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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 (145)


In Which Yara Greyjoy Enters A Small Tent In The Middle Of The Desert



Wow, Rickon Stark is so completely stupid. A man one hundred yards away is shooting you with arrows and your best effort is the whimpering trot that is a straight line. Rickon Stark, first of his line, King of the Andals. It only took half the amount of time Ramsay Bolton spent on tossing up his arrows for Theon Greyjoy to sail to Mereen.

While there, Theon was unable to sample any of the local flavor. I imagine we're all a bit tired of the main fact of each Game of Thrones character being brought up in every scene. It just reminds me how bad Tyrion's dialogue is. I mean, we get, you're somewhat on the short side. Is it really productive to make your life all about how small you are? I think we all understand that Theon is supporting his sister — so why did he talk and she stand there smirking like some kind of disturbed loon?

Fanfiction depicting the various intimacies that will transpire between Yara and Daenerys is all well and good. It's nice to see a proper lesbian relationship, one based on the common interests of taking power away from siblings and relatives and wielding it for yourself. It kinda felt like Sansa was one-upping Jon Snow a little bit. She completely undermined his battle plan and waited until most of his forces had been killed to enter the fray.

The battle itself was the best and possibly most expensive set piece the show has ever done. Jon's inability to die after Melisandre's pronouncement of "the god we have" was amusing, although I could not help but notice that Kit Harington never changed his expression once throughout this entire episode, not even after he was pounding Ramsay's face like he once did that wilding girl who told him he was in an idiot in that cute cave.

It was a great day for the North, and even Littlefinger put in an appearance. Ramsay's death was a little unsatisfying and perhaps even pleasurable for him. It didn't make sense that his dogs would attack him and perhaps secretly I was hoping they would turn on Sansa. The reason all the animals have been written out of Game of Thrones is largely financial and practical.

Speaking of animals, I guess the slavers of Mereen temporarily forgot that the Queen of Dragons had, you know, dragons. Unrelated, but did Tyrion really think that Daenerys didn't realize her father was going to burn down King's Landing? And in hindsight, would it really have been all that big a loss if he did? That moment was nicely paralleled with Ramsay's sacrifice of his own troops.

Ramsay Bolton was a masochist. People who enjoy inflicting pain on others usually aren't so averse to suffering it themselves - that's why torture is so prominently an aspect of their self. Ramsay came off as a bit ineffectual in the end, and I found Sansa's disturbed smile as he was being mauled rather disconcerting. I'm not sure all that much was accomplished last night, but at least I never have to watch the Illiterate Knight negotiate ever again, as this seemed to wrap up his arc completely.

Great episode. Now I'd like to address a lot of e-mails I have been receiving about the upcoming presidential election. Here is one I have received a number of times in different versions, one of which called me a "decaying piece of shit." Naturally I reported him to the police, but the question still stands:

Would you really consider voting for Hillary or will you just vote for the Republican by reflex?

The campaign is so incredibly far from over right now. Sure, Trump has said a variety of disgusting things, and I'm sure he meant a good twenty percent of them. But you have a woman whose husband is a sex offender who might be indicted before the fall. This is hardly a cakewalk and the Clinton campaign knows it.

I would never vote for Donald Trump, since I don't believe there is anything wrong with a Muslim immigrating to the United States. I have many Muslim friends, and a variety of leatherbound volumes. But whatever he says now, he can just change later on in the debates.

Well, you say, won't that make him look fractious and inconsistent? Uh, sure, but isn't that a whole lot better than looking like a xenophobic psychopath?

Do you think Donald Trump is a bad person?

Honestly, no. We have this profoundly awful tendency to demonize our enemies. Calling Trump a Nazi because he offers unpalatable solutions to very real problems is immensely troubling. You would have to really not understand what the Nazi Party was to say something so completely disturbed and offensive about Donald Trump. Trump has operated under the laws of this country for decades and he has never professed a desire to murder anyone. When we treat adversaries in a democratic system like they were demons from hell we are no better than the bloodthirsty crowds in the Roman Coliseum. I think Hillary understands that if you treat Donald Trump like anything other than what he is — an intelligent, successful, misogynistic American businessman — you are giving him way more power than he deserves.

Who should Hillary choose as her running mate? Who should Trump choose?

I don't think the running mate really matters much, and picking someone who is notably successful or appealing can even undermine the focus on the main candidate, like Hugh Laurie did on Veep. I think in the end Hillary won't choose a man. Why bother? Elizabeth Warren appeals to a lot of key people within her party and it just seems less exciting when you see Hillary and some guy up there next to her signaling no other capable women could be found.

If you're going to make history, make history.

Trump should choose me. I've changed a lot. Just read my Game of Thrones reviews, ty. I appeal to women annoyed by Sansa Stark, men who think Kit Harington is the worst actor in the last hundred years, and people of both genders who enjoy Yara Greyjoy erotic fanfiction.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.


In Which Some Of It Still Really Bothers Us

Pet Peeves


Lena Headey's eyebrows get darker by the day. As my wife Lynne well knows – we have had more than one messy row about the subject – my pet peeve is eyebrows that don't match the color of someone's hair. It's the reason, I believe, the Zac Efron has become Seth Rogen's sidekick when he might have been the next Fred Astaire. Or I guess Ginger Rogers was a possibility, too.

I have a lot of other pet peeves. Most of them are Game of Thrones-related, like:

I don't like that Jaime Lannister has basically ignored his missing hand for four seasons;

I don't like that the only character who manages to eat on this show is Sandor Clegane;

I don't like that Samwell Tarly's wife is extremely sparing with her affections;

I don't like that Bran looks like he should be married with children of his own by now;

I don't like that Tyrion Lannister hasn't had a meaningful plot development since he killed his dada;

I don't like that ppl are always referring to their spies as birds because they think it's cute, it sucks;

I don't like how Jaime Lannister's masterful generalship all occurred off-screen and made no sense at all;

I don't like how Jaime Lannister and Brienne did not share a soft hug upon parting;

I don't like how the actress playing Cersei Lannister in the stage adaptation of season 3 was a better actress than Lena Headey. Actually maybe I do.

I don't like how Cersei's massive bodyguard is about the dumbest plot device short of castration;

I don't like how all I see are ads for Sonic Burger and yet I have never seen an actual one of these restaurants IRL;

I don't like how it seems that not one character on this show has been the least bit altered from their introduction;

I don't like how Stephen Colbert believes he is the messiah sent from God to explain the right way to do everything and yet his show tanks every night in the ratings.

I love humility. It may not seem like it, but I do. It is also a fantastic character trait. It is why Brienne is so much fun to watch, and there is a lot to admire, but all the writers can obsess about is who is going to climb her pale carapace for a mounting.

Brienne puts herself down a lot, but you can see that she is mostly confident. Every other character on Game of Thrones without exception is always explaining how great and famous they are. Yet they haven't actually accomplished anything.

I mean, if you really look at Jaime Lannister's record, it isn't very impressive, and Tyrion pretty much connived his way right into exile. The Starks are only good at dying, and Ramsey Bolton hasn't shown up in like eight episodes, reportedly because he got in a fight with David Benioff over catering.

There is a startling dearth of accomplishment on this show. Even Arya's maniacal plotting has led to five years of training until she gave up and just went home. Her abysmal chase sequence with her cute friend was about as exciting as watching Wile E. Coyote saunter after his prey. One of these people has to be good at something.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.


In Which We Refuse Sansa Stark's Offer For Dinner and Drinks

Grey Jeans


You might think that Sansa Stark waffling around the North, screaming "House Stark still lives!" and then administering dirty looks to the rest of the cast is wretched television, but it is something of a relief after X-Men: Apocalypse. I was recently forced to view this period drama in theaters because of my wife Lynne, who demands we view every James McAvoy joint as soon as possible. "You never know when it'll happen," she explained to me, stuffing kettle corn into mouth, "the instant where you will see Professor Xavier's dick."

That moment seemed to approach during a scene where Professor Xavier wheels himself into Jean Grey/Sansa Stark's room one night. She has already made a ton of odd markings on the walls with her mind, some of which looked like splooge. But Professor Xavier isn't the type to play around with his students, and he was wisely a lot more interested in Rose Byrne.

Jean Grey was always played by a very beautiful woman with tons of innate pathos. It is a very difficult thing to pretend to suffer, and as she was enslaved, raped and tortured throughout her run on Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark always looked only mildly inconvenienced, as if she were holding in a breath she could release when the scene is over.

To be completely honest, both of the female leads in X-Men: Apocalypse are quite homely, and it is a chore to sit through a movie where everyone spends half their screen time musing about what a legendary beauty Jennifer Lawrence is. There are even posters worshipping her, and other young mutants explain how they want to be exactly like her. It's so forced, especially since the one thing a shapeshifter is unlikely to be known for are the dimensions of her real face.

The villain in all of this is Oscar Isaac, who is 5'2" soaking wet. They dress him up to look just like the Emperor at first, although he eventually puts on all his armor and becomes slightly more forboding, if still a tiny collection of powers. Enlisted in his cause is Olivia Munn, whose skills in the Stanislavsky Method are best expressed during periods of absolute silence. Fortunately she has like six lines in the entire movie and she does her relatively easy job of making Sansa Stark seem young and lovely in comparison.

Thrones was only mildly more entertaining this week. There really isn't much left in the North. Even Lyanna, the young Queen of Bear Island, was incredibly bored by the sibling duo, so much so that that illiterate fuck Ser Davos had to step in and show off his proficiency at speaking the language of children. "You're really brave and smart!" he crowed as Lyanna consulted her male advisers about what kind of bald dunce was paying her such mediocre compliments. Normally when young women are told they are fierce, it can come across as somewhat patronizing. But Ser Davos has that way about him. He can talk almost anyone into an early grave.

The story involving the return of Sandor Clegane was incredibly predictable and featured him chopping wood for a good ten minutes of the episode. Clegane's path of redemption would have to take him back to kill Brienne, or maybe that is only what I hope will happen. For the most part, the only thing that I felt was sadness Deadwood did not go on for at least eight seasons.

This episode seemed a bit scattered, strung together by the magnificent sets the show badly needed in years past but could never get the funding for. Reusing Stannis Baratheon's camp above Winterfell was a funny touch, and the sight of Riverrun and Braavos almost made me feel like I actually was living in another place and time. Just as quickly we were whisked away to some other venue, where I had to start getting that damp feeling all over again.

X-Men: Apocalypse suffers from much the same problem of disjointment. I understand on Game of Thrones the point of having such a large and diverse cast (except racially) is that discrete stories and motivations eventually interact with one another, but damn they take their time. All the stars of X-Men: Apocalypse spend most of the film completely separated. McAvoy has absolutely no one to play off of except Beast, the dullest mutant in history, while Michael Fassbender spends most of running time whining about all the people he has killed and working in a foundry like some anonymous doofus. 

Things will at least come together on Thrones for a greater reason than Oscar Isaac living out his disturbed fantasies of being a giant. Arya will make her way to Riverrun, since it makes all the geographic sense in the world, where she can hopefully execute Jamie Lannister. There was not a lot of stress involved in watching her get stabbed, since they have all but promised never to kill her, but it will be good to see what waiting arms she falls into. Knowing my luck, it'll be either Iain Glen or Jennifer Lawrence. 

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

 "Darling" - Albin Lee Meldau (mp3)