October 2013

* Defiance and Weakness

"Do not keep the slanderer away, treat him with affection and honor: Body and soul, he scours all clean, babbling about this and that."


"Bullfighting isn't culture, it's cruelty. It's a horrible spectre of animal abuse that ends in the slow and torturous death of an animal provoked and repeatedly gored with knives and swords." says Kitty Block of the pro-animal Humane Society.

Now, leaving aside the fact that just because taunting bulls isn't culture where Ms Block comes from (she's a lawyer in that spick-and-span city of Washington DC) doesn't mean it isn't culture thousands of miles away in Catalonia, is it really true that bullfighting is cruel to bulls? One could argue the opposite: that being included in a bullfight is the best thing that can happen to a bull, since it elevates it from being a grubby and dumb beast into a performer in a piece of beautiful, arcane theatre.

To put a bull into a bullfight is to ennoble it. As a participant in a strange, centuries-old ritual, in a violent dance-off between man and beast, a bull acquires a significance far beyond its own natural existence. In fact, the only "purpose" in the life of a bull is that bestowed upon it by picadors and matadors - it is through their efforts, and their efforts alone, that a bull is transformed from being a rather pointless, instinctual beast into a noble creature worthy of being watched by an audience of thousands. In this sense, bullfighting is humane rather than cruel, since through the endeavour and labour of the bullfighting brigade a bull is given a use and purpose nature could never have designed for it.
(Brendan O'Neill, Dying in a Bullfight)

It was only later after Torrero Munera had been transferred from hospital in Spain to a recuperative facility in Miami to be closer to his relatives in Colombia that he developed a "moral" problem with bullfighting. According to his own account, it was the doctors, nurses, other patients and their families treating him with contempt because of his bullfighting past which caused the change. In his own words, he converted to their point of view because "there are more of them, they must be right." Whatever you think of this as a reason for revising the moral code by which you have lived your life, it is clear that it was not the behaviour of a bull while dying that caused this man to end his run of 150 bulls killed.

"An old fox understands the trap."



"The path of least resistance is the path of the loser."
(HG Wells)

"Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal."

"Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning."
(Aldous Huxley)

"Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity."
(Michel de Montaigne)

"Ignorance is stubborn and prejudice is hard."
(Adlai E. Stevenson)

Stubborn isn't a word I would use to describe myself; pigheaded is more appropriate.
(Michael Bloomberg)

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."

"Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it."

"Scholars talk books, butchers talk pigs."

"The best pears fall into the pigs' mouths."

"Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to a fool."

"He who mixes with the bran, will be eaten by the pigs."



"Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."
(James Joyce)

"Can miles truly separate you from friends...If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?"

"I think all comedy has victims, really...even if it's not a victim that appears on camera, usually there's a victim. If it's political comedy, if you're talking about the president or whoever, there's a victim there."
(Tom Green)

"Tom Green Should be flipping burgers somewhere."
(Richard Roeper)

"Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg."
(Dwight D. Eisenhower)

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. I do have a test today, that wasn't bull-shit. It's on European socialism. I mean really, what's the point. I'm not European. I don't plan on being European, so who gives a crap if they're socialists. They could be fascist anarchists and it still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car."
(Ferris Bueller)

"Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels."

"The doctor sees all the weakness of mankind; the lawyer all the wickedness, the theologian all the stupidity."
(Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

"The fox condemns the trap, not himself."
(William Blake)