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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

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Entries in dick cheney (88)

Monday
May132013

In Which A Bear Is Merely A Trifle To This One

What He Really Thinks Of Women

by DICK CHENEY

Thrones. "We're very complicated, you know. Pleasing us takes practice." Finally the truth, what GRRM really thinks about women. They can't be pleased or sated. They spend all their time in the nude, writing letters to their mother. They can't defeat a simple bear with a wooden stake. A dwarf defeated an army with some moonshine, but the largest female soldier I've ever seen can't defeat the bear from The Hotel New Hampshire and the David Mamet movie where Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins fall in love after the black guy from Lost stabs himself in the leg in the most racist scene in modern cinema?

The Edge was not a satire, or maybe it was, I haven't read the court transcript from either David Mamet's first divorce or his future one. Men who say women are simple are as devastatingly stupid as men who say women are complicated. It's not a man's place to say anything reductive about a woman, unless that women is permitting Simon Cowell in her bed. Then there's just one word for her.

theon greyjoy's nightmare is king joffrey's most carnal dream I can speak for men, however. Our first view of the opposite sex is usually determinative. It was Halloween, and I saw a girl I liked dressed as a hobo. She had red hair, and her parents moved her to North Carolina before school started again the next year. I never did tell her how I felt about her, but I did mail her a picture of Theon Greyjoy's penis.

brb one sec gotta gchat with someone in House Martell, you don't know this person
This week's episode began with verifiable proof that Robb Stark had one of those. In an elaborate postcoital scene in which his wife faked over three orgasms, the boy king kept going on and on about how his wife should put some clothes on lest he "attack" her. I guess he was trying to be playful? Since he never actually copulated with her again, he sounded like Renly Baratheon fawning over a woman so he would not actually have to go through with the more difficult work of maintaining his arousal.

let's just snuggle here forever and talk antibiotics; penetration is for lannisters

It almost made me empathize a little with Robb's wife that his pale, wrinkled mother disapproves of her, but we all know what's coming so it is best to focus on the Stormborn when looking to approve of a very tan woman from across the narrow sea.

P.S. If this sea is so narrow why don't they go visit the naked woman's mom right now? Hannukah is coming.

these gold bars are filled with eyeshadow
Daenarys' idle threats to a slave culture that precedes her entire civilization remains entertaining. Still, it's not a role that offers her a lot of chances to do anything other than free slaves. Spartacus is a similarly boring character. If I was the slaver with this eye-shadow, I would have just knelt. Someone will have to explain to me the economy of Astapoor and the yellow city. Real clever George, the yellow city.

Mama Stormborn's skin was looking a bit mottled, but I guess she's been crossing CGI for days at least.

You were no Dwight Schrute

As this episode was written by GRRM himself (thanks for taking time from your strenuous schedule of caviar and writing long passages about the Greyjoys that no one could give two fucks about), it had more than its fair share of YKNJS. Ygritte was not so fantastic in this episode; possibly Jon Snow's grimacing "you'll die when you fight a bunch of guys wearing black" took her down to his level. I miss Craster. The only thing less believable than their ongoing honeymoon beyond the wall is the idea any lord would apologize to a woman he compensates for sex.

jesus, doesn't anyone sit down and have dinner anymore
In the books we can actually believe Tyrion might care about this Shae, but in the cold light of King's Landing (soon to be renamed Hot Pie's Landing) we can see quite clearly that this is the last conversation he wants to have with this woman. Reassuring someone that you love them constantly is never fun, since slowly but surely you stop believing your own words. I think Shae's expectations are also a little out of whack; he offers her a house and clothes and she's like, "But what about an inground pool?" Just move on little guy, if she won't even do something with her hair now, it's only going to get worse.

that is one splendid fucking jerkin there bronn five stars

As ever, Bronn is the finest man alive. Why GRRM is putting out a ball-achingly embarrassing collection of Tyrion's "finest" "quotes" while Bronn's solid advice is diminished in contrast, I don't know.

GET IT? ORSON WELLES DID IT ONCE SO WE HAVE TO DO IT IN EVERY MOVIE AND TELEVISION SHOW FROM NOW ON GUYS

What you have to respect about Tywin Lannister is that he has never even tried to please a woman since his wife died in childbirth. His tact with his grandson further revealed the depths of his political skill. The cliche of him having to tower over Joffrey on his Iron Throne was a little heavy- handed, but the Lannisters are so far and away the best characters and actors on the show that you sympathize so much more with them than you do in the books.

Bran was literally there yesterday

Jaime's transformation from incest participant into the lion with a heart of gold I guess was a slow process. His sudden authority over his own life is all the more shocking. It's fun to watch someone change, even if they did not hate the person they were before. Changing yourself is loving yourself, because you care enough about it to do better or be better.

Is it wrong that it bothered me than Bran and Jaime were on the exact same set? I guess he did take the little lord's legs. I hope you're eaten by the biggest dragon in Westeros Bran.

Genry, you will be very happy now. Hot Pie, you will not.

GRRM wants you to think we are watching men and women save each other, as they must. But really, his underlying belief is that no one can be saved, which is something of a nihilistic attitude. Many times he has told us that his wife will not allow Arya to die. This knowledge ruined his creation, just as all fan service inevitably corrupts the original inspiration. If no one can be saved, then neither can Arya. Treating her differently than Hot Pie is misguided at best, sexist at worst.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He deleted at least five inappropriate jokes about Catelyn Stark from the preceding. You can find an archive of his reviews of Game of Thrones here.

"Grind or Die" - Eve (mp3)

"Mama in the Kitchen"  - Eve ft. Snoop Dogg (mp3)

Wednesday
May082013

In Which We Are Repeatedly Defied

Madam

by DICK CHENEY

Defiance
creators Rockne S. O'Bannon, Kevin Murphy, and Michael Taylor

Thrones. Defiance. If you are an enterprising young actress and your agent asks you to consider a role of a madam in a brothel in St. Louis, do you politely decline or is there violence involved? This exact situation happened, to Mia Kirshner. She portrays a war torn orphan who decides to sell women's bodies to the strangers of terraformed Earth on Defiance. Sometimes, if the customer is attractive enough, she refuses payment and handles the sale personally.

needs better agenting
This is sadly not the most hard to believe thing about the SyFy channel's costly original project. Despite having enough adaptable material in GRRM's garage (what about a Tuf Voyaging with Steven Wright?), it was important that the channel create its own original series so they could financially benefit from marketing it.

Defiance largely feels like the back end of a trend, only it's unclear who exactly was asking to see aliens on Earth at all. Putting creatures from another planet on this one is the most boring of premises, or maybe it's second after "make the aliens slightly paler/darker than the humans, and cosmetically alter their brows so we know they aren't us." Sadly Defiance features both of these clichés as part of its rich mythology. Aliens on Earth fails because it's obvious the person with the idea wanted to save money on sets by shooting in Vancouver.

Julie Benz's Knowing Smile is at your service (her sister's a whore)
The premise of Defiance is that the Votans came to Earth in order to negotiate a resettlement of their people. The humans offered the Alaska area, but the Democrats saw a moose there and decided it would not be environmentally sound.

The war between the humans and the Votans was termed the Pale Wars, even though it really only was one war. (Stop trying to make Pale Wars happen.) Earth's surface was destroyed, including Kristen Stewart and at least half of One Direction.

ffs call up oscar taveras
In Defiance, which is set in St. Louis because no other American city has any distinguishing landmark whatsoever, a veteran of these armed conflicts becomes the sheriff. The mayor of the camp (Julie Benz) was murdered by John Lithgow during the fifth season of Dexter, brought back to life through Votan technology, which is called Arkfall, and cast as the disapproving sister of the brothel madam.

Benz and the sheriff (Grant Bowler) routinely compete to see which of them has the most limited range as an actor. The show's supporting cast is a bit better, but the writers seem to have no idea what to do with them. The parallels to Battlestar Galactica get old quickly, from the way Defiance handles its alien language (subtitles and curse words that are borderline anti-Semitic), to the camera-shaking, to the insulting Edward James Olmos clone.

feels like an MMO
In private, I call Battlestar Galactica "Baby's First Television Show." I really hate how seriously it took itself, and I found the concept of the Cylons terribly dull. Reducing all the wonder of space to a machine-projection of humanity goes against everything that makes up good science fiction: saying the word spice a lot in a desert setting. The only thing I have to admit was done well on the show were the performances and the sound design. The cast was great to make you believe anything on Battlestar Galactica was real, and the right sound is better than the right set.

alien makeup, got it

Defiance lacks both. This new terraformed Earth, constructed on top of the old one, is largely silent and dull. I guess the aesthetic they were going for was, copy Firefly almost completely. The Western aspects of the town and the people are so pathetically overdone at this point that having them as subtle parts of the background is somehow worse than if everyone talked like Tommy Lee Jones in Lonesome Dove.


kind of weird relationship there
Whenever Defiance rubs up against something original, if almost by accident, it quickly turns away from that so that you immediately remember you're watching something you've seen before.

In one long scene, the married Votan couple Datak and Stahma Tarr (Tony Curran and Dexter's Jaime Murray) lounge in elaborate baths. All around them is white, their arms and legs, the walls, the servants who assist their relaxation. Their teenage son enters the refuge to relay pressing news, and Stahma rises, nude, to embrace her son. It is the only time so far we could conceivably imagine we are witnessing an alien culture rather than human actors portraying one.

still enmeshed in the terraforming process

Grey/white moments like this are few and far between. Defiance is a show badly in need of a protagonist; the type of mysterious individual whose actions at any given moment are impossible to predict. Instead Grant Bowler's Joshua is less Picard than Riker, and if you know anything about the world of interplanetary travel, you know Jonathan Frakes is boring as dogshit.

I just looked up how old Mia Kirschner is, she looks amazing for her age.

the answer to Lost was Arktech

The overarching plot of the show involves a well-meaning former leader of the town, Nicolette (Fionnula Flanagan), bringing destruction to it in secret. She is portrayed by the old woman Carlton Cuse forced to portray Eloise Hawking. You really didn't think there would be a Lost connection here? I'm honestly surprised Hurley was not the embattled pharmacist of this town. Along with her junior agent, Nicolette lives in a train designed to give her scenes a steampunk flavor, as if the drama required one more additional cliche.

So much of what we consume seems conveniently designed not to offend our senses. Of course this is the easiest way to accomplish the opposite. Creativity only begins at the level of the personal; it cannot take its marching orders from anything else. Having character motivation at the level of "I want to live in a peaceful town" makes Defiance more like Andy Griffith than Rio Bravo.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He only watches the SyFy channel at gunpoint except for when Smackdown is on. His next review will appear when Mary Tyler Moore finally returns to series television.

"Breath" - Sweet Random (mp3)

"Digital War" - Sweet Random (mp3)

if this turns out to be the afterlife i swear to god

Monday
May062013

In Which We Journey To The Jacuzzi Beyond The Wall

A Weird, Complacent Feeling

by DICK CHENEY

Thrones. Right before something you will remember occurs, or immediately after it happens, there is a sensation. Previously undescribed in the literature outside of Kathy Acker and, at some length, Proust, this urge contains two parallel desires:

1) To undo what has taken place, in order to restore events to their previous berth;

2) To go wild in celebration at the very simple idea that the world is changeable.

It's always like that for Jaime Lannister. He's a punch bowl full of regret, a lion with eleven manes. He loves saying the word wildfire even more than his beneficent little brother.

Quickly, before you know it, something hard becomes very soft. A politician (any politician) enters office with the promise of closing an infamous prison, where criminals in an ongoing war are incarcerated because of presumed danger to society. When this politician hears of their tales, he could end their lives with dark purpose, prolong them with an even greater absence of mercy, or set them free.

People are always whining about Ned Stark's lessons, but at least he picked one and went through with it. Tywin Lannister, at his core, is a similar creature. When Tyrion asks Grandma Tyrell to fund the wedding, she changes her mind and agrees to pay half the cost. Tywin would never make such a concession, no matter its actual merit. It's more important to say what you're going to do and go through with it; that's the type of person that can really be trusted.

the hand of the king's office leaves something to be desired

Tywin Lannister and Grandma Tyrell had an extremely high level meeting. For some reason they had never actually met before; do you find this believable? As believable as someone caring enough about Bran Stark to find him in the wilderness and guide him to his bastard half-brother? As believable as the idea that Littlefinger's revenge on Catelyn Stark now extends to marrying off her identical-ish daughter to the only bookkeeper in King's Landing worth a damn?

"...you're marrying an accountant."

Tyrion had to break the bad news to his girlfriend and his wife at the same time, which is never easy. He should have led with "where do whores go" or maybe his material about Jamie telling everyone his betrothed was a prostitute, god knows he hasn't got enough mileage out of that story. Peter Dinklage's arsenal of resigned or cautious facial expressions will be sorely tested with this engagement.

I think there's more on redtube along these lines
It's always a pity when the only glimpse of Joffrey we get is him putting a crossbow bolt through Varys' ginger spy. The guy's had like three lines of dialogue; usually all they let him do is giggle when he sees blood.

Along with the Freys, Joffrey gets the most unfair rap of anyone in the Seven Kingdoms. I mean the guy repels Stannis Baratheon's fleet, is able to make a very generous and inquisitive woman attracted to him, and he didn't have to throw his daughter's illiterate best friend in the dungeon to make it happen.

boo hoo you have to marry a beautiful, generous gay man, he is betrothed to a ginga

Rhetorical questions are the refuge of cowards. I had an instructor, when I was first trained in intelligence work, who told us to never ask a rhetorical question, because it was a distinctly Western appendage. In other parts of the world, the person who asks a question they don't want answered is considered relatively rude.

still trying to get the memory of Stannis Baratheon's wife stillborn babies out of my head

On occasion, a question that appears merely a polite gesture can have greater significance, most often when it is asked of the god. It's unclear who exactly Melissandre plans to bring back from death; maybe Aegon Targaryen? If not, the concept of "light" has never been a more confusing symbol in any fictional work, applied as it is to about half the factions in this Thronesing.

bran this will be you. shut your face bran.

Thoros of Myr is identified as Peter in early Christian literature. The Brotherhoods Without Banners stuff is not to be trifled with, these guys all have serious long personal backstories. They care for each other maybe a bit too much. It was weird how Melissandre read Arya's fortune, doesn't she usually charge for that? "We will meet again" is pretty dumb.

do they not have foreplay in the south Jon Snow???

Actually a far worse symbol was a never-ending, phallic wall that the wildlings climbed, at length. Jon Snow, to me, really elevated his acting skills. He basically used a grimace as his main featured expression and agreed with whatever his ginger girlfriend was saying the rest of the time. There was still a lot of loneliness there. I guess she felt like she couldn't trust him. I wouldn't know.

"YOU WAS ALWAYS A CROW"

The political machinations surrounding Littlefinger's departure from King's Landing eluded me. Clearly something very bad is going to happen there, something to put his own life at risk. He wanted to take Sansa with him; but he wanted even more so to punish her for not wanting to be with him. There's a Chris Brown joke there somewhere, but I'll leave the racist and bigotry to Howard Kurtz because it comes more naturally to him.

It's hard sometimes to realize that Sansa and Arya are of the same uncaring and uncooperative mother, who basically allowed them to flee to the winds of time for no reason. Despite the fact that she's been in King's Landing for years now, Sansa is not even the least bit wiser. This is proof positive that GRRM has never met an actual living teenage girl, who can sniff bullshit out more quickly than her dire wolf.

"put Hot Pie's belly out of your mind"

Meanwhile, Arya is telling an archer how to shoot arrows, or a priest about how to show mercy, or a smith about how he should be her family. Her emotions are just everywhere, and yet she gets a noticeably better reaction from the surrounding world than her passive creature of a sister. If you want something, it's best just to take it. It's because of the sensation I described; the very human urge to see what happens. People, even the best ones, get tired of both saying and hearing the word No.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He has composed a steak sauce meant to mimic the blood of Theon Greyjoy. It was roundly mediocre.

"The Three Of Us In The Dark" - Carly Simon (mp3)

"Take Me As I Am" - Carly Simon (mp3)