Monday, August 27, 2007

Toréador, en garde!

I just read in the newspaper that Spanish national TV won't be showing bull fighting during the daytime anymore because they don't want children subjected to violence.
I can only agree the idea that bull fighting is a cruel and violent sport. But to say that taking it off TV will ensure children don't see violence astounds me. There is enough violence in cartoons to make me shudder. Bullfighting is nothing compared to a Mel Gibson movie.
While in Spain we saw several bull fights on TV. In one, the bull was pardoned - in other words, he was saved by the matador because the matador thought he fought so well he should live. So the bull was taken away, washed off, and taken back to his farm where he will become a breeding bull. Lucky for him. Most of the others end up as steaks. Bull fighting has existed as a sport since ancient times. In Crete the boys did gymnastics on their backs, in Greece they fought each other, in the Middle Ages they were pitted against dogs and bears. In Roman times gladiators fought them. Bulls are a symbol of strength. And the matador doesn't always win.

Toréador, en garde!Toréador! Toréador!
Et songe bien, oui, songe en combattant qu'un oeil noir te regarde
et que l'amour t'attend,
Toréador, l'amour, l'amour t'attend!

(Carmen, Act II)


John Nez said...

I'm glad to hear the occasional bull is spared. And that's not just the Taurus in me talkin'.

Of course the first thing I think of is Hemingway... who from the 21st century perspective seems to have his foot stuck firmly in every politically incorrect pie there is.

Blood sports, hunting endangered species just for the trophy head, fishing for vanishing swordfish, smoking cigars at the boxing ring... and then writing all about it in humorless heroic prose!

Now that I think about it... did Hemingway have a sense of humor?


John Nez said...

Oh, and you're right about TV...

Verilion said...

I really don't agree with blood sports either and when I lived in Spain I sat with my back to the TV when it was on, but at the same time I'm still fascinated by the whole ritual of bull fighting. Glad the bull was released too.

Bernita said...

Wish they would pardon them all.

Seeley deBorn said...

Gladiators, eh?

Against bears in the Middle Ages?

off I go chasing plot bunnies....

Gabriele C. said...

Fine, now I can't get the melody out of my head.

I'm torn about bull fights. The rational part in me says modern, enlighted people should not condone cruelty against animals, but the atavistic part in me loves to see it.

John Nez said...

Well of course! As politically incorrect as bullfighting might be, it still makes the crowd (women) swoon. It's the indisputable 'Duende' in action!

Who ever would catch their breath at some skinny little guy in chinos with a politically correct soy burger?

Passion rules!


Sam said...

I'm with Gabriele - (and John, lol) although like Bernita, I'd love to see all the bulls pardoned.

But they're talking of banning it now in the south of France (in Nimes there is a huge bullfighting ring). The problem that I see with this is that if they ban bull fights, what will happen to all the bulls? They're bred all through Spain and France (in Camargue - remember the white horses and black bulls?) And if bull fights are banned, many, many people will lose jobs and even their way of life.

Rosie said...

Anybody see the 1941 movie BLOOD AND SAND with Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell and Rita Hayworth about bull fighting? I remember watching it on TV when I was in high school. It was my first exposure to bull fighting and I thought then it seemed sort of cruel to the bulls. OTOH there was lots of drama and passion surrounding the bullfighter (Tyrone Power's character) and his women.

Very swoon worthy for a teenager.

Rhian / Crowwoman said...

can't help feeling a wee bit sorry for the bull though. However one of the goriest things i've seen was a matador getting gored and tossed...repeatedly. Some video clip i saw many many years ago.

Sam - can you send me an excerpt for your Jack book coming out at Loose Id? I'm doing book pimpage tomorrow and was delighted to see you have another one coming out!