Death of a Matador – and religion

Just Merveilleux?

barrio

Extraordinary picture, isn’t it? For the first time in decades a Matador in Spain was killed while “performing”. The bull gored him through the heart. His name was Victor Barrio.

Spain is divided on the matter of bullfighting; very much along party lines. The conservatives call the practice a cultural tradition. They’re technically right. As for the tradition part, anyway. Bullfighting is ancient. Dotted through Gilgamesh, Mithraism, Rome… and then Hispania. In Spain it has quasi religious status.

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Imagery, superstitions, special clothing. And an embrace of the absurd. Bulls raised for bullfighting have wonderful lives (until they’re tortured to death.) Bullfighting is culturally important because it represents the fight of good versus evil (and the good is the man with the weapons torturing the animal?) It’s not a sport, it’s a mixture of art, dance and virility. It serves to collectively relieve anger. God created bulls to fight with man and die in…

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