Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Sound of Music

Fifty years ago, two days ago to be precise, the film version of The Sound of Music debuted. It became, arguably, one of the most cherished films worldwide. Heck, even my Jewish high school, the Yeshiva of Flatbush, arranged an outing into Manhattan so we could see the novitiate nun-cum-governess-cum-wife and her once brooding widower-employer-cum-husband outsmart the Nazis by leading the Von Trapp family on a climb over that mountain leading to Switzerland. For many in my class it might have been their first exposure, albeit by celluloid, to the insides of a church and the black clad ladies who toiled within. 

Anyway, it’s merely a coincidence that The Sound of Music is being celebrated this week. I’ve brought it up because of an interview Gilda and I heard Wednesday morning as we drove to Manhattan. The Outlook program on BBC World Service talked with Joanne Milne of Gateshead, England. For the first 39 years of her life, Milne was deaf. Last March, after cochlear implants were inserted into her head, she was able to finally hear (

Among the first sounds she heard was Imagine, the John Lennon song. Which made me wonder, what music, what song, would I have chosen for that intoxicating, unimaginable moment? I immediately thought of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, perhaps because it was the alma mater theme of Camp Columbia, the camp, incidentally, I attended when The Sound of Music premiered in 1965. 

If you’re so inclined, let me know what music you would have picked.

Speaking of Sounds: Did anyone else who watched Bibi Netanyahu’s speech to Congress Tuesday notice a loud thud just as the Israeli prime minister completed his first reference to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons? To his credit, Netanyahu didn’t react. He simply plowed ahead with his dissertation. 

Speaking of Thuds: While writing this blog at my desk Wednesday morning I was startled by a loud thud coming from the window behind me. A large clump of snow had fallen from the roof above to the roof of our extended dining room. It also bent a gutter out of shape. Comparatively speaking, that’s little damage from this winter of non-stop agony. Oh, the joys of being a homeowner!

Where’s the Outrage? In the last few days we’ve been treated to revelations that Hillary Clinton used a private email account while she was secretary of state, leading to a continuous barrage by Republicans that she was undermining the integrity of her office and the country.

At the same time there was nary a word from them about a more troubling disclosure, that former General and ex-CIA director David Petraeus will plead guilty to illegally providing classified secrets to his mistress, that he lied to the FBI and that he left national secrets in his home (