Bullfighting – culture?

Dear Editor,
Bullfighting. It’s a folk memory of Roman games of 2000 years ago, performed throughout the old Roman Empire. Let’s remember that the ‘Ludi’ were intended to pacify the common people and the idea was to appeal to the lowest tastes of the unwashed proletariat. Hence they had gladiatorial combat (in which murder was carried out in public), public executions, the burning of Christians and, finally, the slaughter of animals, all for the amusement of the public.
I would have hoped that human society had improved somewhat in 2000 years, so all that remains of this great cultural heritage is a few ruins and … bullfighting.
Yes, the only refuge of this primitive form of ‘entertainment’ is still being carried out in Spain and Portugal, the last refuges of this primitive form of public torture.
It should come as no surprise that a compliant and complacent population would turn a blind eye to the public and bloody torture of dumb animals for the pleasure of the public, but let’s remember that these are countries that made a great success of Fascism where even Germany and Italy failed.
This form of so-called ‘culture’ makes a mockery of the word. Culture is meant to be life-enhancing, to speak of higher motives. Bullfighting is ugly, vicious, cruel, and has as much to do with culture as any other form of public execution.
Anyone in Northern Europe trying to commit these acts of culture would be arrested for animal cruelty and spend years in prison, so why is it still tolerated here? Would you take your children to such an event or would you be ashamed? Who is ashamed of culture?
Is it culture or simply a sign that a vicious and malicious minority try to perpetuate it for their own nefarious pleasure? Who kills for pleasure? I predict that in 20 years’ time, this primitive activity will be nothing but a barbaric footnote in history. At least, I hope so. Perhaps the Portuguese can find another form of culture to embrace instead.
Roger Hardy
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