Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vuvuzela Fever

The World Cup of Soccer is here again and from just 4 days of competition I feel as if the world has lost its mind.

I have always had trouble understanding why some events and news items are more important than others. I can remember asking my dad, when I was six or seven years old, why a news story about a celebrity couple came before a news story about the president.

I am experiencing that same sense of befuddlement right now as it seems the world has become obsessed with the vuvuzela. What's a vuvuzela? A vuvuzela, pictured here, is a large plastic horn that can produce sounds up to 127 decibles and has been associated with hearing loss. If you aren't at the stadium and are watching the game on television the noise that sounds like a squadron of hornets is the vuvuzela. (Haven't watched the World Cup? You can
listen to what they sound like here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOzDb_Al2Dc)

So okay, the vuvuzela is loud, it strikes fear in the heart of anyone who dislikes stinging insects, but why has this horn been the #1 story on nearly every news outlet this weekend? The horn has made it mainstream as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Yahoo, and Fox News have all had top stories related to the horn. Why?

Is a horn more important that all the other events in the world? I see the news as a logical outlet that should start with the most important story and work it's way down. Myself, I envision the horn in the "and then there's this..." segment at the end, but certainly not the headline. Shouldn't the players playing the game be a story? Lost in the US, England 1-1 tie was stories of the horn.

The World Cup Final is on July 11th, but at this rate no one will remember who won except the country that does because this world cup is the year of the vuvuzela. The real winners are the ones who make the horn (worldwide they are being bought up faster than, well, anything), or the companies now selling MP3 Noise Cancelling software that will filter out the of the vuvuzela. Is the sound that bad?

We'll see as the tournament progresses if the vuvuzela stays in the news, or if its 15 minutes of fame, or infamy, passes. I hope it passes because there's more important news in this world than the annoyance of a horn at a soccer game, isn't there?


  1. It is a horrible noise. I want to put the tv on mute when I watch.

  2. I sure don't know what all the buzz is about the vuvuzela. To my ears it is an annoying sound! I agree with you that the athletes and teams should be the story. Thanks for your post.

  3. Karin, on a lot of sports related videos on Youtube you can click on a soccer ball near the resolution box and listen to vuvuzelas over the original audio. After seeing, and hearing, that I believe I have seen it all.