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

To Lost With Love


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)


In Which We Always Pick The Wrong Woman

One Is Satisfying Where The Other Lacks


So much has changed since we last spoke. Lindsay Vonn broke my heart, but that is neither here nor there. Unlike my probable foe in the 2012 presidential election, my heart may be fucked, but at least my lungs aren't full of tar and bice. So much of what America is about consists primarily of getting a second chance to make the wrong decision.

On The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love finale, my aviator friend Jake Pavelka bonded with a particularly disturbing creature and she took him on a wild ride around the floating mountains. Speaking of which, why were the mountains floating? Wasn't anyone just a wee bit interested in that technology, or did they just have too much fun baking unobtanium into weed brownies?

the weirdest night at the fantasy suite ever James Cameron is so retarded I spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to write a screenplay where Robert Pattinson voices the part of an animated leprechaun who looks sort of like Tucker Max. Such was my desperate attempt to win some kind of achievement award from the MPAA, or at the very least, NAMBLA.

kids, just say no to tenleyThis year's Bachelor finale was looking to be a dud, until Jake and college admissions officer Tenley went for a sail as their last date before the final rose and while on the ocean he told her he wasn't physically attracted to her. To clarify, he explained that sexual attraction and physical attraction are two different things. Marshall McLuhan magically showed up in the boat and explained the error of Jake's ways, after which he, sobbing, dumped Tenley.

there is nothing a man hates more than a woman wiping sand from his face apparentlyWe can have no real sympathy for a creature such as Tenley, although to be fair when Jake was crying and she was crying, I was a bit surprised to hear him say, "I'll never forget you." He clearly stole this from Cesare Pavese, or perhaps Ray-J after he wrapped his sex tape with Kim. But I digress. Jake's chosen partner is a former Hooters waitress named Vienna, which is the name of a city, not a woman.

Vienna is clearly wild in bed; more precisely in one tender moment she informed Jake than he was permitted to defecate at any point during sex, a development he, being a pilot, equated to pissing in the air while flying a plane.

"tenley, we both suck at primetime television. thoughts?"Actually, Jake's conversations with women consist mostly of "I missed you," or "I'm hungry" or "Let's ride in a helicopter" or "I'm not physically attracted to you." He also broke out a personal favorite, "something just isn't right." In fact the immortal Chris Harrison and Jake shared a tender moment onstage gossiping about just this bon mot. Since Tenley never got the explanation she deserved from Jake (instead she made lifelong plans to be his ffffffriend), I'm happy to explain it to her.

Tenley, Jake didn't want to get with you for the following reasons:

1) You seemed sort of high maintenance, maybe not totally, but he didn't like the way you reacted when he said he wasn't physically attracted to you

2) You had maybe a good personality, or a mediocre personality, but caffeine really seemed to perk you up a lot

3) Jake was a little concerned that when he brought up a Dallas friend of his named Mark Bernstein, you sort of cackled and said, "A Jew!"

4) Vienna permit him the penetration of several more orifices than tame college admissions officers like yourself are generally used to

5) Tenley sounds like the name of a Scottish terrier

6) You dressed in Vienna's color on After the Final Rose and everyone was so embarrassed for you.

This was the polar opposite of the all-time greatest Bachelor dump on The Bachelor: Paris, when Travis told Moana that they had a fun fling, but it was now adult time. Still, this was one hell of a finale and I'll be happy to gift the newlyweds a copy of my forthcoming book, Pam and Jim Will Give Birth To Peter Dinklage.

In the far more dyspeptic world of Lost, Sayid also faced a critical choice of woman. He carried around a picture of the girl who married his brother while he was torturing people and being a hero in the war...against the United States. Then he hopped a flight into LAX, went to his brother's house, and caused a lot of unnecessary death.

honey, your uncle's a sociopath, your father's broke, and your mother is Jacob's most feared enemy  As if in answer to my quintessential 'j'accuse Cuse" of being a fervent racist, this week's episode started out ignoring all the show's white characters except Kate, which is something akin to making someone feel tall by surrounding them with short people. A similar strategy led to the creation of Julia Allison's role in Nonsociety.

Every time Sayid tries to get out, they pull him back in. It was obvious from his return to parallel Los Angeles that all he wanted to do was pack up that bulletproof SUV, move to New York, and intern for Crushable. Eventually, down the road, he wants to rewrite Associated Press articles like the great Alex Balk and hope he can integrate the holier-than-thou attitude over time.

Sayid spent most of the episode fighting the temple's noted samurai, Dogen. It maybe isn't the best idea to leave your opponent in the fountain of youth, but I guess this is all we can really except from Sayid. It's rare that a show can't find anything to do with a character with only ten episodes left its existence, but instead of writing the weird but difficult to avoid french kissing scene with Cindy, the stewardess from Oceanic 815, Sayid had to add to his body count, which has grown so large that he accidentally runs into the guy (Ben Linus) who he nearly killed when Linus was 8 and it's not even a plot point.

Benjamin Linus himself has taken the opposite trip of the meteoric rise of NYC's most highly regarded blogger, and now seems to be as high as 'intern' on the pecking order of Jacob's followers, or as I term them, the Obamapologists. Next week's episode is Ben-centric, and will likely involve Linus reprising his role as high school teacher and teaching civic virtue to the chumps from Starship Troopers (my favorite Verhoeven movie, obviously). 

Sayid's brother borrowed too much money from some shady people, and apparently was so annoying on set that they only gave him two scenes. It turned out the man he borrowed from is Keamy, which makes little to no sense. If - as I suspect - Lost's parallel universe is a training ground where candidates prove their mettle in different ways than they did on the island, Keamy's presence indicates that Sayid may have failed this test.

Evil Sayid is a lot better than soft-spoken Sayid, and they have already done a bunch of episodes where Sayid is revealed as the nicest torturer ever to torture. Next time you triple kill some bad guys, Sayid, it is best practice to blame one or more kills on a hunting accident; it worked for me. One man's lifelong ambition is another man's disturbing reality. I have ascended to the heights of the American political process, but all I really wanted was for people to think my blog was edgy (hence the Alex Balk reference).

Supposedly life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, and there is no better example of this than Vienna Girardi, who got proposed to despite the fact that she inscribed 'I love you' in mud on Jake Pavelka's stomach. The Man in Black has marshalled the forces of darkness for 2012, and I'm happy to tell you, he's going to get one hell of a fight once I mount a blonde for transportation purposes.

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

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"So Light Is Her Footfall" - Air (mp3)

"So Light Is Her Footfall (Metronomy remix)" - Air (mp3)

"So Light Is Her Footfall (Breakbot remix)" - Air (mp3)


In Which Lost Ascends To A Higher Plane of Clear

The Sad Tale of Jack and Bobby Joe


Hey you guys. As you probably know, I've been in the hospital all week. The docs say I have a case of the owies, and my lifelong love affair with processed cheese has come to an end. I can no longer discern the difference between catheter and penis, flashback and flashforward, Cuse and Lindelof. I am at the mercy of the demons which have come to claim me, and I'm pretty sure I saw Karl Rove hiding in my bathroom reading Joshua Ferris' abortion of a novel.

Let me get to some reader mail:


You recently asserted that Lost was racist and that Graydon Carter owned slaves. This all seems accurate, but do you also feel Tyler Perry is racist, and where do you stand on
The Blind Side?

Lola in Las Vegas

As if you had to ask. The only thing more offensive than Sandra Bullock's neck is the fake horseplay between Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. (And if you ask me, Kara DioGuardi looks like a really smooth potato.)

I personally think luge and potentially skiing should be shut down for being dangerous. Also, is Al Michaels alive or dead? The result is inconclusive, and potentially relevant to Lost insofar as Al Michaels might be the smoke monster. But in the end isn't the Olympics just a way to get teenage girls to hate their bodies and pad Bob Costas' bank account?

Someone also wrote to tell me my rhetorical questions are weak. I told her that the rhetorical question is the ideal device for manipulation of others, for it offers a heady uncertainty and a skeptical jauntiness that offends the other party, provoking them into action, positive or negative.

don't eat milanos in front of me when u know my diet is gluten-freeThis is the relationship of Jack Shepard with his parallel universe son Bobby Joe (was that his name? It is what I shall call him). Bobby Joe wishes Dad/Jack could understand the new music the kids are listening to; Chopin and probably "How You Remind Me" if his son's dramatic piano recital wasn't interrupted by more "candidate" tomfoolery. The idea of Jack being a dick to his son like his father Christian Shepard is a true story from Matthew Fox's childhood. You can see him with his real father in this archival photograph:

Later in the parallel universe, Jack brought home a pizza for his boy and then acted like it was a special prize. It's a pizza, Jack, it's not your son's reward for loving you. I hope it was gluten-free, you asshole. Perhaps Jack is Hurley's real father, and Bobby Joe is Hurley before calories became something of a way of life. Jack trying to raise a son is a hilarious process, since unlike candy machines and directional lighthouses, you cannot just smash your son to bits when you become frustrated with him.

david you're so angry but you're really good at the piano there budI guess Jack probably wanted a son who was more into Driveshaft? In any case, it was jarring to see Jack mournfully staring out at the ocean, for some reason nostalgic about the son he never had. Fortunately this flashsideways ended on a high note, with Bobby Joe and his daddy riding off together on a tandem bicycle.

oh hey guys - didn't see you through my tearsiesBack on the island, Jack and Hurley are running into Kate. Accidentally. In the middle of the jungle. The ensuing encounter is so painfully awkward, especially because Jack can tell from Kate's slightly ammonia-based hormonal emission that Sawyer has recently left the general area. Jack doesn't trust anyone, he's been a lone wolf for too long. It's good to know you can still run into old friends on the island, even ones who hate your new friends. It's like the fucking Senate.

abc accidentally signed this actress and she will be the new ShaftI have no idea why the parallel universe Jack also had to find out about Claire Littleton, except that they'll be meeting up to talk about when Aaron should start hating his uncle. Actually, this is only important in that candidates (Claire included) appear to be the ones who have survived into the alternate universe. So far, it is definite that the following people are candidates: Hugo, Sayid, Sun, Locke, Shepard (Christian or Jack), Claire, and that Boone and Charlie and Rose were candidates.

I wish I could go back to 1995, when did you order the code red jokes were still in vogue Hugo Reyes is actually looking somewhat svelte these days. He's proved he's a lot more open to the power of suggestion than Jack is, although he did stand up for himself against a samurai. Since I have spoken fluent Japanese since the War of 1812, I can reveal that Dogen told Hurley, "You're lucky I have to protect you. Otherwise I'd cut your head off," indicating that Dogen has also received messages from Jacob, probably handwritten, probably love letters.

"your son brings a slight tremor to my testicle jack, doctor mister jack shepard"
Somewhere in the jungle - forgotten by Kate Austen, his dead best friend Charlie and his loving wife - Jin learned a lesson that James Caan did awhile back - never piss off the crazy woman who tends to your injuries. The show needed a wild card, although why this had to be achieved by sacrificing the sex appeal of Emilie de Ravin to a mysterious "infection" remains to be seen.

I like your voodoo Aaron, and I think Kate will tooFortunately, I have had time while under doctor's orders to prepare this Hot Emilie de Ravin Memorial Gallery. No doubt Barack Obama will find the time to do an interview with Katie Couric about this important cultural event, since he does an interview for the Super Bowl, the Westminster Dog Show, and every time he jerks off watching Undercover Boss.

The guy in the hospital bed across from me has a very predictable political perspective, but he did come up with this theory: what if the Adam and Eve in the caves are actually Jacob and the Man in Black before they were fighting over the island? I thought about this for awhile while amusing my nurse with a yogurt moustache.

Claire is now a heartsick puppy. For some reason she is captivated by the idea of reclaiming the child she had already promised to abandon. Like Jack, she is traumatized by hanging out with their father, who has presumably vacated the premises of Jack's corpse now that the Man in Black inhabits Locke's carapace. Sometimes I try to explain Lost to myself and I just cry for hours on end.

it didn't work out with libby, but he found something else on the island with three holesWhile I'm off my feet recovering from God's attack on my heart, I plan to rewatch the entire series from beginning to end, stopping only for mere moments when my cravings for Space: Above and Beyond become too prescient for me to ignore, and occasionally choking myself a little during the really epic parts of either show.

i just came by to pick up my paycheck for this episode, carry onIf I was to review all the seasons of Lost, it would go a little something like this:

Season 1: It's all boring backstory until somebody finds a hatch

Season 2: The show's undeniable best, with the introduction to the Dharma mythology and Michelle Rodriguez

Season 3: Maybe the show's worst season, as it took five episodes for Jack to do surgery on Ben for no real reason. Evangeline Lilly started looking like Kermit the Frog around episode six. The names Nikki and Paulo will haunt me all of my daze

Season 4: The freighter season was pretty entertaining, but we haven't heard the word Widmore in awhile so what was the point? The Oceanic Six make The Candidates look lame in comparison, unless they are possibly the same thing

Season 5: Easily the most confusing season of television ever with four different time jumps and eighteen different deus ex machina, I loved every second of it

Paul Wolfowitz's theory is that it's only mere episodes before Kate will die, forever binding Jack and Sawyer to one another and they will become the new Jacob and Esau, respectively.

But look, if Kate Austen can be a candidate for something, why can't I? This is why recent days have me pondering the feasibility of a 2012 presidential run assuming Don Cheadle doesn't want it more than God wants to stop my heart from beating.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is the former vice president of the United States. You can find his review of previous episodes here.

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"Transmitted to Fulfillment" - Haunted Ghost (mp3)

"Artschool Asshole" - Haunted Ghost (mp3)

"Nightwalkers" - Haunted Ghost (mp3)