Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dung Clusters on the Campaign Trail

Wookie What?The North Carolina Primary is two days away and every news crew I know is exhausted. You would be too if you spent the last few weeks chasing Presidential candidates from every corner of your homeland. For weeks Obama and Hillary have crisscrossed the state, popping up at lofty universities and small town fire departments alike as both camps laid claim to our nation’s destiny, one carefully crafted talking point at a time. Mostly, each candidate electrified their choir. I watched aides hyperventilating over Hillary’ s stance on healthcare, an agnostic woman genuflect at the sight of Obama’s motorcade and Bill Clinton himself hypnotize a mosh-pit’s worth of college freshman. I don’t know if either side won the hearts of the electorate, but together they played more North Carolina venues this year than Nantucket.

Clinton at ElonOf course that’s just my perspective, which is dead center on the camera platform if I have anything to say about it. This year that process has been testier than ever, with all sorts of new media goobs showing up to crowd the riser. Hey, I’m all for a plugged-in citizenry, but don’t be surprised when The Traveling Press swoops in just before the hair-do and blocks your shot. They do it to me and I got three different station tattoos on my arse. Maybe that’s how they’ll identify my remains when this camera-stand collapses under the weight of you ... YouTube hooligans. Back in my day you needed a press pass to stand up here, and fancy vests with lots of pockets! Hmm? Whadaya mean “What’s a Mult-Box?” MY EYES!!!

The DoorsWhew. I’m okay. Just sorta blacked out there when the skater kid didn’t know how to plug in a microphone cord. They still make cords, right? Truth is, I’ve been feeling old lately - and not just because I’ve been working longer shifts. It hit me the other day at Guilford College. Deep within the edifice, a packed house supplicated on-cue as Hillary droned on like a middle school nutritionist for the better part of an hour. I was spared that sensory assault, having stationed myself along the row of TV live trucks parked outside. Nearby, a gruby clutch of trust fund anarchists waved a gnarly looking bed sheet my camera’s way. ‘GET THE U.S. OUT OF THE AMERICAS!’ the dirty banner demanded. I’m still not sure what that means exactly, but judging from their accompanying funk, I’d guess they’re demanding an end to indoor plumbing. What’s so revolutionary ‘bout that?

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