Friday, July 10, 2009

So Long, Daniel Jimeno Romero

We have our first fatal goring in the Running of the Bulls Presented by Pepsi™* in 14 years. The linked article spares few details; the bull in question rammed its pointy horn right through the neck and the lungs of the unfortunate gentleman, a British chap who was the same age as myself. He must have been a tough SOB to even last long enough to reach the surgical table at the local hospital, but alas, 'twas all for naught; it's hard to breathe with three inch holes in your lungs. Or with most of your blood scattered in the dirt somewhere in Barcelona.

* Not its actual name. Yet. The only good thing I can think of about the occasional fatal goring is it must discourage corporations from trying to buy off the naming rights.

I'm mostly ignorant of Spanish culture; I'm vaguely aware that traditionally bulls, bullfighting and such is important there. And that's well and good. But really, the remarkable thing is that only 15 people have been reported as having been killed during the running of this crazy festival in the past 85 years. I would not be especially surprised were the figure 15 per year. Let's face it, the thousands of tourists that go to Spain to run with the bulls every year don't do it out of their deep-rooted fascination with the intricacies of Spanish culture. They do it because hey, that's pretty damn screwed up, going out of your way to see if you can dodge a pissed-off charging bull at high speed. That is so hardcore.

And hey, I think it's pretty cool myself. It's a win-win, really; the Spaniards like it for cultural/traditional reasons, and foreigners like it because Westerners these days like anything suicidally crazy. It didn't make the list of PETA's favorite things, and there are people out there shocked and appalled at such barbarism because people die now and again*, but I at least have a little sympathy for the lets-go-get-in-life-threatening-danger-on-purpose mentality. Get busy living or get busy dying, and all that.

* Though honestly, I'd rather get gored to death by a bull than die of cancer in a hospital bed. Just not yet.

By the way, have you noticed that the people, especially the foreigners, running with the bulls are overwhelmingly male? Huh.

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