Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bull Ring

The Bull Ring is a Crazy Thing.

I'm not much of one for blood and guts and gore (at least not live), but I am one for genuine cultural experience. Strangely, I really can't produce much analysis regarding my visit to the bull ring. I think I was just pulled in two different directions. A big part of me supported the protesters out front. A big part of me was excited to see such a seasoned custom. Either way, watching 6 bulls get slain by swords was really.......something.

Perhaps I shall give the chronology.

A bull comes charging into the ring. Word on the street is that it's testicles are twisted backstage then it's stabbed in the neck. An angry bull is a good bull.

The bull is then taunted by various torreros. Again, the idea is to get it as mad as possible.

Stage two is the spinal stab. The bull is taunted by a man on horseback. When the bull charges the fully armored horse, the picadora stabs the bull in the back.

Stage three is the 'decoration' of the bull. The bull is stabbed by a set of 2 tubular flags, 3 times.

Stage four is the dancing with the bull. The main torrero emerges with a red cape and a sword. After roughly 7 minutes of toying with the bull, he stabs it through the back of the neck. If the torrero is good, the bull dies more or less instantly. If the torrero is not good, like all but one of the ones I saw, the bull must either be stabbed again by a sword, or, if it collapses, stabbed in the top of the head with a daggar. If the torrero does a wonderful job and the crowd loved it, an ear, two ears, or two ears and a tail are removed and awarded to the torrero.

The fifth part is the honouring of the bull. Horses are brought out and the bull is hooked up by its hornes and dragged around the ring.

Splended. All of it.

Sometimes the bull gets lucky. Mr. Orange took a slight stumble and was plowed by the bull. Good thing its a machismo event; he continued on with the show, blood seeping from his leg, and landed a crowd-loving blow.

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