"As long as there is a hobby that vindicates their freedom, the party will continue alive."
The author of the phrase is François Zumbiehl, recognized French intellectual, amateur bullfighting, author of several bullfighting books and one of the most authoritative voices in defense of bullfighting as intangible cultural heritage.
He was the protagonist of this blog on July 8, and in his deep reflection on the current meaning of the party left other pearls that, like the first, could sound epitaph or, better yet, urgent needs if you want to avoid the disappearance sooner than later of the show.
"There will be bulls," he insisted, "while the amateur community values what is in their hands, express their voice without fear and defend respect for cultural diversity in the event that it becomes a minority."
The April Fair in Seville confirmed the change in the cycle of bullfighting
"Bullfighting is at a crossroads and can disappear if it becomes a foreseeable spectacle," he added at another time.
"The risk that bullfighting is distorted and loses its authenticity is more serious for the future than all external attacks," he concluded.
It finishes the year 2018 and with him a season that has left memories and worries; memories to forget many of them and indelible others, and a wide range of concerns, those that deserve priority attention if you really want to avoid disaster.
It could be that the year has closed with hopeful news.
– The Constitutional Court has overturned the Balearic law that completely distorted the bullfight.
– Paco Ureña has announced his return to the ring after losing his left eye as a result of the fatal pitonazo suffered on September 14 at the fair in Albacete.
– The Minister of Culture has declared that the Government does not intend to prohibit bulls.
– The political parties have shown some interest in the party as a result of the surprising result of the Andalusian elections.
But the year has given for much more. There remain the insulting power of the young Roca Rey, outstanding protagonist of the season; the pardon of the bull 'Orgullito' and the triumph of El Juli at the Feria de Abril; the farewell with all the honors of the always heroic Juan José Padilla; the incontestable success of Talavante in San Isidro and his subsequent withdrawal from the ring; the tail that cut the rejoneador Diego Ventura in Madrid; the positive surprise of the drums that decided the posters of the Autumn Fair; the great incontestable door of Diego Urdiales in that same cycle, and the hope for the future that supposes bullfighters like Emilio de Justo, Pepe Moral, Pablo Aguado, Octavio Chacón, Fortes, José Garrido, Álvaro Lorenzo, Ginés Marín, Román, Manuel Escribano , Javier Cortés, Juan Ortega …
The work of the Foundation of the Bull of Lydia is as respectable as debatable and improvable
There have also been shadows and many.
The fair in Seville confirmed the change in the cycle of bullfighting, so that the bull, soft, noble, artist and enduring in the crutch – the pardoned 'Orgullito' is its paradigm – is the center of the bullfighting spectacle of the 21st century. This new time supposes the disappearance of the bull of dazzling show, powerful, fierce, brave and engraved nobility, essence of the bullfighting, that has allowed that this show lasts until our days.
It is evident that the bullfighters have promoted a coup d'etat against the fighting bull; they have dethroned it and decided that it is the bullfighters who occupy their place. The bullfighting party has been renamed bullfighting, and so torerismo has become the prevailing noxious fashion. In sum, the fraudulent manipulation of the antlers – the popular 'shaving' -, the absence of caste and a persistent disability seriously endanger the survival of the spectacle.
In general, the different fairs have repeated the same combinations, with bullfighters already amortized that increasingly interest less; and, consequently, the 'no tickets' poster is in serious danger of catching cobwebs.
It is time to return to the reflections of Professor Zumbiehl about what he calls 'the amateur community', the predictability of the show and the danger of the loss of authenticity of the show.
Certainly, only the existence of a demanding and committed hobby will guarantee the survival of bullfighting in this century. But who is watching over her? Who cares for her? Who works to prevent their rout? It does not seem that businessmen and bullfighters are very concerned about this matter.
The fans are few, they are scattered and do not count for the bullfighting business. They lack the motivation and leadership necessary to express their voice and defend the respect due to a cultural minority.
The bullfighting spectacle of today is more predictable in history, and, therefore, the most boring and exasperating. The third of the poles have disappeared, the banderillas are a mere procedure and the crutch tasks are endless and almost always soporific.
"The loss of authenticity is more serious than all external attacks," says Zumbiehl.
The sentence is to record it with gold letters. While attention and concern are focused on animalism, the party falls apart internally, away from the fans and becomes predictable and routine. (The work of the Foundation of the Bull of Lydia is as respectable as debatable and improvable, its legal defense of bullfighting is very valid, its campaign against animalism is harmless and its intervention in the internal problems of the party is null).
How is the new year presented?
Time will tell, but the solution is in the hands of the bullfighting. The popular saying already warns: if the usual policies are repeated, the errors will be the same.