I have been watching the World Cup, as you probably supposed, and have been enjoying it very much. As I have nothing to say today about the vanquished Socceroos — except how can anyone not root for a team called the Socceroos? — my subject today is the vuvuzela, the strange Seussical-type horn that the Africans blow at matches.
To see a World Cup match on TV is to apparently have a hive of angry bees provide the background noise. The buzzing does not seem to dip or soar — it is a constant, steady monotone. Apparently it takes a great deal of lung and lip power to get the vuvuzela vuving. In my mind’s eye, I picture exhausted Africans hanging on to posts around the concession stands, catching their breath.
It occurs to me that American politics has its own vuvuzela background noise, the angry buzzing chorus of tea party folk and their ilk never reacting to anything actually going on in the field of political play but keeping up the constant racket. They have less joy than the soccer fans, of course, but their irritation factor is just as high.
A final word on Helen Thomas, because the subject has become boring.
myooz has done a commendable job of finding some quotes from the fearless battle-axe and now challenges me to prove that my position regarding other reporters and their penetrating questions . But I have no position. I did allow that I am a skeptic about Helen Thomas. I don’t buy into myths that fit conveniently into people’s prejudices.
And I must say that I am vindicated. The quotes supplied by myooz do indeed show that she was an activist, not a journalist. Her questions were more heavily loaded speeches than questions. Howard Kurtz (thank you Little Minx for the link) absolutely nailed it.
A journalist asks questions to get answers but Helen Thomas was never going to get answers because she was basically insulting — which is no way to get answers from anybody. A smart attorney doesn’t harangue the person he is trying to get answers from; a good journalist doesn’t either.
myooz, your idea of a good reporter is apparently someone who delivers a political diatribe to a politician he or she doesn’t agree with. You seem unaware that you are confirming the stereotype that right-wingers have of the press — and you don’t care.
Well, I care. When you dismiss Howard Kurtz’ truths as “a neo-con hatchet job,” that is the moment you lose the argument with me (I write as a frequent critic of Bush during those years and certainly not a neo-con).
So, mate, I take a vuvuzela and blow it in your ear. No offense intended. You hand it out pretty good so I pay you the compliment of being able to take it.
Hey, Kevin Morris, welcome back.