Posted by: travelrat | February 6, 2013

Mainly Bull.

ToroIt’s a year or two since I had a Vaughantown ‘one to one’ with Raul. Almost as soon as we’d introduced ourselves, he asked me:

‘What do you think about bullfighting?

I’m afraid I fudged a little, and said I didn’t know, as I had never been to one. However, the reason for his question was that he’d met a lady who said she’d never come to Spain ‘… until they stopped killing bulls’ and he wondered how anyone could have an opinion about bullfights if they’d never seen one.

‘I went to one once’ he said ‘I didn’t like what I saw, so I never went again’

Over the years, I’ve met quite a few Spaniards with the same opinion. But, they agreed that it’s so much a part of the Spanish culture, it would be difficult to stamp out entirely. Possibly, if bullfighting were ever banned … I believe it has been in Catalonia, the ritual will remain; it’s just that there won’t be an ex-bull (or, possibly, an ex-toreador!) at the end of the proceedings.

If we look at England, it’s common knowledge that there, hunting with dogs is now illegal. But, people still ride to hounds … only now, the hounds are chasing a sock filled with aniseed instead of a fox.

Certainly, the matador will be around for a long time to come, but will the day arrive when he’ll be fighting a dummy … or even a hologram?

There is one aspect of bullfighting I do like, though, and that’s the bullfight poster. It’s a whole specialised kind of art I really love; it just shouts ‘Spain!’ more than a hundred straw donkeys ever would. You don’t have to go to a bullfight; you can pick one up at any souvenir shop. You can even get one made with your name on it. But, I prefer those which have done the duty for which they were intended, even those fading away on a billboard or something.

And, you don’t have to buy it, or even take it down when nobody’d looking. You just photograph it!

Bullfight Poster

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