The Torreador Paradox

I’ve often considered attending a bullfight. I imagine I would root for the bull. There are too many arrogant men thinking themselves the better of the beasts of nature and nowhere near enough bulls to gore them all to death.

This assuumes, of course, that the bullfight is as bloody and violent and detrimental to the health of the bulls as I have always been told. It is described as a barbaric event that has no place in modern society. And, yet, parts of Spain and Mexico are still dotted with plazas del toros that, presumably, draw crowds ravenous for bloodshed.

But perhaps the naysayers are wrong. We live in an increasingly politicized society, where every act – no matter how big or small – carries the deep weight of intention, known or unknown, that opens one to stiff reckoning by, if not one’s peers, than those who seem to have more time on their hands than average. The very act of writing this will be deemed by most as a political act – just what is Rob Z. trying to say here? Maybe I’m saying nothing. I’m usually saying nothing but having it praised by educated masses – educated in what, who is to really say – and being lifted as some kind of prophet or, in the very least, someone with something worth saying, even if I often question it’s value myself.

That may all be in my head. Most things are.

Regardless, it would probably be wise of me to attend a bullfight to determine the truth myself. In so doing, I would be able to form my own opinions based on my own senses mostly free from interference from the naysayers. And I may very well prove my assumptions correct, and will decry that people continue to support this barbaric ritual.

But I will have then, myself, supported it by the very act of observing it, having paid for the ticket to enter the plaza and see the blood on the sand firsthand. This is the very definition of a paradox, and it keeps me from making a satisfactory decision on how to proceed.

Perhaps I could ask for a refund.

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