Tony McKeever

The air wars: Richie McCaw, the bagpipes, vuvuzela and pukaea

So now that we know Richie McCaw plays the bagpipes, and has Scottish heritage, the Rugby World Cup organisers are being put under pressure from all quarters to lift the ban on bagpipes.

The Scottish media, traditionalists and rugby aficionados want their instrument in the stadiums. This involves Scottish MPs, a Facebook plea, letters to the NZ prime minister, even the Scottish parliament has waded in. Scottish parliamentarian Jim Eadie has said “we need our bagpipes belting out Scottish music to have a fighting chance”.

So there is more than a hint of hypocrisy at play by the organisers here.

If the New Zealanders can play and toot the pukaea, the predecessor of the vuvuzela, before every Rugby World Cup match, why can’t the Scots play their instrument? And why can’t the South African supporters toot the vuvuzela?

You see, a RWC rule bans the South African vuvuzela as nothing longer than 80cm may be allowed into the stadiums! I don’t want to go on about the impressive South African length, of the vuvuzela, but this ban was written to include “umbrellas, vuvuzelas and gang insignia”. The lengths the New Zealanders had to go to limit South African support so they can try and win the Rugby World Cup at home!

It’s quite a bit of a stretch to simply ban the vuvuzela.

So now some enterprising chap needs to get his Chinese factory in Hong Kong to produce a vuvuzela of 60cm.

The 60cm vuvuzela is a good length that won’t embarrass any South African male and he can let off his reservoir of air in the stadiums.

The opening ceremony celebrated and glorified the bagpipes, with an incredibly stirring rendition, as well as the hooting of the traditional pukaea. Before each match and before every single kick-off in the Rugby World Cup matches they sound the French air horn to rally the spectators.

Give the fans what they want. Let them blow to their hearts’ content the traditional instrument of their choice. Let’s get on with the RWC and may the best two teams from each of the four pools advance to the quarter-finals.

  • Lockstock

    I hope you’re not suggesting that the vuvuzela has now been elevated to the position of ‘traditional instrument?’ It seems it doesn’t take much for something to become a national, anthem or beloved cultural instrument in The New (yet hopelessly unimproved) South Africa, complete with fabricated lineage and history. First we had the Boer-shooting song (circa 1990), and now this plastic tooter (2010).

    Personally, I don’t know what is more destructive between the two or what is more upsetting and annoying. All I do know is, you can’t place this NuSAns trumpet in the same basket as the bagpipes. The former is a joke.

  • Tony McKeever

    Lockstock – the vuvuzela is but a novelty and I am sure in limited supply in New Zealand.

    I agree you can’t compare it to the bagpipes which are goose bump inspirational musical instruments.

    Now if someone could invent a device that pops into the mouthpiece of the vuvuzela to attain a couple of notes instead of the horse flatulence sound – it might become more acceptable.

  • Lockstock

    I’m with you Tony. Sounds a bit like the old joke of who invented the toilet. Answer was The Irish. But an Englishman put the hole in it.

  • J A F Saffa

    How can I get a comment to my friend Greg “the fu–wit” Hurvitz’s blogs? It seems like theyre all locked

  • willie lio(samoan by birth)

    i am writing regarding the article you published by greg hurvits,it really saddens me that you would allow an article like this to be published degrading the samoan people.i thought this was a place to debate about sports not degrading culture and a country,has this blogger forgotten all the times that south africa cheated and not to mention biting the ear of sean fitzpatrick.this guy is a disgrace to all south africans i had alot of respect for south africans but after reading this article it seems to me and to everyone that nothing has changed in south africa the mentality that they are supperior to everyone else still excist.please tell what skill has any of the south african players have that the samoans dont have??
    i guess the white guy at number ten kicks the ball in the air for the black guys on the wing to run and fetch it back so the white guys can score is that right??there is no skill in that.not only does this guy have no qualifications to comment on rugby nor does have any right to degrade my culture in the way he has..

  • Dedra Longe

    Longchamp Grand fourre-tout de la collection Pliage Le est un sac fourre-tout surdimensionné qui fait que vous avez assez de place pour tous les éléments essentiels. Un grand compartiment principal avec une poche intérieure supplémentaire garantit diapositives que vous avez beaucoup d’espace tout en gardant vos objets de valeur. Disponible en coloris élégants synthétiques et garnis de cuir de vachette ce grand fourre-tout de Longchamp fonctionne aussi bien pour une journée à la plage ou une nuit sur la ville.

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