No Bull

Some call it tauromagía, the festival of essential rituals, the one of fancy, puny mice toying with ferocious cats and with a little bit of help, killing them: man taming beast then demolishing him.

Sure it’s rigged, but then constant domination always is, except made to look beautiful. Plus what Rainer Maria Rilke saw here in Ronda at the outset of the last century more than the ochre world’s oldest arena, namely the breathlessly beautiful surrounding Sierra, rolling away from the Roman aqueduct and the region’s deepest chasm. But not September’s Corrida Goyesca, the 18th century dress-up bullfight named after the realist Spanish painter Goya, because they started this particular spectacle, honouring Hemingway’s pal the incredibly stylistic matador Antonio Ordoñez, long after the poet passed here. And presumably what he did hear every late Sunday afternoon, the local brass & reeds band striking up insisting on the death of the bull, the way Salvation Army bands insist on killing sin.

So now it’s hot here and less than two months from September. And bands already rehearsing with one big difference, we can kill a beast but not so easily… that even more wicked one within.

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