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Catalan Parliament bans Spanish bull (fight)
animal rights |
Wednesday July 28, 2010 16:53 by iosaf mac diarmada barcelona - catalonia
(not as sport, nor culture but politics) the politics of the weak...
Today the Catalan parliament became the 2nd of the Spanish state's regional legislatures to prohibit bull fighting following the decision by the Canary islands. The Canary decision was more palatable for afficionados of bullfighting because they had never had a tradition of the ritual which leaves neither side indifferent.
The decision by the Catalan parliament to become the first Iberian mainland regional government to prohibit bullfights (noting that the tradition is practised in Portugal as well) has of course been and was going to be linked to Catalonia's resentment of the insistence of the Spanish state to homogenise identity and culture to the detriment of its own plurality.
that animal rights serve as a mechanism for accentuating the divide between "Spain" & "Catalonia" is not so sweet, really...
The roots of the spectacle which sees a purpose bred bull baited, tried, exhausted and finally ritually killed after it shows submission to a human (almost always male in very very gay costume) lie in the Mithran cult of the Roman Empire, many of whose facets were absorbed into christianity and such as the December 25th holiday and wafer & wine rituals last to this day.., Bull fighting or baiting continues to exist in the Portuguese and Spanish states as well as Latin America and the (Occitan / Provençal) south of France.
Any tourist enjoying an economic model created during the 1960's stage of the Franco dictatorship under the honorary president of the Spanish right wing and unionist PP party, Manuel Fraga, will know that España is different and the silhouette of a bull, often placed over the Spanish flag is a globally recognised symbol & brand™ ®. During the last years many cities, towns, villages and indeed the whole regional government of the Canary islands saw fit to ban bullfighting, a fact celebrated by animal rights activists without too much time dwellt upon the historical and cultural fact that those same towns or that distant geographically African island group, had never seen bullfights let alone celebrated nor institutionalised to the point of purpose built arenas.
Barcelona however had up until the 1980's three such venues, two of which were built during the Franco dictatorship determined influx of migrant labour from the rest of the Spanish state. Nevertheless the first, so far acknowledged, mention of bullfights, arenas and the Mithraen rite in Catalonia, are now generally accepted to point to a tradition (of sorts) which was recorded in the 15th century before the unification of Castillian and Aragonese thrones and long before the oppression of Catalan historical rights.
If Catalans were so serious about ending cruelty to animals, they'd perhaps:-
* insist PETA activists get properly naked on each and every one of their naked protests instead of simply smearing their lingere draped selves in fake paint
* stop the mechanisation of animal foodstuffs increasingly endemic to the developed world's food chain capitalist model
* bother to leave out food and water during the summer months for stray cats like the author of this piece does....
The decision to ban what to most Europeans and any foreigner is first considered a blood sport by the Catalan Parliament today must be seen in the context of the recent supremacy of Spanish sport . For as most hearty types know well, Spaniards have won the World Cup, Wimbledon, Formula 1, excel at basketball, trounce at synchronised swimming & are generally really really good at sweaty kinetic shite.
But as has been reflected upon much even in the international media, the majority of the excellent athletes representing Spain, España (and the supposedly asymetrical federal state which is simply post fascistically coperative and centralised ) are in fact either Catalan born, Catalan trained, Catalan resident or Catalan speakers.
That same region, as once akin to Scotland for the English and the UK or as much like Welsh for England, has seen its "estatut" or self-qualified in referendum reform of its "local constitution" and relationship with the centralised state, rejected by the constitutional tribunal (a kind of supreme court) of Spain in the very same week that a clear majority of Catalan footballers, most of whom wish play for a Catalan national side, win the World Cup.
The centralised state of Madrid and Castillian and Spanish tradition and unity rejected the Catalans popularly approved assertion of their nationhood, the historicity of their nationhood, the primacy of their language (the most spoken language in europe not recognised by the EU as official) & etc., etc.,
So the rite of Mithras, which indeed holds no rules other than the bull dies (even if it gores the matador in the process) and the matador must look exceedingly gay in the kind of tight trousers that would make most males impotent not to mention infertile, has now been banned by Catalonia from January 2011. Whereas it has been given the official status of cultural inheritance by the Madrid regional government.
If either side agree on anything it is that the activity which is globally seen as a blood-sport - is in fact not a sport.
It is either a treasured cultural ritual of "Hispanidad" or it is yet one more simple yet inefectual way to raise awareness that
CATALONIA IS NOT SPAIN