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Old 25th September 2011, 11:31 PM
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Default Bullfighting Banned In Catalonia

Bit of good news for a change.

Bullfighting has been banned in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia,best known for the city of Barcelona and the Costa Brava.This could be considered to be a political decision as bullfighting is a Spanish and Basque sport and many Catalans relish the chance to distance themselves from the Spanish state and its traditions.So what,who cares.

If the Spanish want to carry on with this barbaric ritual then might I suggest a couple of changes.

1 Stop weakening the bull before the "contest" and

2 If the bull gets the better of the matedor then don't interfere and let them get on with it.

A few disembowelled cretins in stupid outfits would soon put the revolting spectacle where it belongs,in the past.
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Old 26th September 2011, 12:16 AM
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I was going to try and get this debate going tom.

And I have to say, for the first time we are at opposite ends of the argument.

I've visited pamplona during festival times twice. And went to a bullring to watch what went on.

I was a bit nervous, being a touch squeamish. But nothing can prepare you for the experience. I was glad I went. It's one of the most amazing experiences I've ever seen. And I had a mate who was a veteran of bullfights who explained what was going on.

But even without any explanation, I could see how the bullfight was like glue, holding traditional society together. Not only does the fight have it's rituals but the spectators have them too.

for example. After the first kill, the whole audience took out picnic baskets and started eating. And after each bull the whole place erupts as 20 different brass bands stand up and all play a different tune. And every generation was there from small children to old men, and everything in between.

It was shocking and brutal, yes. But it was uplifting too. Like defiance in the face of mortality. A recognition of a sometimes ugly reality. As well as a celebration of life.

When it comes to the bullfight itself, there are reasons for what looks like just out and out cruelty.

when you talk about weakening the bull, you [understandably] see it as trying to get unfair advantage. But that isn't exactly right.

The first thing they do when the bull is let in the arena is let it run around for a while. The reason for this is because they are checking out whether it's right or left handed. Bulls are like people in that respect.

this is where the picadors come in. they are the ones on the horses with armour. they have long spears, and their job is to work whichever side of the bull is stronger. So they work on the shoulder muscles. They are trying to even the bull posture so that is is straight.

the reason for this is because, so that the eventual kill will be instant, the matador has to make sure his sword passes through a very small opening behind the neck and through the body into the heart.

so, what looks like cruelty is actually about reducing suffering for the animal. It's not like throwing a fox to the hounds after a hunt.

and I worked out that the crowd cheer when the matador manages to make the bull move round him without moving position. He has to plant his feet and stand his ground. All the while pulling these dramatic shapes with his body.

It's not so different to boxing. It's visceral. We can admire technique as much as we like, but the appeal of both 'sports' is primevil.

And even though the things we witness are terrible. There is also a beauty and elegance to the iconography. The arena, the costumes and the exaggerated body language can seem like ballet.

it's terrible, but beautiful. It's a life lesson.

I'll get of me soap box now.

Last edited by JB40; 26th September 2011 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 26th September 2011, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB40 View Post
I was going to try and get this debate going tom.

And I have to say, for the first time we are at opposite ends of the argument.

I've visited pamplona during festival times twice. And went to a bullring to watch what went on.

I was a bit nervous, being a touch squeamish. But nothing can prepare you for the experience. I was glad I went. It's one of the most amazing experiences I've ever seen. And I had a mate who was a veteran of bullfights who explained what was going on.

But even without any explanation, I could see how the bullfight was like glue, holding traditional society together. Not only does the fight have it's rituals but the spectators have them too.

for example. After the first kill, the whole audience took out picnic baskets and started eating. And after each bull the whole place erupts as 20 different brass bands stand up and all play a different tune. And every generation was there from small children to old men, and everything in between.

It was shocking and brutal, yes. But it was uplifting too. Like defiance in the face of mortality. A recognition of a sometimes ugly reality. As well as a celebration of life.

When it comes to the bullfight itself, there are reasons for what looks like just out and out cruelty.

when you talk about weakening the bull, you [understandably] see it as trying to get unfair advantage. But that isn't exactly right.

The first thing they do when the bull is let in the arena is let it run around for a while. The reason for this is because they are checking out whether it's right or left handed. Bulls are like people in that respect.

this is where the picadors come in. they are the ones on the horses with armour. they have long spears, and their job is to work whichever side of the bull is stronger. So they work on the shoulder muscles. They are trying to even the bull posture so that is is straight.

the reason for this is because, so that the eventual kill will be instant, the matador has to make sure his sword passes through a very small opening behind the neck and through the body into the heart.

so, what looks like cruelty is actually about reducing suffering for the animal. It's not like throwing a fox to the hounds after a hunt.

and I worked out that the crowd cheer when the matador manages to make the bull move round him without moving position. He has to plant his feet and stand his ground. All the while pulling these dramatic shapes with his body.

It's not so different to boxing. It's visceral. We can admire technique as much as we like, but the appeal of both 'sports' is primevil.

And even though the things we witness are terrible. There is also a beauty and elegance to the iconography. The arena, the costumes and the exaggerated body language can seem like ballet.

it's terrible, but beautiful. It's a life lesson.

I'll get of me soap box now.
Oh no,our first argument.

I'm aware what you say about the picador is true,I googled bullfighting before posting.But I come back to my original point about the "contest" being unfair.Let the matedor work out for himself whether the bull goes to the left or right (he wouldn't have much trouble with us two)

I also see your point when you compare bullfighting with boxing and the primevil instincts to which both appeal.There are however a couple of important differences.One boxer doesn't have a load of spears thrust into him before the bout and a boxing referee wouldn't allow one boxer to be killed while springing to the defence of the other as soon as he got into the slightest trouble.

It's also interesting that you mention fox hunting.While I acknowledge the demise of the bull is not as gruesome as that of the fox it has to be noted that the defence most often used by hunting enthusiasts is to refer to the rituals and traditions of the practice.I feel you are making the same defence now.
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Old 26th September 2011, 12:55 AM
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I agree with both of you
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Old 26th September 2011, 05:44 AM
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I wouldn't have seen you as a traditionalist JB, the little I know of you. However I'm more concerned that you likened bull-fighting to boxing because I really did think you were quite intelligent. In no way can 2 consenting adults punching the shite out of one another for money & glory, both with ostensibly equal chance of receiving it - compare to any animal baiting/chasing/taunting activity where the aim is to kill the animal with the added titillation of the adult perhaps being hurt. In fact it is seen as a tragedy for the consenting adult to be hurt in these practices, & a great victory when he defeats the animal & it is killed.
It's olden days adrenalin rush; nowadays we can do many, many other things to get the same high (like go to a concert?) & we are or should be, more educated in the rights of animals in our care - from companion animals to livestock to wild animals - we humans taking over the planet & robbing it of the animals' food & habitat, have the highest obligation to protect them. It's by far a worthier activity than chasing & killing them & just because nobody cheers us should not make it less so. Today we have new traditions to respect the so-called lower life forms & keep them alive & well in our care.
Animals are not on this earth for our sport & entertainment. It is not ok for us to do what we like to them.
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Old 26th September 2011, 08:24 AM
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Good topic , have to agree with both jimmy and tom ,would i ban it yes . But jimmy puts a good case across witch makes me think ,


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Old 26th September 2011, 10:20 AM
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There is no argument that can justify this barbaric sport
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Old 26th September 2011, 04:52 PM
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We mite see it as barbaric but do the spanish ?
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Old 26th September 2011, 06:07 PM
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exactly bernie.

I know it doesn't really fit into todays politically correct- health and safety world. And I understand that some people are horrified at what they see as animal cruelty.

But I think that it's a bit relative. Most of us eat meat, so that's why we breed animals to be eaten. Difference is, animals are slaughtered out of sight, all we want is to see it on the plate. or cut and wrapped on a supermarket shelf. But it adds up to the same thing. Animals slaughtered for the benefit of human beings.

And, even though I have made the comparison with sport, it's slightly misleading. It's actually more like theatre.

It's the drama of life and death played out in front of our eyes. It breaks things down to the basic building blocks of existence, life and death.

there is an honesty to it.

We tend to tut-tut about the cruelty of others while we munch on a burger.
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Old 26th September 2011, 06:21 PM
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Reading JB's response I must admit that it does sound quite a spectacle. Can imagine how much better it must have been to have gone with someone who understood the nuances, as opposed to a 'Benidorm' excursion where you only go because they promise you as much local wine as you can drink.

As per Tom's original post this seems as much to do with sticking two fingers up at Madrid as it is any sudden conversion to animal rights. Today's paper also seems to indicate that audiences in Catalunia were falling as they failed to get the next generation interested.
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