I always turned a blind-eye to this thing called "bull-fighting" (an ultimate form of bullshit it is, really), taking in more of its general comic aspects such as the matador and his red cape, with the bull charging through while the matador lifts the cape just the bull is charging toward the cape and about to rip shreds off it with his horns.
That's the sort of thing I'd seen of TV, etc, and I kind of thought that was all there was to it. I had no idea of the carnage and brutality involved with this event until I read Steve Kilbey's post titled the horror show last Monday morning.
The short of it is that Steve was performing at the Adelaide Vegan Festival last weekend and in between sets he sat down at a video room to watch a load of rather upsetting and disturbing footage, his blog is a recount of what he saw.
I myself was shaken and upset by all of it. Much of it I'd known about, but having it recounted to me in that incisive, poetic way that is truly Kilbey's hit me to the core. The bullfighting I hadn't known about and perhaps this narrative affected me the worst, partly because the event is a spectacle offered up as entertainment. It's fucking atrocious, that's what it is. Here's an extract from Kilbey's blog:
...i wandered into a booth showing films
as i walked in
there was a bullfight on the screen
a tired bull covered in blood
and losing blood copiously
stuck thru with nasty little spears
finally the matador appears
a real hero
ponced up in his stupid fucking clothes
no, he should be wearing a butchers smock
this courageous prick
eventually stabs the dying confused bull
in the head
and the poor poor thing
expires in more torrents of blood
then the whales...
And so, distressed and alarmed as I was, I commence wiki'ing & googling bullfighting to discover that it's existed since ancient times. The practice and celebration of bullfighting has been concentrated in Spain and Mexico over that past 600 or so years where it's considered to be part of the cultural tradition of these countries.
I was gladdened to read that many contemporary Spaniards oppose the practice of bullfighting. A 'tradition' it may well be but that does not disguise the fact that it is criminal savagery at its upmost and is an appalling indictment of humanity's inhumanity to its fellow living creatures. The fact that it is an "entertainment" adds that further dimension of twisted, macabre horror to this diabolical fiasco.
So there are "picadors" on horseback armed with spears, spearing the bulls. The horses too have to cop a walloping throughout this whole ridiculous process. The bull of course, this magnificent beast, forced unwillingly by man's cruel sadistic hand to partake in this sacrificial murder-game, suffers most violently and heinously.
Why pick on the bull? The bull is the symbol for the sign of Taurus. The bull symbolises (in a totemic way) virility and masculine strength. They have big balls, apparently. Is there some sort of sub-conscious degenerate drive by followers of this practice to prove man's "superior" masculinity, his goddamn machismo, by subjugating a living bull with this kind of prolonged torture?? With loads of imbeciles seated around the arena cheering on??
LEAVE THESE MAJESTIC CREATURES TO LIVE THEIR LIVES IN PEACE!
And every year in Spanish cities there's that fucking bullrun where people get killed and gored as they run out of the way of the charging bulls. Masses of young men involve themselves with this, I've read that it has to do with fucking machismo (again). You can be sure the bulls would rather be at home, in the pastures, with the cows and their calves. And for all those idiots who get gored and killed, and those fucking matadors too, well that's just tough shit. LEAVE THE ANIMALS BE! Matador deaths are rare apparently what with doctors and surgeons at close standby at these bullfighting events. The matadors themselves are dressed to the nines in protective gear. Geez that's a bit unfair isn't it, the bull doesn't quite get that kind of preferential treatment does it.
No. The bull is an innocent defenceless victim, prey to the viciousness of men who inflict their savagery and lack of true masculinity and nobility (in the cosmic sense of the word) on these magnificent beasts.
Bullfighting should be banned. Ideally it would be better that it weren't banned as such, but instead the populace en masse decided they weren't interested in partaking in this horror show no longer, leaving the seats and the arena airily vacant.
Love this earth, respect this earth, be cosmic! We are man and woman. What's done is done, let's progress and unite, be true, be more loving, patient and aware.
Bullfighting has had its day. Let's move on.