Dery, Mark, 1959-

I must not think bad thoughts : drive-by essays on American dread, American dreams / Mark Dery ; foreword by Bruce Sterling. - Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, ©2012. - 1 online resource (xvii, 317 pages) : illustrations - JSTOR eBooks .

Includes bibliographical references.

American magic, American dread -- Myths of the near future : making sense of the digital age -- Tripe soup for the soul : religion and all its works and ways -- Anatomy lesson : the grotesque, the gothic, and other dark matters.

From the cultural critic Wired called "provocative and cuttingly humorous" comes a viciously funny, joltingly insightful collection of drive-by critiques of contemporary America where chaos is the new normal. Exploring the darkest corners of the national psyche and the nethermost regions of the self--the gothic, the grotesque, and the carnivalesque--Mark Dery makes sense of the cultural dynamics of the American madhouse early in the twenty-first century. Here are essays on the pornographic fantasies of Star Trek fans, Facebook as Limbo of the Lost, George W. Bush's fear of his inner queer, the theme-parking of the Holocaust, the homoerotic subtext of the Super Bowl, the hidden agendas of IQ tests, Santa's secret kinship with Satan, the sadism of dentists, Hitler's afterlife on YouTube, the sexual identity of 2001's HAL, the suicide note considered as a literary genre, the surrealist poetry of robot spam, the zombie apocalypse, Lady Gaga, the Church of Euthanasia, toy guns in the dream lives of American boys, and the polymorphous perversity of Madonna's big toe. Dery casts a critical eye on the accepted order of things, boldly crossing into the intellectual no-fly zones demarcated by cultural warriors on both sides of America's ideological divide: controversy-phobic corporate media, blinkered academic elites, and middlebrow tastemakers. Intellectually omnivorous and promiscuously interdisciplinary, Dery's writing is a generalist's guilty pleasure in an age of nanospecialization and niche marketing. From Menckeneaque polemics on American society and deft deconstructions of pop culture to unflinching personal essays in which Dery turns his scalpel-sharp wit on himself, I must not think bad thoughts is a head-spinning intellectual ride through American dreams and American nightmares.

9780816677740 0816677743 9780816681419 0816681414

22573/cttbh8pb JSTOR 7FDFABE7-BF34-4AFC-A851-58D26FFD43C7 OverDrive, Inc. http://www.overdrive.com B3EA32F0-94F4-45A7-8202-C5311C54F369 OverDrive, Inc. http://www.overdrive.com


Popular culture--United States.

NX180.S6 / D477 2012

306/.0973