Thursday, December 24, 2009

BABY JESUS, MATADOR keeps amazing me. When I saw the cartoon of baby Jesus fighting a bull in the manger, I wished that is was a Christmas card. I put it on my Facebook page. Avant-garde artists and angry satirists wrack their brains trying to come up with stuff this outrageous, yet this is not meant to be outrageous, just a subculture putting its own stamp on a holiday.

We keep hearing about how, in this age of globalization, Hollywood has conquered the planet, and North American notions of political correctness are universal. Yet there are still quaint local traditions that can make those who swear they believe in "tolerance" act line lynch mobs.

We hear a lot about religious freedom, but suggest a simple Aztec blood ritual or a bit of good, honest voodoo, and people want to call the police. It makes me laugh.

Humans are so wonderful. And twisted.

I never dreamed that in South America, child bullfighters would be so popular, and this activity would be considered a Christmas-kind of thing. If you identify the Child Jesus with the matador, the archetypes clash and waves of transformation radiate through human consciousness, and yes, the very fabric of reality. Is the bullfighting salvation? Then what is the bull? Our sins? Is the ritual more than has ever been perceived?

Even though I'm obsessed with La Fiesta Brava, I must admit that kiddie tauromaquia gives me the same queasy feelings I get from child beauty pageants and prepubescent college students. A kid may be able to learn to perform brain surgery, but I wouldn't let one open my skull.

Still, I applaud this manifestation of the human spirit. When we celebrate, no matter what we think we celebrate, we awaken some primal things. Truths emerge and frolic, no matter what kind of camoflauge the unnatural act called civilization puts on them.

Besides, it's not much weirder than the American consumer orgy, with people running amok like piranha with credit cards. Would Jesus feel at home with either ritual?

So Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you choose. And be careful with spirituality. It'll gore you if you give it a chance.

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