Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Cameraman's Conundrum

I was sharing a diner booth with an empty notebook when it hit me: Good days behind the lens make for lousy nights on the blog. Take this morning for instance. Having spent a couple of fairly low-impact hours at the N.C. Zoo with our perky morning anchor bunny, I had precious little to blog/bitch/write about. Sure, I could relate the horrors of surfing through hundreds of hyped-up third graders with a fancy-cam on your shoulder - or analyze the motives of the scary biker chick who followed me around for a half hour - or simply tell you what an incredible time of year it is to visit your local zoological park. But what fun would that be?

No, for real blog-fodder I need drama, ridicule, intrigue - just the type of thing I’ve work so hard to avoid these past five years. Allow me to explain. After years of wallowing in the muck of crime and grime TV news coverage, I began specializing in features - you know, soft and fuzzy feel-good pieces that give the hair-do squad reason to chortle as the houselights fade. It may not be the noblest of pursuits but trust me - it beats babysitting some rookie down by the police barricade. No, these days I spend most workdays all by my lonesome, traveling from goldfish rodeo to opera camp to belt loop convention in an unending quest for news stories that don’t chip away parts of my soul.

But now I’m a certified blogger, which means I’m constantly looking over my viewfinder for highlights and low points to skewer and spew. Most days I get it done - clearing my daily succession of newsgathering hurdles before going home with a thing or two on my mind for the blogosphere. Funny thing though - some of my most memorable and well-received posts have risen from the ashes of truly crappy days. In other words, if I escaped the News Gods’ wrath relatively unscathed, I have to sit and ponder on what to expound about. But when I log a ten hour day in the bowels of a live truck, documenting someone else’s unfortunate in bite size chunks suitable for the dinner hour, well - the late-night diatribes practically write themselves.

So what’s a burned-out cameraman/writer wannabe to do? Volunteer for every grisly gig that comes across the assignment desk, in hopes of exposing the great truths and travesties of a life behind the lens? Or continue cherry-picking my daily news deeds with an eye toward harmless television; blogabilities be damned. I suspect I’ll keep surfing the line between the two and let the blog-chips fall where they may. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta get some sleep. Tomorrow’s another news day and whether it be filled with murder or monotony, I’ll have to punch all the right buttons in the correct order. Beats my old job at the windshield wiper factory. . .

1 comment:

Woody Cavenaugh said...

Careful what you blog for, you might find your comment section filled with stalking biker chicks, wacko's for mulching, or volunteer fencing coaches from The Downtown Fencing Club looking for a way in. ;)

All kidding aside I do blog a little, and I understand how you feel about those days where you feel like you have nothing important or groundbreaking to say. Still I feel compelled to write anyway. Those are the days where I end up writing something about myself, my life and my thought processes. It isn't as groundbreaking perhaps as an angle on some hot current event, but I hope it gives the audience a chance to know the individual on the other end of the keyboard.

If all else fails, lets just call it "writing practice" for the day something does happen that inspires us to that first Pulitizer Prize for blogging. Until then, you keep writing, and we'll keep reading.