With my first May Sweeps just forty eight hours away, it was high time to start editing. So, naturally I spent of the much of the day cooling my heels in the Clinton Vortex. For those who’ve never gotten sucked down that particular rabbit hole, let me explain: Bill Clinton is charming, red-faced and never, ever, ever on time. I’m not saying our 42nd President is chronically late, but if I could have back all the time I’ve spent waiting on Slick Willy over the years, I’d have that freakin’ book written by now. I remember back in the early 90’s, when the then Presidential hopeful kept me and a stadium full of sycophants soaking in a summer rain as he and Al Gore traded knock-knock jokes in their motorcade. Back then I didn’t really mind. After all, it was exciting just to be a (soggy) part of the election process! These days, not so much. However I was powerless to do much more than gripe as Hillary's husband held us all hostage. Did I mention I hate politics?
I do, but then again I've spent w-a-y too many days fending off rabid sign-holders while trading dirty looks with the Secret Service to buy into the hype. Sure, I vote. But two decades of professional apathy has rendered me incapable of electoral enthusiasm - even when there's no fancycam present to act as my excuse. That reminds me... To the Elon college kid with the digital SLR: If you're going to climb aboard the camera riser, there are some things you should know ... One: that much hair gel is simply bad for environment. Two: everytime you shift your feet, you jar my shot. Three, we don't applaud on tripod row. It's a little thing we call a neutral press. I realize I'm just some blue collar relic in your eyes, but lesser representatives of the press would have booted your silly ass off the camera platform the first time you tried to start The Wave...
Now, where was I? Oh yeah - waiting. At least I wasn't alone. Instead, nearly every member of the Elon University community joined me on the lawn, as my deadline neared and the Arkansas Lothario stayed wisely out of sight.Were my camera not tethered to the Santa Maria many yards behind me, I may very well have taken a little unauthorized liberty. But with a sea of undergrads between me and my Sat Truck, I was forced to hold the high ground - and wait. Nearby ace new crew Matt Jensen and Nicole Ferguson popped off a live shot. Officially. this was their story. I was merely hired help; a jaded lenslinger brought in to train glass on the Ex-President. This allowed Matt and Fergie to roam the grounds and gather sound. Meanwhile my camera's shot fed to the web, where nearly a dozen folks in the Piedmont leaned into their laptops and wondered where Willy was. Of course my live picture was also being routed straight to Fox News Channel - who may or many not have ever punched it up. Me - I wouldn't know. I was too busy eye-jabbing Bouncy McHairGel.
Finally -- mercifully, Bill rolled in. Emerging from a nearby building, the now white-haired politico sauntered out with a laidback vibe, looking for al l the world like he'd just finish jamming with The Stones. As if on cue, the stalkers, students and staffers roared their approval. Say what you will about the man's policies; but few dudes his age can still make the college girls scream. But scream they did, shrieking in ecstasy every time Clinton extolled the virtues of She Who Wears the Pantsuits. He's good, too. By the time he was through, I wanted Barack Obama immediately deported and John McCain fired upon at dawn. Luckily, I snapped out of it, but I worry about the University students I saw genuflecting every time the slckster pointed his clichés their way. Kids that age should be holed up with their X-Box, planning their next kegger or simply Raging against the Machine. Instad it's 2008 and Generation:Wii is stoked about the vote. That's a good thing I suppose - but can we at least put someone in charge who better respects my time?
Don't make me call Ross Perot.