Sound of Music, part I.

After months of moaning and groaning, I finally sent off the Netflix movies we had, and today Sound of Music came in the mail. So Annie and I started watching it, with a plate of too-expensive cheeses and bread. (Chapel Hill Creamery, for the record, makes an excellent Asiago.)

A number of things I noted:

1) The Rogers and Hammerstein Maria is actually kind of sarcastic. This shouldn’t be surprising, since the real Maria Von Trapp was, well, a bitch. Apparently she made the lives of her stepchildren miserable. She was a controlling woman. Yes, she could strum a guitar, but that’s about it.

2) I didn’t remember that Liesl’s dress (you remember her, 16 going on 17) has these strange rolls at the waist. Looks like she’s been a little heavy-handed with the strudel.

3) The Baroness seems like a pretty stand-up gal. No, she’s not hyperactive like Maria, but she’s really okay. Good steady mother material. What’s the big deal??

4) I’d never noticed before what a jerk the Captain is. He’s a bona fide loser. He’s outlawed singing in his shipshape household and calls the children with personalized whistles. The first time we see him is when the irrepressible Maria is dancing with an imaginary partner in the ballroom; he throws open the door and cuts short the merriment. (I’m drawing a few parallels here with which I won’t burden the datasphere.) When he enters the room, party’s over. It’s totally depressing.

I’d like to explore the whistle motif a bit more. I understand Georg is a retired sea captain (in real life, it was something of a tragedy how he lost his good reputation). But the whistles! He wants to give Maria her own personal whistle. She says no, emphatically. She says whistles are for dogs, not women and children. It reminds me of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, which was a huge catalyst for the first Women’s Movement, circa 1900. The book, which I love dearly, is an anthropomorphic account of the trials of a horse. The clear parallels between the treatment of animals and the treatment of women were ultra incendiary in 1877 when it came out. This is powerful stuff here . I’m getting a little overwrought.

Intermission: I’ve changed my mind. I am so clearly Maria. Also the Baroness. Ashley is Georg. I am very, very distressed. More later when I’m feeling better.


  • Chicken wrote:

    Just remember…nobody solves a problem like Maria.

  • For number 2 you are snarky.

  • LHuthsing wrote:

    I first saw SOM with my family with I was 10 years old. I was crying as we left the theater. “What’s the matter?” they asked me. “Why doesn’t anything exciting like that ever happen to us?” I sobbed.

    I think this was a little after my father was briefly held at a military outpost in the remote Andes under the impression he was linked to Che Guevarra, who was known to be traveling through the area at the time. And about 6 years later we had to leave home quickly and quietly because we heard that members of the nascent Shining Path terrorists were coming up from the city, to our house, under the impression we were linked to the CIA. Hmmm.

    For some time after seeing SOM I wanted to be a nun (I still like the idea).Instead I got the 7 children. 😉

    One theory of mine is that we tend to fall in love with someone for their personality traits and then later those same traits grate on us. I’ll bet you anything Ashley fell for your carefree, happy approach to life (and needs it in his life) and that you fell in love with him for his apparent ability to take charge of things (or perhaps something else) and it’s grating on you now. I have to tell myself that I fell in love with that trait that’s bothering me at the moment.

    Congratulations on your blog! Are comments this long allowed?

  • Sarah Pohlig wrote:

    Laura, comments that long and interesting are ALWAYS allowed!
    You know, I’d heard you tell that story once.. or maybe Dad told me. Shining Path! That is WILD! You really did get seven children! But you’re much better than the real Maria Von Trapp. She was domineering and controlling.
    I want to hear more about your escape from SP terrorists.

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