Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



As you know, I have been anxiously awaiting the start of the WORLD CUP SOCCER TOURNAMENT for months. For me, it began last Friday at 8:30 am (Pacific Daylight Time), when I got into my car to drive to work. I tuned in the radio to get an update on the first game between MEXICO and host nation SOUTH AFRICA. Unfortunately, it seemed there was some odd static on AM1050, a local sports radio station. I tried to adjust the knob, only to realize it was digitally locked on. No matter how I tried, I couldn't seem to get rid of that odd buzzing sound. The next day, when I turned on the TV to catch the USA / ENGLAND match, there it was again! What could it be?

Like the other TWO BILLION people tuning into catch the BEST SPORTING EVENT EVER, my ears were being subject to the sound of the VUVUZELA horn. It's about three feet long, made of plastic, and emits only one note: B-flat. The word is Zulu for "making a vu-vu noise." For decades, it has been a favorite of South African fans, who have apparently purchased 99% of stadium seats. While THEY may be used to the monotonous instrument, the rest of the world is not. Visiting announcers are the most enraged. A WASHINGTON POST reporter called the sound a "deafening swarm of locusts" while the LONDON TIMES thought it sounded like "a goat on its way to slaughter."

But the VUVUZELA is proving to be more than an inconvenience. Players complain that the constant noise interferes with their ability to communicate with the coach and teammates. Portugal's CRISTIANO RONALDO (Google his photo, ladies. He's...like...fine!) said this and French striker PATRICE EVRA blamed the VUVUZELA for his team's poor performance. Worse yet, many feel the horns are a public safety issue. Organizers worry the 127 decibel noise (ten decibels louder than a referee's whistle) emitted by the horns would make it impossible for spectators to hear emergency announcements in the event of an evacuation.

The international soccer body, FIFA, heard the complaints and made a stand on the controversy. Spokesperson Sepp Blatter defended the VUVUZELA stating: "I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound. I don't see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?" So it looks like the VUVUZELA is here to stay. It just seems sad that such a historic event won't be remembered as a 'bridging of cultures' in a 'mis-understood continent.' Nope, it'll be remembered by a very annoying BBBBBBBUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Oh...by the way...there is a new GIRL GROUP called 'Las Vuvuzelas.' Google their photo, guys. They're...like...totally hot!

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