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Entries in dick cheney (86)


In Which We Journey To The Jacuzzi Beyond The Wall

A Weird, Complacent Feeling


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.


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)



In Which Our Timing Was All Wrong

Bran I Don't Care About Your Warg Dreams


Thrones. The moment someone starts telling you their dream you can assume it's all gone wrong. In Bran's juvenile dream he sees his mother, which is one of the more pathetic things about Bran. You just know inside Bran there's a voice saying, "I'm special, aren't I?" It doesn't help to sleep on a featherbed, you're still going to dream of a three-eyed crow and Jaime Lannister breaking your legs. If someone got me a featherbed I would just thank them.

you know you're having a warg dream when the anti-semitic three-eyed crow pops in for a how are you
This episode felt so empty, it felt like they were just riding on the solid wave of not having Catherine Stark on the show whining about how she's a bad mother. It's just unrealistic: have you ever once heard a rich woman admit to being a bad mother? It's never happened once to Dina Lohan and that means it's not going to happen at all. God I hate you Bran.

crowds of people just milling about on the off chance Margaery shows up

We did have to have another person recall the death of Ned Stark ("And Ned Stark died HO HO HO"), I mean Christ get over it, he died years ago now. There's a few things that repeat often enough on Thrones to become tiresome. For example, saying the name of the person in the next scene at the end of the current scene so the plebes can keep track of the characters. This only works when people know or care who Theon Greyjoy is.

Trying to make the house mottoes happen is even lamer, I mean just run it on a crawl: "...CNN is reporting the words of Riverrun are 'suck on a squegee'..." "Winter is coming" makes no fucking sense, it's certainly not coming when you're in it and according to the temperature it already came. Please stop saying this.

this woman is a hero and a thinspiration

You have to put your tragedies squarely behind you. At least Arya has totally forgotten her dad's death, she's still crying about some dude named Micah. Look, your white dog did attack Joffrey, and for that honestly it deserved to die. This is how it was meant to happen. If Joffrey had been killed, we would not be experiencing the absolute heaven that is his pending nuptials with Margaery Tyrell. Cersei's face during this was absolutely priceless.

emmy for best look of mingled hope & utter desperation
You'll notice GRRM routinely kills off or maims his gay characters; I believe the guy who wrote Nip/Tuck has a similar problem. Renly is long gone (killed by a shadow/ manifestation of his secret life), the sorcerer that cut off Vary's parts is alive but near death, Hot Pie is fat and alone, and Loras is getting absolutely shit on by Grandma Tyrell and possibly forced to marry a ginger.

"wait a second here Marge, YOU WANT TO BE BEST FRIENDS?!??!"
Then again, reports are out that Daenerys has been fingerbanging her translator. I mean what is the point of having a translator when you can speak a bunch of languages you presumably learned sometime before your brother sold you into slavery. I really don't buy that she speaks Valyrian, I've never seen a Rosetta Stone course for that.

what command of the language my queen

Slavery is the least controversial of issues; for that reason, making someone an enemy of it is the basest assault on their calling we can imagine. It says nothing of us that we are willing to be merciful; it is the least we should be.

It is the way of civilization to offer a respite, a corrective to anarchy. Justice is a fiction invented by the revengeancist, it reflects the weakness of a mind that has no motivation within it, like the castrated spymaster of King's Landing, Varys. He too speaks from a moral view that says he is the victim whose sacrifice brought about a god, and once you have seen something immortal, it is very easy to imagine you cannot die as well.

talking bad about your menfolk is the new giving sansa stark lemon cakes smh

I think I just lapsed into Varys-speak for a second there. Varys received a special UPS delivery. He had to wait the entire weekend to get it and it was just sitting at the edge of the narrow sea all that time, so frustrating. I think there were like 60 adverbs in the scene between Varys and Grandma Tyrell. Would I be totally shocked if Grandma Tyrell and Craster were portrayed by the same actor, no I would not.

was I the only one expecting a talking testicle named Samwise?

Imprisoning the sorcerer who burned your testicles seems only fair, but if you really want to punish him, let Joffrey become his friend. Good god, that boy is like this one girl I dated in high school who always made a point of telling me everything she knew about butterflies/The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

"only I can imprison you kingslayer"
It was actually poor timing to make amputation the centerpiece of Jaime Lannister's existence. Plus they made him seem so sad about it. I get that it was the sword hand, but having your already mutilated hand sworded off by Roose Bolton is a pretty minor inconvenience. It's not like he has to attract a woman; he is already in a pretty major LTR with his sister. Once on a safari the locals honored me by giving me a necklace with a lion cub on it. Not only was I impressed, but it made me feel safer.

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.


In Which We Enter The Mind Of A Cheetah

I'd marry the dog

Shut Your Mouth Bran


Thrones. Making a character seem real is a lot different than making him or her compelling. There are only so many character archetypes, so many personality traits that can believably inhabit one person in one world. That's why writers fall back on clichés, both because they do the work of telling us about themselves on their own, and because some are infallibly true to life, like the megalomaniacal, power-hungry bald man. Here are all the archetypes in Thrones so far:

  • the impatient, juvenile boy king
  • the inspiring disabled person
  • the sociopathic moneylender
  • the innocent token bride
  • the black guy who died first
  • actually there's only one black guy and he's a sailor
  • why can't they cast Malcolm Jamal-Warner, he could have been a solid sellsword
  • Sir Jorah Mormont should have been played by Tyler Perry
  • You know nothing Jon Snow

it's not a first date if there's no crossbow fondling involvedSome of the show can't live up to the complexity of the books, but King Joffrey is far improved from the source literature. Telling your moms, "This is one of the most boring conversations I have ever had," is risky in the best of circumstances. I believe Chelsea Clinton's face looks as it does because she tendered a similar remark to her own progenitor. You really shouldn't mess with Cersei, even if you are her sweet incest baby. She has more balls in her balls than most balls. (She has no balls, she's just really cool and smart!)

"Sometimes I just feel like murdering some innocents my lord...do you ever perchance feel similarly?"

Joffrey's affection for Margaery Tyrell is puzzling at best. His own empathy always fails him, a central theme of this Thronesing. I always thought of the Tyrells as the Jews of the Seven Kingdoms, with Highgarden commanded by a secret matriarchy redolent of Golda Meir. I once saw a stage show about that woman's life; by the end I was thrashing myself so generously you would have thought I was Benjamin Netanyahu at a particularly erotic Hannukah celebration.

this is the most kowtowing anyone's done for a woman since BO complimented that attorney general

Tyrion's pathetically emotional scene with his whore girlfriend really went too far over the top. Maybe his dad was right, what kind of (little) person is willing to put someone he cares about in jeopardy just for a blow job? This weekend Lynne and I sat down to finally watch Hope Springs. There's a scene where Meryl Streep gives a teeth mark BJ to Tommy Lee Jones in a movie theater that was more believable than this. Yeah, some jaded prostitute is going to get really mad if a lion complimented Sansa Stark's looks. Not even teenagers act this silly.

Speaking of not acting his age...

bran fleeing like a coward...you have my permission to die bud

Bran seriously needs to grow up. I mean whining all the time to your servants has its appeal, don't get me wrong. The only thing less interesting than hearing about some little lord's fever dream is having to watch Theon Greyjoy do virtually anything. Bran, originally I thought your "brother" Jon Snow was the worst, primarily because he is not actually your brother (spoilers for things George has yet to write), but also because he's unable to play a spy and he got the fucking pox. Who does that?

I approached barbra streisand once in the same posture and it did not work out half as well

But no, it turns out Bran is the fucking worst. Bran, shut up about your dreams. Shut your stupid face about your dreams. Your mother bores me, your father's dead, your sister is in Israel, your other sister is so much better than you it hurts me to think about it, your other brother is in love with a do-gooder nurse, and I seriously hope you turn into a wolf and drown.

"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Imprisonment has done Jaime Lannister no favors whatsoever. His penis has shrunken from its all time high of seventeen inches, as when he copulated with his sister and produced a son in a lovely tunic with a passion for sadomaschism. His penis now claims a length of a mere thirteen inches, yet its girth has remained relatively unchanged since Robert Baratheon instructed him to slaughter the Mad King. The vicissitudes of penis reshaping and all of that.

Jaime's playful fight with Brienne of Tarth didn't give me as many halfsies as I was anticipating, but that was more due to the fact that it is completely immoral to swordfight an opponent whose hands are cuffed together. Still, I doubt that would hold back any decent swordsman. (The real life experience I rely on to make such judgments largely occurred at urinals in the greater Maryland area.) Jaime and Brienne actually make a cool team, but we need to get to the grudging respect aspect of their interplay more quickly. One note, however beautiful, becomes dull if it's played for too long.

off to deposit the one ring in the fires of mordor

Jojen and Meera Reed are among the best characters in the series. This is not because their dialogue is overwrought, clichéd bullshit about what fucking do-gooders they are. The swamp people were one of GRRM's finest inventions, possessing both the mystical and historical knowledge that other houses in the area lack while also being renowned for their loyalty and moral agility. Their knowledge of the events of Robert's Rebellion may prove crucial. Imagine me slowly sliding my eyeglasses up on my nose with one hand as I say this, and with the other making a gesture that indicates masturbation.

God I hate you Bran.

In the North, Jon Snow's acting has not gotten better the further south the wilding army has traveled. It's absolute hell when Jon and his girlfriend Samwell Tarly are separated. I mean would Tolkien have split up Frodo and his Sam? Of course not. I'd never thought the day would come when I would be praising Elijah Wood's acting. Then again, rest assured that's not going to happen. Is there any way Andrew Garfield can realize he was meant to be the real Jon Snow, or is he too busy covering Emma Stone's face with a paper bag? Do it, recast Jon Snow. It's not working out. His skeptical face is too retarded, there's only one worse actor in all of the Seven Kingdoms:

"my lady my lady my lady my lady glurg glurg glurg"

Robb Stark's problems are our problems, sort of. At least he didn't face tongue some pretentious nurse in the books. The Westerlings were a lovely people. Honestly, Robb Stark reminds me of the leaders who appeased Hitler (can't remember names, was Martin Luther involved?), or the bleeding hearts who think that it's important to be tough, but turn their nose up at the sight of the mildest violence in the name of their cause. Either sign up to be a king, or go home. Margaret Thatcher would have laughed in Catherine Stark's face. Too soon? Excuse me while I go collect my tears for her in a ceramic cup.

props to joffrey for holding onto that direwolf skin

My love for Arya knows no bounds. GRRM always tells the story of how his wife demanded he never kill the poor girl off, which I'm sure ensures her death in the series' final book, A Shit On Stannis. (I actually had to check whether or not Stannis was still alive in canon, that's how boring the guy is.) Hopefully one day, via an elaborate flashback sequence, we will meet the charming mother who sired a gay, a prissy adulterer and a hog-shaped excuse for a king. Children haven't gotten that disappointing since Phil found out his only son tortured a rabbit on Modern Family. (You don't need to google this, it hasn't happened yet.)

the beginning of a rewarding friendship

Despite the fact that my PSN name is arya43, I have to admit I have gotten a little sick of the brave androgynous fighter act. Watching the Hound betray her to the Brothers without Borders Without Banners or Doctors was difficult. I never respected those guys, or anyone who thinks they're trying to save the countryside. Like really, tons of poor people in America could eat if you just put oil wells off the California coast. I said this to a guy at a gas station the other day and he was absolutely flabbergasted. GRRM's obsession with keeping Arya a little girl is typical, but listen, they have to grow up some time. I was surprised as you when I read that Selena Gomez killed a guy when she was like, twelve.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location. All of these things actually happened. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here, and his recapitulation of last week's episode here.

"The River" - Zero Absolu (mp3)

"The Olive Tree" - Zero Absolu (mp3)