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A Cultural Critic Comes Home

By John Wilkens
San Diego Union-Tribune

Dery_Bad coverMark Dery’s new collection of essays, “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts,” is a critique of contemporary America, its dreams and its nightmares. He lectures Tuesday at San Diego State (3:30 p.m., Life Sciences South 246) and Thursday at Southwestern College (11 a.m., library room 238).

He answered questions by email.

How did growing up in Chula Vista shape you as a writer?

Apparently, the imp of the perverse in me needed something to push against — the cultural equivalent of isometric exercise. I found it in abundance in the unbudgeable bedrock of San Diego conservatism, which in my experience often expressed itself as anti-intellectualism — a congenital distrust of too much thinking.

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