The sun is shining on South Africa. South Africa is home to the 2010 World Cup. And the world it getting a glimpse of a South Africa they may never have seen...or heard before.
Have you been watching soccer's World Cup? Of course you have...viewership in the States has doubled since the last Cup four years ago. If you have, you know about the vuvuzela controversy. If you haven't, you should tune in to see just what I'm talking about.
A vuvuzela is not a lady's hoo-ha. No, no, no that's something else altogether. A vuvuleza is a plastic one-note horn. And do fans blow them when there's a goal or a fabulous play? No. No? That's right they play them constantly from the opening minute throughout the game and into extra minutes.
To the viewer it sounds like your watching, or listening to, a giant bee-hive. Oh, and it's very, very annoying. They are annoying to the point that there have been discussions about banning them. Players have complained that the noise is constant, deafening and it puts them off their game.
The vuvuzela is not unique to South Africa. If you listen carefully you'll hear the odd honk at a baseball or football game. But what is unique is the sheer number of them at each match. And the sound that sheer number makes. It's as if those people doing the honking never take a breath. It's unbelievable. As a result, there's no passion in the game. There's no "oooh" or "aaah" over a great play. There's no explosion of "yaaaahh" when there's a goal. There's no chanting, clapping or singing.
Just this bloody, constant "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm"
for 90 minutes.
But don't take my word for it. Listen for yourself...
It's like the song "Flight Of The Bumble Bee", except played on a trumpet with one note...and the trumpet player's on steroids!
Soccer will never be the same.
Did I say the sun was shining on Africa? If you want my opinion you can take your bloody vuvuzela and stick it where the sun don't shine.
Well, folks, I read seven (count 'em) seven books in October. One I didn't finish but even at that I hit the magic number 50 I estimated for myself by the end of the year. The six books I successfully waded through were, firstly, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's book on her bid for the Presidency. I''m a bit of a political junkie so I get off on this stuff but still it kinda struck me as one long whine over losing.
Next up was the excellent Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and Music of Laurel Canyon. Laurel Canyon was the fabled area outside of Los Angeles where many musicians and artists lived. Known as a 60s enclave, the book takes a look at just who lived there over the last 80 years. A fascinating read.
Next up was Lightfoot, a biography of Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot. He may have been responsible for some iconic folk songs but he was also quite the womanizer and boozer. Enough said.
Then I read Dan Brown's new tome Origin, the fifth in the Robert Lan…
I know, I know, I know I should have reported in before now. But sometimes real life just gets in the way. I attempted 5 books in November. I say attempted because I slapped a big DNF (did not finish) on Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. I just can't seem to get into this guy. It's the second or third of his I've given up on,
Not so the other four, starting with a biography of Stephen Stills called Change Partners. This followed by a hilarious biography of the guy responsible for National Lampoon called A Stupid and Futile Gesture - How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever.
I ended the month reading yet another biography, this one of the man behind Rolling Stone magazine,. It was called Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. A fascinating read.
So last month I hit the magic number 50 I'd imagined for myself back in January. If I roll this month into my yearly total I'm at 54 books. And I still have Decem…