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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 (154)


In Which We Have Expanded Our View Of This Crime

In the Academy


creator Joshua Safran

"The majority of threats don't come from nations or extremist groups explains a Viola Davis-lookalike FBI agent (Aunjanue Ellis), "they come from our own backyard." Um, what?

When it begins, Quantico displays the wreckage of what used to be Grand Central Station. Alex Parrish (Miss World winner Priyanka Chopra) is arrested for the crime of bombing the place. Mere months earlier she is backwards in the lap of FBI agent Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin), riding his hard penis for all it is worth:

Maybe give us the slightest indication you used protection. Kids love Quantico.

Well, Quantico got me thinking about my idea for a young adult science fiction novel in which all knowledge is transmitted by sex. The better the sex, the better the knowledge. This kind of pressure to make wintercourse the best it can possibly be leads to a lot more banging than you would imagine, but most of it is bad.

Alex shows up at the FBI Academy six months before her arrest. Her instructors are all agents being punished for failures in the field. There is no running or physical training of any kind outside of pushups. No one even breaks a sweat in Quantico: they mostly just sit around the fabulous Virginia campus telling each other not to feel bad about various things.

Is this the Bret Easton Ellis version of the FBI academy?

Liam O'Connor (Josh Hopkins) directs the training of the recruits. He tells them all to select another trainee and find out their "secret." It subsequently emerges that a Mormon recruit had impregnated a 14 year old girl who died during her abortion, and the trainee kills himself before he is exposed. "I have no doubt Eric would have been a great agent," someone comments afterwards, and no one contradicts them.

"But D.C.," you ask, calling me by my initials because we have become rather close to one another during the review of this ABC drama, "I have two questions." I nod to indicate you should continue. "The first is, is Shonda Rimes, or as I call her, Ronda Shimes, involved in this show? The second is, don't you think the premise of this shit is bit ridiculous?"

I don't hate that jacket.

I can answer both your questions in the form of a question. No? And, sure, but no one spent all of their time at a Boston bar either, and yet Cheers became a huge hit?

It emerges in a grainy flashback that the bosomy Alex Parrish shot her FBI agent father after he became a bit angry with her mother and brandished a gun at her. Self-defense would seem be a stretch in this case, especially since her father carried a weapon regularly and the gun was never pointed at her. Did you know that the majority of kids in juvenile detention are now women?

Wondering what the Old South was? I guess white hoods and Jefferson Davis.

Parrish's roommate is a blonde from Texas known for her hunting skills. Also on the hall is a gay Jew, a legacy case, and a pair of Muslim twins pretending to be one person. The FBI recruitment team was beset by a plague of chicken pox this year.

Parrish is quite voluptuous, nearly always on the verge of popping right out of her top. She is always in full makeup, even when she wakes up. Every part of her seems to bounce or twitch on contact. She is the human equivalent of a beanie baby. When she gets arrested after they show her the various detailed plans she has in her apartment for bombing Grand Central Station, she cries like a little girl and screams that she has rights. This is clearly the cool calculus of a trained federal agent.

I feel that this show could have been saved by a S & M arrangement Alex had with her superior.

Quantico's sexism aside, I shouldn't really be upset at the show, since it is basically The Hunger Games with an attractive protagonist. It is no more meant to be taken seriously than Michael Moore or Dr. Ben Carson. But I have sketched out in my dream book a real television series about what it was like to train to fight our nation's terrorists. I just didn't think anyone would believe they were incubated in the FBI.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Gimme A Little Sign" - Shawn Colvin ft. Marc Cohn (mp3)


In Which We Start A Company With Our Best Girlfriend

Season 3 All Happens On A Boat


"So how was the season finale of True Detective?" Lynne said, twirling a chicken thigh on her finger like a basketball.

"I don't want to talk about it," I said, covering my face with my hands. Lynne gave up on the show in week four, quietly walking out of the room around the time Vince Vaughn used the word 'kike,' throwing a framed photo of her with Matthew McConaughey on the set of Mud into the trash.

"You watch bad shows so I don't have to," she said.

"Ugh." I was still reeling from the twenty minute recap of NBC's Mr. Robinson I had given her the previous day. Women be shopping, I had begun, you can't stop a woman from shopping.

Now that he has a woman in his life, he leaves the house like this?

"Tell me, or the next time Roger Ailes calls I'll tell him you are here."

"All right!" I screamed in her face. "Vince Vaughn was murdered by Mexicans and he hallucinated black kids bullying him for being who he was! Colin Farrell looked up to God in the heavens and it turned out his wife was making her rape up to get out of the marriage! The mayor killed himself because he was sad! Rachel McAdams dyed her hair the same color that it was! The solution to the murder the season began with had nothing to do with any of the characters on the show! Rachel and Colin fell in love forever based on the mutual sharing of how terrible Nic Pizzolatto has been for their career! Colin Farrell's torso looked decent to good! Is that what you fucking wanted to hear?"

His inspiration was 90s album art and early 60s porn magazines. That explains a lot.

"Wow," Lynne said, "by any chance did Ray Velcoro (Farrell) tell Rachel McAdams 'None of that is your fault' after he had mincing sex that reminded her of the abuse she suffered as a little girl?" Lynne always reads the worst recaps of television shows, the ones that are like, 'Last night's True Detective was a fine example of film noir...' It's like, go fuck yourself. At least include your significant other as a presence in the recap, so you can make it seem like you're not just quietly taking notes on Vince Vaughn's skin by yourself.

"None of it was anyone's fault," I replied. "About 100 people were murdered and there was not one investigation."

A tortured portrait of a man who hates minorities.

After that, Lynne and I had make-up sex on top of our bear rug and ate string cheese like the dogs in Lady and the Tramp. I still couldn't get over how bad the finale was, so to take my mind off it, I explained in choking, interrupted sobs how it wasn't fair that Nic had a job while the guys who make Halt and Catch Fire can't even get a meeting with AMC because no one watches their show.

His hoodie exceeded all my expectations. Watch this show immediately in its entirety please.

It is almost impossible to write about Halt and Catch Fire. The show stars Lee Pace and his huge, massive eyebrows as Joe MacMillan. In the first scene of Halt, Joe is speaking at a university computer class when he discovers Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis), a computer prodigy who is basically if Kate Moss absorbed Albert Einstein. This wonderful, multidimensional character proves to Nic Pizzolatto once and for all all that not every woman need either be a whore or a lesbian.

"Vince Vaughn fired his agent, honey. Don't worry."

Complementing these two centerpieces is the starmaking role of Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) a disgraced engineer working at a small Texas electronics company that Joe flips on its head. McNairy's Clark is married with two young daughters. He and his wife Donna (the gorgeous Kerry Bishé) are recovering from the failed launch of Gordon's computing brainchild, a device called Symphonic. Gordon's relationship with Donna is fractious, disturbed and fragile: it is also completely authentic.

Instead of relying on nudity, profanity or violence to carry any of the action, Halt and Catch Fire consists of intensely charged personal interactions between people meant to be more intelligent than any on television. Instead of making genuises so different from us they are unrecognizable, creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers do a marvelous job of treading the line between moments that are alien to strategies for life that are barely recognizable. Halt feels so much like the world that it must actually be disturbing for some people to watch. This is the only reason that would explain the low ratings.

Talking about boys again.

The second season of Halt and Catch Fire explored Cameron starting her own tech company with Gordon's wife Donna, one that she named Mutiny. She also found manic pixie love with a young programmer named Tom.

Tom is the absolute sweetest and everytime he and Cameron kissed I had butterflies in my colon. Meanwhile, Lee Pace suppressed his past dalliances with men and pursued a relationship with the journalist daughter of a CEO of a multinational corporation, Sara Wheeler (Aleksa Palladino). She wasn't the strongest personality on the show — her clothes always looked like a throw rug — and she ended up "needing her time and space," which we all know what that means.

It's a good thing Colin Farrell fathered like twelve children out of wedlock in the 90s so they had these pics to use.

Having a show about two women running a company was exciting on both a sexual and human resources level. It felt novel, which the first season of True Detective exemplified, especially when Matthew McConaughey said things were shit for like ten straight minutes that one time. When it came to basically all the guys on the show dying and Rachel McAdams living somewhere in Venezuela and still being extremely cranky... the target was in L.A. but the arrow was in New York.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

This is the same haircut she had to begin with. She should have gotten one of those Wendy Williams wigs.

"Spirit Moves" - Langhorne Slim (mp3)


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)