Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Barbarians at the Gate

'Groundhog Day', 'Cool Hand Luke', 'Pee-Wee's Big Adventure' ... there are LOTS of movie you could compare the John Edwards trial to and most of us hanging around outside would agree. That's because we're numb. Fourteen hour workdays will do that to a crew. I'm lucky. This tawdry opera debuted five miles from my home. The rest of these jokers gotta drive in from out of town every morning, or worse yet, stay at the Marriott. Whatever their routine, they show up around dawn, less than fresh from a fitful night sleep and ready to seize the day. Or at least the stepladder. Seriously, I haven't spent so much time perched on an aluminum stool since I scraped the popcorn ceiling off my playroom. Okay, so I would never scrape the popcorn ceiling off my playroom. I'd call The Man, overpay and whine about it on-line. But that's not important right now. What is important is that I get some sleep, for in eight short hours I'm due back down there, lest the good people of the Piedmont be deprived of their daily shot of the former Senator ignoring my lens...   

It wasn't always that way. There was a time when Senator John Edwards met my camera with his customary twinkle. He smelled of snake-oil even then, but what was a lowly photog to do? Call him out for being Bill Clinton, Jr.? And if I may be so bold, can I ask a simple question? 'What is it with powerful men and ugly women?' If I had that kind of scratch and was the cheatin' kind, I do believe I'd finance a few exotic dancers' cosmetology studies - instead of reaching out to the nearest skank I could find so I could trade success and stability for a walk of shame and the inevitable case of genital warts. But that's just me. No, on second thought, that's most of us here. We've discussed the matter at length and can only surmise that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely and after enough fawning press junkets, the average politician will tag and bag anything that stumbles into range.  But just because we've dissected the amorous urges of the ruling class, don't think for a moment we care what the jury decides.

Sure, we have our opinions. But they hardly matter in this arena. We're far more concerned with the logistics of all this justice, rather than the lascivious nature of our elected officials. They're all crooks anyway, we've decided - an opinion formed after years of close contact to candidates, incumbents and other power-mad miscreants. No, what worries us is the gang-bang that's gonna go down on the courthouse steps once the jury convicts John Edwards or decides to release him back into the wild. That day's coming quick, but whenever I think about it I get dizzy and have to climb down my stepladder long enough to breathe into a paper bag. That usually tickles the hell out of my thirty closest competitors and before I can ascend to my eighteen inch perch, new life is breathed back into our once feckless scrum and the movie comparisons continue unabated. We still haven't pinpointed an exact film to describe what's about to come, but it definitely needs to be one of those new zombie flicks where the undead swarm the tawdry and innocent alike until nothing is left but blood, entrails and one perfectly preserved hair-do...

That, or one of those stupid new musicals where a shirtless Tom Cruise sings reheated radio schlock.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Driven to Jeers


 Top Ten Signs You've Covered TOO MUCH of the John Edwards Trial

10.)  You've stopped looking for Rielle Hunter to pop out of a bush, but you still hold out hope of seeing Anderson Cooper in spats and a pith helmet.

9.)  A group of homeless men signed a petition urging you and "the rest of the undesirables to just move along".

8.)  One more shot of you picking your nose on CNN and that dealer you bailed on in college is gonna wake you up one morning with a cattle prod to the fruit basket.

7.)  You've heard every one of the sound guy's jokes and they ALL center around the size of his boom pole.

6.)  Some of the fellas were heard pining for the good ole days when Andrew Young would undress everybody with his eyes as he stomped into the courthouse. 
5.)  NBC's Lisa Myers won't so much as return your morning fist-bump anymore.
4.)  You've scored stinky green chalk off that same sketch artist hippie SIX times. 
3.)  You're on a first name basis with the parking cop, the Jimmy-John's delivery guy and that weirdo on the corner who hands out sporks in the name of Beelzebub.

2.)  Edwards no longer responds to your "Two Americas > One Crazy Slut" trucker hat..
And the Number One Sign You've Covered TOO MUCH of the John Edwards Trial...
 1.)  You're STILL blogging about it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Circle Gets the Square

Fisheye Lens Ever wonder how those courtroom sketches get on the evening news? Me neither! But since Aaron Glancy caught me leaning over something sketchy the other day, I thought I'd better explain myself: The last gavel drops around 4:30. Scribblers dribble out, followed by the flotsam of the day. It pays to hang around 'til Sparkles departs, lest he trip and take out his eyeteeth the ONE DAY you're not there. Trouble is, the Monster wants its meal. Come five o clock a guy you see at company picnics is gonna push a button and up will pop your reporter - who can currently be seen primping, mumbling and tweeting from the front seat of your mobile newsroom. Her shit's in check, but you, you got things to do... Like fleshing out a fresh report. Sure, your scintillating video of the defendant's ingress will fill in some of the blanks, but for that minute-thirty passion play to really pop, you need art, baby. Which is exactly why I burst from my live truck like a man unhinged, desperate to find one of two sketch artists known to roam Camp Edwards in the afternoon. I didn't have to go far. There she was, making small talk with a beefy freelancer as a cable news shooter pawed at her chalk. I waited my turn then chatted her up. She was a local lady, taken with the fray. I was a deadline junkie, itchin' for a fix. Together we did business under that tree, as yet another supplicant cued up for the view. About the time, Aaron sidled up with his fish-eye and sparked all this exposition to begin with...

I hope he can live with himself.