Boing Boing contributor Mark Dery has just published "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams," a long-awaited compendium of his oft-brutal, usually funny, and always-brilliant writings on the curious, bizarre, and downright dark crevices of our culture. The collection includes such evergreens as Gray Matter: The Obscure Pleasures of Medical Libraries, The Prophet Margin: Jack Chick's Comic-Book Apocalypse, Straight, Gay, or Binary? HAL Comes out of the Cybernetic Closet, and dozens of other classics. If you enjoyed Mark's BB features "(Face)Book of the Dead" or "Aphrodites of the Operating Theater: On La Specola's Anatomical Venuses," look no further than this new book for your next monstrous dose of Dery. Once you've read it, give it a permanent home on your bookshelf next to Umberto Eco's "Travels in Hyperreality" and JG Ballard's "A User's Guide to the Millennium." "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts," with an intro by Bruce Sterling and glorious cover photo by Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein, is one for the library. Here's what Mark Frauenfelder and I wrote as a blurb for the book jacket:
Mark Dery's cultural criticism is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Those things about ourselves that are best left unsaid? Dery dwells upon them. He's a witty and brilliant tour guide on an intellectual journey through our darkest desires and strangest inclinations. Along the way, he shows us how it all fits together, and ultimately leads us to all fall apart. You can't look away even if you want to, and when it's all over you can never unsee what Dery has shown you. His pen's reservoir is filled with aqua regia and the nib is made from barbed wire.