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Entries in grrm (3)


In Which We Taste The Blood Of The Dragon

Queen's Walk


A Dance With Dragons
by George R.R. Martin
1040 pp

A light wind was riffling the waters of the pool below, all around the naked swordsman. It reminded him of how Tysha would riffle his hair during the false spring of their marriage, before he helped his father's guardsmen rape her.

- A Dance With Dragons

Have you ever half-remembered a rape you were involved in fondly when you saw the sight of lapping water? Then A Dance With Dragons is the book for you.

Reviewing HBO's first season of Game of Thrones was tough sledding. I know that I became insufferable in the thrall of the Iron Throne; I know that it was wrong to demand everyone call me "Blood of the Dragon." I considered a lot of tattoos that probably won't be as kewl after GRRM kills off both Arya Stark and CM Punk in the sixth volume of the series, A Meeting with Lawyers. Now that GRRM has received stereo blowjobs from Laura Miller and Rupert Murdoch, he doesn't have to work hard on his writing anymore. It's more of a free association game.

Worse, GRRM just doesn't know how to treat a lady. No amount of Asha Greyjoy sex scenes is likely to alter my view of this matter. Experience the "pleasure" of this "scene" from A Dance With Dragons:

Qarl followed her up to Galbart Glover's bedchamber. "Get out," she told him. "I want to be alone."

"What you want is me." He tried to kiss her.

Asha pushed him away. "Touch me again and I'll-"

"What?" He drew his dagger. "Undress yourself, girl."

"Fuck yourself, you beardless boy."

"I'd sooner fuck you." One quick slash unlaced her jerkin. Asha reached for her axe, but Qarl dropped his knife and caught her wrist, twisting back her arm until the weapon fell from her fingers. He pushed her back onto Glover's bed, kissed her hand, and tore off her tunic to let her breasts spill out. When she tried to knee him in the groin, he twisted away and forced her legs apart with his knees. "I'll have you now."

"Do it," she spat, "and I'll kill you in her sleep."

She was sopping wet when he entered her. "Damn you," she said. "Damn you damn you damn you." He sucked her nipples till she cried out half in pain and half in pleasure. Her cunt became the world. Only his hands mattered, only his mouth, only his arms around her, his cock inside her. He fucked her till she screamed, and then again until she wept, before he finally spent his seed inside her womb.

"I am a woman wed," she reminded him afterward. "You've despoiled me, you beardless boy. My lord husband will cut your balls off and put you in a dress."

Qarl rolled off her. "If he can get out of his chair."

The room was cold. Asha rose from Galbart Glober's bed and took off her torn clothes. The jerkin would need fresh laces, but her tunic was ruined. I never liked it anyway. She tossed it on the flames. The rest she left in a puddle by the bed. Her breasts were sore, and Qarl's seed was trickling down her thigh. She would need to brew some moon tea or risk bringing another kraken into the world.

I forgot to include a trigger warning, but by now you will understand that the source of much of George R.R. Martin's "original material" is actually the pre-marriage work of Tracie "Slut Machine" Egan. Her c-word became the internet.

what kind of wedding dress has pockets, Lynne?

If you really want to scare a woman into an erotic frenzy, try screening Last Tango in Paris the night before your honeymoon. That's how we used to do things before we elected a president who "loves" The Wire and Derrick Rose.

Whenever GRRM writes of a woman's constant need for sex, he is either wishcasting or channeling Valley of the Dolls. His attempt to channel the real thoughts and feelings of a woman is usually directed towards extremely mannish looking faux-women, like Brienne, Catelyn Stark, Penny and Jeyne. As usual, A Dance With Dragons includes a loveless wedding. Even Dany coldly sacrifices her own pleasure for the benefits of having a man around. What kind of lesson is this for our young women?

This fifth volume in the series begins a divergence from Martin's provisional POV-style. Various characters are introduced with ham-fisted chapter titles like "The Arrant Queen" or "The Cumswaddled Infant" or "The Voracious Eunuch." Varys himself manages to put in an appearance late in the work. The rest of the time, who knows? He probably just kicks back with a chardonnay and tickles the place previously occupied by his genitals.

Martin's most well-known character, that of the plotting halfman, is relegated to performing vaudeville for the Meereenese elite. Much of A Dance With Dragons takes place in the city which lies not very far away from the Valyrian environmental collapse. There is nothing worse than political writing dressed up to be something else.

the crown of Meereen

Are you honing in on the central metaphor yet? Martin's descriptions of the destroyed Meereen/New Orleans are disturbingly fresh. I view them largely as a personal criticism of myself. Liberals write all the novels. If someone tells you they wrote a novel, ask them if it's about a spy during World War II. If not, they undoubtedly voted for Barack Obama.

I did some counting of how many times GRRM used what I refer to as "key words" designed to objectify his female readers. Here were my tallies, which I have inscribed on a stone tablet I plan to cherish as a keepsake:

rape: 163

raping: 76

'You know nothing, Jon Snow's: 14

jape: 1,341

Mystical reminiscences of the time before the present: 103

Snacks: alarmingly few, except at the Wall where it's always fucking bacon and eggs. You have to carboload at the Wall because what else is there to do really?

oblique references to The Mad King Aerys: 54

crossbow: 17

grotesque yet moving reflections on Jamie Lannister's hand-wound: 3

sky cells: 0

Jon Snow, the central bastard-born protagonist of A Song of Ice and Fire, reveals little more about his mysterious origins. His actions, however, consist of behaving like a Machiavellian Harvard-educated undergraduate. He presumably acquired this wisdom from the cold as he waited out the decade between books he appeared in.

Listen, you have to make your mistakes in public service. This is a message not afforded Snow, whose idea to populate the Wall with wildlings is politically unfeasible according to those educated in the old ways. As for himself, he favors a shinier set of new gods and sometimes samples the wisdom of the Lord of Light, a futile replacement for true faith.

Areo Hotah

I have begun planning the Targaryen-Jon Snow wedding. He'll be wearing all white, like his dog. So will she. Samwell Tarly will be the best man, because he isn't around for more than a couple pages of A Dance With Dragons, as we get what basically amounts to a flashback where Jon sends him to be educated as a maester. Besides Tarly and the magnificent Dornish bodyguard Areo Hotah, every other person in the narrative is an attractive individual between the ages of 18-35.

I hate Davos Seaworth with every fibre of my being. It's great that you know how to read, but almost everyone can read, even George Stephanopoulus. He sounds out the words.

On the whole, A Dance With Dragons shows a lot more care than the rushed and incomplete A Feast for Crows. Many will grow impatient waiting for the two concluding volumes in A Song Of Ice And Fire. Dry those tears. Anticipating the future is ten times more entertaining than reading about a guy named Qarl penetrating an ironborn woman. The mystery and excitement of A Dance With Dragons comes in the moments when the characters aren't having unprotected sex with one another. A dragon descends from the heavens, and ascends. We want to imagine where he went, we don't want to really know.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find his Game of Thrones reviews here.

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In Which The Beetles Will Feed On Your Eyes

Don't Let Me Down


Everything tends towards catastrophe and collapse. I am interested, geared up and happy. Is it not horrible to be made like this?

- Winston Churchill

There is nothing like the throes of war. When I first heard about the attacks on our country almost ten years ago, I made love to my wife, as I recalled last week. But that is not everything I did. I also told the secret service to get the president into a limousine and load it up with more alcohol than Katy Perry demands backstage at her concerts. (She hates carnations almost as much as I do.) When President Bush found me curled up in a fetal position inside the vehicle, smelling of Pop Tarts and gin, the first thing he said was, "You're pissing me off." Then he smiled and sucked grain alcohol from my belly-button.

HBO recently greenlit a BBC co-production of a World War I drama where the protagonist will be played by one Benedict Cumberbatch. (Scrootenjew Meeperschmidt wasn't available.) If this miniseries also ends up starring Rebecca Hall, I suggest we send the Storm Crows to ravage the BBC offices and demand satisfaction. The British always have funny ideas about war, they always think it's about falling in love like in The English Patient. They're like, "awesome war guys, let's go have consensual sex with the local populace." No. War is more about falling out of love with life and embracing death.

My first White House was Gerald Ford's and whenever we were addressing an overseas conflict he demanded we slip our dicks out into the open air. Don't get me started on my years with President Ford, controlling him was like trying to swordfight with yellow straw. The day we lost to Jimmy Carter I murdered a Canadian black bear. Sure, things went bad, but the below photograph depicts my first Oval Office orgasm.

I can only compare those initial moments of war, the look on the face of your adversary as he considers the prospect of his own demise, to waiting in a doctor's office with the best magazines in the world. Since the only good magazine left in the world is National Geographic and I never see that at my grandkids' pediatrician, it's better to imagine peeling open a shopping catalogue and discovering that anything can be purchased. During the initial phases of the first Gulf War, I demanded a lightsaber one morning and I had it by the afternoon. Carved in a grip of human bone were the words "Dick Maul."

We tore down statues in Iraq because it made a good image for television. I have no idea why Khal Drogo does it when he enslaves entire towns, killing and raping women and children. He already proved his point. There have been great men who enjoy war as much as Khal Drogo seems to, but there is no one who has ever enjoyed saying the word stallion as much as he does. From the looks of it, the populace Drogo enslaves is also quite religious, and their gods resemble the Old Gods of Westeros, perhaps some starfaring race that colonized the planet.

About his experience managing war, Churchill wrote "I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it." Every delusional warrior demands an adversary as mighty as he imagines himself. Ned Stark may not have the same affection for war as the Lannisters did during Robert's Rebellion, but you can't blame Cersei Lannister for not tying up her loose ends.

Even thousands of pages after the first visit from the King that opens A Game of Thrones, I am not entirely sure why Robert Baratheon goes to visit Winterfell. He had never done it before; he does not recognize the children of his best friend, and he can't look into the face of his friend's wife, who resembled the woman he lost.

The death of Jon Arryn must have guided his actions to some extent, but it is impossible to believe that King Robert lived his entire life siring bastards of brown hair and it never occurred to him to find it strange that none of his children by Cersei Lannister shared that characteristic. If Robert wanted a man loyal to him running the empire, he had better candidates in King's Landing. It seems more likely to me now, given my encyclopedic knowledge of warcraft, that he went to Winterfell to start the war he felt was coming.

The Lannisters hate the North. They hated it during that long overdue visit. They hated it so much they did not bother to be sure of Bran's death before they left. The very chill of winter must have upset them greatly.

Last night we got the first of many chapters in the relationship between Tyrion and his father, and it restored me from the anger I felt during last week's dwarfless episode. There is always a halfman in the middle of a war. He survives longer than his brethren because killing him would be an act of cruelty rather than an act of war. In order to accentuate his weakness, Tyrion uses the full thrust of his vocabulary and diminishes his true capabilities whenever possible, reminding me of how I ensured George W. Bush would be elected by a majority of Americans twice.

The problem with centering a television show around the excitement of war, is that real war is too confusing and complex to portray as anything except riotious, hilarious murder. For over three decades, that fraud Roger Ebert would begin every single review of a Vietnam movie by meaningfully citing Francois Truffaut's maxim that you can't make an anti-war movie because films about that subject make war seem like fantastic fun. He would just reuse this opening whenever a Vietnam movie came out, it started to get kind of weird after awhile, like he had just forgotten and we were supposed to pretend we didn't notice.

As in my own case, Truffaut's early years in the French armed forces consisted of him trying to escape his service. Unlike Jon Snow, the reason for escape from his enlistment was not because he wanted to go off and serve in a different war. He had experienced the first excitement of fighting, but once that passed, he realized that nothing else about the experience would be so great.

The first part of anything is the only part worth holding onto. The first time you ask Francis Fukuyama to lie for the sake of his country is the best time. The first minutes of eating a Frosty is a decadent pleasure, the rest recycles past guilt and shame with each wet bite. The first time keying David Frum's Oldsmobile and telling him you saw Puerto Ricans do it is the only time that matters. A chess move only counts with a victim.

I can't even feel bad for Sansa Stark. Arya, at least, is abandoned to the King's Highway. Ned Stark rots in a dungeon. Syrio Forel never dies. Renley Baratheon forces another guy to shave his chest with butter. Robert Baratheon hunts a boar, somewhere. Sansa is held up as an ideal in a time without any, and to watch her naivete fade stirs a warm excretion in my heart. She will never be higher than before she is forced to fall. 

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find last week's Game of Thrones recap here.

"Dead Or In Serious Trouble" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)

"Heard It Break" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)

"I Dare You" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)


In Which We Taste The Balls Of The Bear

A Whole New World


Game of Thrones
creators David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

Peter Beinart ended the war on terror yesterday, which was nice of him to do. Does he have a solution for the White Walkers of the North? He should just ask Marty Peretz whether the war on terror is over; the response he receives will be something along the lines of "PALESTINIANS?!?!"

If I have to hear one more person talk about the death of the big guy, I am going to walk around pouting everywhere like Ned Stark. You didn't know him the way I did.

Pocahontas saved John Smith by throwing herself on the very rocks that would have been used to dice his face. She got her way and was renamed Rebecca for her trouble. Catelyn Stark is into bold moves like that. She possesses so much faith in her husband that she secretly follows him to King's Landing, and let's face it, doesn't appear to be very interested in meeting up with him or even visiting her kids. This makes her later behavior at Robb Stark's wedding all the more unsettling.

Should we really let a weaselly-looking particle accelerator like Peter Beinart end the war on terror? Ask Khal Drogo if the war on terror is over; he will likely answer by grunting and having newly consensual sex with his wife Daenarys. Poor Cersei Lannister. There's a mounting army to destroy her husband rounding up adherents across the Narrow Sea, the Starks think she tried to kill paralyzed Bran, and a bunch of wild direwolves are constantly biting her children. Cersei Lannister isn't paranoid - she has more enemies  than Julian Assange, which is no coincidence seeing as they use the same wigmaker.

ask the forest people for a new weave

I view Daenarys Targaryen as something of a feminist pioneer along the lines of Audre Lorde, Susan B. Anthony, or Kat Dennings. It makes sense that she doesn't want to eat horse anymore, given that her husband goes by the Great Stallion, which I suppose opens up a paternity question of some sort. With their steely albino countenances, the Targaryens look more likely to be schtupping each other's siblings than the Lannisters, but perhaps all such tendencies were scrambled during the tyrannical reign of the Mad King Aerys.

Game of Thrones is a veritable fountain of wisened, crackly wisdom. Someone is constantly advising someone else of something, although the resulting lesson isn't as good as those of my TR colleague. Here is basically what I have learned so far: 

- Always check your bowl first before packing a new one in case there's something left

- Jon Snow is an extremely forgiving swordsman

- It is a capital crime that Matthew Broderick was not cast as Littlefinger as God demanded of Moses, although I guess theoretically he could still play Samwell Tarly

- Howie Rose really needs to grow up

- Do not greet your plumber with the phrase "hello giggles" and even "aloha giggles" is pushing it

- Despite living in a wintry castle with them for the past decade, Ned Stark is only surface-level familiar with his daughters' names or likes/dislikes 

"can someone get my daughter a fucking barbie doll? varys?!?"

- Congratulations to BO, but who needs friends when you have the NYT?

- Dornish women are known for the spiky teeth that emerge from their nether regions

- Varys uses children as spies

Were you in the mood for seventy older men suggestively telling Tyrion Lannister about the threat from the north? That's basically what the little guy's trip to the Wall amounted to. Trust me, you don't want to walk into the Pentagon and start quizzing generals about the odds against the enemy. They always want more money to fight him, just as Yoren wants more men to fight whatever's worse than the wildlings.

The only group of people more clueless than a karass of generals are Khal Drogo's people. Game of Thrones posits that people are just not as smart in a desert climate, which makes sense if you've ever been to San Diego. I'm too tired to find all the articles about Game of Thrones being racist. The world is racist, have you examined the voting on American Idol lately or watched TBS in the last three years? Why should Westeros be any different?

Having a communal television experience is all very well and good, but it's hard to imagine Game of Thrones appealing to an older demographic. They were on that wall! I still feel young at heart, though just like Robert Baratheon, I get a little flimsy after my second keg of wine.

Ned Stark's idea of bonding with his daughter is admiring her sword, which is a metaphor too disturbing to contemplate in a recession. He gets her a Braavo swordfighting instructor who is perhaps also there to watch his daughter's back and may be more than a simple teacher. We have no idea how Ned either purchased a doll for Sansa or found an instructor for Arya, which makes sense because he spent most of the episode tearing down Jaime Lannister for saving King's Landing from a fiery death, and a shopping montage didn't fit with that.

He thinks heart-to-heart talks with his daughter are tough? Let me provide the rough transcript of when my wonderful daughter Mary chose a particularly busy moment during GWB's first presidential campaign to inform me she was gay:

MARY: Ellen DeGeneres -

ME: I know, why isn't With Friends Like These on DVD? I was almost a hundred percent that Jeremy Piven was gay after watching that show. He was always skipping everywhere.

MARY: Speaking of gay -

ME: Don't start criticizing Lost again! I can't fucking take it!

MARY: If it turns out that Jacob's power comes from a yellow light in a cave, will you admit I'm right?


I never had a chance to have one of those "When you sit on the Iron Throne..." talks with my keeds. Although the other day I did stop by The Potomac School to see my grandkids and take a shit on Al Gore's old front lawn. He knows what I did. Whenever children ask me what to do, I simply tell them to fuck off.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find last week's Game of Thrones recap here. You can find the rest of his work on This Recording here.

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