There’s a small brouhaha going on over at Notes From Spain. Ben can always get the natives riled up over a nice discussion about the evils of bullfighting - and related pastimes. There were many comments from non-Spanish newcomers denouncing the practice, and a mix from Spanish people alternately denouncing and defending la corrida de toros. As usual, the Spaniards doing the defending were getting pretty offended and I think this time I am on their side.
I was wondering if it is even possible for non-Spanish people to really understand the fiesta nacional. I mean, we probably just don’t get it and never will get it and should just stay out of it. I for one like that Spain has the bullfight. It sounds terrible, but I am willing to sacrifice a few bulls to keep Spain “Spain”. We would not be fascinated with the place if it were not for all this interesting stuff going on. I have only been to two bullfights in my life and they were great, exotic and Spanish. However, I did not catch the bug, but I don’t want them to end either. I like the idea of the bullfight. Are they brutal? Hell yes! That’s life! I think the Spanish people should not try to “defend” bullfights anymore. They should just say, “ Yeahh, they’re nasty, and beautiful, a lot of fun, all ours, and what a show!”
Now here’s where I’m going to lose you if I have not lost you already, I draw a very tenuous parallel between a common Yanqui custom that I do not believe the world can ever fully understand – gun ownership. Yeah, some Americans like guns, they like to hunt, they use them as tools, they like to hone their skills, they think of them as fine machinery, they can be a hobby and a pastime, they are a part of some people’s lives, they are a responsibility. Most of the world dismisses the gun-toting Yanquis as barbarians, or red-necked, violent simpletons (and some are I’m sure). And of course many Americans also think this same way. Sound familiar? There are more and more Spanish people who do not want the Bullfight to continue.
So, just as I wish the rest of the world would at least consider the unique cultural and historic aspects of the gun in America and not judge too harshly, I’ve decided that we non-Spanish types need to keep our noses out of the fiesta nacional and let the Spanish decide when it dies. Likewise, the Americans will decide when to ban the guns. Both are coming of course.
Update: Good Bullfight Article.