France is torn apart again over bullfighting. As for us in the UK Scottish independence, the ban on fox hunting or the relegation of Morecambe FC [un club de football du Lancashire évoluant en troisième division], the subject is a sea serpent that prowls permanently and sometimes suddenly reappears, generally at the worst moment. This time, the deputy and TV journalist Aymeric Caron presented to the National Assembly a bill aimed at banning bullfighting. [il y a finalement renoncé le 24 novembre]. Caron sees in bullfighting a “abhorrent practice that dishonors us”, He’s not the only one. According to a survey conducted this year, 77% of the French are against it.
The demonstrations by the opponents of bullfighting have come in response to those of its defenders who condemn a regular attack on an essentially southern tradition by Parisians who know nothing about it. “Bullfighting is our identity, a living culture. Let us live with our traditions”, declared Julien Dubois, the mayor of the great bullfighting town of Dax.
Marie Sara at the arenas in Nîmes
Nothing predisposed me to love bullfighting—or, for that matter, bear dogfighting, cockfighting, or heavyweight boxing. But I got really angry about this practice when I visited long ago the blonde and beautiful Marie Sara, bullfighter on horseback or, as aficionados say, rejoneadora – because bullfighting enthusiasts also have the unpleasant habit of speaking only Spanish.
It was in the arenas of Nîmes, and Marie Sara, who was then the most famous torera in the world, had somehow slipped into a very, very tight costume, and she rode her mount with breathtaking dexterity and courage. excite the bull and then kill it. The show bothered me to no end. Subsequently, however, I participated in several novilladas, fights between young bulls and young bullfighters. During one of them, at Arles, the poor young lad, for all the trappings, pomp and glitter, might have attacked the bull with garden shears, and the result would have been the same.
Everything I had heard about the complexities of bullfighting culture, the bravery of the bull, the grace of the bullfighter, the complicity of these two