Let me ask you a question. Why do you think car racing is so popular in America? Is it the potential for fiery crashes? The efficiency of the pit stops? The excitement of recognizing the brands on the hoods? While each of these is plausible, I think the answer is something far less subtle. It’s all about the noise. If there’s one thing we love, it’s a constant background drone. Think elevator music, or the television always on in your kitchen, or the Harkness bells.
So it’s no wonder that a record number of Americans tuned in this past summer to watch the FIFA World Cup. Some may say that it’s because soccer is a burgeoning sport here, or that the United States squad played more promisingly than it has in years, or that team captain Landon Donovan looks like a hotter, male version of Natalie Portman. But you and I both know the real reason. After all, wasn’t the 2010 contest the noisiest World Cup on record? Indeed it was, thanks to host country South Africa’s penchant for a certain cheap plastic horn known as a vuvuzela. Stadiums sounded like giant beehives and Americans could finally turn to a soccer game in search of aural satisfaction.
Given this, it makes perfect sense that the brainsters at Harvard should recognize this trend, and in their cold and calculating way decide to bring vuvuzelas to The Game. And the cunning Yalies, as ever, decided to one up the Cantabs by doing the same thing, but organized by much cooler and more attractive people. Also, theirs just say “Harvard,” and ours say “Havard Blows.” Get it, Harvard? If you’re wondering, yes, that’s what it feels like to be totally razzed.
Needless to say, the idea is genius, especially on our behalf because first is the worst and second is the best. Which is probably why Harvard, with its tail between its crimson legs, decided to ban vuvuzelas from the stadium. All of those awkward pauses between plays and during plays could have been eliminated. Now, silence will ring through the Horseshoe, and you may have to strike up a conversation with your friends next to you, instead of listening to the sound of hundreds of vuvuzelas, all around you, blaring at 127 decibels each. Or you could have played your own, of course, warming your wind-bitten lips by buzzing proudly into the cheap and undoubtedly jagged plastic mouthpiece.
After all, why should the YPMB have all the fun? They always say that anyone can join the band, regardless of musical experience, and that idealistic motto could have truly come to fruition. We the fans will once more be helpless to add our own flavor to The Game’s soundscape, unable to happily toot along, trading eight-bar single-note phrases. Jazz vuvuzela, so post modern. But if you do manage to get your horn in, past the strip searches and vuvuzela-sniffing dogs, don’t forget to play with the band during their halftime show, as loud as you can. They’ll be so bummed if you don’t.
I have another question for you. Why let Harvard ruin all the fun? We love noise, and a vuvuzela allows us to bring it with us wherever we go. I’m ordering my own just for finals period. Get ready, Bio Anthro classmates. I’m going to have my “Ardipithecus Blows” vuvuzela at our exam, and I’m not going to quit for a second.