Andrew’s Death in The Dull Earth

The Dull Earth, the second half of Affected Grandeur, is a dark narrative centered on a pair of unpleasant guys scouting France for a film on Napoleon. There are few, if any, redeeming qualities of either; they are base and self-obsessed.

Carnie was surprised at how tired he was of France. Maybe it was just the wandering and drinking and the arguments with Andrew. Maybe it was just Andrew. He shouldn’t have let him come. The film would probably never get off the ground. He could get rid of him and head down to Corsica. Film or no film, he really should go there. They had topless beaches. Topless_beach_MallorcaCarnie stopped at a delicatessen.      

“Bonjour, Monsieur.” A pretty woman stood behind the counter. 

“Bonjour.” Carnie examined the food through the glass. “Uh…trois tranches de jambon, et une piece de brie, une grand piece…” Brie_de_Meaux1Just as the woman reached into the counter, there was an explosion. Carnie fell to the floor with his arms over his head. And then it was silent. He opened his eyes. The woman stared out the window. He watched her for a moment. There wasn’t anyone in sight. He realized the car was gone. He went out the door. A truck was across the road, the car crushed beneath the front. Truck-in-Small-CarThere was a point, black, twisted, where the car vanished beneath the truck, and the machines were obscenely connected. The woman from the delicatessen was beside him; she was talking and he couldn’t understand.

Sensationalism: the whittling of a word

Warning: This blog is entirely derived from sensationalism

Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in mass media in which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers (Wikipedia), such as a horrific event from this week in which a man was pushed onto the tracks and killed by a New York subway train. This image of the man’s final moments has led many to ask why no one helped and instead took pictures of his death. This type of imagery dominates the media and has indeed infected my memory. (Or as Cormac McCarthy writes in The Road: The things you put in your head are there forever.) I remember well the 1979 murder of ABC journalist Bill Stewart in Nicaragua, played over and over on network television, and obsessed over another image taken in 1988 of a German bank robber threatening to kill his hostage. (He didn’t.)In the end, I used this as source material for my first novel The Sacred Whore, a sensational story in itself about prostitutes who kidnap a basketball team so that they can broadcast their views on what’s wrong with America.

Sensational (also a horse, album and hip hop artist) is defined as causing great public interest and excitement, as in “Sensational Superstar Vickie looks sensational!”

The 3D tools for Sensational Superstar Vickie

Sensation (also a song, event, film and type of BDSM play) is a style of writing, similar to verisimilitude, which aims to imitate the sensations of experiencing an event.

Christopher Walken experiencing too many sensations in film, “Brainstorm”.

Sensa is Latin for ‘thought’ or ‘teachings” as well as being a weight-loss program.

Rodin’s “The Thinker”

Sens is a commune in Burgundy, in north-central France.

Cathedral in Sens, France

Sen is the name of the protagonist in Miyazaki’s magical  Spirited Away.

Sen (Chihiro) in “Spirited Away”.

Se is the internet country code for Sweden and also represents the element Selenium.  And S is a letter, a series of Tesla cars, the stock identifier for Sprint Nextel and the sound a balloon makes when it’s run out of air.