minute 56

When I tried to think of something for this minute I came across various ideas. For one, there was the idea to give the minute a new soundtrack because this one, frankly, struck me as weird and disconcerting. There were some songs I thought would fit, like “Goodbye Cruel World” by Pink Floyd, or “The Dogs of War”, also by them. Both songs would have brought across some kind of criticism on war. So I looked for programs to bring the music and the clip into accordance. But when I watched the new clips over and over again I wasn’t satisfied with either. It just didn’t suit my purpose. “Goodbye Cruel World”, since it is a very slow piece, just did not fit with the paratroopers flickering all over the screen, and “The Dogs of War” was too long to match it to the short clip in a way that would still convey the effect I wanted to achieve.
So I gave up that project and thought of going back to good old story writing. After all, that would be quite easy since the clip is pretty straightforward. Or is it?
I went through several ideas of how to structure the whole thing. First I considered writing from the perspective of a military official sitting in his base, observing the operation he had ordered while the paratroopers are risking their lives. But the idea struck me as boring. My next idea was to continue the adventurer story from my first clip. So he survived his trip to the desert and, surprise, he did not refrain from searching for a new challenge. And what would be more thrilling and life threatening than to partake in a military intervention as a mere civilian? Yeah, right. I mean, there are crazy people out there, but would any military operative allow that? Hardly. So goodbye to that one.
Lastly there was the idea of describing the whole thing from the view of the paratrooper. I wanted to describe his feelings. Maybe he’d think of how pointless all of this is, that so many men down there would die, that maybe he would die, that there are countless numbers of wives and children waiting for their husbands to return – in vain. I wanted to bring across that war is really a bad, pointless undertaking. I wondered what other people think about it and looked up some quotations concerning war.
And there was one quotation that changed my mind as to my story: “Neither enemy faces, nor the mothers that love them, come to mind when one is thinking of nothing but endeavouring to survive. Philosophising about war is useless under fire.” It’s by Linda Berdoll from Mr. Darcy takes a Wife. I thought she was right. Someone who is in the middle of war will hardly think of anything else but survival.
Of course I still could have written something about war, death and life, and I’m sure it would have suited our overall topic of decay just fine, but to what end? Now I’m sitting here, wondering where my inspiration went. I usually find something to write, no matter how far-fetched it might seem.
When I watched the clip for the first time I was pretty sure about what I would do. And now, after inventing and discarding ideas, I’m left with none but this one, and the funniest thing about it is that this is exactly what I did not want to do.

Claudia Elsdörfer