Francisco Rivera Ordóñez, born to fame… and to pain
was the headline of the article by Antonio Lorca, bullfighting critic, in the culture section of El País, Spain’s left of centre national newspaper. Francisco is, along with his brother the matador Cayetano, heir to the greatest dynasty in the history of bullfighting.
Their father was Francisco Rivera Peréz, ‘Paquirri’, killed by a bull in 1984, a death made all the more famous since it was televised, as were his final moments on the surgeon’s table, telling the panicking medical staff that it didn’t matter, to remain calm. The effect of this death on his youngest son, my friend the matador Cayetano, I quoted in my previous post. I am sure Francisco felt similarly.
How Cayetano feels today I dare not ask: Francisco, who had also taken his father’s nom de guerre Paquirri, was gored by a bull in Huesca in Aragon in north-eastern Spain, and horn entering his abdominal cavity to a depth of 25cm – or a foot – hitting everything from his spine to his aorta in its visceral trajectory. As an admirer who has always found him charm itself in person, I wish him a swift and complete recovery.
In fact, let me rephrase that, as a human being of good conscience, I wish him a swift and complete recovery. Even were I to think that the method of killing bulls used in the bullrings of Spain morally inferior to that in our abattoirs I would not wish my fellow man anything else. Yes, the bullfight – as we wrongly translated the word corrida – is a twenty-minute long staged ‘combat’ from the bull’s perspective (t is a dance from the man’s hence it is reviewed as such in the culture section), which some might think worse than queuing for hours with the stench of death in the abattoir, despite the average fighting bull dying at 5 years old and reared wild in forests while the average meat cow being reared in a corral or pen and dying at 18 months but that arguable ethical stance wouldn’t make me wish death on the practitioners of the art and craft of toreo. N.B. All of the carcases end up in the food chain.
Police asked to act against ‘death threats to Fran Rivera on Twitter
However, in some cases an apparent, and loudly asserted love of animals is actually a device to justify and conceal a deep hatred of humanity, especially of any variations of difference in it, anything that disagrees with your world view: the mask of overt and virtuous love soon slips to reveal skull of snarling, spitting hate beneath. Such as we see in the headline above. Much the same, I suspect, was true in the case of the unfortunate old lion, who people insist on calling Cecil as though he would have come if called, who was illegally shot in Zimbabwe. (I wrote about it in some detail on my personal blog here.)
This article continues at The Last Arena here…