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Home Culture The Minister of Culture blames bullfighting, but does not dare to take it on his shoulders | The bull, by the horns | Culture

The Minister of Culture blames bullfighting, but does not dare to take it on his shoulders | The bull, by the horns | Culture

by News Room
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It is not conceivable that the President of the Government of Spain (the current one or any other) chooses for the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture a person who has made a public profession of his frontal rejection of a first-rate cultural sector; Spanish cinema, for example. It is not imaginable that a person who has declared that Spanish cinema is an unacceptable, savage and despicable activity – the simile continues – is the one called to defend it. It would be a contradiction in itself, and, furthermore, it would reveal that whoever appointed him – the current president or anyone else – is the sector’s first enemy.

It is, without a doubt, a fiction, inappropriate for a mediocre screenwriter, clearly illogical, beyond all reason and unacceptable in today’s Spain. That is to say, it does not seem that there could be anyone who could commit such an outrage.

But it has happened (reality always surpasses fiction), and not with cinema, but with bullfighting. It turns out that a man was elected to the Ministry of Culture who displays his radical opposition to bullfighting, which before being minister he described as “an unfair, sadistic and despicable activity”, and now he has no qualms, normal on the other hand. part, in maintaining his unmitigated rejection.

Probably, the president was right to appoint this man with merit to the position of minister, and he does the same in proclaiming his anti-bullfighting from the rooftops, but neither of them misses a relevant detail. Both have sworn or promised to comply with and enforce the Constitution, from which all laws emanate. Among them, law 18/2013 that regulates bullfighting as cultural heritage of this country.

No one with a minimum of common sense can agree with animal abuse, but confusing it with the bullfighting festival would require calm reflection.

The citizen who heads Culture may be anti-bullfighting, but not the minister; and, above all, he cannot abandon his obligation to “guarantee the conservation of bullfighting and promote its enrichment,” as the aforementioned norm says in its third article.

That is to say, if the minister does not comply with the law he is doing something illegal, and someone could and should hold him accountable.

A few days ago, the minister said in this newspaper that “there is an essential and primary right: the right to freedom of expression,” and added: “When we talk about cultural rights, we are referring above all to the right to creation: as citizen, you have the right to create and that your country allows you access to artistic creation.”

He was not referring to bulls, logically, which he does not consider culture, and he concluded with two interesting phrases. The first: “A large majority of society does not agree with animal abuse.” No one with a minimum of common sense can agree with animal abuse, but it would be necessary to open a serious debate on this issue, which would cover, for example, human abuse, violence on television, video games (education or violence ?), to animalism (modernity or barbarism?) and to the social consequences of a misunderstanding of mascotism (a new form of love or tyranny?). Confusing the bullfighting festival with abuse in our society requires, at the very least, a calm analysis.

And the second: “I decided,” the minister added, “not to give any Medal of Fine Arts to anyone related to any activity that had to do with animal abuse.” Well, that is an unfair and presumably illegal decision because it does not respect the royal decree that regulates the granting of this award, which literally says that “it will be awarded to distinguish people and entities that have stood out eminently in the field of artistic creation.” and cultural.” But since the minister considers on his own account that bullfighting is not culture, it does not grant any distinction to its creators.

Frame from the bullfighting-themed film Snow White, directed by Pablo Berger.

By the way, will there be a National Bullfighting Award this year? Will the Toro de Lidia Foundation receive the 35,000 euros subsidy that Culture has granted it since 2019?

Of course, this dilemma has an easy solution: repeal the 2013 law and ban bullfighting.

In that same interview, the minister is asked if his position against bulls is going to affect his management, and the politician changes course and remains silent.

Maybe, because it shouldn’t be easy to take the bull by the horns, get involved in public opinion and put the finishing touch to the party. It can’t be easy to take the world by storm, speed up the harassment and demolition operation and expose yourself to a serious mess.

A serious electoral mess, you understand. But if the minister thinks that bullfighting is animal abuse and that a large social majority is against the festival, there would be no problem in prohibiting them at a time when, in addition, the Government has a parliamentary majority to do so.

But it is one thing that the minister and the president who appointed him are anti-bullfighting, and another that Spain is. Not being a bullfighting fan is not the same as being anti-bullfighting.

The bulls are in crisis, of course, but not dying. They no longer appear as ‘the national holiday’ of yesteryear, but they are part of the fun, excitement and feeling of millions of citizens. They all deserve respect, and they can feel very offended if someone dares to close the places. And not only that: it just so happens that the party is protected by a law that politicians, now and then, have refused and refuse to comply with.

That the minister and the president who appointed him are anti-bullfighting does not mean that Spain is; Not being a bullfighting fan is not the same as being anti-bullfighting.

The minister has an advantage: being animalistic and anti-bullfighting is fashionable, politically correct and a sign of progress and moral height. But from there to repealing the law that protects the party, even if it is not respected, there is a long way. You don’t play with bread, the minister and the president who appointed him will think.

That is to say, everything indicates that the party will end on the day that the spectators decide, when the squares offer a monumental emptiness and it is society that opts for other paths.

However, the minister has before him a golden opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder in history as the politician who achieved the repeal of the bullfight, but it seems that he prefers to look out on the balcony from the ministry, give a long changed to the problem, and cut his ponytail the day he is fired with the clear conscience that he has not renounced his ideology.

It’s a shame that he doesn’t like bulls, because Ernest Urtasun, the minister, is a bullfighter. Shave his bushy beard, let the tailor tailor-make him a suit of Corinthian and gold lights, keep his haughty gaze, his, and he would be ready for a brilliant promenade.

In this way, I would not have to miss, who knows, the verses of Manuel Machado: “Half gypsy and half Parisian,” says the common people, “with Montmartre and with Macarena I commune… And before such a poet, my wish “The first thing would have been to be a good banderillero.”

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