Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Listen Up While You Can

I know very little about the World Cup games.  I don't care who's playing and I certainly don't care who wins.  I love, though, that they give so many people not only a common language (even if the game isn't broadcast in their common spoken language), shared loves, and shared hates.
The other day we were eating lunch at a local hamburger stand.  Outside in the shaded patio several men sat mesmerized by the games showing on the television suspended from the ceiling.  They men spoke excitedly in Chinese while watching games played in South Africa broadcast in Spanish.
Apparently their favorite team was winning because they cheered frequently -- in Chinese.
I've heard a lot about the constant noise at the games.  People seem to have really strong feelings about that noise and the source of the noise, the vuvuzela (pronounced /vuːvuːˈzeɪlə/ if that's any help).
Go figure that a piece of plastic could create such strong feelings.  I guess when its blown at the same time by hundreds of thousands of people strong feelings are bound to happen.
Strong feelings aren't the only thing the horn causes.  At close range the sound can lead to permanent hearing loss for unprotected ears.  For that matter so can flying Continental Airlines across country with a screaming baby in back of you and a yelping dog under the seat in front of you.
It's not, don't forget, who wins or who loses but who can hear themselves tell about it.

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