Jan 24 2017

Death In The Afternoon

It’s no secret that I don’t have much reverence for Hemingway. The reason Primary and Middle School teachers assign him is because he’s short.

The Smoke Like Black Labradors

The woman scratched the dog’s ears. In the distance he could see the smoke from the train. The coffee was still too hot. He would have to speak.

“Train coming.”


The dog grinned. The woman scratched. The dog’s tail wagged.

“It will be here soon.”


Suddenly the dog got up, scratched it’s neck vigorously, then laid down and rolled on it’s back. The woman leaned over to rub its belly. He stared off into the distant mountains.

The dog’s left hind leg twitched. With a loud noise the train came into the station and ground to a halt. The dog didn’t care until the woman stood up abruptly.



He turned away and whistled for his dog. As they left the station it growled at the English Major. When he told me this story he said-

“Do you want fries with that?”

What is the symbolism of the dog with particular regard to it assuming a submissive posture and experiencing involuntary (or maybe not so involuntary) muscle spasms?

None at all. It’s not some kind of Chekhov gun! It’s just a damn dog! Wasn’t even a Labrador, it was a Parson Jack Russell Terrier, one of the most annoying breeds on the face of the planet!

I also do a mean Faulkner.

Among Papa’s reprehensible habits (like moving to Idaho in the Fall of 1960 and promptly killing himself with a Shotgun a mere 7 months later, one can only assume out of sheer boredom) was his love for Corrida which is basically a Ballet of Butchery.

It has been alleged that toreros seek to elicit inspiration and art from their work and an emotional connection with the crowd transmitted through the bull.

Gee, do you suppose that means they want to kill the audience too?

Seriously, outside the costumes and pageantry designed to disguise its true nature, Bullfighting is no more “romantic” than a field trip to an abattoir and the result no less certain except you also get to torture the Bull before you slaughter it.

Bet you can guess who I’m rooting for (hint: it’s not the Matador).

Which is why I consider this good news-

Colombia considers ban on bullfighting days after protesters clash with police
by Sibylla Brodzinsky, The Guardian
Tuesday 24 January 2017

Colombia’s highest court is to consider a national ban on bullfighting just days after protesters battled with riot police as they tried to disrupt the first bullfight in the country’s capital city in four years.

Officers used pepper spray and tear gas against the demonstrators on Sunday as they shouted “murderers” and “torturers” at bullfighting enthusiasts on their way to Bogota’s iconic redbrick bull ring.

The constitutional court ruled in 2015 that bullfighting was part of Colombia’s cultural heritage and could not be banned. But on Wednesday, that same court will debate an opinion by one of its magistrates which reportedly argues that the practice violates Colombian laws against mistreatment of animals.

The court is also studying a separate case that asks the court should penalise any actions related to abuse of animals not only in bullfighting but in cock fights and rodeo-type games where animals can be mistreated.

Bullfighting was banned in Bogotá in 2012, but the current mayor, Enrique Peñalosa has said that he is bound to uphold the court’s ruling by renting the bull ring to the bullfighters association.

Peñalosa – who opposes bullfighting – supports proposed legislation that would seek to “mitigate pain in bullfighting” and would give municipal officials the power to ban them in their localities.

Previous attempts to pass legislation in congress banning the practice outright have run aground in committee hearings.

Foreseeing large protests, 1,200 police were on hand Sunday for the bullfight.

Hundreds of protesters, many dressed in black as a symbol of mourning, stood at every entrance to the ring. One of then was Maytik Avirama, 25, who said she had participated in anti-bullfighting protests since she was 14 and was frustrated at the return of the spectacle.

“When it was banned we felt a sense of triumph over the elites, not just for animal rights activists but for a whole society that doesn’t want more violence,” said Avirama, an ecologist. “The return of the bullfights is a huge backward step.”

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