“I killed a bull at age ten.”
While this might not be the best pick-up line in say, Williamsburg, 16-year-old Spanish bullfighting sensation Jairo Miguel is probably the coolest teenage boy in all of the Iberian Peninsula… He’s also at the center of an animal cruelty firestorm. In Spain, killing a bull is pretty much like driving a car, so bullfighters have to wait till they’re 16 to get a bull-killing license. This cruel bureaucratic vicissitude forced Miguel to travel to Latin America (with his dad) where he was free to kill bulls at the tender age of 10. At age 14 he was gored, with the bull’s horn “brushing” against his aorta. Ouchiee!
Now, back in Spain, Miguel wants to become the youngest bullfighter in history to kill six bulls in a day, a challenge normally reserved for only the most experienced of bull-killers. This has people in an uproar, both those concerned about children being exposed to such danger (which, meh), and those who continue to argue that torturing and murdering a bull for the pleasure of a bloodthirsty crowd is profoundly immoral (which, duh, yeah).
My only hope is that this whole thing turns out to be like an Almodovar film, and Jairo turns out to be a girl (played by a young Penelope Cruz); or that he finally runs into a bull like Ferdinand (video below, of the greatest children’s allegory of the Spanish Civil War, evah).