Wednesday, 31 July 2013

TV News Cameraman And The Demonstration Dilemma.

As a TV News Cameraman, i sometimes find myself in a dilemma as to whether i agree or disagree with the situations i find people in. Some people deserve all they get. Some deserve sympathy, justice or community support. Some, shall i say, deserve a ferocious kick in the bollocks... I am meant to be impartial, but sometimes i find myself falling off the fence into one camp or the other despite my job of just recording the facts as i see them.

Let them eat cake... So said Marie Antionette as the peasants starved for lack of bread. She was quite possibly thinking of the local tv cameraman when she uttered those words, for there is nothing that makes a cameraman hungrier and happier, than a good old fashioned demonstration against the local bean counting government and their allegedly corrupt, insidious ways.

Having run out of red paint, one protester resorted to the less effective blue...

Hastily painted placards spouting bile, disgust and legally dubious moral indignity are thrust toward my camera. My microphone records the fact that there is no doubt the local council are planning to leave the good people of this parish to die horribly in a rat infested, sewage filled ditch, having ignored their protestations.

I'm inclined to agree. For whilst covering the vocal outpouring of the oppressed masses for the local TV news, we interviewed the council leader... A whole hour before the peasantry turned up, allowing him to scuttle inside the council buildings before things turned nasty and poetic.

I guess local councillors have thinner skin than they used to, for he avoided any face to face involvement with the great unwashed and sidestepped anything too serious put to him. I guess in the time honoured fashion of the British demonstrator, someone may have tutted at him, raised an eyebrow in contempt or, if things got really out of hand, throw a soft, tasty, cream infused confection at him. Either way, he was gone before they turned up to voice their opinion.

It turns out that the decision had already been made.

Being a demo against the demolition of a local arts building, poems were read, roll up cigarettes were smoked, colourful clothing fluttered in the light breeze and fuzzy beards were stroked in contemplation of losses to the world of local artistry. Arts buildings will be bulldozed to be replaced by luxury two bed apartments. Someone around here will make a lot of cash.

'Qu'ils mangent de la brioche' was the original French quote from a lady who had no idea of the suffering of the starving populace...

Food and bread are no longer an overwhelming problem to the vast majority of us Westerners, we have bread and cake. (At the moment) What we do need is culture, community and a sense of place, not just places to cram in more and more people. So we must find a new famous phrase to be uttered by an out of touch (Democratically elected) bean counter for the huddled, oppressed masses of the downtrodden local artisans, who have nowhere to go...

'Let them knit cardigans...' No, No, No... Hang on, Here you go...

'Can't they just buy a painting..?'

No, Mr Councilman, they can't, all the local artists have moved away, given up and no longer produce local goods, provide culture and teach the young for the benefit of the community they live and work in. Local kiddie theatre, music workshops and coffee mornings be damned... There's money to be made. On the upside though, there will soon be a lovely luxury apartment for sale, yours for £299.959.00. What a bargain.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

www.media-attention.co.uk