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.