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is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

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In Which Mance Rayder Was A Fine Singer In His Time

One Is Perfect Where Her Rival Fails


Thrones. There is nothing worse than watching something you became familiar with deteriorate at the slowest imaginable pace, so that it is almost undetectable to the human eye. It happened to Robb Stark with his ungrateful "mother" (I still doubt this, Ned Stark was a man of many mysteries), it happened to the respect Tyrion Lannister had for his bigoted father, it happened to me with George R.R. Martin and it is going to happen to this show.

hey actor who plays jon snow, you're the worst

Until then, we must absorb the tragically bad acting of Jon Snow with the kind of good grace I was known for when I decided to rid the Iraqi people of their savage dictator. I was planning to do the same thing for the people of North Korea, but in 2007 I got so caught up in my hatred of J.J. Abrams that things kind of went off the reservation there for a while.

Also, Star Trek: Into Darkness just looks so fucking bad, although I guess no worse than watching Tom Cruise hold an energy weapon like it's a ham sandwich. But yeah, Jon Snow's attempts at being nervous are about as believable as the idea of Littlefinger's whoremaster looking out for Sansa Stark. The Seven Kingdoms was a hard land, this sentimental shit does not fly.

shit wasn't this real since that time Jaime told you the first woman you loved was a prostitute

But let me get back to Tyrion Lannister, since a little man is the only sort of man who can save us. The immortal team of Tyrion and his sellsword Bronn had potential to be the best since Laurel and Tom Hardy. It's really sad what happened to the guy during the Battle of Blackwater. I couldn't myself watch it, because viewing the triumph of the Lannisters is like witnessing John Kerry winning a debate.

why can't one of these things kill Catherine Stark, or at the very least maim her joyless face?

Enough jokes at the expense of the man amazingly charged with our foreign relations. I would have put Ser Jorah Mormont at the head of everything. The guy is solid, and his love for Daenarys Targaryen is both a little upsetting and completely understandable. It's nice to see HBO was willing to spring for the money to have a nice-looking CG scorpion, but unfortunately they had to cancel Enlightened to pay for it. Then again, if I wanted to watch a television show about a liberal woman, I'd just tune into Charlie Rose.


Ser Barristan Selmy kind of gives me a weird feeling, much the same as is felt in the groin area by the reigning King of Westeros. Joffrey had to surreptitiously view Ms. Margaery Tyrell become popular with the people of King's Landing. He looked like my golden retriever when you leave her outside too long. It's no small feat to connect with orphans, they don't really have much in the way of hobbies outside of aimlessly searching for their birth parents.

"ladies, don't enter into arranged marriages with homosexuals. trust me on this."

And let's be honest, it's not really a trip to an orphanage unless you decide at the very last minute to adopt one. And it's not King's Landing unless that orphan somehow turns out to be Roger Targaryen, the new heir to the Iron Throne.

You know who kind of got the short shaft? Mance Rayder. This man was a fantastic singer in his time. I think we all remember classics like "Ned Stark's Annoying Grandpa Samuel", "The King Beyond the Wall...Is Me" and "The Time Robert Baratheon Fucked A Goat." Mance Rayder was a great man, remember that time he was like, "Don't be ashamed of yourselves wildlings. The King of Westeros also copulated with goats and in some cases, women."

Alan Rickman wasn't available???

As is obvious from these screenshots, Thrones is one of the best looking shows ever created. The sets are completely amazing, the costumes are sublime and Joffrey's tunic is maybe the most appropriate piece of clothing ever constructed for a fictional character. Sometimes the show actually makes a lot more sense with the sound off, especially when that illiterate sea captain starts whining about how much he hates his king's girlfriend. We get it, Jesus, she's not a nice woman. You don't have to keep saying it.

that's not being nice, cartman, that's wearing a nice sweater

It would be impossible to end this Thronesing without mentioning the season finale of The Walking Dead, which I now think of as the show without dwarves. Sunday's sendoff featured the worst military strategy I have ever seen combined with the finest outfit ever placed on a woman. This was the onesie of all onesies.

yo girl does that thing come in red?Strangely only one long-term cast member could be written off the show  in true AMC fashion, it was the actress with the highest salary demands. The closing decision of the episode, in which all the castaways survivors retreated to the disgusting camp prison instead of the lovely community of the Barracks Woodbury, struck me as strangely ungenerous to everyone.

The moment in which the Governor, who now officially bores me because he is so one-note, turned on his own citizens struck me as a bit false and vapid. Even if we can accept that he has gone off the rails enough to slaughter his own supporters for questioning his leadership, the idea that no one would hold up a gun and shoot him down is impossible to put faith in. It's wrong to believe someone you never even tried to get to know is a coward.

It's always nice to see a man doing something for his son or daughter. Teaching your keedz about good and evil is not always easy  first inform them to always omit the last comma in a series, and then instruct the children that two spaces after a period is just an artifact from the typewriter era; it's one space after a period now, for Carl's sake. Then you can start showing them verses from the Bible, while including the helpful erratum "This is all made-up bullshit." After that you can start setting a good example for your children by not leaving a bunch of infirm seniors and women to die at Woodbury. Baby steps.

Dick Cheney is the seniorer contributorer to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. When you read his recordings it is preferred you elevate your pinkie finger slightly in the air towards another, as if in both approbation and warning.

"Dolce Francia" - Carla Bruni (mp3)

"Little French Song" - Carla Bruni (mp3)

"the one true king of westeros...jon snow's wonderful dog Ghost"


In Which We Recapitulate What Was Never There

All Is Dream


Guys remember when I invented the recap? No one was doing this before, maybe like LiveJournal bloggers using emojis to say how batshit weird Felicity was being lately, but that was about the extent of it.

Just kidding the recap is a historical artifact. What do you think the cave paintings were? That's right, they were the descriptions of the plot from Newharts. Does my audience remember Bob Newhart? He was like Goebbels if Goebbels was a comedian. So he was Goebbels.

joke relating this moment to Anne Hathaway

If you remember the ending to Newhart, try to unremember it, so you can fill your mind with more valuable information, like how many times Katy Perry asked John Mayer "Are you sure?"

Newhart sucked hard balls in retrospect, whereas The Cosby Show is a timeless artifact teaching us how people of color are the most wonderful organisms in all of humanity.

watching people watching TV, why can't we do this today? I'd love to watch James Carville view his weekly episode of "Pretty Little Liars"

Bill Cosby was truly a terrific father. He never once took a spring break. He was always there for his kids, unless they needed something. Besides giving white America important racial lessons that Will Smith could only do in "very special" episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bill also instructed every family in America where to put their television.

No one would counterprogram against The Cosby Show because (1) there was no point, it was a ratings Monster and (2) a rising tide lifts all boats. Seinfeld was the Jewish remake of The Cosby Show and crimes during Passover declined over seventeen percent as soon it went on the the air.

It's amazing in so many ways that Jennifer Garner stills survives to this day.

Shows that would have been good for recaps (not Cosby, every essai would end with "Bill frowned for thirty straight seconds"):

: My So-Called Life

: Felicity (overstating this is impossible)

: The War of the Worlds

: the first television airing of that Shoah documentary

: Roots

: Star Trek TNG (Not fucking Deep Space Shit)

: Everwood

: Johnny Carson ("Johnny was great tonight as usual." FIN)

: the time John Lennon was really high live blog

: Gilmore Girls

: The Wonder Years ("Kevin was such a fucking dick guys.")

: first run 90210/MP

: Lonesome Dove

: Lost (still pretending Lost never happened)

"whatever's in this probably isn't a huge disappointment or anything"Keri Russell was radiant, she had this like glow about her. You just wanted to know what would happen, who she would permit to have her and who would be left somewhat moody at Dean & Deluca in her wake. It was like watching a motorcycle crash into a roadside stand.

Felicity's sheer luminousity was only ever overwhelmed by Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham). As manager of the Independence Inn in scenic Star's Hollow, Connecticut, Lorelai was the only perfect representation of feminity until Taylor Swift's birth in 2006. She also raised a responsible and studious daughter, Rory, who was killed by I believe a Yale man as it turned out.

I tried to get a surgeon to give Lynne those cheekbones but it didn't take

It used to be that you would hop on LiveJournal and look for the latest breakdown of say, One Tree Hill, since I never knew anyone else who watched that show so I had to find out how trashy stay-at-home moms felt that Sophia Bush was ad nauseum.

Now it's easy to access those basic details. Rote plot summaries I guess substitute well enough for people who never watched the program in the first place, but just want to know what took place. If the recap could just exist instead of the show, we would have saved a lot of money and Alan Sepinwall would be the most powerful man in America.

I just FFWd all the scenes not involving Chad Michael Murray or music by Gavin DeGraw

Then again, it's also important to remind people of what happened. "Say what happened," David Mamet always says and this is a great lesson for recappers, but not particularly for those of us in our daily lives. Think about how much time we would save if humans were unable to tell each other rehashed versions of things that already occurred. Of course, most happenings would have to be described once, ideally by Charles Krauthammer, but there could only be one true version of the events, kind of like with Molly & Mad Men. It's too bad Jon Hamm stopped caring.

I tell my wife everything I do, and I know she enjoys it much more than sex, because she is usually awake when I am running down the how's and what's. I try to make it entertaining for her by describing the penis size of everyone present, since it is the true cause of everything.



There is a desire to share experiences. But there is an equal desire not to. When something happens to me, I usually do the feel the inclination to tell my wife. I stifle the urge as soon as it takes me over, or else Lynne would have classified national security secrets at her disposal and a fairly comprehensive list of places I have masturbated.

It's important real life and television recaps both evolve. One thing that really annoys me is when the writer makes a summary of something that occurred that is nearly as wrong as the thing itself. The space between synopsis and transcript is the most deadly boring part of writing on The Internet, it's almost as bad as anything involving John Krasinski.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

"Sad Machines" - Gospel Gossip (mp3)

"Dreamawake" - Gospel Gossip (mp3)


In Which We Continue To Move Half-Alive

Tale As Old As Time


The Walking Dead
creator Frank Darabont

Sometimes you can watch a piece of fiction that gives you a new perspective on your own life. Andrea (Laurie Holden) has engaged in a loving and caring relationship with the Governor (David Morrissey), the dominant villain on the third, interminable season of The Walking Dead. Her sex scenes with this one-eyed creature are among the best in television because they both appear requisitely lumpy, coming across less like a glamorous, evil couple than a couple of middle-aged people making the best of it.

After coitus, Andrea considers taking the advice of her friend Carol, who advises plunging a knife into the neck of the Governor to end the ongoing war between the two camps. Outside of Woodbury, and indeed outside everywhere, the undead continue to walk around. There are still zombies on the show, they are just completely unrelated to any of the actual drama.

holding a knife while nude brought down the Aztecs

Andrea moves towards the Governor's exposed neck where he sleeps, holding the knife with which she intends to take his life. Suddenly she stops and turns around, giving up on the murder. We are left with the why. Why didn't my wife take my own life many years ago? For example: one time I made her feed me out of a trough and then watch video of me playing tennis with Benjamin Netanyahu for over three hours.

I used to be intolerable, but now I am completely great. I even take out the trash, and I only use duct tape to seal the dog door in the winter. I can't do a push-up anymore, but I no longer laugh out loud when Lynne tries one. Over time, some of us improve like aged wine, and along the same duration, others just fall apart.

"listen lori...are you this strapped for other projects? that guy's youngest daughter kissed me on the cheek"

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has lost his wife, and it has completely unhinged him. In this bizarre role, he is so much more entertaining than he was as a loving father and sort of husband, but in unmaking the central hero of The Walking Dead, the show has unraveled, losing the centrifuge everything else spun around.

One thing The Walking Dead does as well as any other drama is kill its darlings, a phrase meant to indicate that you should not give over to sentimentality, and so should remove the best part of anything. There is nothing worse than this expression, originally coined by Ernest Hemingway in a bathhouse. He didn't have any darlings to kill, what did he care if you murdered your own?

Carl u know what you must do

In this context it does not meant Lori dying during childbirth, since no one wanted to see her acting at any length and it was a mercy killing. It means that the Korean-Gentile relationship between Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had to be sacrificed. I was in favor of turning it into a Bonnie & Clyde type situation and having Glenn go on to marry an older woman (Annette Bening) afterwards, but instead the couple shared a more unctuous conflict over near rape. Since the show has no idea how to deal with a topic so serious, they just kinda make like Glenn does and avoid it.

glenn demands that he stand and she sit for every long talk they have

The Walking Dead showed how inadequate it is at dealing with deeper issues between characters who know each other while trying to write dialogue between Merle and Daryl. I've never met two brothers where one is a racist and one isn't, except maybe if Joe Biden has a really open-minded brother.

"I just love that Ricky Rubio" "Same"

But yeah, Merle's amputation has become a part of his personality. Sometimes he's like really sensitive ("These people of color resent that I tried to kill them") and sometimes he's like, "Let's steal these folks' belongings," which frankly identifies him more with the far-left than the far right. I can already imagine the scene where Daryl holds Merle off of a stranded group of travelers' spoils by arrow-point as an allegory for tax reform.

"when rick shot my daughter in the face I was like damn son"

The Walking Dead is more fun when it is outright sinister, as when cynically setting up a romance between Carol and the likable ex-convict who resembles her in every way, and then disposing of their future romantic prospects so suddenly via a bullet from the Governor. Then again, most jokes on the show revolve around instantaneous death for a participant in the drama, so minus for creativity, and plus for surprise.  


The obvious choice would be to focus more on The Walking Dead's best character, Michonne (Danai Gurira). You understand everything about who she is by how she treats the undead - like a determined, purposeful mother. It's weird to see her deferring to Rick but I guess that conflict had to be put on the backburner. It would be prescient to use her as the singular protagonist for a number of episodes, or why not just one singular flashback episode? Let's turn this into Lost, I want to be there when they explain that this is the central mystery of the show:

Fuck you all.

Take for example a common citizen in Rome. The empire is ending, some chap gets it in his head that a famous personage represents Sodom and the evil in his homeland. He doesn't have two swords; he never actually does anything about it; circumstances just crumble of their own accord. As the world ends, there is still a need to end a part of it yourself. The expression on Michonne's face tells us everything about what she feels about what happens around her.

go with it

The underlying message at the heart of The Walking Dead is that adapting to the circumstances you find yourself in is everything. The costume you find yourself is properly called a habit. It is what actually defines you - the vow that you make, not that you are the one that makes it.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

"Last Leaves of Autumn" - Beth Orton (mp3)

"Magpie" - Beth Orton (mp3)