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Alex Carnevale

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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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Entries in dick cheney (152)


In Which We Pray For The People Of Pakistan

Shopping List


HBO's disastrous programming of late reminds me of the Republican presidential field, I wrote. But no, there is nothing to watch on HBO anymore. Cancel all of your subscriptions. Did you know they are jumping into bed with J.J. Abrams? Do they ever want a woman to watch one of their shows again?

HBO had success by adapting the works of a fantasy writer whose literary efforts were deemed too complex to bring to film or television. They decided to follow this up by working on Michael Crichton's back catalogue. I am sorry but this looks like a complete mess.

Do you giggle like a schoolgirl every time someone says they have the munchies? You will probably enjoy The Brink.

The other day I watched The Brink, a thinly veiled excuse for Tim Robbins to complain about Israel every week. I have to give this humorless show credit in that it actually attempts to portray a non-Western country, in this case, Pakistan. However mostly of the comedy consists of Jack Black smoking pot and Robbins having sex with Asian prostitutes, which really grates after awhile.

The Brink is going for something like Dr. Strangelove but the weird thing is that it actually takes itself seriously. Straddling the line between parody and satire is working out decently well for Donald Trump at this point, but I've never heard of it being a success in television. It is astonishing how many people take Donald Trump at face value. What he said about John McCain was hilarious, and he has singlehandedly made Jon Stewart funny again. Does The Nation also think that Big Bird is destined to become our Secretary of Defense?

Cute lampshade. I think Farrell was in a sitting position the entire episode.

After Sunday night's disasterpiece, there is only one more episode left of True Detective, which I have to give some credit to — at least it didn't try to save its mess of a season by showing off Rachel McAdams' body in an extremely unlikely sex scene with Colin Farrell. They did have intercourse, but it was very restrained and loving, and prefacing by Farrell's Ray Velcoro explaing, "I am a bad man."

The president of HBO gave a rambling and completely insincere interview about how much he loves True Detective. "The finale will really deliver," he explained, as he mimed masturbating to the reporter. Well, it has better, since David Fincher's shows (Utopia? Synchronicity? Get the fuck out of here) are D.O.A., the last season of House of Cards was about as entertaining as a White House press conference and someone (probably Michael Lombardo) got high on molly and greenlit a Lewis and Clark miniseries. This is a real thing.

"I looked in the woods for your rapist for over an hour. I think that was sufficient."

But back to True Detective. The story so far: There isn't much of one. From the attorney general to the chief of police, everyone enjoys a hot bang now and then. The protagonists of True Detective are the people excluded from these lively sex parties. Since there were not invited, they decided to steal some important business paperwork from the event. Naturally, the owners of the paperwork want it back. Instead of just making a photocopy, Taylor Kitsch refuses and is murdered.

Are you getting excited! About the paperwork! But you know what might save HBO? A miniseries about affordable housing. What even is this.

He wrote down flash grenades on a piece of paper. What even is this.

A mark of evil is how easily we are influenced by our environment. "If you had just been honest, we couldn't have got you," the people blackmailing Taylor Kitsch explained. Instead he had to pretend to be a straight man, and it is what got him killed. I believe the same thing happened to Rock Hudson.

Vince Vaughn was busy, and a lot more. He showed his wife the guy he killed and she was nonplussed. I think she has probably seen it and a lot more before when she was Nucky Thompson's wife in a past life. I am running out of steam trying to describe how lame True Detective is, but not even Vaughn blowing up his own casino for some reason was sufficient to bring excitement to events.

I guess their production budget was pretty meager by this point.

Instead of describing Rachel McAdams' sex with Colin Farrell in excruciating detail (he touched her arm with his finger) or bashing HBO for their terrible choice of programming, I need to focus on a growing trend: older woman stealing the roles of younger women. I am absolutely devastated that the careers of Jonathan Demme and Meryl Streep have come to this:

Maybe cast one person of color in your movies, just to amuse me.

I didn't feel sympathetic towards Ellen Page when she was a pregnant white girl with a cute boyfriend, and I certainly don't care about some older white woman appropriating cultures she isn't a part of and trying to restore order to her family. Jonathan Demme was a respected and admired artist at one time. Now he's probably going to executive produce a miniseries about the Wright brothers or something while Halt and Catch Fire gets canceled. There is no justice.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

I'm sensing the mayor may be a thinly veiled commentary on HBO's president.

"Break the Chain" - Ultimate Painting (mp3)


In Which Ve Indulge In All Ver Most Potent Fantasies

Ash Factory


Kissing a woman on the forehead is the literal kiss of death unless you are a nun or a pimp. As this season of True Detective spirals to a close, Vince Vaughn smooches his wife on the head way too much for my liking. He does it in his creepy bar, in his mediocre apartment, at the movies. A man kisses a woman on the head for one reason and one reason only: because he does not want to kiss her on the lips. Lynne says it is because Kelly Reilly's mouth tastes like ash and lotion. It is dangerous to assume that other people put the same things in their mouths as you or I or Michelle Obama does.

That is what I was thinking when a woman sprayed ecstasy into Rachel McAdams' face cavity at the Eyes Wide Shut sex party. Rach did not like it, primarily because the drug could not make the woman happy, which frankly suggests that nothing can.

You're going to a cool party with all the right people. Why aren't you psyched?

I took ecstasy for the first and only time in 1997. I then read some Leo Strauss and masturbated. One was about as good as the other.

There is this New Zealand novelist who invented a whole set of gender neutral pronouns because she herself is a declared asexual. Ve and vis and ver are used pretty interchangeably, although sometimes they refer to biological gender. McAdams' haircut and new wig reminded me of their utility.

Can Vince Vaughn even grow a beard?

In her stupor McAdams dreamt of ver childhood molestation, where ve was tempted into a van down by the river by a man promising rare animals and delicious treats. All unicorns are sterile and suffer from low testerone. The unicorn is ver spirit animal, the same way that Carly Fiorina's spirit animal is an opossum and Bernie Sanders' spirit animal is a turkey sandwich.

Even the pimp went to great pains to emphasize her age. Rachel McAdams' agent has been in Cabo for the past year is the only explanation for all this.

I think Rachel McAdams thinks gender is probably just a construct. She probably reads Judith Butler when she isn't watching her sister strip on the internet.

Colin Farrell is undecided. He gets really drunk and really high on last night's True Detective. He is so messed up that he no longer even enjoys constructing models of airplanes. (His son explains that they are killing machines.) There was also a long scene where he threatened to puncture the balls of a man awaiting his sentencing in a local jail, but I didn't really understand the point of it or who the guy was.

They should have just sent this guy to the Wall.

Under the influence of drugs we can acquire an otherworldly courage, Pizzolatto is saying. This pro-drug messaging has been heard from Boulder to the PCH. Given the moral at work here, I would be surprised if the man isn't addicted to some substance. That vice is clearly not alcohol, given that it is merely a lingering percussion in the symphony of drug abuse we suffer through on the show.

His spirit animal is a lasagna.

It was hard to understand the connection of a masked robbery during the L.A. riots to all this, unless Casper was one of the thieves. Perhaps the children recognized his face and decided to murder him — it doesn't seem to be the evil hosts of the party who murdered Ben. The killing strikes me as more personal, and they had nothing to gain from the death of the city manager in their employ.

Taylor Kitsch's acting in this scene consisted of nods and murmurs. It was somewhere between completely awful and career-ending.

The culprits are therefore a formerly well-to-do brother and sister who were dropped into the foster system. The now-deceased Latina described a cop, so we can assume the perpetrators are police officers. The male child looked suspiciously like McAdams' ex-partner played by Michael Irby. By encouraging the subordinate she did anal with to file charges against ver, he planned to keep ver away from the truth. I have no idea who his sister is, except that I demand she be portrayed by Kelly Ripa.

That is a very natural way to stand.

Now that I have solved True Detective, I feel at peace. I went around all day kissing Lynne on the top of the forehead and watching Key & Peele. Boy are those guys deft, very very deft when it comes to dealing with America's tarnished, racist past. I also didn't realize exactly how awful the title sequence of True Detective was until I saw their parody of it.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Saw the Light" - Seapony (mp3)

"Bad Dream" - Seapony (mp3)


In Which No Pleasure Is In Itself Evil



True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

The New York Post had a headline this weekend that read 'Don Voyage.' Apparently questioning someone's service in the Vietnam War is enough to exclude you from consideration for anything. Bulworth is still a fairly prescient movie. I never served in the Vietnam War, or in any other places, but I have a lot of ideas about it. My main one is that it is just about as bad as it looks, but regular people never see it, not really.

There are a lot of things from which we are protected. Ever seen a dead body, for real, on television? Someone always has an excuse for why the most horrible thing is beyond all reason, but what does that make the second, third, and fourth most horrible things? Just fucking fine?

Colin Farrell got a new look, but she still looks like skunk. No justice. 

Just one time I would like to turn on my television or read a book and find out what things were really like. I have to say I don't think it's terribly important, things that happened forty or five years ago. They might as well not have occurred. I passed by a protest of nuclear weapons the other day. About 2,000 people had turned up for this important cause. Their cell phones and tablets were being powered by something, made by someone.

If the world makes us hypocrites, then we might as well sit in our own shit comfortably. "The minute you smelled shit," Vince Vaughn explains to his prissy, infertile wife, "you would be on the next plane." He is conveying to the love of his life why they can't just be farmers.

Ask her to marry you, Ray.

There is a sign outside the Chipotle I went to until it was closed down because of rats like so many others in the chain. It says No GMOs. This campaign against science — and it is a campaign against science — tells us that food becomes somehow awful if we grow it for a purpose. Do you know how fucked up a thing that is to say to someone who is starving? Do you have any idea how babies are made? Where's Alan Sokal when we need him?

What happened to the guy who used to run the evidence room? Is he Rust Cohle's new partner? Give me something!

It is amazing how every ideology, no matter how innocent, makes enemies. I believe I can summarize each major character on True Detective by showing how their worldview is not completely their own:

Taylor Kitsch/Kierkegaard "Love builds up by presupposing that love is present."

Colin Farrell/Hegel "The inclination to act as the laws command, a virtue, is a synthesis in which the law loses its universality and the subject its particularity; both lose their opposition."

A romantic walk on the beach. If only they could switch haircuts.

Rachel McAdams/Karl Jaspers "A choice made now, today, projects itself backwards and changes our past actions."

Kelly Reilly/Epicurus "No pleasure is in itself evil, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail annoyances many times greater than the pleasures themselves"

Adoption is a hell of drug.

Vince Vaughn/Erasmus "This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind."

Ben Casper/Nietzche "Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?"

What are the chances of these two ending up in bed together?

It is not religion that is disappearing — it was always some definite, resilient portion of the population determined to make God real. It is philosophy that has vanished from our society. I remember taking a class on Kierkegaard in college. The European professor explained how we had to know that Kierkegaard was a sexist, but that these ideas were divorced from his intellectual ones. I said, this isn't like Shakespeare cheating on his wife! How a philosopher treats human beings seems pretty important.

But that too has been lost. I don't care how a person treats people they barely know — strangers are dogshit anyway. I want to know how they treat the people they love. That's why Ray Velcoro's "just alcohol" redemption tour rings so hollow. I hope his wife gets full custody. And Rachel McAdams probably needed that harassment support group — after all, she was sleeping with a subordinate. Granted it was a nice gesture to allow him access to her pooper, but that doesn't make her Florence Nightengale. The law isn't a convenience. It may be pointless or unjust, but it is not a means. It is an end.

See, it really isn't that hard to write like Nic Pizzolatto. You just need to spend a lot of time on wikiquote.

He's looking at Velcoro with a bit too much intensity, but I have to say I loved his mother-in-law.

Vince Vaughn's Frank Seymon had to default on his mortgage and move into a small apartment. Velcoro couldn't even come by to help him unpack. I don't know exactly how you can be set up to hurt a man when you're a police officer and you can fully be expected to do the research yourself on whether he assaulted your wife. Abigail Spencer's new boyfriend better check himself. That guy is just meansies.

I wish there were more Donald Trumps so we can find out if all the things people assume are true are actually factual. Tiptoeing around reality only benefits those for whom that reality represents sustaining power and wealth. I believe Foucault said that, or maybe it was my wife in the throes of ecstasy. It's not surprising I could confuse those two sources.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Let the Laughter In" - Hannah Peel (mp3)

"Pale Green Ghosts" - Hannah Peel (mp3)