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Published on Jun 6, 2012
This talk by cultural critic Mark Dery is organized by the gallery@calit2 and hosted by professor Jordan Crandall.
Abstract: White supremacists stockpiling heavy weaponry for the **zombie apocalypse** they believe is just around the bend; random acts of senseless violence like Jared Lee Loughner*s shooting spree in Tucson; the viral rumors and conspiracy theories that spread, like some postmodern pandemic, through social media and forwarded mails; our national love affair with guns, our religious fundamentalism, our fear-stricken willingness to sacrifice our freedoms to the War on Terror, the utopian promise of our Democratic Experiment corrupted by corporate influence and fractured by class war and ideological lunacies: in contemporary America, chaos is the new normal.
In his multimedia lecture, **American Dread, American Dreams**, cultural critic and cult author Mark Dery makes sense of the American madhouse, early in the 21st century. Using pop culture as his prism, Dery considers the zombie craze, our obsession with toy guns and movie violence, our frontier religiosity, and our homophobic machismo to refract the deeper meanings of who we are, as a nation, and how we got here.