Sunday 11 July 2010

What’s more annoying than the vuvuzela? Complaining about it

Is this it? Is it finally going to be over?

No, I’m not talking about the World Cup, which ends tonight.

And I’m not talking about the vuvuzela, the annoying horn that World Cup 2010 unleashed onto the unsuspecting world and is now available in Singapore.

I’m talking about all this bitching about the vuvuzela, which has become a din by itself.

Both my fellow New Paper on Sunday columnists, Ho Lian-Yi and Siva Choy, have previously complained about how annoying the horn is.

But like the vuvuzela, this repetitive grumbling about the vuvuzela has taken a one-note, drone-like quality and is perhaps even more annoying.

I was at first surprised by the complaints about the noise that the spectators in the stands were making with the vuvuzelas during the matches.

It’s a football match - isn’t it supposed to be noisy?

It’s like going to an F1 race and complaining about the loud engines.

It’s like going to an Air Supply concert and complaining there are too many old farts in the audience - and on the stage.

It’s like getting married and complaining about sleeping with the same person for the rest of your life.

But vuvuzela haters would insist that the noise the vuvuzela makes is somehow worse than the usual crowd noise at football matches.

Well, not being a connoisseur of crowd noises, I can barely tell the difference between a chorus of vuvuzelas and the sound of Germany coach Joachim Loew picking his nose (and eating his loot).

I believe millions of football fans around the globe hate the vuvuzela simply because it’s new and foreign to them.

I predict that by the next World Cup, the horn will become so commonplace and familiar that it will be accepted as part of international sports like bad refereeing and Venus Williams’ distracting underwear.

It would still be annoying - but accepted.

Having grown up in multi-cultural Singapore, I would’ve thought that Singaporeans would be more tolerant of annoying ethnic musical instruments (although it is debatable whether the vuvuzela can be considered musical).

Listen to this: “Tong tong chiang! Tong tong chiang! Tong tong chiang!”

Imagine hearing that throughout the next sporting event you spectate - or all your life. How can that be any less annoying than the vuvuzela?

Having lived through 40-plus Chinese New Years and endured countless lion dances with their accompanying “music”, I regard the vuvuzela as water off a duck’s back and I’m the duck.

I'm now just waiting for the inevitable complaint about my complaint about all these complaints about the vuvuzela.

How annoying.

- Published in The New Paper, 11 July 2010