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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.

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In Which Marty Hart's Daughter Was The Real Yellow King

The Greatest Throne Of All


Morning comes, and the disappointment of last night's True Detective finale has yet to wear off. I can't shake the overwhelming sensation that the Yellow King is still out there somewhere I was pretty sure it was going to be Marty Hart's eldest daughter, especially after she set up one of the crime scenes in her playroom. I believe that children, and to a lesser extent, toupees, are our future. Treat them well and let them have three-ways. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride.

Sometimes I think Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's tendentious relationship was the only thing I have ever really cared about.

he didn't mention AIDS during this episode either

The show did reveal the centerpiece of the Carcosa myth, which is that it is a place you can go, a passage to the underworld. It is shrouded with branches and corpses, both of which made the lair of the YK one of the great television sets I have seen since the mill on Twin Peaks. The weird wooden statues are merely signs or guideposts to the passage. "There is only one story... light and dark," Matthew McConaughey muttered at some point last night, which caused everyone I watched the show with to burst out laughing.

I once tried to kill something that was attacking me. It turned out to be hail.

Before Rust entered the throne room of the Yellow King, he heard a noise behind him. He never identified it, or tracked down the source of the disturbance, but it could not have been the King himself, peeking out of the underworld to see what happened on Earth? Statues are merely signposts; the beings they indicate lurk nearby. Even a hospital is merely a marker for something else, some passage in and out of things.

it's like...a waypoint from the darkness into the light GET IT

It seemed like the True Detectives of True Detective knew where the killer was for over three episodes; they were so sure of their results that they had a mute guy mail them to local newspapers. Instead of taking the yellow king alive, they chose to eliminate him in his lair, possibly due to their worries he could be vindicated by Tuttle elements in the criminal justice system. Going to the evil lair of a killa with no Kevlar or satellite phones sounds pretty dumb, but then, clearing one murder case over a twenty-year period isn't exactly stellar work either.

this loving relationship could have had more screentime

I always believed I could solve any cold case purely from reading the wikipedia entry. JonBenet's killer is probably dead now, and can't be apprehended, but didn't someone once say the truth is out there (in her wikipedia page). The next season of True Detective will feature a killer whose calling card is posting the DOD of their victims on wikipedia as a sadistic, Adobe-flash based calling card. (In an ironic twist, the perpetrator will turn out to be a Brooklyn woman disappointed by sexism.)

I thought we had all retired light and dark as a metaphor after the Harry Potter series IDK

Murder, True Detective suggests, is the second worst crime. It is worse than treason or rape, abduction or corruption. The absolute worst crime is having an accent that sounds like dogshit.

actually nevermind the worst crime is that shirt


I have watched my last episode of The Walking Dead. The writers who could actually compose dialogue were fired and forced to write Mob City by Frank Darabont at gunpoint. Whoever is left over penning these awful episodes fell asleep during the part of writing class when they instructed verbs other than "to be."

a woman in her twenties who has never had a drink. In the south. That's likely.

Every line of dialogue now is the same, each conversation the identical meaningless pattern.

"I have to go."
"You don't have to."
"But I do."
"You'll be gone."
"I want you here."
"You have to be gone, don't you see?"

It is utterly maddening byplay. Worse even than the terrible dialogue, though, is that even the show's most taciturn figures to this point are now voluminous holes of un-vocabulary. Sure it was fun to cut the budget by killing off the The Walking Dead's most educated characters, but there has to be a middle ground between long Bible quotations and the dumbest pattern dialogue since Aaron Sorkin wrote most of Studio 60 on cough syrup and pure. That was bad, and this is worse. Action talks, bullshit walks.

cut out her voicebox with that knife please

A recent episode, which consisted of the impotent natterings of a blonde woman to a white power activist, soured the concept of an odd couple for me forever. If I hear one more word out of Carl about how he's capable of handling himself, I'm going to burn down Sanctuary. They should just keep hiring people from The Wire, since the rest of the show's cast can't act worth a fucking shit.

oh wipe the sad face off, if you loved your wife so much you never would have left her side

Let us not forget the scene where a man left two ten year old girls in the wilderness, stood them back-to-back and told them "you're going to be fine." This actually happened. And good lord, Glenn, grow up. She's just a woman, even if she is your wife. I am going back to watching Four Weddings and a Funeral every Sunday, enough of this shit.

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. He last wrote in these pages about Felicity having sex for her country.

maybe he was just annoyed by her

"Keep On Wanting" - The Fray (mp3)

"Wherever This Goes" - The Fray (mp3)


In Which At Last Rust Smells The Psychosphere

The Yellow King


True Detective
creator Nic Pizzolatto

Despite taking place in Louisiana, there were no non-drug dealer, non-minister African-American characters in True Detective until last night, which I regard as quite a feat. Perhaps predictably, this auspicious debut included an old woman's wacky, spiritual wanderings of color as she explained that after death, time goes on. Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) started in disbelief at the old black woman's exhortations, which was more than a small irony. We can't rule out the possibility that McConaughey died in 1997 and James Cameron has been digitally reconstructing every single one of his roles.

in the bloopers they trade wigs

It is downright chivalrous of the Yellow King to target only white women and children. The erstwhile serial killer has been the focus of Rust's obsession, even after he quit the police force as a result of being goaded into a two minute sex scene with the wife of partner Marty Hart, portrayed by a downright luminous Michelle Monaghan. Marty (Woody Harrelson) had other fish to fry. His by far favorite thing to do besides hunt serial killers is to recreate the wonder of the first years of his marriage by pursuing mistresses who resemble his wife at a much younger age. There is actually a name for this practice, it is called nostalgcourse.

if you're going to have sex outside your marriage, make sure a vanity mirror is nowhere nearby

One such conquest, Beth, is suitably impressed by Marty's role in the investigation. She calls him to tell him that all week she has been thinking about letting him fuck her in the ass. "Oh Beth," Marty responds while licking his lips, one of the only times he is guilty of understatement.

To someone who is never really offered anything by the world, one super sweet invitation to an evening of anal sex and recrimination feels like a vacation in the Bahamas. We should thank God for such things, True Detective implies, since they are most definitely temporary. Twenty years later we see Marty eating TV dinners and surfing match.com. There is justice, but only the small kind.

reggie ledoux was a bit of a dick in hindsight

True Detective's most exciting scene came at the end of its fourth episode. A six minute orgy of places and events involved Rust infiltrating a biker gang robbing drug dealers in the projects. The exhilaration of the scene, how everything went bad at once and Rust was at his absolute best, led us to admire the sort of dedication such a person must have for his job, to go to a place so chaotic and horrible it overwhelms every part of the soul. It must be how the people who work in Joe Biden's office feel every single fucking morning.

rust's den reminds me of a room I once had entirely dedicated to gerald ford's pubic hair

Some of the writing on True Detective is maybe a bit heavy-handed, such as when Rust starts to whine about how time is a circle with the same things happening again and again. In one of the show's best scenes he interviews the slimy head of a local ministry. (Did you know a group of ferrets is called a business, and a group of ministries is called a porridge?) Rust is the well-known master of interrogation, as his partner Marty opines to everyone who will listen at any given moment by beginning half of his sentences with the phrase, "Say what you want about Rust..." which is incidentally the same way domestic abuse is often described by the victims, or being with Angelina Jolie is often described by Brad Pitt.

the tuttle ministries may have some dark secrets, but they damn sure know how to feng shui an office

This creepy minister, however, takes Rust's measure in a mere moment, suggesting that it's hard to trust a man who can't trust himself in the same room as a drink. Rust sort of blanches before accepting this faithful appraisal of himself, and we are disappointed, watching our nihilistic detective-hero. Even he must bow down to someone.

Recently God gave me a mission. (It was to find a way to coat David Axelrod's glove compartment with the semen of a stag, and I declined.) I asked if I was to receive help in my task. God explained I was the help.

Just so.

if you're going to craft statues to a pagan god, make ones that look vaguely like Taylor Swift imo

Most disturbing and unusual in the serial killer mythology of True Detective are the small wooden art projects the killer leaves at the scene of his crimes. I think it gave God an idea to try to get me to leave a Lego version of the Constitution in the backseat of David Axelrod's car, but if I listened to every single voice in my head, I guess I'd be Ezra Klein.

spaghetti monster jokes are so 2002

There is something aggressive and domineering about crafting superstition and hate into a tactile form. It is ironic that True Detective replaced the most racially diverse show on television, Treme, although it is no surprise that audiences did not fully take to a drama in which nearly half the cast seemed to be perishing of cancer or Katrina at any given moment. The hurricane's effects are given short shrift in True Detective; Rust explains that it must have been fantastic cover for the killers to take children, and everyone moves on.

Treme was actually quite a hopeful story, in the end, even though that white woman did not get to keep the name of her restaurant and everyone that had cancer died, and the after-school music program got cut for budgetary reasons. OK, actually, the non-saxophone parts of Treme were a bit dispiriting, but at least there was a lively, vivid, fully realized world at its center. True Detective, as Rust says of a parish he visits in the show's pilot, is just someone's memory of a place rather than the thing itself.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer residing for the most part in the spirit world, the rest of the time you may contact his wife Lynne for his exact whereabouts. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

"The Well of Youth" - Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson (mp3)

"A Fall of Sleet" - Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson (mp3)


In Which Felicity Did It For Her Country

Felicity's Disguise


The Americans
creator Joe Weisberg

Keri Russell's face resembles a fluttering parchment. The arch of her back is often speckled with azure. The promotion for her FX show The Americans should have been based around the idea, "Did you ever wonder how Felicity would parent her young children if she were also recruited as an agent for the KGB?" We cannot rule out that Felicity was ever not some agent for a foreign government. We can speculate, but never really know, that her job at Dean & DeLuca allowed her to collect various sundry information, and she did seem to spend a lot of time sitting on her bed talking to important men and Scott Speedman.

On The Americans, Felicity/Keri doesn't just talk anymore. Sex is now a part of her job as a KGB agent, and the information that men give out in the throes of love is always ideal, if not exactly certain. In the first ever scene of the Cold War drama (which begins its second season this Wednesday), Felicity/Keri performs oral on a mark, but it is never discussed again. On Felicity itself, the blow job would have been turned over endlessly. The moral of the story is that there is always a lot more of a grey area in life when a Republican president is in office.

I miss those days.

Keri Russell's husband on The Americans, Philip (Matthew Rhys), is the type of dutiful soldier you would expect her to be married to as part of her cover. Unexpectedly, real love (Real Love™) blossomed for this pair of spies late; the respect a man has for the abilities of his wife is easily confused with affection in many marriages.

Across the street from the Jennings family lives the worst FBI agent in the world, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich). Not only is Beeman letting a hard sex relationship with a KGB informant ruin what was left of his unhappy marriage with his wife, he also allows the two KGB agents operating across the street to leave their kids with him while they go off murdering Americans. Stan is a good man and a capable agent, but he has all the emotional maturity of a komodo dragon.

To be fair, some love relationships are worth the destruction of everything around them. Nina (Annet Mahendru) is a senior lieutenant for the resident at the Soviet Embassy; her collection of unusual underwear exceeds that of any comparable Western woman. We have to cheer as Stan casts aside what is left of his family and old life; a spy must make his own fun in the world.

Reinventing Keri Russell as a spy kind of made sense though. Felicity's main skill was lurking, her secondary skill was lurking ominously. She also vanished if you criticized her or mocked her openly, also true of undercover agents. Keri's two children suspect nothing of their parents' activities, although their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) wonders why her mother is up in the middle of the night so often folding laundry. The Jennings' children appear strangely muted, deprived of something ineffable that can never be reclaimed.

Because the vast majority of The Americans consists of two people quietly meeting in a car and then one person leaving and feeling slighly bereft, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly who is winning on either side of things. Stan Beeman appears to be a rising agent in the Bureau, but he could just easily be the fall guy for a more savvy politician in his organization. The important people are those who actually do the work of their betters, The Americans tries to point out, which is ludicrous on its face.

Both Russell and her husband are meant to be native Russians, recruited for the abilities in English and trained for decades of deep cover. Over time Philip has grown to enjoy living in America, claiming that he understands our latent love of freedom better than his wife. In one episode, he explains to her how he believes that Americans are not really capable of a certain kind of wanton murder more familiar to his own side. She comes around to her husband's way of thinking, and it is only us who are left to wonder at the naivete of killers.

Philip must also maintain a love relationship with the secretary to the head of counter-intelligence in the FBI so he can get information directly from the bureau. It is not so much that the woman is unattractive or lacking in traditional charms, but it is the way she loves the man who probes her for sensitive intelligence in her department that causes us to lose faith. To get her to plant a recorder in her bosses' office, Philip proposes to her by silently drawing the words M-A-R-R-Y M-E on her palm during a covert dinner out of town.

At one point she tremulously, disturbingly asks her fiance, "Is this real?" The expression on his face when he asserts that it is transmits a most disgusting feeling into the hearts of all thinking people.

At some point we begin to loathe everyone involved in this sordid drama, even the innocents who have no knowledge of what the people they claim to love do during their free time. Open war on an enemy is fractured and deadly, but it is also honest. The spy himself is morally complete, since his basic allegiance is concrete. The people he enlists in his schemes are corrupted by him - they are the ones who lose everything, only because they never had anything like the basic devotion to country the spy places above his or her own well-being.

Felicity may have been naive, but she never looked as silly as we do, watching these espionage activities decades later. It is so pathetically easy to forget all that was actually on the line. It is even worse, and a much darker journey, when you start to worry nothing was.

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. He last wrote in these pages about his vision quest.

"Midnight Wheels" - Jessica Pratt (mp3)

"Streets of Mine" - Jessica Pratt (mp3)

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