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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 (120)


In Which No Pleasure Is In Itself Evil



True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

The New York Post had a headline this weekend that read 'Don Voyage.' Apparently questioning someone's service in the Vietnam War is enough to exclude you from consideration for anything. Bulworth is still a fairly prescient movie. I never served in the Vietnam War, or in any other places, but I have a lot of ideas about it. My main one is that it is just about as bad as it looks, but regular people never see it, not really.

There are a lot of things from which we are protected. Ever seen a dead body, for real, on television? Someone always has an excuse for why the most horrible thing is beyond all reason, but what does that make the second, third, and fourth most horrible things? Just fucking fine?

Colin Farrell got a new look, but she still looks like skunk. No justice. 

Just one time I would like to turn on my television or read a book and find out what things were really like. I have to say I don't think it's terribly important, things that happened forty or five years ago. They might as well not have occurred. I passed by a protest of nuclear weapons the other day. About 2,000 people had turned up for this important cause. Their cell phones and tablets were being powered by something, made by someone.

If the world makes us hypocrites, then we might as well sit in our own shit comfortably. "The minute you smelled shit," Vince Vaughn explains to his prissy, infertile wife, "you would be on the next plane." He is conveying to the love of his life why they can't just be farmers.

Ask her to marry you, Ray.

There is a sign outside the Chipotle I went to until it was closed down because of rats like so many others in the chain. It says No GMOs. This campaign against science — and it is a campaign against science — tells us that food becomes somehow awful if we grow it for a purpose. Do you know how fucked up a thing that is to say to someone who is starving? Do you have any idea how babies are made? Where's Alan Sokal when we need him?

What happened to the guy who used to run the evidence room? Is he Rust Cohle's new partner? Give me something!

It is amazing how every ideology, no matter how innocent, makes enemies. I believe I can summarize each major character on True Detective by showing how their worldview is not completely their own:

Taylor Kitsch/Kierkegaard "Love builds up by presupposing that love is present."

Colin Farrell/Hegel "The inclination to act as the laws command, a virtue, is a synthesis in which the law loses its universality and the subject its particularity; both lose their opposition."

A romantic walk on the beach. If only they could switch haircuts.

Rachel McAdams/Karl Jaspers "A choice made now, today, projects itself backwards and changes our past actions."

Kelly Reilly/Epicurus "No pleasure is in itself evil, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail annoyances many times greater than the pleasures themselves"

Adoption is a hell of drug.

Vince Vaughn/Erasmus "This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind."

Ben Casper/Nietzche "Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?"

What are the chances of these two ending up in bed together?

It is not religion that is disappearing — it was always some definite, resilient portion of the population determined to make God real. It is philosophy that has vanished from our society. I remember taking a class on Kierkegaard in college. The European professor explained how we had to know that Kierkegaard was a sexist, but that these ideas were divorced from his intellectual ones. I said, this isn't like Shakespeare cheating on his wife! How a philosopher treats human beings seems pretty important.

But that too has been lost. I don't care how a person treats people they barely know — strangers are dogshit anyway. I want to know how they treat the people they love. That's why Ray Velcoro's "just alcohol" redemption tour rings so hollow. I hope his wife gets full custody. And Rachel McAdams probably needed that harassment support group — after all, she was sleeping with a subordinate. Granted it was a nice gesture to allow him access to her pooper, but that doesn't make her Florence Nightengale. The law isn't a convenience. It may be pointless or unjust, but it is not a means. It is an end.

See, it really isn't that hard to write like Nic Pizzolatto. You just need to spend a lot of time on wikiquote.

He's looking at Velcoro with a bit too much intensity, but I have to say I loved his mother-in-law.

Vince Vaughn's Frank Seymon had to default on his mortgage and move into a small apartment. Velcoro couldn't even come by to help him unpack. I don't know exactly how you can be set up to hurt a man when you're a police officer and you can fully be expected to do the research yourself on whether he assaulted your wife. Abigail Spencer's new boyfriend better check himself. That guy is just meansies.

I wish there were more Donald Trumps so we can find out if all the things people assume are true are actually factual. Tiptoeing around reality only benefits those for whom that reality represents sustaining power and wealth. I believe Foucault said that, or maybe it was my wife in the throes of ecstasy. It's not surprising I could confuse those two sources.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Let the Laughter In" - Hannah Peel (mp3)

"Pale Green Ghosts" - Hannah Peel (mp3)


In Which This Concerns A Female Investigator

The Same Mother


True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

So it now seems obvious that Rachel McAdams is deeply intent on torpedoing whatever is left of her career. "Lost in the light..." she murmurs to her sister. "Lost on the water." Then she went on about memories for about twenty-five minutes before executing a bunch of Mexicans who had offended her in some way. Being a police officer comes with a lot of strange duties.

Did she grow up inside of a Walker Evans photograph or something?

I guess her mom and the daughter of the mayor's mom were probably the same woman, given that they both knew Dr. Pitler. Or did Pitler just have a harem of spiritually accessible women he could turn to in difficult times? In any case, most reviewers haven't noticed we already suffered through a long scene with Pitler. He seemed awesome.

McAdams can revel in the fact that her scenes are the strangely-compelling sort of bad, like watching two attractive people whisper poems to each other. Her boss explains that the department's investigation of her is not gender-motivated, even as she whines, "Would this be happening to a male detective?" Pizzolatto does his best to make Ani Bezzerides extremely unsympathetic: his writing for her is outright unsalvageable at times.

I really hope Colin Farrell pulls off his hair and it's a wig, too.

I am just waiting for the actual flashbacks to begin. This happened on Netflix's Bloodline. Flashbacks are awful; they just remind us of how terrible child actors are. Chad basically ruined this episode by just sitting in his backyard like a sack of shit, accepting a trophy from his not-father Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell).

True Detective is basically the not-so-believable Olympics. Each scene competes wildly to be less realistic than the next. When Taylor Kitsch hopped into a diner to offer a proposal to the woman "pregnant" with his child, and he was still wearing that leather jacket... I really wish this show would spring for some costume changes — or did HBO reduce their budget that much? In any case, his dialogue was as rough around the edges as his gay sex.

It is best to avoid all echoes of Edward Hopper in your art design. The man beat his wife.

Actually, I thought last night's episode was going to push us over the line into full The Spoils Before Dying territory. If you were not aware of this Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiig project, consider yourselves lucky. It is a parody of old movies airing on IFC for some reason. None of the jokes are funny, and most of them occur in the title sequence.

Michael Kenneth Williams has sacrificed his own career for the project, in what is now called a McAdams. The weirdest thing about The Spoils Before Dying is that The Onion A/V Club ran completely serious reviews of the show, recapping the plot details and mystery in intricate detail. I have no words. Do they plan to recap The Big Bang Theory next? The show's humor rests in the narrative space between Leonard's sexual repression and his wife's lack of the same. I mean, read a book.

Guess we'll be returning to this location.

I also watched that Will Ferrell Lifetime movie with Wiig, A Deadly Adoption. He played the author of a series of successful financial books named Robert Benson. The only joke I could find in the entire movie is when he skypes with his editor, he got off the call by saying, "Love you."

Welcome to Me was also a disaster. Maybe hire Amy Schumer's agent?

Wiig as a blonde had a lot of potential, though. She seemed fitter, happier and more productive.

I did judge both of those things as amusing, but the rest of the plot was relatively straightforward: he and his wife Sarah (Wiig) connect with surrogate mother (a gorgeous Jessica Lowndes) who is actually a fan of Robert's books. She means to kill his wife and take over his family. You have to be really familiar with the Lifetime movie genre to find this a laugh riot.

She should really get around to supporting her husband on just one of his decisions.

If comedy is so much more difficult than drama, why do I have such a hot laugh every time Vince Vaughn asks his wife to get some more tests. "It might have been the operation," she explains, as if they wouldn't have gone over every step of her medical history once it became clear they were struggling to conceive a baby. Her infertility is going to be resolved in the five minutes after he yells at his gardener because his avocado trees are dying.

Vaughn hasn't been all bad on this show, but Pizzolatto gave him almost nothing to work with this time out. His threats are all vague and not very scary. He never gets angry, he just chokes the anger back. This seems like a good idea in theory, except what he does is never very monstrous. I mean he knocked some guy's teeth out, but the teeth were fake to begin with. He probably lost them originally to nonpareils, which are about as threatening as Vince's low whisper.

The story of a gangster trying to reclaim what is his would be compelling, except who throws away their empire and invests it in public transportation in the first place?

The final twenty minutes of last night's True Detective were a callback to the show's triumphant midnight raid of an African-American housing project in Beaumont, Texas. Watching cops get murdered by a bunch of vigilantes who were looking to pawn some jewelry seemed a little excessive, but who am I to judge someone for using overwhelming force? Hopefully this gets this police triumvirate off the streets and into a safer profession, like security at the American Girl store. They are terrible cops.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Into the Canyon" - Tom Holkenburg (mp3)

"Brothers in Arms (extended version)" - Tom Holkenburg (mp3)


In Which We Are The Truest Of All Detectives

Moment of Conception


True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

Frank Seymon (Vince Vaughn) is getting a blow job from his red-haired wife Jordan (Kelly Reilly) somewhere in the first ten minutes of last night's True Detective. It has been a long, arduous Fourth of July weekend, and Lynne is on my last nerve. "Ew," she exclaims, "Why is she doing that? Does he have a gun pointed at her?" I calmly explain to Lynne that they are trying to have a baby.

"You can't even have a baby that way," she says, and spits out some of her Big League Chew into a steel bucket.

You know, if he just stood on the chair, she probably wouldn't have to kneel at all. She might even need a stepstool.

"First of all," I say, "you don't know that for sure. I mean you might be right, but if that's the case why has Orlando Bloom fathered so many children and yet he is still a virgin?"

She is already distracted by the next thing. Colin Farrell wears these unflattering shirts that hide his body usually, and since he was shot last week, he is showing his torso for the first time. He looks fantastic, but Lynne is distracted by the grey highlights in his hair that remind us he is not Colin Farrell, but Ray Velcoro. (If these names sound absurd, it is because they were invented while Pizzolatto was on whippets.)

Rachel McAdams would have been a far more believable Daenerys Targaryen.

"How old is he?" Lynne asks of Velcoro. "Why do they make him look so old? Is this why no one wants to work with this guy? If he was going to ruin someone's career, it should probably have been Matthew McConaughey. I mean, that is a meaningless statement: we get the world we deserve. It's a tautology."

"Colin Farrell is thirty-nine," I say. She considers this, and then makes a hand-motion like she is masturbating a violin. "Careful," I say, "you could get pregnant doing that." While she is the kitchen I think a lot about Rachel McAdams. It is hard to take her very seriously in the role of a police detective named Antigone who carried knives around with her everywhere she goes. She explains that she is from a tough background — two of her siblings committed suicide, and another one is in jail. The last of her siblings works as a cam girl, and Rachel obviously had some kind of quasi-sexual relationship with her. Incest is the last thing I want as a theme of shows Dwayne Johnson or Bill Paxton is not involved in.

Taking shots at Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson is just the tip of the penis for Pizzolatto

Reviews seems to have completely missed the point of this show. Watching it, the only thing I can think to myself is, finally, the person who wrote this stuff is more of an asshole than I am.

The third member of True Detective's triptych is a highway patrolman portrayed far too broadly by Taylor Kitsch, whose studliness wanes with each moon. Unlike any other gay man on HBO, Kitsch's growling, mewling act consists of hiding his homosexuality from his mother, his girlfriend and his fellow officers. (He seems to have had homosexual awakening and subsequent sexual experiences in Iraq. Would I be presumptuous in suggesting this may be justification for several wars I may or may not have caused?)

And the Emmy for worst scene in recorded memory goes to

As I am typing this, Lynne is still talking about McAdams' haircut. "She looks like a skunk fucked a mountain lion," she whispers. We are in bed by this point, since Pizzolatto's dialogue makes Lynne kind of sleepy. There was this one scene where Vince Vaughn was poignantly explaining how his Dad used to lock him in the basement when he drank, and that he is not sure if he still actually down there, if he died in the dark place. "This is Lost all over again," Lynne said worriedly.

It is actually refreshing to see television taking itself seriously. As these police officers investigate the murder of a city manager connected to Vince Vaughn's land deal and the future of public transportation in Los Angeles, you start to focus in on why exactly True Detective feels so different from other shows. It is because the vast majority of artistic visions of the world paint it as a hopeful place, but Nic does not care about that at all. He is dedicated to explaining at great length why things are worse than ever.

This was some mean shit. Go after Woody - he can take it

"The man is so jaded," I say to Lynne as I am looking up at some water spots on the ceiling, recollecting some disturbing anecdote from my childhood that made me what I am. The scene where Farrell and McAdams visit the set of an alcoholic director who looks exactly like Cary Fukunaga was kind of a racist low point, but I wish more people would take up the example of insulting their former colleagues Matthew Weiner-style through characters in their fiction. If someone had done that to Christopher Nolan, maybe I wouldn't have to sit through the big bag of trash that was Interstellar.

The best part of True Detective is trying to solve the murder myself, and I believe it comes back to the miniature sculpture of a woman drowning in the bathtub they found in Ben Casper's house. Ray also makes miniatures — the concept of enjoying putting them together with his kid and then doing them by himself so does not fit at all with the character. There must be some kind of point to it, like maybe he uses them to spy on his kid when he is motorboating with his stepdad, Chad.

Who will be surprised if this boils down to the culpability of evil corporations? No one.

The connection between all the various traumas on the show — Taylor Kitsch's time working for military contractors, the overseas connections of the Russian mob, the inviability of all the women on the show's wombs to conceive children (it seems like they are all being poisoned by the local toxic waste) may revolve around the CEO of Catalyst. He is one probable villain — the other, Ray's ex-wife's rapist, is probably from a neighboring township. Given the genetic makeup of Ray's son, he should not be terribly hard to find. Lynne offers that they should just hold a ginger casting call.

The mayor is just the best. Strong leadership.

Lynne doesn't understand why I like True Detective. "The dialogue is soooo bad," she keeps saying as she strokes my forehead lovingly and murmurs like a kitten. "Half the sentences have the same grammatical subject or object: The world. The world is an undergarment. We marry the world we observe. We inoculate the world we conserve."

The reason is that I like having to figure things out and then not enjoying what I discover. Why do you think I watched Lost, read Donna Tartt books, and married my wife?

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording and the star of the Bravo original series Odd Mom Out.

I think this was a shot at George Miller also?

"Paradise" - Little Boots (mp3)

"Get Things Done" - Little Boots (mp3)

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