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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

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Felicity's disguise

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Entries in dick cheney (135)

Monday
May022016

In Which We Research All Of Your Lore Questions

Sit Back & Thrones Me

by DICK CHENEY

Bran Stark is 400 years old now. He has lived so long quietly enjoying the past in that wizened tree shed that he now looks like Zayn Malik crossed with a peasant boy. Maybe instead of going back to his father's time he can warg up a prequel series about everything that happened in Robert's Rebellion, since the world of Westeros is coming to an end and all he can think to do is curl up in the snow.

Not only is Bran now a full-blooded adult male looking to score with that intriguing young woman from the salt marshes, but he has become ethnic, which is a twist almost none of us could see coming. The people of the salt marsh are akin to the Israelites, and if that's the case, then the wargs could be like Christians, bringing a new faith to Westeros in the guise of their suddenly Jesus looking paraplegic.

Even without the use of his legs, he is the hero we deserve. Everyone else is mediocre in comparison to New Bran. I hated Old Bran because of the whining and whinging, I love the new Bran because he is our Lord and rightful king of the north.

I take copious lore notes during every episode of Game of Thrones. Over time I have collated most of the pertinent details surrounding the life of Aerys Targaryen. He was the Mad King, and it has now clearly been verified by a reliable gossip in the shit quarter of King's Landing that penis envy was the main cause of the Rebellion.

It must be weird to have been married to someone and never think or talk about them, as Cersei Lannister does. Her former husband Robert Baratheon was an impotent alcoholic, and I understand that his death was necessary in a lot of ways. He wasn't really much of a character, but no one ever discusses him. None of these Stark children even talk about their parents, either, especially their mother, who died in a retcon.

The dead fade so quickly from memory in a world where perishing is a constant part of the experience. Roose Bolton and Balon Greyjoy were some of the most underwritten characters imaginable, and the similarity between the sudden turn in their fates lessened the impact of both. (I'm really starting to hate the North.) I wish George had never committed to finishing these books. I realize they are a major cash cow and he sold the rights too cheaply, but there is really no reason this show needs to stop. The books are clearly less than at this point, and as a former television producer, George should know that.

Catelyn Stark came back to life in the books for no reason, but it was deemed that this would steal too much of Kit Harington's thunder. As that old woman was bringing him back to eXistenZ in the least surprising development since it turned out that Kristen Stewart is gay, I was screaming at the television and calling these people various names. I was also making lore notes at the same time, but the screaming was my dominant motif.

I will never forget what the bastards that wanted Jon Snow back did. Just because the illiterate servant of a demented king thought Jon would be a cute replacement for the vacancy in his idol worship does not mean that this had to happen. Not even Kit Harington's mother thinks he can act.

What's wonderful about politics is that when someone truly is defeated, they can't suddenly change it up and be the winner. After more people vote for a meglomaniacal businessman than a woman lawyer, there will be no take-backsies. It will just be the end of the line. Jon Snow was at the end of the line, and this joy was taken from me. The ensuing annoyances of, "My lord Snow! You're alive!" and "Jon! I thought you were finally off this series!" forthcoming in the next episodes will be no salve to my wounds, k?

At least that scene made sense. It was a fair amount of time ago that the frozen former wildings were marching on Westeros. I realize they are just going to be murdered by Dragon 1 and Dragon 2 (official GRRM lore), but what did they do, hit up a Gregory's Coffee just north of the wall and wait for their cue? I was sort of hoping that the little kid who stabbed Jon Snow in the midsection would have been eaten by dogs, but no such luck. David Benioff will tell us when we are allowed to be heartened by the death of a child.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Off the Water" - Plants and Animals (mp3)

Monday
Apr252016

In Which We Look Forward To Our New Throne

Something So Good, So Pure

by DICK CHENEY

Everything is better on Game of Thrones now. We have put the miserable, awful fifth season of the show behind us for good. HBO put so much money in Vinyl and the other raging shit on their network (besides that white supremacist sitcom Silicon Valley) but now Game of Thrones is all they have, so they might as well end this thing with the gross excess the show deserved from the beginning. The checkbook is open, and pretty soon Arcade Fire will be playing Mereen and Bobby Cannavale will fulfill the rest of his contract with HBO by getting a huge engagement ring for Sansa Stark. Synergy, son.

Jon Snow was maybe the worst actor on television besides the guy who plays the son on Empire, but now he is mercifully gone. This change alone takes Game of Thrones from a seven to a ten. They teased bringing Jon back, but even if he does return someday as the Red God, we no longer have to hear his pathetic whining about the wildlings or those cold people he hates. Game of Thrones is all fealty and vague lesbian affection, the way it was meant to be from the fucking beginning!

I honestly couldn't stand that they left a whimpering Cersei in her prison cell for like a million episodes. She is free and making the same face no matter what is actually occurring:

I love this face, it reminds me of Lynne's expression when she first saw Bernie Sanders criticize Hillary for being a woman. Cersei's killed about a billion people and she is only now monologuing about having to see her dead mother, whose name I believe was Adele Lannister? My reservoir of sympathy was exhausted by the fact that Sansa Stark would rather endure endless sexual abuse than stroll through a very chilly river.

Meanwhile, Jaime is trying to make us forget about all the terrible movies he made while he was not laying with his sister. I did not forget.

Given some of the dialogue in this episode, Game of Thrones would be better off just moving to a silent collage of scenes. So much here was unnecessary, with Ser Davis bleating, "I'd like some mutton," and the inane patter of the Khal's wives in the desert outside Mereen. Game of Thrones badly needed a new character or two to come into the light. For a time I thought that would be Podric, but I think he is being held back because they don't want him to outshine the tall woman.

Fantasy used to be mainly about male power fantasies, but now it's mostly about watching women murder men twice their size with kitchen knives. (The clear metaphor for feminism murdering multiculturalism was lost on no one.) The revolution in Dorne was long overdue, given that it probably should have occurred at the end of last season. Instead all we got was a soft deadly kiss and a ship returning with a corpse we never saw. In Thrones, it is always best to demand we view the body.

The only woman not reconstituted as a superhero is Arya Stark, who is a long way from becoming Daredevil. Maisie Williams' overly broad performance as this character has not aged well at all, although I am willing to forgive it given she was only a child when she lost her dad (Sean Bean?). HBO might want to consider recasting the role and letting that little boy from Room play Arya Stark by inserting him in the rest of the series in retrospect.

But again, who cares. This hour looked like it cost more than all of last season combined, which had about the same budget as three episodes of Stargate: Atlantis. Now we get to see all the jaunty, electric places of Westeros. Summer in King's Landing! Spring break at the Citadel! Christmas at Casterly Rock! It is all within our grasp, provided we stop a Trump presidency.

As for the last scene, I guess Melisandre knows a way to stave off death. In retrospect it appears her relationship with Stannis Baratheon was more age-appropriate than it seemed at the time. Otherwise, I'm not quite sure what the big deal is: that's what I and about seventy-five percent of Americans look like in the mirror. Just because a body has a few wrinkles and sags here and there doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. On Outlander the main character shaved all her pubic hair and nobody said word one. 

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Mayday" - Wild Rivers (mp3)

"Speak Too Soon" - Wild Rivers (mp3)

Monday
Apr112016

In Which We Wanted To Hold On To The Feeling

Be My Husband

by DICK CHENEY

Outlander
creator Ronald D. Moore

This weekend's premiere of Outlander was the most fun I have had in years. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) returned from her time in Scotland during the mid-18th century and she was cranky as hell. The noise of airplanes and cars was absolutely disgusting to her, and she was astonished by the fashions of the 1948 season. After showing up in the middle of the street, she screamed at a passerby in order to find out who won World War II. Perhaps not surprisingly, she was left unsatisfied by the answer.

It got better from here. The husband she left behind in 1743 had a big penis (shockingly large IIRC) and impregnated her. So she tells her 1948 husband this, and at first he is all happy. Then you see his visage crumple as he realizes a number of key things: (1) he is sterile and (2) he is not the father of this child. His next move was most amusing: he balled up his fist like he was going to smash Claire's face in and looms over her. He backed off, but what a moment! I love this show.

It got better from here. Frank, her 1948 husband who is this douchy professor apparently prone to striking pregnant women heads into this old workshop that his buddy, a Scottish priest, has handy, and he's so angry that he smashes the entire place up. God Outlander is incredible; he was like this deranged guy feebly smashing boxes, and it went on for what felt like five whole minutes of just agony because his wife hadn't recovered from her ordeal in the few days he gave her to recuperate and acknowledge he was the most important individual in the world to her.

He gets with God and then returns to his wife for more tawking. It's obvious that she no longer cares for him. He tells her that he can give her time, but that they have to pretend the child is his. She agrees, and he burns all her old clothes. He asks her to move to Boston and she says yes to that too.

At that moment I knew this whole thing was bullshit or some kind of setup because a woman would never agree to move to Boston unless she had no other option. It got better from here. The setting shifts to France in the 1740s. Claire and her fertile ginger husband Jamie observe a man with smallpox coming in on a ship. Claire loudly shouts that she is a healer even though the man is already dead. They end up burning the entire vessel and its cargo, even though that seemed maybe somewhat excessive for one case of smallpox.

Claire is from the future, but unfortunately she knows very little about how to aid Jamie. She wants to prevent his people from being wiped out by the British, but she maybe glanced at a history textbook once ten years ago and forgot the rest. This is all well and good, but she could have aimed higher and stopped the Holocaust or the First World War. If you start actually thinking about this show it will make your head hurt.

There's actually a lot wrong with Outlander – the performances are not the best, and the soft lens they shoot everything with makes it look like Skinemax. But who cares, the B-movie feel to the proceedings just adds a certain flair missed from other dramas. The reason Outlander is so fucking great is because it does not shy away from going hard, verging on completely silly and overwrought. Most people would say a scene where a grown man flails about like a five year old just isn't realistic, but that is the brilliance of this entire endeavor. Outlander remains unafraid.

The world is likely flush with time travelers at this very moment. Most of them are trying to prevent Trump from becoming president; a select few were sent back to blackmail the press into giving Batman v. Superman bad reviews. This was a brilliant movie with a lot of subtext, and if you did not see it, at least google the scene where Superman slips it in Lois Lane (Amy Adams) while she's in the tub. I haven't been that turned on since I watched two lawyers who work for Paul Giamatti have really intense sex on Billions.

Someone once asked me whether or not all the things I write in my reviews are things I really believe, or if I am just exaggerating for pageviews. Hah hah. I am always serious unless I am talking about how Shonda Rimes' characters all talk and fuck the same. Then I am slightly tongue-in-cheek, but then again that is annoying. Especially the latter.

Outlander is my jam, but come April 24th I will be returning with my Game of Thrones reviews. I say reviews, but they will really be essais which weave in all the major events of our time: police brutality, my feelings on Ted Cruz's wonderful wife Heidi, the troubling rise of Russia, the anti-human rights legislation passed in the state of North Carolina, how I can't wait for Uncharted 4, and other such major news stories. I have gone on media blackout, since I want to experience it all fresh, knowing nothing, just like Terence Winter when he watches season two of Vinyl.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.