Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Want To Be A Matador In Another Life

Bull Fight in Mexico

I know it's not politically correct, but I've always been interested in matadors and bullfighting. When I was growing up, we had paintings in our home featuring matadors in action. I was always mesmerized by that artwork. I really wanted to be able to attend a bullfight some day.


Bullfighting is popular in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, parts of France and Turkey, etc. I know there is a lot of debate and controversy over bullfighting. Supporters see it as a cultural tradition that should be honored, while opponents see it as a barbaric blood sport. There are people on both sides of the issue even within countries where bullfighting takes place. King Juan Carlos of Spain and especially his daughter, Princess Elena, are fans of the sport, while Queen Sophia detests bullfighting.

We can trace bullfighting in some form all the way back to ancient times. The sport as we know it developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. It always seemed to have supporters and opponents throughout the years. Sometimes it was outright banned, while other times it was embraced. It was very popular during the Franco era in Spain. Many thought it might decline after the end of the Franco government, but it continues to remain a draw today. The current government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero though is opposed to bullfighting and has placed some restrictions on it.

I wasn't sure if I should post some pictures of matadors here or not. I knew that there were probably readers who fall on both sides of this issue. Please feel free to share your opinions on bullfighting. You aren't going to hurt my feelings if you disagree with me. I'm sure there are plenty who do.

Between the matador art in my childhood home and reading too much Ernest Hemingway, I've come to find bullfighting to be very fascinating and alluring. There is something timeless and romantic about the idea of the matador and this artistic dance to the death with the bull. I still would love to attend a bullfight. In another lifetime, I think it would have been cool to have actually been a matador.


Here are some pictures of Spanish matadors in the late 1960's. I did try not to post anything too graphic, but there are a couple of pictures that might offend some people. I apologize beforehand.

Martin Santiago, also known as "El Viti"

elviti-martinsantiago

Manuel Benitex, also known as "El Cordobes"

manuelbenitez-elcordobes

manuelbenitez-elcordobes2

Francisco Ribera, also known as "Paquirri"

franciscoribera-paquirri2

franciscoribera-paquirri

Cesar Giron

cesar-giron

Cesar Giron and Palarmo Linares

cesargiron-palarmolinares

Doing this post reminded me of the video for the Madonna song Take A Bow. The video features a matador in a bullfight. Check it out.


76 comments:

Nancy Sinatra Fan said...

My parents went to a bullfight down in Mexico some years ago. My dad loved it. I don't think my mom cared for it though.

Wolf Boy said...

I have no problems with bullfighting. I'm not much for political correctness. I would love to attend a bullfight at some point in my life.

Keith said...

Hey Phoebe. Thanks for sharing that with us. I never knew that. That's cool.

Keith said...

Hey Wolf. That's awesome that you are fine with bullfighting. I definitely hope I get a chance to at least see one in my lifetime.

Gabbi said...

There is such an elegance to it dear Keith, I very much agree. Wish the poor bulls didn't have to get hurt though :(

Keith said...

Hey Gabbi. Thanks for commenting. I wasn't quite sure what sort of response I was going to get with this post. I'll admit that it's sad about the bulls.

Etrapar said...

OLE!!! it's absolute adrenaline! ^.^
kisses

Allison said...

My best friend studied in Spain last semester, and when her boyfriend went to visit, they went to a bullfight. They said it was pretty fun up until they had to slaughter the bull...I think it would be fun too minus that!
I liked all the pictures you posted though =)

Amy said...

Those matador paintings are so retro aren't they? My daughter has one of horses in her room that my dh's grandparents gave her - it looks pretty old.

Diana said...

I'm not down for hurting the animals, but if it brings nostalgia back from your childhood, it's cool. Plus it's so tough!

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh I find that i get incredibly sad and upset when I see pictures of the bulls with spears sticking into them. It seems so degrading and painful for them
xxx

Frank&Rémy said...

Im feeling ya! I wanted to be a bullfighter when I was a child,and still want to, but as u said, in a nother life.

Went to a bullfight in spain this summer actually, might sounds terrible but i loved it!

Bruce Coltin said...

Keith, Since you're into the old stuff anyway, you should find the movie, The Sun Also Rises. Great stars, including Tyrone Power, Erroll Flynn, and Ava Gardner. And bullfighting figures heavily into the story. As far as movies go, it does well by Hemingway's novel.

Also, thanks for the comment you left on my blog. I found it quite interesting.

Keith said...

Hey Sonia. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed this post.

Keith said...

Hey Allison. Thanks for sharing that. I appreciate it. I'm sure for a lot of people that's the main part that is upsetting. I'm still glad they enjoyed the rest. Glad you liked the photos. Take care. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Amy. I love all of those old paintings. I wish we still had them. Our house burned down when I was growing up so we lost all that stuff. I always loved the matador art we had. We also had a lot of other cool things on the wall. I remember one of a gondolier in Venice.

Keith said...

Hey Diana. Thanks for commenting. It is bad that animals get hurt. I can understand where people who are coming from who are opposed to it. I posted this mostly because this is something that fascinated me when I was growing up. It still does.

Keith said...

Hey Dustjacket. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your feedback. I tried to tone down the pictures. There were a few I was going to post that were much more graphic.

Keith said...

Hey Frank. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. That's so cool that you got a chance to go to a bullfight. So lucky. I'd love to some day. Being a matador was one of those things I really wanted to be. I still think it would be cool. Maybe in another lifetime.

Keith said...

Hey Bruce. Thanks for your comment. I have seen that film. I love it. I'm a huge fan of the novel. It's my favorite Hemingway novel. I enjoyed the film based on it. I've been meaning to watch it again sometime soon. You are welcome about my comment. For some reason, that's what popped into my head when I read that post. I know that he did mean a lot to the people of Mass. He made a lot of contributions to this country.

Planet Mondo said...

We used to go to Spain quite a bit when I was younger - but could never bring myself to go to a bullfight

bjornborg said...

i find bullfighting a bit scary, but i can see why you're intrigued by it.

Keith said...

Hey Dave. That's cool that you have been to Spain. I visited Europe back in the year 2000, but unfortunately Spain wasn't one of the countries. That's okay that you didn't visit a bullfight.

Keith said...

Thanks Bjorn. I'm glad that even though you think it's scary you can understand why I would be fascinated by it.

Robert M. Lindsey said...

Talk about great minds thinking alike! Check out my post today: http://www.retrohound.com/bullfights-in-juarez-mexico/

Keith said...

Hey Robert. That's so cool. I'll definitely check it out.

janettaylor said...

I adore Take a bow from Madonna...

XoXo

Keith said...

Hey Janet. I love that song and video myself.

Maria G. said...

Hola Keith!! thank you so much for your nice comment and for visiting my blog!! you're so nice!! I'm Spanish and Ive just seen a bullfighting in person once in my life, I think it is a whole world around it but I don't like the part where the bull dies, apart from that it's a good show to see live, thanks again and I'll keep on visiting you, kisses!!

Keith said...

Hey Maria. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. It was great hearing from you. Thanks for offering your insights about bullfighting. It is a shame that the bull has to die. I bet the rest of it is so spectacular. I do hope you will continue to visit my blog. I'll do the same to yours. Cheers!

Erika said...

I always loved that Madonna song - can't say the same for the video. I don't agree with bullfighting - still, great post; lots of history. :)

Couture Carrie said...

Cool post, Keith!
I went to a bullfight in Spain when I was in college ~ an experience, for sure!

xoxox,
CC

Keith said...

Hey Erika. Thanks. Glad you like the song even if you don't the video. That's totally cool that you are against bullfighting.

Keith said...

Hey Carrie. Wow. That's awesome that you actually got a chance to go to a bullfight. I'm sure it was quite an experience.

kpeach said...

makes for very fluid colorful pics either way!

Dominica said...

They are so elegant, aren't they ?

Keith said...

Hey kpeach. Thanks for commenting. That's so true.

Keith said...

Hey Dominica. They most definitely are.

Kristin said...

I gotta say. I find it to be quite cruel. That being said, the Madonna song sure brings me back. Where has the time gone?

Keith said...

Hey Kristin. Thanks for commenting. There are plenty of people who do find it cruel. I'm not saying that I don't. I do love that song. The time has flown by since then.

Gisela said...

Hi Keith! Thanks!!! I hope you visit me often!!!! Welcomeee!!!!!!!!!
Do you understand spanish??? I was asking if you like the first sandals photo because I'm thinking to change them and take the next shoes (next photo)
The black dress maybe I'll take another size, I don't know yet.
And the other things are what I have bought today, do you like them?
(Sorry for my english! it's quite poor!!!!!)
Lots of kisses!!!!!!

Keith said...

Hey Gisela. Thanks for stopping by and commenting at my blog. I appreciate it. My Spanish is fairly poor so don't feel bad about your English. I thought you did a fine job. Honestly I like any of those shoes. I'm not sure which would be best. Yes, I do like all the items you bought. They are all beautiful. I do plan to visit your blog more often. I hope you will do the same. Take care. Cheers!

KIRAFASHION said...

I do love their outfits, I actually got an amazing purse from Madrid...inspiring at their clothes...but I am always sorry for the animals...it´s just sad...however, an amazing tradition :)

Niki B. said...

interesting post, i too wish that the bulls didn't have to get hurt but i'll admit that it would be very cool to see in real life. so would the running of the bulls for that matter! xo

drollgirl said...

i saw a bullfight once when i was in mexico. it made me cry and i had to leave. and i was hoping the bull would win. :(

Rebecca Rose said...

That is scary. But anyway thanks for dropping by on my blog. Just checked your profile and its cool because I am a Sagittarian and my zodiac year is Dog too.

Take care.

>>> Rebecca Rose


rebeccaroseilican.blogspot.com

Scott (gotankgo) said...

Closet I ever get to a bull fight is when I pull out a bunch of my Herb Alpert records for a listening session. Ole!

Nubia said...

There is a very interesting elegance to Bull fighting, a certain grace to it.

Clare said...

Aww bullfighting makes me sad. My dad has been to one, but I feel like i would prolly start crying if I went to one because the bull would be suffering and struggling and all bloody and dying.

But I do love their outfits! Ole!

Keith said...

Hey Kira. Thanks for commenting. I love their clothing. There is this whole ritual in the way they put on their clothes and get ready for the fight. It is such a beautiful tradition.

Keith said...

Hey Niki. Thanks for offering your feedback. I think most people can agree that they wish the animals didn't get hurt. It would be awesome to see at least one bullfight. Oh yeah. I'd love to go to the running of the bulls.

Keith said...

Hey Droll. Sorry the bullfight made you so sad. I'm sure the matador was glad the bull didn't win though. lol

Keith said...

Hey Rebecca. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my latest post. I appreciate it. Have a great day tomorrow. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Scott. Thanks for commenting. Oh yeah. That's about the closest I've been myself. lol

Keith said...

Hey Nubia. Thank you. I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Keith said...

Hey Clare. Thanks. That's cool that your dad got a chance to go to one. I'm sorry that you would be so sad and crying. I'm glad you like the matador outfits though.

Leah F. Taas said...

I find bullfighting very artistic in a sense that it can be compared to a well-choreographed dance. I find so much grace in their movements, maybe they studied ballet or some dance lessons before they became matadors.:-)

Keith said...

Hey Leah. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your insights. I love the way you described it. You said it so beautifully. I agree with you.

Gingeyginge said...

Everyone has their own oppinions...To me 'Bullfighting'...The poor animal does not choose to fight...Is glamourised slaughter...It is on the same line as 'Being thrown to the lions'...I'm surprised they have'nt kept that going as well...

Keith said...

Hey Gingey. Thank you for sharing your opinion. Even if we see it differently, I appreciate hearing both sides of the debate.

thomas tucker said...

I think it is disgraceful and animal torture.
If you want to fight a bull, do so without weakening it first from blood loss and without cutting the neck strap muscles.

Some Like it Vintage said...

I love matadors and bullfighting. I'm glad the bulls are no longer killed these days, but the history is fascinating. I was lucky to go to Spain last summer and visit the museum in Ronde dedicated to bullfighting - absolutely fascinating!

xoxoxo Keep well Keith :-)

Keith said...

Hey Thomas. Thanks for offering your opinion. I appreciate it.

Keith said...

Hey Veronica. Thanks. The history, culture, etc. surrounding matadors and bullfighting is so fascinating to me. That's so cool about the museum. I'd love to visit Spain.

thomas tucker said...

Keith- don't get me wrong, I am not a vegetarian. I seenothing wrong with killing animls in order to eat them. But I don't like seeing them in miserable suffering for our entertainment. To me, it's akin to what Michael Vik was doing, or to cockfighting.
Love your blog.

Keith said...

Hey Thomas. I totally understand. I've never had a problem with those who are opposed to something that I might support. I can understand where you are coming from on this.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

hi keith - listen, just last night i saw a blurp on tv about female matadors - beautiful women - they spoke mainly of the difficulties in being successful in such a male dominated world - but each of them was totally dedicated to their art - anyway, of all things, i hop over here this morning and you've got this blog - i know what you mean about politically correctness and must say that i am opposed to the harming of any living creature - but having been a hemingway fan all my life, i also saw the arena from that perspective - one of the things i used to dream of was going to a bullfight - taking a tape recorder with me to record the sounds - and then going to a little village and hiding out to paint day and night to the sounds of the bullfight - a dream not yet realized - anyway - as usual, enjoyed dropping by your place -

Kat said...

i've been at a bullfight in portugal many years ago when i was a little kid and i still don't like the whole thing.
but the matadors have such an elegance in their movements and uniform.

Keith said...

Hey Gypsy. Thanks for the great comment. I actually had no clue there were female matadors at all. Wow. That's amazing. I'm sure it is tough on them in such a male dominated tradition. Hemingway played a big part in my love for matadors and bullfighting. I love your idea about the tape recorder. That sounds fantastic. I hope you get a chance to fulfill that one day.

Keith said...

Hey Kat. That's cool that you got a chance to see a bullfight. Sorry that you don't care for it. I do agree with you on the elegance of the matadors in their costume and movements.

Marian said...

Matodors always seem so elegant,with amazing posture!
hope your having a good wknd dear
xx
Marian.

Keith said...

Hey Marian. Thanks. I feel the same way about matadors. I'm enjoying my weekend. I hope you are too.

SCISI said...

wow i really love the costumes especially the jackets with all that intricate embroided detail and the hats :)xx

Keith said...

Hey SCISI. Thanks for commenting. I really like the costumes that matadors wear. They are so vibrant and colorful.

Lizzy said...

When I was a child my father used to take us to the bullfights, in Mexico is very usual this kind of "show".
Well, as I grew up, I stop going, some of my sisters still go, in fact I can say they love it!! .......but me...I find it not so good, and I don't go to watch it.

Keith said...

Hey Lizzy. Thanks for your comment. That's cool that you got a chance to go. I've talked to some Mexican friends who went a lot when they were growing up. Some still love it, while others not so much.