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Saturday, 12 June 2010

Horny


.

match: World Cup 2010 South Africa



So here we go again. From some rooms away, indeed from some houses away, even city blocks, the sounds of the 2010 World Cup. What IS that sound? An angry swarm of hornets raging in a tunnel at rush hour as traffic roars past? Heavy construction in an echo chamber? Hyper-amped guitar feedback bouncing off the hull of a submarine? Stampeding elephants trumpeting non-stop? Diesel trucks blasting air horns? The white noise at the edge of the universe? A dental drill miked up at high volume blasting a root canal beyond the edge of the universe?

A cracking good game, the opener. A skillful Mexico side pinging the ball around midfield in neat triangulations with precision passes and inventive movements yet managing not to score, like a veritable second coming of Arsenal. (The presence of Carlos Vela helped enforce this impression). A rougher South Africa side proving dangerous on the counter; Mexico showing vulnerability, exposed at the back; a wonder goal for the host nation to please the world; Mexico bringing on their best attacking players, retaliating; wonderful spirited play all round.

And those horns. Never stopping. A continuous honking traffic rush-hour din, drowning out thought. Without reference to what is happening on the pitch. Blaring, droning, frenzied, unselective, all in the name of universal madness.

The one moment when the cacophony ebbed came in the wake of South Africa's goal, which produced a different wash of sound, a pure joy not farted out through three feet of plastic.

In the goal celebration below, you will see a number of vuvuzelas at half mast. This must mean the one thing that can stop the horns is a South Africa goal.

Score, Bafana Bafana, score!



footy match: World Cup 2010 South Africa




South Africa 1 Mexico 1: opening match of 2010 World Cup
: photos by Tom Jenkins via the Guardian


15 comments:

aditya said...

I already commented on Uncoiling about this noise. It is maddening.

I am already having a hard time keeping my mind on the field. I have always liked the chants. But this noise is leaving me de-spirited.

TC said...

There was the question whether the din might taper off when other nations are playing.

But it went on again today at top volume all the way through Argentina/Nigeria.

About twenty minutes into the first half there came about thirty seconds of singing, but soon enough those attempting to sing were drowned out, their chants overwhelmed by a new frenzy of honking and blaring.

Perhaps a point was being made, and if so, it was not lost on me.

Lio Messi moved across the top of the box with dangerous intent, turned and got off a quick lethal shot that drew a full extension save from the Nigeria keeper.... and there was no change in the volume of the noise.

Seba Veron kicked a ball into touch, dead time ensued, the horns droned on.

AJP Crown said...

I remember when I lived in New York and Italy won the World Cup. There were cars (full of Italian Americans? I don't know) hooting all night long.

TC said...

Group exuberance is always wonderful when not entirely alcoholic or delivered through three-foot long devices.

I dearly miss a group of Brazilian biologist friends who went back home to become professors; while pursuing degrees here, they gathered for the Copa, sang the anthem before a ball was kicked, watched in rapt involvement, took pictures of one another at halftime and made calls round the world to friends and family (all of whom were also watching the Copa); it was a social bonding event almost like a birth or a wedding, a group experience to be remembered.

Lovely. No horns.

aditya said...

I had previously posted a comment in here telling you about how I know the Oranje wont win it yet how cheerfully am supporting them. Plus about my gut feeling that Dempsey would score tonight. Only for my room mate to unplug this battery-less laptop. Dempsey has scored already. Am feeling guilty about the 'Orange won't win it' part.

aditya said...

Nevertheless very .. very astute observations Tom.

Lucy in the Sky said...

We were lucky to live it in silence down here. Silence is respect for our neighbours, and I do know about that as I have noisy neighbours who have unusual working hours and get together with frinds until late at night on weekdays to play cards and listen to music. I just cannot understand how it does not cross their mind that they are not the only creatures in the world.

As for the World Cup, I watched part of the game yesterday and loved the South African players' dance when they scored their goal. I feel thrilled whenever it is time for the World Cup and certainly felt thrilled today when Heinze scored the goal for our national team.

I hope your neighbours become more aware of how inconsiderate they are.

sweeney/sharp said...

I remember watching the world cup in 1982-Paolo Rossi's coming out party-on a TV powered by a car battery in an area of Cairo called the dead city. Hashish wafted through the air, shadows lengthened and I grew scared, not knowing if I'd emerge from the darkening maze.

Now in Western Massachusetts, I am drinking a micro-brew and sitting comfortably next to my teenage daughter, explaining the operatic behavior of diving players, telling her with a smile that the Italians are some of the best.

Stuart said...

three-foot long devices

As far as I can determine, most of the "airhorns" here in Germany are much shorter than three feet. But since they mete out unpleasant noise, they could be called din-o-meters.

u.v.ray. said...

Those Vavoos, as they are called, are really annoying. I also began watching the game and thought the hoo ha would settle down after a while.

But no. It is a continuous racket. Those people can't even be watching the game.

It's like giving a baby a tin plate and a spoon. They simply have to make a noise.

I hope it's a habit that stays in S.Africa and use of them doesn't spread across the world.

manik sharma said...

green was a howler...americans were good...bradley the coach's son was very good in midfield...donovan as always consistent..they'll cause an upset or two ....

Curtis Faville said...

Alas, I find soccer to be one of the most boring of spectator sports. I know there's some kind of strategy to the game, but the apoplectic celebrations following a goal always seem deeply anticlimactic to me, as if the players were slightly delusional.

I resent the take over of the world by soccer. Why can't each country (or region) keep its own diversions and not force them on the rest of us? Would we expect Armenians to love baseball? The Japanese to be obsessed with college football?

I know, I know, it's all perfectly logical and sane.

I just wish we weren't expected to be willing participants in every exotic form of indulgence. This "one world" stuff can get really boring.

TC said...

I have been trying to calculate what proportion of the audience at the matches is actually involved in perpetrating these unending metallic bee-swarms of madness.

One would wish to attribute reason to some large proportion of the crowd, and to assume the violations of sanity on the part of a few are being politely tolerated by the many.

Curiously, rather than diminishing over the several days of matches, the din seems to be increasing. The listless Algeria/Slovenia affair seemed to be proceeding in such a way that, though each of these miserable sides had been offered a golden opportunity to advance by the unimpressive "favoured" British and Americans, both were wishing for nothing more immediate than to get away from the vuvuzelas.

One notes that the vuvuzelists (vuvuzealots?) appear to be wearing enormous lens-less yellow plastic glasses.

Serbia/Ghana was a continuous berserk klaxon horror, I refuse to speak of it.

At its worst, however, the worst football match ever played is of more interest to me at this moment than any match ever played in any "American" sport whatever.

The brilliant blogger Stuart currently has a wonderful post up on the Dividends of Ignorance, maybe that's the department where I can expect to someday break the bank.

TC said...

You, too, may strike it rich with The Dividends of Ignorance.

TC said...

A Somalian friend, last night, lamenting that the vvz's have "killed the whole atmosphere of the World Cup".

"They have even silenced the drums of Ghana".