Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Three Years In...

Apocalypse StewIt occurs to me I’ve let the third anniversary of this humble site pass without any pageantry whatsoever. How times have changed. Back in ‘05, I celebrated my first twelve month mark with a lengthy post detailing my every whim, hope and aspiration regarding Viewfinder BLUES. At the time it felt cathartic, but now when I read it - I wince a little. Worse yet, it was the first of my grand proclamations that preceded a sharp drop-off in new ideas, inspiration and overall storytelling mojo. You’d think I’d pick up on that kind of thing early, but in truth it took a half dozen more chest-thumping entries to convince me of that old maxim:

“Announcing your plans is a good way to make God laugh”

If that’s true, there’s a certain deity blowing ocean water through his nose, for every time I get on here and riff on what I might next write, I wake up the next morning unable to spell my name correctly (Stewart? Stuart? Styoo-wert?). Why I’m afflicted with this braggart’s remorse, I don’t know. All I do know is that the quickest way to silence that interior voice is to boast on all that he can do. (By the way, if that’s referring to oneself in the third person, Mr. Pittman would like to sincerely apologize). Therefore, I’ll refrain from any swaggering predictions and focus only on the past:

Credit or blame one Randy Page for my writing compulsion, for it was my lifelong friend that used to rib me about my job with inane queries worthy of an ‘Anchorman‘ prequel. In my attempts to answer him in equally silly manner, I discovered I had a lot to say. Stay Classy, Randy!

With tonight’s edition, I will have posted 1,031 entries - two dozen of which are actually worth re-reading. Typically, I don’t get around to logging in until after nine PM or so - at which point I either pound out a screed effortlessly, while away the hours drinking and thinking - or come up with something so banal and wrong that I hit ‘Delete’ halfway through. Now you know.

Blogging has not become easier over time. It’s gotten harder - if only because I feel I’ve already explored so much of my source material. Perhaps I should go for that mid-life crisis and switch careers midstream. How else will I become King of the Small Engine Repair Bloggers?

A lousy day at work makes for a pretty kick-ass blog entry. Sure, I prefer cranking out soft news, but nothing engorges my writing utensil like a senseless crime scene, city council stalemate, or just another slog up the widow’s porch. Now I know how Billy Joel turned a shitty gig into a trademark tune, instead of attempting to shiv Davy, who’s still in the Navy and probably will be for life…

When not engaging in self-induced Schadenfreude, I find my blog posts fall under a handful of categories: photo-safaris, attempted memoir, the plugging of others and outright shameless filler. Though I try not to, they often run in spurts - with one post inspiring a similar one - until something close to a theme is achieved. Of course when I’m really lost, I just log on and blather. Like now, for example….

“Viewfinder Blues” is a term I came up with y-e-a-r-s ago while trying to devise a title for a book I knew I would someday write. “Schmuck Alert” never sounded as good as “Douche Bag on the Loose”, but since my kids regularly walk by this computer, I didn’t wanna go there. “Lenslinger” I pretty much made up on the spot, in an effort to top “Lensmith” - which I felt was already taken. Who knew I’d eventually want it on my tombstone?

Blogging has cost me a few relationships. Simply put, it’s hard to shrug off the way you really feel when you slather your true opinion on-line every night. This kind of transparency has taught me who my friends are and aren’t. Of course, I’ve tempered all this by profiling those I care about and totally omitting from these pages those I truly don’t. Were office politics so easy…

Writing well is the best revenge. Most every afternoon I plop down in my cubicle and pound out a script for someone with a better hair-do to read into a microphone. Greatly compressed and rife with clichés, these sentences are designed to be heard - not read. It’s a noble enough craft I guess, but one that provides about as much joy as emptying the dishwasher. On the other hand, my late night compositions are written solely for my amusement and thus rarely fail to satisfy. Also, I get a kick out of some of my colleague’s reactions - who always seem surprised I can conjugate verbs without dialing a 1-800 number.

There you have it, eight or so randomly compiled, self-serving bon mots. I’d wrap it all up with some sweeping statement concerning my literary aspirations and eternal gratitude, but we’ve both been around long enough to fall for that crap, eh? Instead, let me put an end to this navel gazing by once again saying thanks and reminding all who visit here regularly to please keep doing so - for my site meter (and ego) couldn’t bear the thought of you losing interest. Not until I have, anyway...

5 comments:

turdpolisher said...

Grats on 1,095 days of inspiration . . . give or take a day for leap year. Keep sloppin' the dirvel, and I'll keep the meter turning.

ying said...

stu, yours and turdpolisher's blog are one of the few ways i can decompress after the end of a long day in the field and newsroom. i have been reading for almost two years, and rarely miss a post. i feel like i have kindered spirits that are both peers and mentors in this crazy life we lead as news photograpers, only you two are more eloquent. thanks, and keep it up. i will also be one of the first to pick up you book, and hopefully recomend it to others, if it is ever finished. thanks for the inspiration.

todd said...

Ditto on the Drivel... Your blog helps ease me into my day of pushing electrons around.

Anonymous said...

Congrats...I'm a reporter who benefits from your advice. (no blow dried hair for me) Keep writing - because we love reading.

Anonymous said...

How else am I going to keep up with my peeps?

luv you man

NEWSHAWK