Sunday, March 21, 2010
For those who are familiar with the term "the Black Legend of Spain", these attempts to marginalize Spain as "not truly European" are nothing new. Outlawing bullfighting will hardly help to destroy the Black Legend that has been in circulation for centuries. There will always be something else, some other sign that Spain's "Europeanness" isn't entirely "genuine." There is, of course, a lot of racism - as well as historical and cultural resentment - behind this attitude towards Spain.
I have seen bullfighting in Spain. And to tell you the truth I loved it. Unless you have seen this spectacle, try not to condemn it, because you have no idea what it is. The music, the costumes, the cheering, the choreography are mesmerizing. I did not enjoy seeing the bulls suffer, but since I eat meat (a lot) feeling appalled by the suffering of the animals would be very hypocritical. In my lifetime, I have eaten a lot more animals that were killed during that bullfight.
It's funny how people who condemn bullfighting watch boxing, wrestling, hockey, etc., the sports where actual human beings are knocked out into unconsciousness, have their faces and limbs broken into a bloody pulp, and often damaged for life. Many people enjoy the Olympics where athletes subject themselves to all kind of inhuman torture just to break the record, which pleases the public and serves the holy goals of nationalistic brainwashing. And when an athlete dies (as happened in the last Winter Olympics), well, that's sad but it's all part of the game.
One might argue that athletes choose to participate in life-threatening sports, while the bulls are incapable of consenting to being part of a bullfight. However, if you come from a country that has been dropping bombs on Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. - without seeking consent from the people on whom the bombs were thrown - your prissy disgust with bullfighting is once again hypocritical.
It's easy to be opposed to bullfighting and flatter one's self-righteousness and sense of moral superiority in this way. It is harder, however, to familiarize oneself with the reasons both behind this practice and behind its condemnation.