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.


Miami Fan said...

You know this...yes, "it's a living" but offers a little more richness to life than so many other paychecks.

Your words help others realize they are not just say it better.


Our Daily Fred said...

"Candidates and reprobates"

I can't think of too many news people who would just effortlessly toss out a phrase like that as they're turning the crank on the giant manure spreader that nourishes the daily news cycle.

Snark. We need more of it.

Thank you for helping fill the need.

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