Wednesday, April 18, 2012
View to a Skill
The jury for the John Edwards trial has yet to even be seated and I AM OVER IT! The waiting, the walk-downs, the existential angst of choosing where to wolf down lunch ... quite frankly, I could do without it. But even an alleged loner like myself recognizes the benefits of all this pack journalism: forced socialization. See, with cameras of any kind banned in federal court, we photogs have nothing much to do all day but trade lies, snap towels and constantly eyeball that courthouse door. It can make for a long day, but those very same hours would come to a standstill were it not for the calloused community of cameramen (and women). Yeah, we're a little sweaty around the edges and few of us are burdened with any real fashion sense, but I wouldn't trade this rugged class of individuals for all the hipsters on Elm Street.
Why? They're pragmatic, blunt and perhaps a little tortured. But unlike the skinny jean crowd, TV News photographers base their assertions on reality - not some ingrained disdain for the Hoi polloi. Me - most of what I know about life was learned under heavy deadline. That makes me an expert on absolutely nothing, but at least my opinions weren't formed by some scribbled mantra I read on a coffee shop bulletin board. No, my worldview first flickered to life on a tiny black and white screen at the shallow end of an eyepiece. For years it held me mesmerized, until I became a parent and realized some things could only be figured out at the business end of a dirty diaper. But enough about me, let's meet the players!
You ever meet someone who could walk backwards over a stack of mattresses and never get the shakes? Who could string together a minute and a half of coherent television in the time it takes most folks to find the remote? Who could stroll into a crowded ballroom dressed like a stoned pool cleaner and feel pretty damn good about themselves? Who keeps the region's movers and shakers on speed dial but is most proud of his ability to burp all the words to 'Freebird'? I know tons of guys like that and a few ladies too. Together they make up the most tolerable tier of the chattering class. Sure, anchors drive nicer cars and producers' socks match more often, but if I wake up one day and see a bunch of monkeys on horseback coming at me with a giant net, I'm high-tailing it to the nearest photog lounge, where I and a bunch of new buddies will figure out how to go cinematic on their ass.
Now if you'll excuse me, Edwards just walked into the courthouse and I gotta get some sleep. Knock on my live truck at your own peril.