October 27, 2020

A slightly more positive and constructive analysis of the bullfighting festival | Blog The bull, by the horns


Following the post last week, dedicated to the Reconstruction Tour, a fan asked on social networks that this blog “sometimes could be more positive and make more constructive analysis … for the good of the party.”

There are not a few followers of the bulls who do not agree with critical judgments about the sector or with complaints about situations that denote an alleged irresponsibility or passivity of its protagonists; they prefer, —that, at least, it seems— to tiptoe over the problems and highlight the positive aspects of bullfighting, as a way of not adding fuel to the fire at a party that suffers so many attacks from numerous and different flanks.

Perhaps they are right; At the very least, their wish that the focus is not only on the negative aspects of a party that has reached the 21st century thanks to its own greatness must be taken into account.

What is clear, however, is that you cannot close your eyes to reality. It is different if more or less emphasis is placed on one or other aspects, but praising bullfighters when they are right, criticizing them when they are wrong and denouncing them when they abuse or inhibit should be part of the concerns of the fans and, above all, it is work journalists’ priority.

There are not a few fans who do not agree with rigorous judgments about the sector

In general, journalistic criticism is usually constructive, it pursues the good of the party, and the person exercising it is not the enemy; the indifferent ignore and the enemy attacks and pursues the disappearance of the party.

But it is possible, of course, to make a positive analysis of bullfighting; different is that it matches reality. And something more serious: it is not at all clear that it contributes to the improvement of the show and its permanence in time.

Say, for example, that the party is more alive than ever, that many young people are seen on the lines of the squares, that anti-bullfighting is an insignificant minority and that animalism is a fashion that, like all, will be forgotten in a short term.

The business and economic structures of the sector are solid and modern; the squares, comfortable establishments, and the clients, characters satisfied by the service they receive.

In addition, today’s bullfighting shows are fun for spectators and exciting for fans.

Triumph of Diego Urdiales on October 7, 2018 in Las Ventas.  An exciting afternoon.
Triumph of Diego Urdiales on October 7, 2018 in Las Ventas. An exciting afternoon. Efe

The bull artist is the protagonist of the moment, handsome in the face, dazzling in appearance, with measured forces, yes, so that the third of the rods is a drill and the public has no option of booing the pikeman for exercising a fundamental work of the fight. That is a bull that overflows nobility and sweetness, so that it contributes to the enjoyment and triumph of the bullfighter.

That is the bull that most of the breeders who belong to the Union of Lydian Bull Breeders (UCTL) breed or dream of, the noble elite of ranchers, —one of the five existing breeders associations— that keeps an accomplice and corporatist silence before the progressive degeneration of the brave bull, which is normal because they are companions that support each other.

The bullfighting sector is made up of various classes with different interests, which should not have a negative impact on the development of the show or prevent the adoption of support and defense measures.

Critical observation may ooze bitterness, but the present does not allow otherwise

That sector (that is, bullfighters, businessmen and ranchers, together with the Movistar television channel) has launched the call Reconstruction tour, which is a good idea to keep track of the show. Together, after almost seven long months of negotiation, they have agreed to hold 15 bullfights in which as many figures have chosen a herd of their choice (four bulls and not six, as usual) and a friend to accompany them. in the paseo. This is a great project that, in sight, has revolutionized the bullfighting festival and places it on the best springboard for next year.

A very positive development was the creation of the Bullfighting Foundation (FTL), until now dedicated almost exclusively to defending the sector from alleged hate crimes and establishing a channel for dialogue with the Administrations. He considers that it is not his mission to express his opinion or influence in professional matters of bullfighting activity. (They will not criticize their own partners…).

As a result of the pandemic, the FTL began, not without difficulty, conversations with the Ministry of Culture, to which it sent a document with the 37 measures that the sector as a whole considers necessary to refloat it. The shipment was in May, and there is no news yet. There is no need to be alarmed; things in the palace are going slowly, and, at any moment, the minister will call Victorino Martín, president of the FTL, and will surely give him good news.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labor has not yet recognized the bullfighters (matadors, picadors, banderilleros and sword boys) their status as artists of public performances, and, consequently, the right to receive aid derived from the pandemic, but hope, which the Government has already repeated, that no worker will be left behind.

The autonomous communities that repeatedly express their verbal support for the bullfighting party do not reflect their commitment in the annual budgets, while they approve economic items to serve other cultural industries. There cannot be money for everyone, you have to understand it. They are good people who give effusive nudges and satisfy the bullfighting with well-supplied meetings of photographers and nice words of encouragement.

The 2020 season will end in white. As of today, a first-class plaza, Córdoba, is only scheduled to open tomorrow, Monday, for the heads-up between Morante and Juan Ortega. Las Ventas and La Maestranza will remain closed throughout the year, but nothing happens; The right-hander from La Puebla has already prophesied that people will return to the box office in 2021 as if nothing had happened.

And so, if you wish, you can continue this fiction …

Perhaps, those who prefer that the problems of the bullfighting festival are addressed and a sweetened and positive look be transferred to society, even if it is false and does not imply a transformation of the current problematic situation. It is a way to avoid disappointment, without a doubt.

Unfortunately, bullfighting no longer enjoys the social predicament of yesteryear, when popular pressure overcame Vatican and monarchical prohibitions. Today, it needs realism, commitment, authenticity, honesty, integrity … In other words, an internal revolution to catch air in the stormy waters of the animalistic 21st century.

José Cruz’s cattle ranch wrote the following message on his Twitter account a few days ago: “If someone doesn’t think that a change in lifestyle will come after the pandemic, they are blind. Let’s restructure the sector; if he doesn’t, let’s prepare his funeral. “

Optimism, despite everything? Of course.

In the same social network the following declaration of love was read in San Isidro in 2019: “What poison will this hobby have that every afternoon I go out cursing the square, and, the next day, I go down the street of Alcalá with the illusion of a child on Three Kings Day ”.

Well that; don’t confuse constructive criticism with defeatism … for the good of the party.

And we will always have the premonition of Luis Francisco Esplá: “I believe that everything will return to its place because it belongs to the feeling of the people, because around it there is an economy, and also an ecological management that would be serious to damage …”.

Sometimes, it is true, analyzes that claim to be positive and critical can ooze bitterness, but the present does not allow otherwise.

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