14 June, 2010

The vuvuzela

The locals in South Africa like to use a plastic horn called the vuvuzela at football matches when supporting their – or anyone else’s – team. It produces a loud, buzzing sort of noise, apparently in B flat, like Haydn’s Symphony No. 98.

Maybe they blow it when they are not supporting a team – I don’t really care.

The French captain Patrice (I hope I’ve got the name right) Evra, from Dakar, says it puts him off when playing and that he can’t sleep for hearing it outside his hotel room. The main complaint is from the media, who haven’t got sufficiently targeted microphones, and say it interrupts their broadcasts.

BBC News wasted taxpayers’ money on an ‘expert’ who said it could be bad for your ears!

There are calls to ban it, as you might expect, as with any bit of fun; the new regulator class is like that, and the expert is what Marx called a ‘useful idiot’.

In cricket the West Indies have steel bands, blow horns and play reggae. It livens things up and it is the excitement of this atmosphere which gets young people to support the game.

During the last football world cup I was on a drive down through Italy and every time Italy scored all the lorry drivers leant on their horns – they had the radio on in the cab. It was deafening, probably a danger to traffic, but what the hell! I like a bit of local colour and a bit of noise. Did they think Soweto was going to be the same as Zurich?

Lighten up. I wish I had a vuvuzela here. For when England play Italy in the final (OK, OK)

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