Thinking Bad Thoughts

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mark Dery, cultural critic and author of I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-By Essays on American Dread, American Dreams, critiques contemporary American pop culture, from Lady Gaga to the apocalypse.


Mark Dery

Comments [23]


Everyone who is hating on this is just too ignorant to actually understand the importance of Dery's criticism. He examines the dark underside of American culture, the not so pretty parts of American society, the parts that the great majority of us refuse to recognize or acknowledge. So to all those who don't understand Dery's vivid and masterful use of language, stop hating on the guy and go listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Apr. 26 2012 03:00 PM
Alexander Iwanow from Central Jersey

Mark Dery rocks.

If you have a differing or superior view on our mass-cultural fixation on the mythos of the Undead, feel free to voice your perspective.

But the childish, drive-by Ad Hominem trolling below just dumbs everything down to zombie level.

P.S. "Emblematize" is too wordy and pretentious for you? Jeez.

Apr. 25 2012 05:28 PM

He could also examine what it means when two random people (annoyme and me) have the identical thought, expressed quite similarly, at virtually the same time(!) I believe it means he comes across to many people as a simplistic caricature, a cartoon of overblown academic egotism.

And Phoebe, many others have looked at the zombie pop phenomenon and drawn social relevance from it--but most seemed to be trying to really examine it, rather than using it as a springboard for their own smarmy neologisms and look-at-me! metaphors.

Square?? No, we've been around more, and learned you don't swallow hogwash just because it's covered in chocolate sprinkles.


Interesting comment, Orla, but you should post it in the Hagan/Bush forum, it's wasted here.

Apr. 25 2012 11:55 AM
Orla from NY

Correction re.a comment Dery made: it was an Irish, not a Scottish, journalist who dared to challenge George Bush in an interview when he was president. Carol Coleman of RTE (Ireland's NPR) blocked Bush's dodges in a TV interview and the Bush Administration complained her 'audacity' saying it would deny RTE future interviews.

Apr. 25 2012 11:51 AM

For those who are asking:
"cultural critics" are dull and boring;
"entertainers", not so much.

Apr. 25 2012 11:48 AM
John A.

So much meaning pinned on to popular culture. Layers and layers. Makes me think that too much CPU is wasted on time wasting and then in attempts to claim it was for higher purpose. Still, I can't criticize this man at all as he represents millions in the US now. How to find even the morality of us as it lies today is important to me.

Apr. 25 2012 11:45 AM
Scoot from Brooklyn

neologism = word! this guy must be paid by the syllable.

Apr. 25 2012 11:43 AM

Thank god that's over.
It was useful to learn the difference
between an "entertainer" and a "cultural critic".

Apr. 25 2012 11:42 AM
Rockland from JC

He's trying way too hard to sound smart. BTW, 28 Days Later has no zombies. The people in that movie get infected with a virus and go wildly, viciously insane--hence, the swift feet

Apr. 25 2012 11:42 AM

like the guy on HBO who is also a comedian??? and says bad thoughts and gives a million to the president mr. president give back the money!!
Brian npr 501-C ha ha ha

Apr. 25 2012 11:42 AM
A. M. from Brooklyn

The idea that this vapid, yet paradoxically full of himself, mispronouncer of terms such as "problmetizes" (proBLEMatizes?) is a "cultural critic" really cracks me up. If commenters want to complain about cultural theory and related approaches such as deconstructionism, at least choose an actual practitioner of the approach, one who possesses basic reasoning, writing, and speaking ability. Once again WNYC passes up the chance to feature a baseline-cogent representative of a given humanities realm. Shame.

Apr. 25 2012 11:41 AM
Theresa from Brooklyn

It's possible to say what this guy is saying in many less words.

Apr. 25 2012 11:41 AM

Leaky condom! Classic!

Apr. 25 2012 11:40 AM

Hopefully Ann Coutler will go away like Glen Beck and Imus.

Apr. 25 2012 11:38 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

HA! Imus as Rooster Cogburn reading Turner Diaries - good one.

Apr. 25 2012 11:37 AM

Isn't this all so a "Murphy Brown"-determines-the-culture type of argument that was dismissed as overly simplistic.
Oh, I realize now how this is different - he just referenced Marx (I'm assuming "Karl not "Groucho")

Apr. 25 2012 11:36 AM

I thought zombies were all about mindless consumerism.

Apr. 25 2012 11:35 AM
Phoebe from Bushwick

You other commenters are squares! Looking a pop culture is both fascinating and incredibly revealing. Thanks for this segment.

Apr. 25 2012 11:34 AM

Ditto to the two comments above. But not jsut a ditto - this is annoying and I have to get up and turn it off.

Apr. 25 2012 11:34 AM
The Truth from Becky

Huh? Why are you doing this to us Brian?

Apr. 25 2012 11:33 AM

This guy should do an examination into what it means to be as bloatedly full of oneself as he is.

Apr. 25 2012 11:32 AM

This guy is really full of himself isn't he? What the hell is he talking aobut?

Apr. 25 2012 11:31 AM
Scoot from Brooklyn

Oh, Oh. Please stop! If only the death rattle of Deconstruction would infect this guy...( he'd probably come back as the"undead critic". Brian don't so this to us again.

Apr. 25 2012 11:31 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.