Sunday, January 04, 2009

Aim High, Sling Low

Colonel Daniel Dant, USAFA childhood friend of mine has achieved the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Those of us who grew up with Danny Dant are very proud of him; no doubt he's worked hard to earn his place in that meritocracy. We're a bit surprised though. I mean, who knew when he was passing out noogies in the fourth grade that military leadership would be his calling? Still, I cannot view his ascension without a wee bit of jaundice, for while he was mastering the many disciplines required for that lofty rank, I was shooting ribbon-cuttings. Sure, there's more to it than that, but I can't help but look over my now two decades behind the lens and ask myself... What fields have I mastered?

WEAPONRY - Okay, so the only thing I shoot with are heavily-logo'd fancycams, but over the years I've attained sharpshooter status on everything from those suitcase-sized recorders of yore to news camcorders the size of baked potatoes - provided I remember to remove the lens cap.

ESPIONAGE - From tuning in to competing crew's two-way radio frequencies back in the day to lip-reading Channel X viewfinders from across a crowded scrum to following the other guy's live truck all the way to the cop car convention, all is fair in love and television.

DIPLOMACY - Within the course of a single shift I can corner and interview a County Commissioner, a captain of industry and a freshly shackled crackhead - without ever letting them know I think they're an asshole.

RECONNAISSANCE - As a TV news photographer who thinks and speaks as well as points and shoots, I'm often called upon to size up breaking news scenes - from the faldely-advertised fender-bender that'll never make air to that strange, saucer-shaped craft bobbing in Town Founder's Lake... I NEED BACK-UP!!!

PHYSICAL READINESS - Granted, I'm no Jack LaLanne, but even a forty-one year old schlub like me can't afford to become too sedentary; not whe, at any moment, I may be forced to chase a cadaver dog down a riverbank, sprint up courthouse steps or weasel my way out of a late-breaking live shot.

LEADERSHIP - One may not think of the lowly 'cameraman' as leading the way, but if you've ever been saddled with a reporter half your age, one tenth your life experience and quadruple your wardrobe allowance, well then - you know what I mean.

AERONAUTICS - Okay, so TV news live trucks won't soar through the heavens, but take that hill too fast en route to the school bus wreck and it will take flight - or at the very least, catch some righteous air. Back when I began, I'd regularly break the sound barrier in one of these festooned beasts. These days, it's got to be a Bigfoot sighting - or a soon to be shut-down Chinese buffet.

ENGINEERING - My more McGyver-like colleagues will tell you I'm f-a-r from an electronics expert, but even we inattentive bibliophiles must maintain a certain level of technical proficiency. Why, just last week I managed to troubleshoot an ornery transmitter - after of course I slathered my plight in profane,
polysyllabic parlance.

PROPAGANDA - Are you kidding me?

1 comment:

Miami Fan said...

Just when you think you've run out of creative juice's you step up with another winning blog entry!

I think angst over what to write is part of the process.

Embrace it! It's a positive in the recipe for quality which you have become known for.