We have had a beautiful sunny day here on the Central Coast of NSW, No bull ! yesterday noon temp was 12 deg Cel lower than today and tiddling down.
Barcelona Bullfighting Ban
Wednesday July 28, 2010
The regional parliament in Barcelona has passed into law a resolution to ban bullfighting in Catalonia. The result of the vote was 68 in favor of the ban, 55 against and nine absentions. A few hundred less bulls will die in the region because of the ruling, but what were the real motives behind the ban?
The move comes after years of opposition in the region, where the animal rights case has been mixed in with Catalan nationalism as the region attempts to distance itself from the rest of Spain. The separatists have used the emotive case of bullfighting to get international attention for the 'plight' of the 'repressed' Catalan nation. Anti-bullfighting campaigns in Catalonia are always accompanied by Catalan flags.
So what has been the result of the ban? Has the animal rights situation in the region improved? A little. These bulls will no longer die in each year in bullfights, but many others will continue to suffer in the similar bous al carrer ('bulls in the street') and, indeed, in the many substandard abattoirs in the region.
So what's the difference between the bous al carrer and bullfighting? The former is 'Catalan', the latter is 'Spanish'; the former won't make the front pages of newspapers around the world, the latter will.
Catalonia is a region where its anachronistic independence struggle (illogical and irrelevant in a border-free Europe) blurs the boundaries between political causes to such an extent that it is difficult to see exactly what Catalans stand for, apart from less taxes going to Madrid. Catalonia is a region where the communist party has a hammer and sickle on top of a Catalan flag (that is to say, a nationalist/communist oxymoron, which even a high-school politics student will know is contradictory). Rebellion for the sake of rebellion: coherent political stances are optional.
Of course, it's not just the Catalans that use nationalism in the bullfighting debate. Spanish nationalists support bullfighting not out of a Hemmingway-esque love of the practice, but because it is 'Spanish' to be in favor of it. In fact, the two sides are so similar in their arguments and behaviour, why don't they just share a nation and stop arguing about it?
Vest's memories from 1950 aboard The Aircraft Carrier HMS Indomitable.
In the spring of 1951, the ship visited Gibraltar, as well as Menton,
Golf Juan, Cannes, Nice, in the south of France.
A friend and I went on acar trip with a wealthy Frenchman. We all got sloshed in a bar and the
French bloke had his Mercedes stolen.
When berthing alongside the jetty in Gibraltar, HMS Indomitable went up the stern of the Battleship HMS Vanguard, hitting the starboard side aft and nearly demolishing the Admirals day cabin. What a mess!
Our Captain was very worried. I guess that is the price of responsibility.
Going ashore in Gibraltar and seeing Barbary apes sitting on the walls outside the dockyard masturbating in public was quite amusing. On the other hand, the conventional entertainment was super. The Spanish
Flamenco dancers were great, but must not touch or else.
The bullfights in La Linea were the best entertainment, especially if you happened to be a cruel, insensitive bastard.
Dressed in civilian clothes and with visas, we crossed into Spain. After getting stuck into the
Spanish brandy at five shillings a bottle, we were soon chanting "Viva El Toro"long live the bull which infuriated the local Spaniards.
A friend who had consumed far too much of the local poison had been grabbed by a member of fascist General Franco's police, whom I spoke to explaining, I would take him back over the border.
This resulted in me being arrested. I being as calm as was possible was led with the
other guy to the cells, prompted by a 9mm Luger pistol.
The smell of horse manure and bad cigars wafting around never left us, I can conjure up that smell even today.
As both of us had been inoculated against all known diseases, we drank the water offered; however, we didn't eat the food. The big Bombay runners preferred the filth on the walls to the food we were expected to eat.
It is strange how some stiff upper lip people behave when they emerge from their incarceration in stinking foreign prisons, after living in squalor and having their guts kicked in daily.
Oh, they were frightfully decent chappies, but didn't understand us. The words we used in their lingo were always the wrong words.
The press states
"How nice" they are hugging and shaking the hands of their former jailors, el bastardos Manuel and Carlos. Photographs of the released smiling prisoners make the national newspapers.
Our release from La Linea prison was less dignified. We held our trousers up with sisal string, as the Spanish prison officials had kept our belts, money, and wristwatches. We then passed through the border post.
As we approached our border post, my jail mate (who I forgot to mention was from Belfast) turned and gesticulated to our former hosts, using a lot of filthy expletives in broken English and pidgin Spanish. This caused our former hosts to laugh their heads off, so Paddy dropped his strides and showed them his backside and called them a nation of bum bandits.
When we arrived at our border post, the Gibraltar police were all laughing. It was then explained to Paddy that his peculiar dialogue had been pretty good except when he had said, 'We are",when he meant to say, "You are."
Two days later, an explanation and my good behaviour convinced our CO that I was blameless.
Friday tomorrow, All of you have a lovely weekend. Vest.
Remember "Viva El Toro".
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