Saturday, December 18, 2004

What do you want to do?

I don't care.

Yes, I hear that a lot and I run into a lot of apathy from people I come across in the course of what I do for a living. Some of it is understandable (I didn't say excusable), given the staggering amount of heart numbing tragedy we face as part of a typical "day at the office".

You add that to the fatigue from hours and hours (and hours) spent in traffic and you have a recipe for a very cynical and jaded group of human beings. I think I've got a pretty good handle on all that. I deal with it the best I can (please, beer me) and some days are better than others.

For all the complaining we do and for all the bashing we suffer, it does my heart good to cover a story that served no real purpose other than to point out some of the better aspects of human nature.

I wasn't feeling up for much last night. I really hoped that I'd get another "Christmas Lights" night like I had on Monday, but hoping for anything in my job is the best guarantee that it sure as heck ain't gonna happen.

I got assigned to cover a toy drive story in Boyle Heights. That's a part of East L.A. and I've covered this story in years past as a VO-SOT (video over-sound on tape). I had a reporter and that meant I'd be shooting more for a full package. Going into the story, I wasn't feeling up to it. I wasn't feeling creative, compassionate, charitable, patient. . .pretty much none of the things I'd need in order to be fit company for other humans.

I'm sorry. I'm almost ashamed to say, this was probably the best story I've worked on this year. The reporter (Hi, Lisa!) did a great job in writing the piece and we cut together a package that flowed smoothly and had lots of great sound and visuals. It had all the elements that a news photographer looks for in a story to cover (no car chase, but I'll deal).

It's been a great news year. I've worked on bigger stories and more important stories, but none that I remember coming together so well. It was a little story about a small group of volunteers. It won't change the world, but it was a nice pat on the back for the people who worked hard to make a relatively small group of kids and their families happy.

I didn't get a toy, but I think I got something more important out of it. This story will carry me through the death and destruction for (hopefully) a long time.

You know, on the other hand, it may not have changed me enough. I'm sure there are people who think we should have been somewhere else last night, doing something more important instead of covering this toy drive. You know what?

I don't care.

Sorry, I have such a bad attitude.


gemmak said...

Good for you for not caring.....nice story :o)

Michelle said...

I agree with Gem. It's tough dealing with peoples emotions,crime and death day in day out.........this was a great story.

Ruby in Paradise said...

I like the photos, especially the one of the Barbie! It looked like a still production shot from a Disney Movie. It was as if she was talking to me: TW do you not have anything better to do than read other people's thoughts, what about X-mas shopping? Answer: LIKE HE SAID, I DON'T CARE! :o) Have a beWonderful day!

Tara said...

I did a story on Friday about women who knit items for chemo patients, needy peeps who need to stay warm in the winter. It was the most fun I've had in months. Loves me a feel good story. Too much bad in the world.

beFrank said...

It's funny how sometimes we come across exactly what we need in life.

I'm hoping for a slow news holiday season.

darleene said...

Sometimes the stories that seem the most piddly are the ones that carry you through the rest of the year. I once did a story about a cat stuck in a palm tree. At first, I couldn't believe my editor was sending me AND A PHOTOGRAPHER out to it, but it turned out to be so much fun and so unbelievably cute, that I still remember it fondly. I can't use it in my portfolio or in my clip packet, but I'll remember that cat named Target forever.