editors" did weigh in, explaining that it was super unfair that gays could marry... for reasons.

It is hard to think of a good argument against gay marriage; most of the "people" in National Review's symposium cited polygamy as the motivating factor in their advocacy against it.

The slippery slope extends far further than that. I was forced by my wife Lynne to watch a BBC series called Poldark in which a man marries his servant. I am unsure whether or not this is historically accurate — I know the Downton Abbey sex tape girl made it with her driver, but I thought that was a bit of a grey area. It isn't as if he was cleaning her toilet, after all.

To be fair, she was a fantastic maid.

I composed an elaborate Modest Proposal parody concerning how no one should be allowed to marry their servant, but I replaced it with the impassioned broadside that follows. You can thank me later.

The title character of Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) fucks his maid exactly once, although on another very symbolic occasion she baked him an apple pie. After an intense night that the producers of Poldark show alarmingly little of, the ginger maid Demelza (Eleanor Tomlimson) resolves to wander away from the Poldark estate, which looks something like a penis:

After you lose a war to Americans, you build homes like this as emotional shelter I guess.

I recently received a few scandalous electronic mails suggesting that I am obsessed with seeing penises where they are not. One even threatened that if I expressed regret at never seeing the Mountain's member one more time he would traitorously start reading the wretched Game of Thrones recaps on some other website. I wrote him back, saying, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much" and included a gif of Catelyn Stark being murdered.

In some ways Poldark is basically a Cateyln Stark prequel, which should horrify every thinking person.

You can't help but see penises on Poldark, even if they are not veiny or fleshy. The main character lives in a penis, and he has a scar running from his left eye to his jaw that looks like a long, stringy phallus. Turner's acting is a little overdone, and his main quality is an overwhelming handsomeness. He works very hard nonetheless, and he does take his shirt off an awful lot to make up for the lack of visible genitals. Instead of bidding farewell to Demelza, Ross Poldark decides to make her his wife.

The only thing missing from Poldark is any individual of color, and any homosexual. Downton Abbey got us used to expecting extensive gay storylines full of unrequited love and sexually transmitted diseases in our British period dramas. Poldark has none of that — the National Review crowd can enjoy it as good Christians enjoy the Bible and, apparently, denying citizens equal protection under the law.

None of these people can marry.

One article I read from a guy named Rod Dreher was particularly pernicious, and deserves special mention. Christians don't like being called hateful, he explained, without explaining why he does not want gays to be able to commit to one another for life. Given the decision, he went on to say, it is now Christians who are the righteous minority. He seemed to take a certain disturbed pleasure in this. Naturally he finished his column with the most inane sentence in all of op-ed dom: We live in interesting times.

The wedding was sold to US Weekly for six million shillings.

After Poldark marries his servant, he immediately puts a bun in her oven. She and the baby get sick from an illness that is going around Poldark's copper mine. It is never cleared up why he can't get a more honest occupation, like that of columnist for the Dallas Morning News, with which to provide for his family. Instead he subjects the working class of his region to his penis manor, his slighter-higher but still pretty low wages, and the diseases of the copper underground, the one he inherited from his now-deceased father.

Digging in the earth himself is beneath his own dignity. As a veteran of the American War of Independence, he is finished doing the dirty work, even if it is his own dirty work. Instead his child is the one who suffers, perishing from the contagion. This is irony, only semi-tragic and not humorous. Gay marriage should have been a tremendous victory for conservatives who championed the importance of the family unit as the standard grouping of civilization. Instead they made a mess of things.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. His conscience is massive at this point, and expanding every day. He grows larger in our appreciation of him. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

"Sitting On My Dream" - Friska Viljor (mp3)

"Painted Myself In Gold" - Friska Viljor (mp3)