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Wednesday
Mar312010

In Which We Buckle Down For Some Hard Lost

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You Have Some Plot On Your Shirt

by DICK CHENEY

"Don't confuse hope with a plan." I believe either Jack Bauer or Vince Lombardi came up with this bon mot, and it ended the War of 1812 if my college history class was accurate. Jack Shepard's plan is to fly a plane off the island with all his closest friends on it. This isn't the first time a white guy tried to save an Asian couple, and it sure won't be the last.

you can never apologize to me for my character arc, sun, never!In light of recent episodes of Lost which the mainstream media felt was good, the ending of Lost has finally come into view. Are you allowed to bail on a show eight short episodes from its conclusion? I did it to Newhart, and look how well that turned out.

It's weird how our society has collectively decided to pretend Bob Newhart never existed, which is sort of like Sun magically losing her ability to speak English for no real reason. I believe we're now on octoginta ex machina.

Sorry I missed last week's recap - once Richard Alpert started crying over some busted girl he lost to malaria in the 1800s and crying "Isabella! Isabella!" into the night, I sort of lost my reason to live. We did finally get the story of the Black Rock, which on some level reminded me of when I savaged the New World as Columbus and/or Colin Farrell's right hand man.

As you probably imagined, I have been around during a lot of historical events. Here are a few I am directly or indirectly responsible for, and let me generally say, preemptively, my bad:

- The Spanish Civil War (not only did I cause this, but my whiny complaining about the war being boring inspired Orwell's Homage to Catalonia)

- The assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand (I'm really cranky before I eat in the morning)

- Big apologies to Medgar Evers

- Me, not Scar, killed that lion cub's parents and I also wrote the lyrics to Hakuna Matata

livin' off my evil deeds all these years  - The destruction of the Roanoke colony (I just had to see what would happen if everyone got super-AIDS)

- I convinced Kevin Pritchard to draft Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant

- I really negged Jesus about the whole crossing the Red Sea thing. "You can't part this fucking desert!?!?!"

- Amy Irving's magical romance Crossing Delancey

- The appeasement of Hitler (I baked all these pies that made everyone really sleepy and Hitler-compliant)

- I was sitting around with Jesse James' white power mistress, watching the Oscars, and I was like, "Didn't you let that guy do you in the ass last week? I thought he told you he wasn't seeing Sandra Bullock anymore. White Power!"

- The formation of Israel (David Ben-Gurion and I had a not quite consensual sexual-political relash) 

Also, once James Cameron showed me a movie he made, and I happened to be really distracted that day, and he was like, "So what did you think?" and I was like, "That was great, James, really fabulous," and everyone, I'm so sorry that I encouraged him. I accidentally did the same thing to Ke$ha and look how well that's turned out.

In the 200+ years Richard Alpert has been on the island, he hasn't done a single thing. He just listens to gods lie to him in the jungle, and then he runs around crying and getting his ass-kicked. That episode was barely drama, it was more like watching a Pac Man game in an island setting. The only thing that sucked more than Richard's biopic was the annoying white girl on American Idol covering Chaka Khan without asking me first.

I'd like to institute a moratorium on "I want to go to there" jokes. thank you for your time As a way to compensate and improve the show, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof went through a severly exhausting casting call to hire the geophysicist Tina Fey. Lost is so devoid of sex appeal that Kate literally never moves from right besides the fire so that she has a light sweat whenever the camera deigns to focus on her blimpies.

"the last guy i did was the silver surfer, and the look you see on my face is relief" Charles Widmore did give me an idea for a sweet April Fools trick I can play on Rahm Emanuel for sticking a matzoh spoon into one of my colleague's anuses to force him to vote for health care, and then telling him the resultant chafing was a pre-existing condition. I'm going to kidnap Rahm and then show him some camera phone pictures of Obama children that don't exist yet. And then I'll be like, "I understand that you've never seen Obama's son before."


Imagine how crazy it would be if Obama had a son, and every single BM the son had was recorded by the newsmedia. We can't really say what's in store for Barack's daughters Shaniqua and LaKisha, but take it from me, Barack: if one of them turns out to be a lesbian and starts reading a lot of bell hooks, it's going to be a tremendous pain in the ass.

goddamnit bell, I really hate how you don't capitalize your name
Imposing your worldview on other people is wrong, and yet it is what Matthew Yglesias and Glen Greenwald do everyday before sending each other nude photos of Robert Gibbs. Liberals love to tell people what to do, and there is no more liberal character on television than Jack Shepard. He's tried to do Kate to fix her; it didn't work. He tried to blow up the island to fix everyone; it didn't work. He tried to pretend Nancy Pelosi was some kind of feminist hero; we all realized she's a disgusting ghoul. He tried to save an Asian couple by selling the wife time-share seats on a plane off the island; the result is as yet undetermined.

Since Cuse and Lindelof have no actual idea where Lost is going, they will live with the infamy of their disastrous decision to go back to "the castaways should try to leave the island but someone will stop them" plot that has ended every post-Hatch season. Now that a black man and an unattractive woman have turned my native land into Canada, I have nothing better to do but to imagine a more interesting ending to Lost:

The smoke monster is actually Daniel Faraday. When he became unstuck in time in a season of Lost we're all trying really hard to forget, he became a candidate and lost to Jacob. Since Desmond is the poor guy's constant, they go back and time and prevent Faraday from being killed by his mother while she's pregnant with him. Jacob and Faraday head to Wyoming for a vacation and after some light-horsing around in their tent, they have sex. A child is conceived named Jack Shepard.

Do you feel more satisfied with Lost now that I've ended it for you? What long-running show ever had a satisfying ending? I'm still waiting for them to wrap up The X-Files and I continue to wake up in the middle of the nights searching for the truth about Mulder's sister. The Sopranos ended with them all chowing down on some food in a diner, Freaks and Geeks ended with Lindsay Weir going topless in a broadcast first, The Wire ended with everyone getting fired and realizing that crime is forever.

What uplifting conclusion is really out there that is going to make us say the previous 150 hours of television were worth the considerable debate over why Richard can't age? Does it make us happier to know he can't age because Jacob told him so? If that was the answer you were looking for...we're going to need a bigger boat.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He begs you to consider donating to the This Recording pledge drive. Where else can you find screencaps like this?

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"A Woman's Face" - Rufus Wainwright (mp3)

"The Dream" - Rufus Wainwright (mp3)

"What Would I Ever Do With A Rose?" - Rufus Wainwright (mp3)

Wednesday
Mar172010

In Which We Retain Our Otherworldly Cachet

Sex With Josh Holloway

by DICK CHENEY

You guys. This is a perilous time in American life for precisely all the reasons you're thinking of. We're missing that lone wolf icon of the counter-culture endemic in the decline of previous generations. Everyone who dies does so too predictably, and with too small a body of poetry left behind.

Left Behind. My favorite series of books about Jesus. Jesus was sort of a lone wolf, wasn't he? The more inappropriately eccentric he became, the more his enthuastic supporters were amused by his tricks. David Blaine would have been huge in Jerusalem during this period.

Implicit in this bargain is that we actually do care if the man (the counter-culture was as sexist as the regular culture) involved dies. At some point, audiences began hoping Steve McQueen would collapse in self-righteous anguish, for he was no longer as cute as a papillon, and his weight gain trumped even my own. To wit:

I really did stick my penis in everything back then. Did you know that Josh Holloway is 40 years old (really), and that he was actually around when Jesus parted the Red Sea and was so jealous of the guy?

Jesus always came when you jangled your keys. In reality he was actually a very appealing golden retriever, the first ever of the breed. He drank the blood of lesser retrievers and urinated, "turning water into wine." JK, Jesus is very important to me; I have a picture of him in my bathroom.

The only thing more pathetic than trying to get someone to care about Jesus is trying to get Carlton Cuse to admit Lost has abandoned us, or trying to get us to care about what happens to Sawyer in the fifth parallel universe storyline that went fucking nowhere. The only person in the world less happy about this episode than me was Daniel Faraday.

james, want to go get pinkberry?

Sex with the man formerly known as LeFleuer is an enervating, staccato experience. It begins with a few fist bumps like every speech from the current president of our country. At some point a counter-clockwise swirl is undertaken; the anus is largely pushed to the sidelines of the interplay except for the occasional tickle. Fellatio is a timely and appreciated rejoinder to the abrasive central act, cunnilingus is frowned upon unless it's Kate and you know she really needs it. After your first or second orgasm, whatever you do, do not ask for a t-shirt. LeFleuer is conditioned for this question; he stores his private keepsakes next to his tee-shirts for a reason, Charlotte. And above all, don't try to long con a con man, and don't name an episode about it "Recon."

Josh Holloway isn't nearly as appealing as Steve McQueen, or for that matter Timothy Olyphant in the triumphant premiere of last night's Justified, which is based on my years as a dickhead Wyoming sheriff nicknamed "Hardbone." I was a handsome guy back then, kind of like Edward James Olmos but less ethnic. I swear that will be my first and last EJO LOL.

The relevant characteristics of myself, Jesus, and Timothy Olyphant are as follows: (1) we take action, (2) after the party is the after party (3) we weren't all that good at tumblr and (4) we had an Asian/Jewish partner who could speak to the dead. We cared not a whit for the machinations of lesser men, definitely not until after dessert, or in Jesus' case, prayer.

Sawyer played the Man in Black and Charles Widmore for fools. Working both sides of the equation when one side is a megalomaniacal billionaire and other is a supernatural being didn't work in Ghostbusters, so why would it start now? Sawyer was such a terrible liar in his backstory that it made sense he largely told the truth back on the island. The truth takes a lot less time to say, or as Orson Welles once phrased this idea, "A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys."

People learn to lie at about age five, they rarely stop doing it. We accept lies as part of our discourse today. This never happened in real life before two important historical events which occurred in the same month: Watergate, and the switch from black-and-white to color in Pleasantville. When girls were in black and white, it was far more difficult to see them in the dark at parties, and rape was almost impossible unless the victim consumed a particularly savage root beer float.

awesome mural guys: you have color for the first time, and this is what you went with?I guess I'm pretty worried about all the violence against women that's being condoned in our culture, for the most part by Anderson Cooper (he's gay, what's it to him?). Locke slapped Claire full on in the face and she practically thanked him for it. Ben Roethlisberger got a lawsuit filed against him for doing that during sex while reciting the 'Judgment Day' voiceover from Terminator 2 in falsetto. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

I generally think that any criticism of television for influencing our children in an untoward way is off the mark except for MTV's True Life, but the artifice of a character lying in a drama and getting away with it is really destructive for people to mimic. It was lying about his attraction to Kate that allowed Sawyer to have cage sex back in Season Three, but really, at what cost?

It would have been hilarious at the time if after sex Kate had wandered over to an armoire located within the cage and been like, "Hey Ford, can I get a tee-shirt?" and he freaked out and ordered her back to her own cage. Incidentally, that is what Guantanamo Bay is actually like.

Lost is so complicated that it's hard to focus in on the subtle details that actually make drama. For example, as Widmore is negotiating with Sawyer in the present, in the alternate universe Sawyer is inside of his son's one true love. That's why after every meeting I take, just in case, I throw in a "Have you banged my son's one true love?" as a parting shot. You never know.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording and the former vice president of the United States. You can find his previous recaps of the final season of Lost here.

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"Hope in the Air" - Laura Marling (mp3)

"Devils Spoke" - Laura Marling (mp3)

"Alpha Shallows" - Laura Marling (mp3)

"Rambling Man" - Laura Marling (mp3)

Wednesday
Mar102010

In Which Those Schoolgirl Days of Telling Tales And Biting Nails Are Gone

To Lost With Love

by DICK CHENEY

My career has been one of soothsayer and mystic as much as gun-toting maniac and sexual icon. On two separate occasions I have "smashed up a homie" of my wife Lynne, both times the resulting indiscretion helped elect a burgeoning political candidate I nurtured like one of GWB's hangovers. While I kiss the toe of another, my own toe is extended for the lips of others. There is no such thing as a woman behind a man, it is usually another, balder man.


I even taught high school history, although I wasn't anywhere near the pedantic psycho that Ben Linus was. Like me, Linus cultivated talent. We all need a life coach. Linus' mentor was Jacob, who carried a redemptive hope for the guy in his heart. I recruited political proteges; I was also a cagey hand at spotting an up-and-coming blogger. I was the one who told Andrew Sullivan to go with the whole flaming bear thing. That was me. 

you've never read kathryn harrison? really? you'll like her!Ben used information from a student to blackmail the principal, and somehow was the heroic protagonist of last night's Lost. I worry this teaches the wrong lesson to kids, particularly hot kids. The school principal didn't really do anything technically wrong - yes, he did bang the school nurse in front of a student, but (1) it was a hot student and (2) Bill Clinton is still revered in this country and he did roughly the same thing, except in front of the whole world. How we expect to feel sympathetic for a blackmailer with a heart of gold is beyond me, but it is an encouraging precedent for the inevitable prosecution I'll face in the coming years.

we got you some white face paint. hope it helps, sir.Simon Cowell and the new Ben Linus overall have a lot in common. Their favorite movie is To Sir With Love and they both ask to be addressed by their honorifics. "It's Dr. Linus," Ben snivels to Principal Reynolds, who committed that cardinal sin of making him supervise detention instead of allowing Ben to fondle his own daughter in "history club." In this episode, the show's writers simply get Linus wrong. It is no fun to see the weak Linus. The strong Linus was a bad man, a tasty villain on a show that needed the right antagonist.

Above all, Linus is resourceful. We respect a well-thought out plan, and parallel Linus was putty in the weird sexual relationship he had with his alternate universe daughter. I don't know what was creepier, the fact that Alex Rousseau was flirting with her dad, or the disturbing acknowledgement that the 21-year old Tania Raymonde dates old-enough-to-be-her-father Jeff Goldblum in real life. He is the only person to ever get laid from a role on a Law & Order spinoff.

there's nothing like a May 1979 to December 2054 romanceSimon Cowell also has a somewhat unorthodox relationship with the younger women on his show. He's incredibly sparing with praise with the mass of female contestants, but then he picks out his pet favorite and showers her with compliments and gifts that reek of insincerity, like telling her he liked her Tracy Chapman cover and that "dreads look super-great on a white girl."



Simon's pet this season is the innovatively named Crystal Hornblower. Her day job is as a character in a Patrick O'Brian book. Her boyfriend's penis is shaped like a question mark. Her tattoo is of a rooster pleading for his life. She smells of rosemary, menthol cigarettes, and chiante. Her astrological sign is Virgo.

if she doesn't sing Feist next week, I will be the most surprised man in the world

None of the men on American Idol are showing anywhere near this kind of potential (although every single male contestant at least makes my dick harder than Kris Allen ever did). Simon usually latches onto an artist like Crystal Hornblower when he wants the audience to support another candidate with more star potential. If you don't see the metaphorical connection to Lost, you obviously don't read This Recording very often.

the odds that she ends up dating Robert Pattinson are almost insurmountable

Simon's secret crush is on Cape Cod's own Siobhan Magnus. Weirdly, that's what I named my dick in third grade. Siobhan looks like the kind of girl who thinks owning Blood on the Tracks on vinyl isn't a tremendous fucking cliche. Like Alex Rousseau, she was intended for an Ivy League university before a love of singing (history) took over her life (Lost parallel universe). Unlike Alex Rousseau, her grasp of the particulars of the Dutch East India Company is slim at best - she's been singing her whole life. To be fair, her high note at the end of Aretha Franklin's "Think" made me burst out in hives, but like, good hives.

What short memories we have. We forget that Steve Martin's been making the exact same jokes for the past thirty years, and we forget Benjamin Linus actually saved Lost at one point. I mean, the guy showed up to the Losties' camp one day, pretended he got to the island by a weather balloon, and called himself Henry Gale. Sure he could have gone with a lie that could never be verified as such, but lying without regard for consequences is generally Linus' modus operandi. Sidney Poitier would not approve, but then he named his daughter Sydney, so do we give a flying fuck what he thinks?

The old Linus' enterprising tactics and mysterious background turned Lost from The View hosted by Matthew Fox into a badass struggle for survival against a maniacal sociopath whose team of Others could move silently through the jungle and form a book club at a moment's notice.


The new Linus teaches at the only all-white school in America, the only educational institution where it is appropriate for your hot daughter-protege to show up at your house at dinner and request extra study time. It's hard to be a high school teacher, and most in the profession aren't blessed with the considerable stress relief that dude got from punching Snooki in the face.


Then again, it was Ben Linus himself who taught us that violence against women was another, different kind of violence. Linus was an equal opportunity sociopath, the kind of guy who didn't evac the women and children before gassing the Dharma Initiative. It's fun to see him batting around what could have been with dear old dad: "Son, I wonder what you could have become if we stayed on that island." "Dad, I would have gassed them all, and you. Now you know. I also wouldn't be having a weird flirtation with my own daughter. Now eat your cheerios, and let's watch Hoarders so we can feel better about being alive."

Linus represented the triumph of individual industriousness over physical dominance. His second-in-command represented the victory of suave good looks over television sense-making. The immortal Richard's bright plan to kill himself required an hour long walk, two implicated associates, and a dependence on ancient, unstable dynamite. You had 300 years to orchestrate your own death, and this is what you're going with?

That's about as effective an approach as the time Ari Fleischer tried to end it by maiming his arms with a thousand paper cuts from a particularly sharp issue of Commentary. Lost has been promising to reveal why Richard never ages for many seasons, and when they finally do, their answer is "because Jacob touched me." This does explain why Ilana is so devoted to the idea of Jacob - no one makes her come the way he makes her come.

The return of Chaz Widmore comes not a moment too soon. Can we perhaps also intuit that he comes from the Lost parallel universe? We had no indication that the old Widmore could pilot a Prius, let alone a sub. More to the point, he wasn't able to - he spent most of the previous seasons unable to find the island, and now he just strolls up in a sub and doesn't want to kill Ben Linus? This is a different Widmore than we're used to.

Lost has gotten softer than Ellen DeGeneres' gorgeous blue eyes. Sayid going bad last week was a good start, but he commits murders all the time. Killing off some regulars would be a good start; maybe they can bring back Dominic Monaghan and kill him again. His presence on the set would at least inspire Evangeline Lilly to emote a little. Kill off Jin, I can't understand half of what the guy says anyway. Murder Lapidus - the guy spends half his screen time dropping "did you knows" from Lostpedia. Just kill someone before I start watching Parenthood every Tuesday and spending hours on end weeping for what they've done to Lorelai Gilmour.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find his previous recaps of Lost here.

"Found Out" - Caribou (mp3)

"Leave House" - Caribou (mp3)

"Sun" - Caribou (mp3)