Friday, January 02, 2009

The Stuff of Blockbusters

David R.Busse in El Salvador
Whenever I feel silly or vain for amassing so many pictures of myself with a fancycam, I peruse the personal gallery of one David R. Busse, intrepid everyman, legendary lenslinger. Taken as a whole, his photos play out like some unlikely storyboard; frozen frames from a life too rich and varied to possibly be true. Here he's pictured chillin' with soundman John Casillas and a Salvadorian soldier along the Pan American Highway near Cojutapeque, El Salvador, circa 1982. I'm no film critic, but in my not so humble opinion Hollywood would do well to stop regurgitating old TV shows and start dramatizing the plights of people who've spent their days riding the line between access and peril - if for no other reason than to see the likes of Brad Pitt rock a hat and 'stache like that. Sure, it'll never happen but from where I sit in the multiplex, King Kong ain't got nuthin' on David R. Busse...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Evolution

Man Behind the CurtainPay no attention to that man behind the curtain, for it is only I - your incredibly stuffed-up lenslinger. I’m back at work, you see, slumming in an El Ocho live truck while one Angela Rodriguez opines about a possible gas tax hike. Fascinating, no? Well, no - but whose life is continually intriguing anyway? Mine sure ain’t. Sure, I folded some righteous washcloths the other day and nobody can alphabetize a CD collection like yours truly - but is that really the kind of thing you want read about here? I’m guessing not - which brings me to point of this strategically random missive: Blogging is hard! At times I can make it look easy, but don’t be fooled; I think about this place far more often than I contribute to it. It was different in the beginning. In late 2004 I was flush with confidence, stoked about the feedback I was receiving from my brethren and near evangelical about spotlighting the plight of your above average photog. That continues to be the primary goal of this pixilated shrine, but I’m here to tell you it’s gradually growing more difficult. Why that is, I don’t really know. All I’m really certain of is you’ve been very generous with your clicks and I feel obligated to make it worth your time. If that strikes anyone as a bit delusional, my lovely wife would like to extend you a hearty high-five. But with her taste in men, can she really she really be trusted to pass judgment on our little late night trysts? I think not.

A Rod Live!Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah - watching the hair on my knuckles twitch as my fingers searched for the right way to end the next sentence. Sorry - but if four plus years of steady blogging have taught me anything, it’s that nothing spurs worthy content like openly admitting I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. That’s really quite easy for me, as I’m quite comfortable with being underestimated. Hey, nothing relieves performance anxiety like lowering others expectations. It’s just the kind of attitude that enabled me to set aside a whole year of high school to pursue a street-level degree in truancy and pharmaceuticals. Don’t try that at home kids, you’ll find yourself trudging up some widow’s steps with a tripod on your back, wishing you hadn’t been quite so adept at forging report cards. But I don’t like to talk about my flair. Rather, I wish to educate the masses on what it’s like to go through life with a viewfinder stuck to your face. These days you can get that several other places, but where else can you witness the inner tribulations of a wordy camera-nerd in real time? You won’t find it on Pay-Per-View, and if you could - how would you explain it to the wife when the bill came? “Yeah, babe I was just wallowing in the pathos of some anonymous news shooter. It’s not like it was dirty or anything…”

A Rod Live!So, what have we learned? I look back at 2008 with little regret and lots of trepidation. Professionally, it was something of a draw. I worked by myself A LOT, which while highly preferable, is a sure fire recipe for being overlooked. I’m cool with that, as all I really ask from my bosses is that they hand me my morning assignment and forget my name for the day. Though the coming year is certain to be filled with lay-offs and cutbacks, I’m not all that worried. See, versatility is key to survival and while I’m not exceptional at much of anything, I can shuck and jive with the best of them. So to all those past colleagues who scoffed at my penchant for solo-newsgathering, I’m more than willing to extend a few lessons in this newly valued discipline. The rest of you can kiss my ass. Harsh? Yeah, but when you put on some old Oingo-Boingo and let your fingers tap dance over a coffee-stained keyboard, you never know what you’re gonna end up sharing. So while you busy yourself being appalled, know that I’m having a fine time here in my upper lair. After all, the wife still lets me sleep inside, the kids act like they love me and I’ve finally learned not to let this blog - or writer’s block - drive me too crazy.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year.