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This Recording

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.

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)

Monday
May092016

In Which We Unfathered Jon Snow In Retrospect

He Is Something

by DICK CHENEY

Jon Snow isn't Jon Snow anymore. He is no longer that something, he is now another, peripheral thing. He falls in love and regrets his choice. She dies, unfortunately, and he becomes otherwise. He is a new man; he is always becoming a new man.

Why isn't everyone afforded the privilege of rebirth? Only the Starks are lucky enough to get to make pledges and gain allies, changing who they are. It is, in fact, what distinguishes them from the animals. I have to admit it is nice to see revenge finally in the offing. I find myself feeling more sympathetic to the Lannisters — but shouldn't it be other way around?

I have written some negative things about Donald Trump in this space. Now that he is the candidate for sure, I have gotten a number of questions that I don't feel I need to answer. He's just an annoying man for godsakes. He never was a Republican. Just because someone has a bad personality, doesn't mean they can't be president. Harry Truman was a dick. Still, I will answer some of your questions:

Did Samwell Tarley father a child? I forgot.

No, he is just the kind of man who cares for another man's baby, like whoever is dating Selena Gomez at this moment.

Do you think Trump will win, and if he does, how much of a catastrophe would it be for Murica?

Yes, I think he will win. If Clinton chooses Julian Castro, it looks like pandering, plus he and his twin brothers resemble the Mexican cartel twins in Breaking Bad. If she chooses Elizabeth Warren, as is more likely, it reduces her main strength as a candidate by rendering her history making story less unique. She really needs to choose Tom James from Veep.

Who would you say has a "good personality"?

Fiona Apple, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman and anyone named Molly. I would not want to be friends with Lena Headley — how many times can you listen to someone describe their bowel movement without hoping they'll never have another? So many crucial events in our country's history would be different if people refused to drink coffee at night.

You know someone has a good personality when they are clearly, obvious humble, but everything they say somehow reflects well on them, and not even minutely negatively. They are holding the world back with their pinkie finger. This digit looks slightly wet, but upon closer inspection is drier and cleaner than anything you have ever inspected so closely.

How does this relate to the HBO situation comedy Game of Thrones?

Throwing up in a bucket is not a personality. I'm glad Samwell Tarly found a woman who was so thrilled not to be wintercoursing with her father that she accepts him for who he is. (This is just about the only way that will ever happen, regardless of gender, in my experience, so do yourself a favor and hide who you really are.) But wanting to help Jon Snow is not a personality.

This episode was a fucking chore. Long, badly written conversations between Tyrion and his eunuch-friends? More fucking time travel that tells us nothing important about Robert's Rebellion and suggests that Ned Stark was twelve when it occurred? Jon Snow looking at people sadly for fifteen minutes?

Real people have conflicting motivations. Characters on Game of Thrones are disturbingly single-minded. This trend has been going on for quite awhile now, but in the books it was mitigated by a sense of inner turmoil that we don't have time for here. Arya Stark spent all of two weeks in training to be a faceless man. It is nice that she is an invulnerable magic assassin now, but I come to Thrones for the deep feelings within me and the Littlefinger jokes. After this episode I just felt cold.

Do you think Daenerys Stormborn can afford an acting teacher? She should look into that.

Yeah. Things reach a nadir when Lena Headey and Emilia are presented back to back. It is like watching a movie and its pornographic parody in the same sitting.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Decks Dark" - Radiohead (mp3)


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)

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