I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams

I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams

By: Mark Dery (author)Paperback

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Description

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 Menckenesque 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.

About Author

Mark Dery is a cultural critic. He is best known for his writings on the politics of popular culture in books such as The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink,Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century,Flame Wars, and Culture Jamming. He has been a professor of journalism at New York University, a Chancellor's Distinguished Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, and a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. www.markdery.com. Bruce Sterling is a science fiction author whose novels include Distraction, Zeitgeist, Holy Fire, and The Caryatids.

Contents

Contents Foreword: I Must Not Read Bad ThoughtsBruce Sterling Introduction Part I. American Magic, American Dread Dead Man Walking: What Do Zombies Mean? Gun Play: An American Tragedy in Three Acts Mysterious Stranger: Grandpa Twain's Dark Side Aladdin Sane Called. He Wants His Lightning Bolt Back: On Lady Gaga Jocko Homo: How Gay Is the Super Bowl? Wimps, Wussies, and W.: Masculinity, American Style Stardust Memories: How David Bowie Killed the '60s and Ushered in the '70s and, for One Brief Shining Moment, Made the Mullet Hip When Animals Attack! An Aesop's Fable about Anthropomorphism Toe Fou: How I Was Subliminally Seduced by Madonna's Big Toe Shoah Business The Triumph of the Shill: Fascist Branding Endtime for Hitler: On the Downfall Parodies and the Inglorious Return of Der Fuhrer Part II. Myths of the Near Future: Making Sense of the Digital Age World Wide Wonder Closet: On Blogging (Face)Book of the Dead Straight, Gay, or Binary? HAL Comes out of the Cybernetic Closet Word Salad Surgery: Spam, Deconstructed Slashing the Borg: Resistance Is Fertile Things to Come: Xtreme Kink and the Future of Porn Part III. Tripe Soup for the Soul: Religion and All Its Works and Ways Tripe Soup for the Soul: The Daily Affirmation Pontification: On the Death of the Pope The Prophet Margin: Jack Chick's Comic-Book Apocalypse 2012: Carnival of Bunkum The Vast Santanic Conspiracy Part IV. Anatomy Lesson: The Grotesque, the Gothic, and Other Dark Matters Open Wide: Dental Horror Gray Matter: The Obscure Pleasures of Medical Libraries Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Severed Head Been There, Pierced That: Apocalypse Culture and the Escalation of Subcultural Hostilities Death to All Humans! The Church of Euthanasia's Modest Proposal Great Caesar's Ghost: On the Crypt of the Capuchins Aphrodites of the Operating Theater: On La Specola's Anatomical Venuses Goodbye, Cruel Words: On the Suicide Note as a Literary Genre Cortex Envy: Bringing Up Baby Einstein Acknowledgments Notes Publication History

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780816677740
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 336
  • ID: 9780816677740
  • ISBN10: 0816677743

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