Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let the Wookie Win

If the evil media is to be believed, WPLG Photographer Robert Palumbo WASN'T packing glass Tuesday night when some miscreant tried to sink an ink pen in his clavicle. Thus, it cannot be construed as an attack on the Fourth Estate - no matter how much I might like to. It should also be noted that Palumbo maintained equanimity - even after said nut-bag plunged a writing utensil into his neck. I make no such promises. Sure, I attempt to feign some level of refinement on a daily basis, but take a stab at me and I will quickly show you my country ass. It has as much to do with my upbringing as my profession, but before any further in discouraging you from assaulting a news shooter, allow me this disclaimer:

I am NOT a tough guy. Anyone who drops terms like 'miscreant' and 'equanimity' can, frankly, never claim to be anything but a hopeless word nerd. Guilty as charged. However, I did grow up with combative siblings, so I know a thing or three about trying to gouge your brother's eyes out while Mom ain't lookin'. But this isn't about me. It's about your garden variety photog and why - if you're fond of your fruit-basket -- you'll leave them the hell alone. Just please remember: I'm a lover, not a fighter. Those other fellas, I'm not so sure. Which is why I'm compelled to share with you five random reasons why...


1.) We Got Tools in Our Truck. Would you drop-kick a plumber? I wouldn't, for fear he’d hurl a wrench at me, or worse yet, punish me with his crack. Much the same can be expected from a TV News photographer, who also travels with a collection of medieval implements. Remember, the detached tripod leg is mightier than the sword.

2.) We are Vessels of Rage. Hey, we're not ALL unstable - but of the photogs YOU know, how many are ticking time bombs of tension and testosterone? I know one guy who goes postal whenever someone rearranges his camera batteries. Is this really the personality type you want to take on in a round of fisticuffs? Or even a heated game of Yahtzee?

3.) We're Already in Pain. A sore back, a thrown shoulder, pinched and blistered fingertips... When it comes to personal injuries, we photogs rank somewhere between bike messenger and rodeo clown. Whatsmore, we’e used to working through that pain. You want a soft target? Pick on a producer. Those cats complain when the fluorescent lights hum too loud.

4.) We Got Peeps! Bail Bondsmen. County Commissioners. Ghetto Preachers. Vice Cops. Consumer Reporters. I got all kinds of unsavory characters on Speed Dial. And while I’d never employ my Rolodex to wreak vengeance on my enemies, I really can’t speak for the Photog Nation. What’s that? There’s a phone repairman swinging nun-chucks on your porch? You’re breaking up...

5.) We Fight (Way) Dirtier Than You. Let’s face it: A courthouse camera scrum is no tea party. (Boy, that term ain’t what it used to be!) Even a bookworm like myself isn’t above throwing sharp elbows at people I actually like. Imagine the lowdown moves we’re capable of when fending off an rabid attacker. Better yet, don’t. Keep your meat-hooks to yourself and I won’t have to throw my back out reaching for that Leatherman.

Now, can’t we ALL just get along? Hello? Is this thing on?


turdpolisher said...

nicely done, mr. slinger. but you forgot about pookie and ray-ray. while not of the payroll, they owe us a solid for that time we turned the camera off that night in the hood.

Richard said...

And remember, I don't own that Trailblazer I'm driving... I don't mind a few nicks, dings or blood stains from "accidentally" hitting a pedestrian.

ukcameraman said...

I am now of the same ilk as Mr 'Slinger. Words are my playground and pictures are my weapon.

I may look a little older, with unkempt hair and a grizzled facial expression with a look of boredom, but i did used to be a member of Her Majesties Royal Military Police, where getting to grips with an alcohol fuelled Marine back from a war zone, leads inevitably to fruity language and a round of fisticuffs. I also became an instructor in the art of Police unarmed combat and arrest techniques. Little known ways of bringing a grown man to tears were my speciality.

So to all nut jobs, idiots and schmucks out there i warn you... i may no longer look it, but i am not above reliving my past and turning your ass into a bloody pulp, and that is after i give out just a little pain beforehand.