Friday, February 5, 2010

Can Bullfighting Become Nice?

"Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honor." ~Hemingway

One of the mottos of success motivation speakers is, "Whatever the mind can conceive can be achieved." Yes, it is to some extent an exaggeration, but the seed thought in the idea is that many times the boundaries which hold us back are in our minds only, and we can often do more than we think we can.

It is easy to criticize Las Vegas for its over-the-top decadence, but one thing that is apparent to anyone who's been there a few times is that there are certainly a lot of "no boundaries" thinkers out there. The lights, the fountains, magicians with tigers... it's a whole different world. Up and down the Strip you find casinos replicating every form of extravagant excess. It's hard to believe that in the not too distant past this was nothing but desert.

Against this backdrop there's something new in town, something bold and different. Hemingway might even call it weird. Bloodless bullfighting.

Yesterday I came across an article titled 'There Won't Be Blood" in Hemispheres magazine, the in-flight publication for United Airlines, the article's title being a take-off on last year's megahit starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The illustration accompanying the feature story has a matador in spangled gold and red doing the maneuver with cape as the bull prepares for another thrust with the horns. The world famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is a backdrop along with a pair of casinos. The comical element is the velcro mat affixed to the bull's shoulders. Instead of swords, spears, blood and death, the matador dances about and places velcro tipped darts onto the bull's back.

Author Edward Lewine's entertaining article opens like this:

THE BULL bursts out of the corral like a snorting runaway semi, 1,000 pounds of muscle and bad attitude topped with horns.

The matador—a slender Spaniard in a spangled orange suit—strides out to meet it. We’re not in Madrid or Tijuana, but the indoor rodeo stadium at the South Point, a hotel and casino off the Las Vegas Strip, and this is Vegas’ latest attraction: a bloodless bullfight, meaning no assailing the bull with swords or spears the way bullfighters usually do, no “death in the afternoon,” as Hemingway put it.

Some critics call it a mockery of bullfighting. Despite the lack of blood, animal activists are still protesting this sanitized pop-culture version of the sport. Whatever your take on bullfighting itself, There Won't Be Blood will be an entertaining read.


Anonymous said...

What if the Bull catches the Matador? should it be called there Might be blood?

Anonymous said...

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