Monday, September 24, 2012
Of Thee I Sling
A decade and a half back I did the unthinkable. I willingly returned to the world of NEWS. It was not an easy decision. After all, I knew what the job entailed: unsavory hours, less than stellar pay, the numbing grind of constant deadline. Just a few reasons why I'd left in the first place. But if my twenty plus months spent cranking out promos and such for a certain station taught me anything, it was this: "Never work for a man you'd rather hit with a bus". That and "Get Thee Back to News." To be fair, that last one had nothing to so with the troglodyte in charge. It went much deeper. The first time a hurricane hit the Carolina coast and I didn't have keys to a news car in my pocket, I nearly stuck my head in an oven. (I still can't hear the names Fran or Bertha without eyeballing the microwave.) So when my exciting foray into Promotions turned into a battery of soul-sucking meetings and not much else, I did something I still don't regret... I issued my own stern memo to a boss I'd come to loathe and followed a few bread crumbs to a place called the Piedmont.
Fast forward fifteen years.
I find myself doing pretty much the same thing I did in my twenties. Chasing candidates and reprobates, profiling neighborhood heroes and sketchy dudes coming out of a courthouse, lowering my lens at a policeman's funeral and raising it to capture the blimp I'm about to board. It has been everything I expected and much of what I feared. But before you go looking for that sentence that announces my new position as Head Video Guy at the Coat Hanger Outlet, relax: I ain't goin' out like that. No, until I can convince someone to pay me by the paragraph, I'll most likely be found babysitting the day's events - be they grim, slim or whimsical. I'm okay with that, even if it occasionally makes me crazy. When that happens, I tend to clam up for I've found that a distillation of pixels will support but so much untreated angst. I'd much rather stew in my own juices until I cough up something worth sharing, Otherwise, I'm a hack - the kind of guy I saw myself becoming back in the hallowed halls of a not so distant affiliate.
Which brings me to YOU.
Chances are we know each other, either in person or on-line. Being that we're tight and all, you understand my compulsion. You know that, while I've yet to profit financially from my blogging efforts, I've benefited immensely from sharing what I watch my fingers type late at night. Sometimes, I wake up the next morning and wonder why I did, but it rarely stops me from logging in to do it all over again. Lately though, I've fallen out of rhythm and while no pitchfork-wielding mob has formed outside my door, I've dragged myself to the outskirts of town on more than one occasion. Now, however, I'm back and though I don't know where I'm going, I'm delighted to have you along. For it is you, dear readers, who've convinced me a life behind the lens isn't a total waste of my time. Where else would a guy who'd rather be writing find so much story material than on the surface of a tiny flickering screen in the shallow end of an upturned eye-cup? If you know, don't tell me. I'll go on thinking I'm where I need to be. If nothing else, it's a delusion I can chew on while waiting for the next speaker to clear his throat.
It's a living.