What is Viewfinder BLUES?
It's that feeling you get while freshening up a widow's porch, rearranging the rocking chairs so that sunlight will glint off the tears you're about to capture.
It's that sudden knowledge that you're gonna spend the rest of the day camped out in an electrified dumpster with promises printed on it.
It's the sensation you get when the woman who called your station demanding something be done about the problem in her neighborhood tells you she doesn't want to talk about it on camera.
It's that deep-seeded realization that no matter how many heartfelt epics you serve up night after night, the viewers just want to watch the hot chick wiggle through her stand-up.
It's that dull throb you feel behind your temples as a young colleague who's yet to master the fundamentals wonders how long it will be before he wins his first Emmy.
But it is so much more. It's a self diagnosis, the kind of thing you come down with while spinning your wheels at the intersection of Pixels and Grit. It's also an excuse: "Hey I'd like to help with your telethon and all, but I got a wicked case of Viewfinder BLUES. Doc says the only cure is warm beer and a few 'WKRP in Cincinnati' episodes." And for better or worse, it's become a bit of a lifestyle. Don't believe me? Look around your newsroom. Surely you'll find an aging photog or two bitching about how the free ice cream at that last ribbon-cutting was too cold.
I get that guy. Hell, some days, I AM that guy. But by twisting grist into pithy epistles, I've found a way to live with this affliction. It's no cure, mind you. I still lapse into torpor on a regular basis; feel sorry for myself 'cause I stayed at the party too long. That's my hang up, not yours. And while I still have no good answer whenever someone asks me why I haven't written that book yet, know that I haven't given up on the idea of starting it one day. For now I'll forge ahead, knowing that, if nothing else - I got a title that says it all....
Besides, 'Live Shot Miasma' just didn't sound right.