Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bull Crap

Y'a know, I've been skydiving. I've driven fast on un-posted highways. I've gone on long road trips with no one but myself. I've jogged the strip in downtown Vegas at 5 a.m. I've swam in the ocean, fired an automatic weapon and even — now here's the real shocker — taken the red and blue lines, alone, late at night.

(But not all at the same time)

All of these things may seem unnecessarily dangerous to some. But they all have at least one thing in common: there was no immediate danger and — even with skydiving — so long as you go into a situation prepared (and your parachute is packed correctly), there's a good chance you'll come out alive. That's not to say I had absolute control of every situation; just that these were calculated risks wherein the potential for life-threatening danger was relatively small (insofar as it wasn't immediate).

But I would never — never — participate in that running of the bulls nonsense in Pamplona. Because bulls are wild creatures. Because they're enormous. Because they're powerful, and surprisingly fast. Because they cannot be adequately controlled when forced into a stampede.

Or am I the only one who got that memo?


PS - I don't care what Hemingway said. I feel I should add here that I'm terribly opposed to bullfighting though — yes — I "get" that because bulls (when poorly treated and/or riled up) can be quite dangerous, it requires some degree of skill for a matador to stay alive. But, c'mon, there's no excuse for this. We're not talking about being attacked by a bull in the wild; we're talking about taking bulls out of their natural environment and then provoking them to attack for our own entertainment, part of which involves the ritual maiming and public torture of said bull. It's sick.

16 comments:

Winter said...

Didn't think it was possible to admire you any more.

But I completely freaking agree. What's wrong with people?

XOXO said...

I totally agree. I've done a lot of those things you've mentioned. However, there is no way I ever have the desire to do something so stupid as that. I don't care about the rush. I still get chills from the nightmares I would have about our bulls.

Woodrow said...

I love to watch the running of the bulls on ESPN. Those guys are nuts. And the announcers crack me up.

Michael K said...

I'd never do it because (though I eat meat) I think that humane treatment of an animal that is raised for the slaughter is the least we can do. Those animals are taunted and tormented in the streets and anybody who ends up getting maimed or gored should get the same treatment the bulls get.Put them down for their own good.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

I read that today and thought it's not so muc it's in a village it's the village idiots who partake...

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Winter - You do know that means there's nothing left for me to do but disappoint?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

XOXO - And those were just bulls doing what bulls do. With the Running of the Bulls, we're talking about a forced stampede of mistreated animals through a busy city street.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Woodrow - I've seen bits and pieces before. I don't think I could sit through the full 2-5 minutes it usually takes. And I don't think I could ever watch a bullfight -- I have a hard time watching rodeos with my nephew, who fancies himself a l'il cowboy.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Michael - I'm not a vegetarian, but I certainly don't each much meat. There's a lot of personal history behind my preference there, but generally it all boils down to what you mentioned... I'm not opposed to eating meat, per se. I just don't like the way most animals are treated, and it's not easy to find places that tell you how/where the animals were raised.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

PE - Apparently those V.I.s travel from all around... many of those gored today weren't from Spain. There was a Mexican, a couple non-Spanish Europeans, an American, etc. It's quite the tourist attraction, for whatever reason.

Mystic Wing said...

Much as I loved hemmingway's writing, I don't understand the bull thing, either.

Do go to Banff someday. You'll be incredibly happy you did.

Anonymous said...

It is all about proving how macho you are. Seeings how I am a self confessed wimp I find this all rather stupid. Being macho is about having more testosterone than intelligence.
~BPP

Winter said...

Did you read about the "Running of the Cows?", for the women, I thought that was hilarious, see if I can't find the link.

ds said...

I would love to see a bull fight. don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the prospect of injuring killing and otherwise being inhumane to animals. but that's not what a bullfight is about either. if it was only about killing a wounded animal, then only 9 year old boys from broken homes would get into it. and 9 year old boys from broken homes seldom make the news, or have blog posts about them.

ds

Stacy said...

My son went to Pamplona last Summer. He says he ran with them but I think he is not telling the truth, he admires himself way to much for that type of goring. (I was terrified)

Pamela said...

if I was one of the bull's I'd be running those stupido's down, too.