But I was reading about a book that has something to do with Spain and its famous matadors and bullfighting and Hemingway, etc. -- all that excessively butch stuff. And of course, bullfighting is one of those just absolutely lovely inventions of man (and yeah, it's a guy thing -- I just can't even imagine a woman coming up with something so vicious and blatantly unfair) that ends up with wounded (and I guess, usually dead) animals.
My point -- and I do have one -- is that I'm wondering how you all feel about this -- ahem -- sport. It's pretty clear how I feel about it, but I just really wonder about what others think, and why. Because it's clear there is at least one country that feels pretty strongly in favor of this practice as a venerated cultural icon, something to be proud of and celebrate. And I just don't freakin' get it!
The whole thing just blows my mind, to be honest. What possible thrill can someone get out of standing in an enclosed ring, flicking a red cape about in a clearly too-tight outfit with this funky little cap that looks like misshapen Mickey Mouse ears (or an outdoor faucet handle, I can't decide which is a more apt description), and tormenting this enormous, angry, tortured beast? All the while, having lots of other people around the ring there to protect the guy (or gal?) from getting what's clearly his due: a goring from the unhappy critter.
I mean, come on: If this isn't the epitome of a testosterone-fueled, ego-stroking yet ultimately sad and demeaning (for both participants) ritual -- then what the hell is it? Something akin to another bull-related event, the Running of the Bulls (in Pamplona and other such cities), as a prelude to previously mentioned bullfight.
Here's a bit pulled from Wikipedia:
"The purpose of this event is the transport of the bulls from the off-site corrals where they had spent the night, to the bullring where they would be killed in the evening. Youngsters would jump among them to show off their bravado. Injuries are common to the participants who may be gored or trampled, and to the bulls, whose hooves grip poorly on the paved or cobbled street surfaces."
Um...one word just comes to mind, over and over: DUH!
I mean...really? What's the deal with these people? Do they have a death wish? Are they just lunatics? And -- most interesting -- do they REALLY think this is in any way attractive?
I'm open to any and all responses, except those who will tell me I need to respect a cultural difference I can't understand. I am SO not open to that lame argument. This is NOT about culture, unless you're talking about a culture of cruelty -- in which case, I have no desire to "understand" any part of it.
Fact is, this practice ceased to be a "cultural" thing as soon as at least some of our (too-often sorry) species evolved to the point of realizing that we really don't have any right to be the arbiter of how much torture of another species is justifiable under the guise of our own "entertainment."
I just found myself wanting to read this particular book until I learned it contained a good bit on bullfighting. I realized that I am so repulsed by this practice -- even by the very idea of it -- that I must forego reading a book I think I'd otherwise at least find interesting, if not enjoyable, because of this part of the content. And I'm really against censorship, even self-censorship (maybe even MOSTLY self-censorship). But I find most of the news around me every day so appalling, so sad and depressing, that when I read I don't want to just pour more of that crud on myself. I read to escape, and I just don't want to spend my free time with this kind of content.
So, what about it, folks? Blast away! In the meantime, perhaps I'll get sleepy and not need to post again tonight. You can only hope.