Showing posts with label soccer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soccer. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Better buzz than die with an axe in your head

TV spectators of the World Cup have been alarmed by disturbing noises emitted by South Africa. Is the TV broken? Is there some strange transmission interference at the level of the TV signal? Is South Africa maybe inhabited by noisy wasps or cicadas? No, the answer is simple. South Africa is inhabited by South Africans who get a kick out of making a hell of a lot of audio pollution, when they're watching soccer matches, by blowing non-stop into a crude "musical" instrument known as a vuvuzela… which creates an ugly buzz.

I don't have statistics on hand, but I'm led to believe that South African soccer spectators, physically preoccupied by blowing into these contraptions, simply don't have enough determination and energy left to envisage taking out axes and knives with the intention of eliminating supporters of the opposite team. So, the vuvuzela is undoubtedly a life-saving instrument, whose presence and role in the stadiums must be respected, indeed encouraged. One might say that the noise is less obnoxious than blood and guts. Fair enough…

Meanwhile, my ears won't let me watch that shit for any length of time. The audio pollution drives me mad. I feel like assassinating a South African vuvuzela blower, or maybe even a whole fucking grandstand of such noisy vermin. Let me return calmly to my quiet computer...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Megalithic evening

Throughout the afternoon, while working in my future garden, I was aware that my TV evening was likely to be a back-and-forth affair between the acclaimed BBC documentary on Stonehenge [article] and the final of the French soccer cup.

The former was a must, in that Stonehenge has continued to fascinate me ever since the time I was writing Great Britain Today (Jeune Afrique, Paris, 1978).

As for the soccer cup, one of the finalists was the local team in Christine's corner of Brittany, the tiny town of Guingamp.

Finally, I spent a great evening zapping from one channel to the other, and I was able to appreciate two huge upsets. Several millennia ago, Stonehenge was apparently a pole of pilgrimage for people wanting to be healed magically... much like modern-day Lourdes. And this evening, in Paris, Guingamp beat Rennes in a style that reminded spectators of Astérix defeating the Romans... were it not for the fact that both finalists were Breton.

In a distant regional corner of France, the maverick politician François Bayrou, no doubt a serious contender for the next presidential election, has just published a devastating attack upon Nicolas Sarkozy. A journalist asked Bayrou to sum up what was wrong with Sarkozy's handling of the French Republic: "The French have never accepted the domination of the most powerful."

Well they did, in a way, some observers might say, under Philippe Pétain. But we all know today that Vichy was never the authentic République. France has always been Guingamp. And it goes without saying that Rennes has always been France. It's a subtle nation. That's the secret of its grandeur...