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blow that horn!
June 8, 2010 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Stadiums in South Africa are currently resounding with the riotous blare of the vuvuzela. And while most of the folks making their joyous noise in the stadiums will be doing so in a basically random fashion, this vuvuzela ensemble is demonstrating the funky hocketing technique that is a feature of certain strains of traditional African music, played for centuries on horns very much like these modern-day plastic versions. Well, anyway, like the shoe ads almost say, just blow it.
posted by flapjax at midnite (49 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
A lot is being made of the South African team's home-field advantage. But I doubt the permanent hearing loss the players are about to suffer will help their game in the long term.
posted by Jimbob at 7:24 PM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Paul Mirengoff:
The World Cup begins on Friday. Between now and then, as time permits, I will speculate about what we might expect from the tournament. But one thing is clear already - this will be he most annoying World Cup in memory.

That's because fans from the host country - South Africa - will insist on blowing horns throughout the full 90-plus minutes of each and every match. We know this because they did it during the Confederations Cup, a dress-rehearsal for the World Cup that was held in South Africa last summer.

The sound made by the plastic horns is dreadful. ...
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:49 PM on June 8, 2010


I still like to pretend that a giant bee is about to attack, but it's nice to learn what that noise actually is. Thanks!
posted by spec80 at 8:04 PM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


They seriously make them games near unwatchable. I was hoping they would ban them from the stadiums after suffering through the Confederations Cup.

Oh God, the sound of the tiny ones that sound like a baby crying, there is no sound that could possibly be more annoying.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:18 PM on June 8, 2010


(the games)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:19 PM on June 8, 2010


I wonder about the history of those things. Exactly the same kind of plastic horns are a feature of Quebec's winter carnival.
posted by zadcat at 8:32 PM on June 8, 2010


furiousxgeorge, I liked "them games", but then, I'm from Alabama...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:34 PM on June 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


The first time I watched a game like that, it was awful. My jaw hung open the whole time. I could not believe they were permitting it to go on. But I have to admit, I no longer even notice the damned things. You really can get used to them.
posted by popechunk at 8:47 PM on June 8, 2010


Even when you aren't annoyed by the sound anymore you are left with the fact that it drowns out the singing, which is actually enjoyable to listen to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:53 PM on June 8, 2010


I used to have a similar horn in the 1980s at CFL games.
posted by smcniven at 9:05 PM on June 8, 2010


Vuvuzela : soccer :: Thundersticks : The reason I stopped going to Angels games in Anaheim.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:10 PM on June 8, 2010


Even when you aren't annoyed by the sound anymore you are left with the fact that it drowns out the singing, which is actually enjoyable to listen to.

On the flipside, it also drowns out the announcers, so it balances out.

kidding. anyone using the dreadful vuvuzelas deserves to die a thousand deaths. Despite what popechunk says, I cannot fathom getting used to them. And I've watched a lot of these games.
posted by inigo2 at 10:09 PM on June 8, 2010


These things move in trends, so soon enough the vuvuzelas will be forgotten and another noisemaker will take its place. I can only hope the next one will be slide whistles. Imagine the cacophony generated by 60,000 of these.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:13 PM on June 8, 2010


Football is being murdered and the Vuvuzela is the weapon. They need to be banned, seriously.

Did you know there's a newly constructed 35-metre giant vuvuzela in Cape Town? That honks on command? Motherf.

(Photo courtesy of CNN's Kim Newsome)
posted by mr.marx at 12:14 AM on June 9, 2010


On what grounds do you people propose to ban them?
posted by brokkr at 1:39 AM on June 9, 2010


When driving through Germany in April, I noticed ads at Shell service station offering a plastic "Vuvuzela" horn, advertised as something like "the original sound of South Africa". Being somewhat of a cynic and not acquainted with football fandom practice, it didn't occur to me that the cheap-looking pieces of plastic could be authentically South African in heritage; I thought that they were a standard football-match noisemaker with a pseudo-African name thought up by an ad agency attached to it.

In Britain, however, they're sold as a "vuvu horn", presumably the word "vuvuzela" is too intimidatingly foreign for monolingual Britons?
posted by acb at 2:31 AM on June 9, 2010


On what grounds do you people propose to ban them?

Well you can't even scratch your arse when you're a golf or tennis spectator, for fear of distracting the players, so I'm sure there's a way.
posted by Jimbob at 4:30 AM on June 9, 2010


On what grounds do you people propose to ban them?

I propose to ban them on the grounds that the "Blow Your Vuvuzela" minute at noon today turned into a "I'm Gonna Be Forced To Disembowel You" half-hour, accompanied by cold sweats and heart palpitations.

Can wait for Friday when it gets serious, and they actually try out that damned giant one. Seriously, these things are an incitement to violence.

Though I may be caught funneling beer outta one and vuvuing another once the madness starts.
posted by bryn at 4:53 AM on June 9, 2010


Might there be a quality issue here, acb? Vuvu horn from Argos, £1.99 Vuvuzela from Amazon.co.uk, £7.50

It all reminds me of the era back in the sixties (?) when klaxons were the thing, especially in Europe and at every match there was this continuous loud drone which started up long before kick-off and persisted throughout.

Of course in the old days it was wooden rattles, I well remember how one day....
posted by Phanx at 5:01 AM on June 9, 2010


I like them.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:39 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mine is made from a kudu horn. I rarely sound it, but sometimes, it does a body good.
posted by Goofyy at 6:03 AM on June 9, 2010


Jimbob: "Well you can't even scratch your arse when you're a golf or tennis spectator, for fear of distracting the players, so I'm sure there's a way."

Fine, so you're proposing banning all spectator noise?

The klaxons of the 80'es were banned because they are - like emergency flares - only for use in case of immediate danger.
posted by brokkr at 6:12 AM on June 9, 2010


On what grounds do you people propose to ban them?

Fine, so you're proposing banning all spectator noise?

I don't remember players and coaches coming out to voice their concern that spectators singing would affect their ability to communicate like they have with the vuvuzelas.
posted by inigo2 at 6:17 AM on June 9, 2010


In Britain, however, they're sold as a "vuvu horn", presumably the word "vuvuzela" is too intimidatingly foreign for monolingual Britons?

Yes, and you can see how "vuvu horn" is a judicious compromise between "vuvuzela" and "vuvu cor blimey luv tea-and-crumpetophone," the original proposal.
posted by No-sword at 6:17 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


And fwiw, not everyone in South Africa likes them, either -- “Nothing Kills the Joy of Soccer Like a Bunch of Wailing Vuvuzelas”. (via nytimes)
posted by inigo2 at 6:19 AM on June 9, 2010


There will be no curbing of South Africa’s raucous vuvuzela fan trumpets during the World Cup despite earlier concerns their din could drown out emergency announcements, organisers said on Tuesday.
posted by mr.marx at 7:41 AM on June 9, 2010


Here's the guy to blame:

The Sunward Park World Cup Youth Press Team interview South Africa's "Mr Vuvuzela", from Tembisa, South Africa as part of the iSchoolAfrica World Cup Youth Press Team project.
posted by mr.marx at 7:43 AM on June 9, 2010


On what grounds do you people propose to ban them?

Beacause you can't hear people singing and cheering, and that SUCKS.

And the players have trouble communicating.
posted by mr.marx at 7:51 AM on June 9, 2010


I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by the sound of the vuvuzela. I don't think FIFA has quite thought this all the way through if they don't significantly reduce their use in the upcoming World Cup.

For the first time that I can ever recall, there's a reasonable buzz in the US around participating in the World Cup. For example, I actually know when it is. ESPN is trying hard, and apparently succeeding, to build that buzz since they've presumably paid a great deal of money to air them. They've gone so far as to put up stats and such during their popular Mike and Mike in the Morning program just like they do for the NFL.

Football shares with Baseball the beauty that it's perfect background viewing. The pace is slow enough that you can do other things while keeping one ear on the game. To my ear, the vuvuzela ruins this aspect.

Like furiousxgeorge, my enjoyment of the Confederation Cup was negatively impacted by the incessant buzz of the vuvuzela. I worry that people will get excited to watch, especially since the U.S. team has a chance to do well, and then be turned off the the sound of the horns. People in the U.S. are only just coming around to the World Passtime. It would be a shame for it to be nipped in the bud by a cheap plastic noisemaker.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:31 AM on June 9, 2010


Haven't we got the technology to do some sort of noise-cancelling on this these days?
posted by Phanx at 8:46 AM on June 9, 2010


Do soccer players really use verbal communication on the field anyway? The pitch is so large; how could they hear each other even if they banned the horns?

I'm American, and I watched the Confederation Cup on TV, and I wasn't turned off by the sounds. You got used to it, and I think the way they did the sound levels in the broadcast, they weren't that loud to my ear.
posted by bluefly at 8:51 AM on June 9, 2010


Football shares with Baseball the beauty that it's perfect background viewing. The pace is slow enough that you can do other things while keeping one ear on the game.

What? That means you're doing it wrong. Football is not just about the goals. But to each his own I guess.

Do soccer players really use verbal communication on the field anyway?

All the time. If players in a team don't shout and talk to each other, like constantly, that's a tell tale sign that there's something wrong with the team.
posted by mr.marx at 9:09 AM on June 9, 2010


There will be no curbing of South Africa’s raucous vuvuzela fan trumpets during the World Cup despite earlier concerns their din could drown out emergency announcements, organisers said on Tuesday.

Sad news. This will probably ruin the World Cup for me.
posted by L'OM at 9:19 AM on June 9, 2010


Football shares with Baseball the beauty that it's perfect background viewing. The pace is slow enough that you can do other things while keeping one ear on the game.


Huh? In baseball you can leave the TV for five minutes at a time and there will literally be no action on the field. Between innings there are minutes of commercials and when a team changes a pitcher it gives on enough time to run down to the corner taco bell and get lunch.

Soccer seldom stops for more than a few seconds and the only way to avoid missing a score is by wating for half time.

And slow? What level footie you been watching?
posted by DieHipsterDie at 10:57 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


From that first Youtube clip: "There is, of course, the smaller variety which sounds like a duck on speed..."

Nice to see that South Africa's TV news is just as messed up as what we get.
posted by tapeguy at 11:50 AM on June 9, 2010


Rara in Haiti.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:07 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I mean slow only in the sense that in my experience viewing top-level football matches there are long stretches spent kicking the ball back and forth across the mid-field while the teams each try to gain a positional advantage that will give them an opportunity to shoot on the goal. Then again, perhaps I'm making a mistake by watching the ball and should instead be looking at the players farther up-field.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:14 AM on June 10, 2010


Watching, at this moment, the introduction to the South Africa / Mexico game. All the vuvuzela's are tuned to the same damn note! They should have varied it a bit so we got a serious minor third.
posted by Jimbob at 6:56 AM on June 11, 2010


I'll note for the record that, at least on the feed ESPN was using for the opening game this morning, the vuvuzela noise wasn't unbearable.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:34 AM on June 11, 2010


FIFA won't ban vuvuzelas from World Cup
posted by desjardins at 9:20 AM on June 14, 2010


What with the US Open set to begin, I will suggest that the ubiquitous selfish piles of excrement that shriek "In the hole!" one nanosecond after any golfer's club touches the ball to be a far worse detriment than the easily ignored vuvuzela's. It has nothing to do with being a fan, as the golfers hate it; nothing to do with helping out, home crowd style - like the "12th man" at Seattle Seahawk's games or...welll, many American football home crowds, really. It's merely drunks screeching in the attempt to get on television. If you want to ban horrible fan behavior, start right there.

And how come Americans think it's fine for the home team crowd in American football to hoot it up to deafen the opposing team's offense, but suddenly are all concerned that soccer teams can't communicate with each other. I'm American, and I don't like soccer nearly as much as American football, but , jeez, recognize your own bias, at least.
posted by umberto at 2:10 PM on June 16, 2010


It's cheating to use a trumpet.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:38 PM on June 16, 2010


umberto, I think a part of it is that soccer crowds often sound excellent, with the songs they sing for example. The way the Australian national anthem was sung before the Australia v. Germany game kicked the arse off the way I've ever heard it sung before any "Australian" sport at home. I guess I'm actually not that much against them - they haven't actually bothered me during any game I've watched so far. I guess I with they were just used with a bit more discipline. At critical moments, rather than as a constant buzz
posted by Jimbob at 7:04 PM on June 16, 2010


Not just an annoying sound, now an annoying meme.

Vuvuzela Twitter.

LOTR.

Vuvuzela sheet music.

Vuvuzela Hero.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:32 AM on June 17, 2010


I wonder about the history of those things. Exactly the same kind of plastic horns are a feature of Quebec's winter carnival.

This company claims to have been making their collapsible version of the Winter Carnival Trumpet for more than 30 years, and I seem to remember them available at Canadian fairgrounds as far back as the late 60's, though I can't find any supporting links for that history.

However, this infographic shows them being invented in 1965 in Africa as a modification of a rubber bulb bicycle horn. This aluminum version is claimed to have been invented by Freddie "Saddam" Maake and later in 1989 converted to plastic for security concerns.
posted by fairmettle at 3:06 AM on June 22, 2010


Vuvuzelas ruin everything.
posted by jbickers at 10:29 AM on June 24, 2010


South African Vuvuzela Philharmonic Angered By Soccer Games Breaking Out During Concerts
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on June 24, 2010


The Fellowship of the Vuvuzela
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on June 24, 2010


Hey, has anyone else noticed that all youtube videos now come with a vuvuzela option?
posted by ook at 7:52 AM on June 25, 2010


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