first encierro looked out of control. More like a riot than a staged
event. Like the scenes in old monster movies where crowds are running
through the streets, trying to escape a gigantic monster. Only
encierros, or runs, during the the Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona,
Spain are scored by Time (Duración), Corenados (Gorings),
Tramatismos (Injuries) and Peligrosidad (Dangerousness). Oddly
enough, Time isn't as important at the rest. Dangerousness is what
makes a good, or great encierro.
not sport as practiced in Western Civilization. This ritual is more
like religion. Like the pre-fiesta
protests where PETA beauty contest winners wear plastic horns, take
off their clothes, and smear themselves with fake blood. See
Richard Wright's Pagan Spain: It
is the conquering of fear, the making of religion of the conquering
not a Church of Tauromachy? Isn't America supposed to be all about
freedom of religion?
that first encierro, a woman, after making it to the corridor into
the arena, stopped running, and covered her ears. She had reached a
personal limit. I watch for people like her, who are facing their
fears. Sometimes it reduces you to a pile of quivering jelly, but
what you gain from it is the courage of self-knowledge. There is a heroism in it.
is a truer thing than America's “horror” culture, where fake
blood and gore are mass produced and celebrated. Sometimes you need
to reach out of your artificial consumer environment and touch the
gooey mess of reality. It will teach you about your place in the
universe, and the food chain.
cause visions of alternate universes to dance in my head: What would
Hemingway think of what San Fermín has become? How and when did
bullfighting become illegal in Aztlán? What if the Spanish influence
was stronger and bullfighting was part of the cowboy/beef culture?
Where would the running of the bulls be held in America? Would
MacDonald's and Burger King be sponsoring bulls?
a Burger King along the encierro route. And a space that is for rent
. . .
need to find time to finish that science fiction bullfighting novel.
enjoyed the high-Dangerousness – it got an 80! – encierro on
Saturday! At one point, a bull named Finito had three men pinned to a
wall. Finito charged into the arena with blood on his horn. Later, he
threw Iván Fandiño, who had been gored in 2013. With blood on his
face and no jacket, Fandiño killed Finito.
last day's encierro, the bulls from Miura made history for being the
fastest in history. It set a new record at two minutes and five
seconds. It also rated a 60 for Dangerousness. The real action was
at Dead Man's Curve.
bulls were muy bravo, and pretty badass, this year. A speed record, 10 gorings (8 were
Americans, we're number one!), and 27 injuries. One bull even refused
all over now. Back to the alternate universes that are America and
Arizona. Comic-Con? Really? And there's all this political turmoil,
racist rhetoric, violence, and fighting over flags. So civilized.
is a recombocultural Chicano mutant, known for committing outrageous acts of science fiction, cartooning, and other questionable pursuits. He can’t help but be controversial. Everything he does offends or causes psychic harm. Rumor has it he’s doing it on purpose. Some people think he’s funny. Read on at your own risk . . . His novels are CORTEZ ON JUPITER, HIGH AZTECH, and SMOKING MIRROR BLUES. his short fiction has appeared in AMAZING STORIES, ANALOG, SCIENCE FICTION AGE, SEMIOTEXT(E)SF, SUPER STORIES OF HEROES & VILLAINS, WE SEE A DIFFERENT FRONTIER, and MOTHERSHIP: TALES FROM AFROFUTURISM AND BEYOND.
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