Sunday, September 23, 2007

Riffing an Existence

Spotlight CalendarWhere, oh where, hath September gone? The last time I looked up it was late August and I was sweating buckets. Now suddenly it’s almost October and still pretty damn hot. But you didn’t come here for a weather report and my Doppler’s on the fritz, so I’ll dispense with any attempt at a catchy opening and get right to the angst-ridden self-involvement you’ve come to expect here at Viewfinder BLUES. Hey, at least I’m consistent! Anyway, tonight, we find our hero returning from a brief sojourn to find the ninth month of the year all but gone! That’s normally not that big a deal, as October’s a delicious month in the Piedmont, but doggone it - there’s something dude’s gotta do soon and as always, he’s ... put ... it ... off. He’s probably sitting around right now with a tumbler of Makers’ Mark; writing about himself in third person and feeling all smug. That should last another five seconds or so - as even his rusty synapses will fire off a reminder of a certain October obligation right, about --

Holy Hemlock! ConvergeSouth is, what, twenty-five days away? Usually that means nothing more than endless bemusement as assorted smart people wax prophetically on all things internet. Who doesn’t love that? I sure do. In fact, I look forward to this gathering of geeks and madmen every year, for it gives me a chance to connect outwardly appearances with internal voices, mannerisms with manifestoes, unibrows with agendas. If that don’t sound like fun to you, then, you don’t read as many local websites as I do. If you did, you'd know my adopted hamlet of Greensboro is the home of a vibrant, fractured, raucous blogosphere - one that only grows more intense when experienced in 3-D. It’s why I attend every year, usually as a nodding audience member and nothing more. This year, however I’m scheduled to lead a session - on what, I cannot imagine.

Don’t get me wrong. I willingly signed up for said act last year, following my pseudo-involvement in a well-meaning session that quickly devolved into a heated round of ‘Let’s Bash the News & Record‘. Hey, as a card-carrying cameraman, I’m all for poking fun at the local rag - if only because they’re such a stuffy bunch. But if I wanna hear insults hurled at the ink-stained wretches, I ain’t gotta give up a Saturday, I just gotta go to work. That I get more than enough of, which is why I impulsively pitched a session of my own to organizer Sue Polinsky, knowing I had a good eleven months or so to assiduously avoid even thinking about it. Well, many moons have passed and, as predicted, I find myself scratching my chin-cabbage and asking myself, “What the &%$& was I thinking?” It’s not that I’m afraid of public speaking; I actually kind of like it. It’s like doing stand-up comedy where no one expects you to be funny. That, I can do. No, the problem is…. I ain’t got a lot to talk about.

Sure, I got opinions. As someone who’s web-published random thought for going on three years, I got lots of ’em. But I sort of doubt the ConvergeSouth crowd wants to hear me expound on the travesty of oversized microphone flags, the undeniable beauty of a stuffed bookshelf or my extended treatise on why Albert King outranks B .B. King in the pantheon of grizzled Blues Men. No, they’ll want something timely, technical, relevant. That’s a tall order for this five foot ten photog, for not only am I of average height, but I am infamously noncommittal. It’s the kind of practiced insouciance one needs when covering daily events. How else can you successfully interview Side A and Side B in the scope of an hour without quickly mastering the art of not giving a rat’s ass? I’m sure there are other approaches but I just can’t work up the juice to investigate them. Nor can I look you straight in the computer screen and say I’m gonna do much more than wing it come October 20th. That way I‘ll feel comfortable as I never really do know if I‘m rolling up on a symphonic performance or an absolute train wreck. All Aboard...

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