Monday, August 09, 2010

Madonna Music Video Monday: Take a Bow & You'll See

In honour of the Spanish province of Catalonia, which made history recently when the legislature voted to ban the popular sporting pasttime of bullfighting. This decision was huge. Just imagine an American state, like Nebraska, banning industrial cattle farming and slaughterhouses. That's how big this vote was. When one thinks of Spain, bullfighting is one of the images that often comes to mind with most people. Even the artwork is influenced by the brutal sport.

When my family vacation in Spain for spring break in 1987, we saw a bullfight at the stadium in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. Amazing that our disgust after seeing two bulls tortured before being slaughtered would end up being the same city and province that would be the first to ban this "sport" in all of Spain. Of course, as many learned during the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, the Catalonians are independent minded and would love to be a separate country. In fact, during those Olympic Games, the Catalan language was considered one of the "official languages", which is unusual. According to the rules of the International Olympic Committee, the "official language" of the Olympic Games is always French and English. The host country gets the honour if they speak a language other than the official two. Indigenous languages are usually not included. It'll be interesting to see what happens if Cape Town, South Africa hosts an Olympic Games at some point. South Africa has 11 "official languages"!

According to some articles I read about this impressive vote in Catalonia, some Spaniards view the decision as reflecting the typical attitude of people in this province towards the rest of Spain. A sort of "pouring salt on the wounds" or poking them in the eye. Whatever the true motive, bulls all over Catalonia can breathe easier, now that their tortured time in the bullfighting stadiums are no longer allowed. What's to happen with the stadium? Who knows? I'm sure that the soccer team has their own state of the art stadiums. The bullfighting stadium seemed to be pretty low-tech. I doubt anyone would miss it if they tore it down. Hopefully, at some point, the rest of Spain will follow the leadership of the Catalonians. There is no reason at all why modern people should continue to maintain this barbaric practice.

To celebrate Catalonia's decision, I've decided that it was appropriate to feature two of Madonna's music videos that feature bullfighting. Its the only time Madonna actually made a "sequel" music video. The first one is "Take a Bow" from 1994, followed by "You'll See" from 1995. Enjoy the "two-fer"!

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