Bull-Headed Return

Spanish TV Resumes
Its Corrida Broadcasts

It didn’t last long. When bullfights stopped being televised in Spain, six years ago, it was the start of a movement that eventually led to a full ban of toradas in Catalonia, and a hard won victory for animal advocates. Many exaggeratedly called it a battle for the soul of Spain.
As aficionados of the bloody sport filled stadiums over the weekend, though, even that ban looked fragile at best. It may also help that the momentum inside the country is considerably darker, compared to 2006, when the broadcasts were halted.
To be perfectly fair, even before it, the popularity of bullfighting in Spain had already been waning, and demographics became a factor, as its enthusiasts are already in their greying years. The vibrant, culturally engaged Spanish youth has stayed away from the tradition.
The use of animals for public entertainment may be also on its way out throughout the world, specially when they may wind up killed, as they do in bullfighting. Despite a rich cultural and literary tradition in the past, resuming the toradas at this point may have to do more with local politics than with the march of time.

Talking about literature, for Americans the corrida de toros will always be identified with Ernest Hemingway, who wrote extensively about it and even called it not a sport, but a tragedy in a famous column about the one he attended in Pamplona, in the 1920s. Accordingly, he Continue reading

Joy to the Bulls

End of Toradas?

Struggle for Cultural Independence
Frames Catalonia Ban on Bullfighting

An old cultural Spanish tradition may have its days numbered as the parliament of Catalonia voted to ban the torada, the practice of killing bulls for public enjoyment. What is also known as corrida has been part of Spain’s national image for centuries and it’s celebrated as an art form. Nobel Prize Winner American writer Ernest Hemigway was one such enthusiast and once wrote, “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.”
Almost as old as bullfighting is Catalonia‘s struggle to reaffirm Continue reading