I’d wanted to see a bullfight for years – it sounded so exciting when people described it to me. With my trip to Tijuana canceled a few years ago, I was determined to experience this tradition that has gone back over 300 years. What better place than Mexico City (well, maybe Spain) to see the real deal? So we head out to the Plaza México – the world’s largest bull fighting ring. According to our guide, bull fighting is losing its popularity in Mexico with the younger generation to Soccer – mostly due to the savagery – something I would learn about first hand. These dudes must have huge Cojones to stand in front of a raging bull waving a red flag – or so I thought. For the uninitiated, here’s a quick rundown of how bull fighting works.
- Bull comes into ring and is promptly stabbed in the top of the neck by a dude riding a horse. This is done to prevent the bull from raising his head while in the ring (limits peripheral vision).
- Bull is induced to charge the Matador waving a colored towel – usually red – while Matador sidesteps bull – people in stands cheer.
- This goes on an unbearably long period of time and Matador finally draws a long sword and stabs the bull in the equivalent the human ribcage.
- After being stabbed, Matador’s friends get on left & right sizes of the bull and attempt to make the bull turn in their direction. This turning causes the still impaled sword to further cut the bull’s internal organs.
- Once the bull cuts himself to pieces on the inside and falls to the ground, the matador stabs the bull directly in the brain.
- Dead bull is chained around the head, dragged by the head out of the stadium and taken directly to the butcher – for which his parts will be on sale in less than an hour. Repeat!
What makes a ‘good’ matador is how fast they kill the bull – the thought being the faster you kill the bull – the less the bull suffers. When I visited, 3 or the 5 matadors must have been worth shit – because they had to repeatedly stab the bull – you could hear the bull scream all the way up in the stands.
I’m not sure how something can be so violet (which I generally like) yet so completely boring at the same time? Add to it that – the entire setup is rigged. Consider these three points:
- Bulls are color blind – the red doesn’t do a thing – they rush based on the movement they were trained to do. This leads me to point B….
- The bulls are ‘trained’ to rush the matador when the flag is waved. If you were to come across a bull in the wild waving a red flag – 8 times out of 10 – the bull would ignore you. Again, bulls are color blind. In training, bull rushes the waving flag and is giving food (or some other reward) for good behavior. They unwittingly continue this behavior in the bullfighting ring which contributes to their death.
- The matadors cheat. How – they stab the bull in the neck before the matador even gets in the ring. This prevents the bull from lifting its head – severely impacting their peripheral vision. They can only lift their head high enough to see the dangling flag – which they’ve been trained to rush. (See point b).
To add this all up, only one combatant knows they are in a bullfight – and it aint the bull. I have no problem watching a bull get killed in a fair fight – but to do B & C above and call yourself ‘brave’ is – well BullShit! Add to it the fact that these Matadors look really – really girly in these goofy Pink outfits. Finally, the pageantry of this event lasts forever – boring you to tears.
My final verdict on bullfighting is fraudulent and boring. I found myself rooting for the bull to impale one of these assholes – which would have been some great footage. Note: I had to take out a good deal of the bullfighting video footage because it was just too gruesome – I don’t need any of the PETA people on my ass (and it’s not good taste).
Local Soccer Team Wins
On the way back from dinner one evening, there was a large commotion on the street near our hotel. Upon further investigation, there were hundreds of people in the street – along with hundreds of riot police. What the hell is this I thought? Spoke to the natives and found out one of the regional Soccer teams just advanced in the playoffs. All these people took to the streets to celebrate this victory – which apparently sometimes gets out of hand. Most Americans just can’t understand all of the fuss about Soccer – myself included. To me, watching Soccer on TV is like watching paint dry (the same thing most everyone outside of the US says about Baseball). In future travels, I’d like to attend a live Soccer game to see if the experience is any different in person.
Overall – it was a good trip. I gained a few new experiences. If it were not for the Concierge at our hotel, the language barrier would have been much more of an issue. We could have certainly gone to the Teotihuacan and Bullfighting adventures; it wouldn’t have been such an enlightening experience. Finally, I was able to watch Mayweather destroy Hatton in a local saloon for free – does it get any better than that?