In Celebration of the Vuvuzela

How very dare you, you sick fucking cunts!!!

There’s a buzz about the 2010 World Cup. The constantly wavering hum of the vuvuzela. More swarm of angry bees than musical instrument.

I’m quite amazed. Just when you though the FIFA World Cup was a homogeneous and sterile experience that would be the same in any city, in any continent, changing only over time with the desires & technological capabilities of the very many vested interests, such as Coca-Cola & Adidas… Just when you thought that was the case, here is something, some little tiny sensory invasion, that offers the difference that is promised in a World Cup but never delivered.

Rejoice! Rejoice? Television broadcasters, corporate sponsors, audiences and – amongst others – the frankly pathetic French national team want vuvuzelas banned from stadiums. And the World Cup organisers are considering it. But these lot are exactly the kind of distant power sources I thought us little people are meant to “reclaim” football from…

There is a lot of lazy fairytale talk amongst football fans about the game being, in essence, “ours”. Ignoring the historical problems of whether this has even been the case, there is a latent feeling that we have a right – as normal fans, whatever that is – to take football back. From the Glazers, the Murdochs, the Blatters and other pantomime figureheads of contemporary footballing hierarchy.

And yet it would seem that the majority of romanticist armchair-fairytale football fandom and it’s hierarchal masters/servants (delete as appropriate to your own view on simple pluralism) agree on the Sonic Plague of the Vuvuzela.

But I say, Gods Save The Vuvuzela!

My reasons? (1) We are lucky to be made to feel uncomfortable watching football on television. It’s a vulnerable position. There’s little else in the world that can so tempt me into such an open sluice of repeated attacks of advertising like football can. I suppose because it ensnared me, and most of us, in youth. Nostalgia. Knee-jerk romanticism. You’ve got my balls in a vice-like grip. The ease of consuming football leaves you openmouthed to the sluice. Yum.

(2) FIFA et al. got what they wanted. Or claimed what they wanted. They said they want the colours and sounds and happy poverty smiles of the negroes. They wanted this to be Africa’s World Cup. But the first hint of the developed world’s media and rape industries getting upset at the slightest hint of heterodoxy and it’s time to wipe that beaming I-can-beat-AIDS smile off that filthy negro face. Well done FIFA. Well done postmodernity. Well done all. Enjoy your identikit world and identikit megaevents. For me the vuvuzela should be merely the beginning. For you, you want it to be the continuation of the end. Or something that feels – and sounds – like the end.

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6 Comments

Filed under 2010 World Cup, Art, Culture, Football, Rebellion, Ritual, Sociology, Sport, Vuvuzela

6 responses to “In Celebration of the Vuvuzela

  1. Reznuk

    I’ve realised while watching Serbia v Ghana what it is that I don’t like about the vuvuzelas – they actually kill the atmosphere. Oh sure, they make lots of ‘sound’ but atmosphere is not all about sound. Football is a game off ebbs and flows, of oohs and aahs, great play is cheered, foul play is booed, the atmosphere is produced out of this constantly changing landscape (or should that be soundscape). And the vuvuzelas kill that stone dead. It is almost impossible to tell what is happening on the field (as you normally can). They drown the soundscape and render it powerless to excite, to thrill, to lift and fill the spectator. That’s why I don’t like them – they’re killing the football.

  2. This from a comment on a Guardian article on the subject:

    “Having attended a game in Cape Town (France vs. Uruguay), I can absolutely assure you that there is very definitely a crescendo in noise level that corresponds to action on the pitch. When Thierry Henry came on for Anelka, he got a massive cheer and vuvuzela salute – it was amazing. Sadly it was probably the highlight of a very dull game. You should be so lucky that South Africans like to create an atmosphere despite not being given anything to cheer by the players. The Uruguay fans were banging drums and chanting – which I could hear clearly in the stadium.

    If we can put men on the moon, surely we can find a way of recording sound that properly reflects that sound in the stadium?”

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  4. Reznuk

    Funnily enough, watching the Germany v Australia match tonight, it was clear from the commentary that the commentators were hearing that variation in noise levels – great. Sadly (and I’m sure you’ll have “a view” on this), you can’t tell that differentiation on the TV or radio. In the stadium great, via media outlets, nada. So, take your choice. As I’m not able to be there, the vuvuzelas annoy me mightily.

  5. It’s the faux-fans. They jump on the bandwagon with no understanding of the beautiful game.

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