Dis In The Afternoon
By Ed Tasca
Modern psychologists now believe that the bullfight may not be what it has always appeared to be – a primal, man-against-beast ceremonial battle of grace against brawn. At least not to the bull. The bullfight, theorists argue (from the bull’s point of view), is really a torrid sexual coming-out for the bull, an experience, I suppose, that is akin to our junior prom.
There’s something in the bull business called “best bulls,” they explain. These animals are bred specifically for sure-footedness and power – essentials in the ring (and probably junior proms as well). These bulls are never allowed to mate with the cows. Now, just that fact makes me start to wonder. Not only are the “best bulls” undergoing forced abstinence, but the bulls are deliberately teased into a libidinous frenzy by having the best-looking cows right across the fence from them, smelling great and sashaying about the pasture (looking, I would guess, to a bull, like the Kardashians and sounding just as articulate) – the sole purpose of which would be to further enrage these poor creatures.
So you have the bull, a frustrated virgin, going into the ring, without a spritz of cologne or even a gift-corsage, to meet the torero who, from the bull’s point of view, is just a “female symbol,” a flashy pole dancer in effect. As such, the entire corrida ritual starts to look a little different, as some kind of weird sexual consummation for the bull, ending up like nothing more than a really bad blind date.
I have taken it upon myself to try to recreate what Hemingway would have written about the bullfightif he were informed with the latest data:
Once I remember Gertrude Stein talking of bullfights. She said they were operatic, monumental, explosive even titillating, and that was just her description of the matador’s pants. My first visit to the corrida occurred to fill a lazy afternoon and empty a busy flask. I saw the bull rush through the puerta del toro and gouge his hoofs into the coarse dirt like a true ganada bravo (best bull) as if to say, “Flap your flirty little cape if you want, senorita, but it will do you no good. I’m a big, irresistible macho male, so don’t fool with me!” (Hemingway often projected himself into his characterizations.) The bull’s announcement served only to cue the torero into a balletic swirl behind his sweeping red muleta, a turn the beast saw as nothing more than another fickle female “maybe/maybe-not” seduction. The torero then scoffed further at the bull by snapping his hips forward and jamming his zapatillas provocatively into the earth just beneath the bull’s snarling muzzle. This caused the bull’s blood to rush back and forth between his horns and his hoofs, turning them bright red, and causing the effect of an emergency alert. The bull then snorted out several heated breaths and narrowed his eyes – declaring he was now certain the little torero wanted his baby.
The bull then charged once again at his beloved, only to have the torero leap into a mocking pas de chat, deliberately flashing his breathtaking pink stockings from behind his Salome-like, fluttering cape, driving the bull mercilessly mad with lust, and exclaiming disdainfully that there could never be anything between him and the bull – except possibly as a couple on Dancing With the Stars. It appeared that the bull was getting weary and frustrated, and could have been persuaded to settle for a simple, private lap dance. The crowds, those who hadn’t fainted, were beside themselves, and the policia had to be called in to calm them with a fire hose.
You can see from such an analysis that this bullfighting business continues to challenge our ideas about our moral values: Is it right for us to inflict such inhumane torture on a skinny little boy dressed up in an ill-fitting, provocative costume and a funny hat – in the name of sport? Yes, you can argue that if the boy performed well, he would be applauded, showered with flowers, even given some decent clothes to wear. BUT! Weigh that against the prospect of the bull performing well, which means, regrettably, that the bull would have subdued the torero, flattened him and…
(Continued on Page 43 of The National Enquirer.)