Monthly Archives: June 2010

Vuvuzelas : Hutesium et Clamor

Vuvuzela, a highly effective english repellent

Hutesium et clamor : latin for a horn and shouting, known in common english as ” Hue and Cry” is an apt term for the current  outrage over the vuvuzelas which in my eyes is typical western behaviour towards native customs around the world. We have heard plenty of opinions on how vuvezelas, traditional metre long south african trumpets, cause deafness, or are generally ruining the beautiful game for the western audience. Everyone, from Scottish MPs to the BBC has voiced her or her opinion on the horns whose sound has been likened to the drone of bees or the crying of an elephant. As is expected of them, the english press has its panties in a particulerly tight bunch regarding the trumpets. The BBC says it has received 545 complaints (WOW, what a huge number) regarding the din on the telly. If I were in the BBC handling complaints I would do a quick send all telling these nincompoops to turn their volume down. The vuvuzela may be 130 db ( potentially, not always. This is another study on distortion of facts) but when you view it on your telly, its only as loud as your bloody settings. Toby Young, the writer of such books as ” How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” furthers his cause by writing this screed and I quote

“If this tournament is to be rescued, Fifa needs to ban the vuvuzela straight away. In a typically wet response, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has refused to entertain any such requests, saying “we should not try to europeanise an African World Cup”. So it’s racist to try and prevent a stadium sounding like a traffic jam is it? What balls, not least because the majority of people blowing the vuvuzelas in the stadiums are the visiting fans. Like Blatter, they think it’s the “African” thing to do.”

This is the equivalent of telling Indians to tone down the dhol during cricket matches coz the english team can’t hear their 3 supporters cheering for them. Thankfully the african response ( and the official FIFA line) has been a big “fuck you”. Some british doctors have gone on to suggest that the vuvuzelas expose their genial football fans who don’t posses any diseases, venereal or otherwise, to such life threatening conditions such as the cold and the flu. How, I don’t quite know but I can recommend that the english fans avoid large crowds to prevent such afflictions sell those tickers and stay home. It would be even better if they were to stop breathing at all, isnt that how you get this disease in the first place? They should also drink plenty of beer, a flu cant bother you when your kidneys and your liver are already dead, innit mate?

The most damning evidence against the vuvuzela come from Phonak, read on to know who they are, 

 “They can promote hearing loss. The obnoxious sound, commonly described to as a swarm of bees, permeating your TV viewing experience has been studied by health organizations including the global initiative Hear-the-World, created by Phonak, a hearing technology company. Hear-the World noted the vuvuzela “emits an ear-piercing noise of 127 decibels – louder than a lawnmower (90 decibels) and a chainsaw (100 decibels).” “Extended exposure at just 85 decibels puts us at a risk of permanent noise induced hearing loss. When subjected to 100 decibels or more, hearing damage can occur in just 15 minutes.” Hear the World conducted a study with the “most popular football fan instruments” worldwide and found the vuvuzela is the worst noise polluter but others are not far behind:

1st place: Vuvuzela 127 dB

2nd place: Air-horn 123.6 dB

3rd place: Samba drum 122.2 dB

4th place: Referee whistle 121.8 dB

5th place: 2 fans singing 121.6 dB

6th place: Gas horn 121.4 dB

7th place: Cowbell 114.9 dB

8th place: Wooden rattle 108.2 dB

9th place: Inflatable Fan-Sticks 99.1 dB”

Do you see the conflict of interest? Phonak makes hearing aids! That said, the list does throw up interesting points, the western air horn, referees whistle and 2 fans singing (curiously) are not very far behind. In the interest of english fans who wish to hear the “oohs and the aahs” ( that’s what they’ll hear anyway in english game, the team gives you no cause to celebrate) we should ban referees and fans who wish to sing as well. Fact is that the vuvuzelas and the consequent exposure to noise is no more than that which would ensue in a concert or at any local nightclub down in Broad street. I hate to use the word racial, but that is what it is western insensitivity and abhorrence of all things alien to their tiny closeted cultures. As for me, I quite like the sound of vuvuzelas. without them the matches would be silent boring affairs, the din is lively, though I will admit it is rather tuneless, it has energy which is contagious and makes dull games enjoyable as well. it certainly appears to my indian sentimentality or my Punjabi nature for loudness. To all haters of the vuvuzelas, go fly a kite.

On the other hand I do support a ban on vuvuzelas , just to rob the english of an obvious excuse when their team gets knocked out early, which they eventually will be.

 On an unrelated note, I do have bones to pick with that shakira song “waka waka” .last time i heard that phrase I was playing a certain game called pacman so it makes no sense to me. I am not a big fan of manufactured hype songs with supposed messages and they almost always get my goat. and yeah Shakira isn’t even african, so…nevermind.

 Here are some pieces on the vuvuzelas for your reading pleasure, one in favour and some against.

If you like, you can also blow your own vuvuzela here

 See you guys later, apologies for not posting anything in the recent past.