It’s one of the world’s most confounding spectacles, where dangerous beasts, crazed participants and horrified spectators combine in a festival of injury and mayhem. But enough about the Michael Jackson Memorial. Today was also the first day of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, which is part of the Festival of San Fermin. I know that Saint Fermin is the patron of Pamplona, but is there a patron Saint for idiots? Whoever it is, we need him now.
One man who attended the first day called it “a clean run,” although the lumbering gentleman in the red shirt above would disagree. And that report doesn’t take into account the protests in and around the streets of San Fermin, where Spain’s version of PETA gets naked (of course) to let you know that bullfighting is not cool. Photos, video below.
Four injuries have been reported on the first day, “none from the horns of bulls,” which is good, I guess. Unless the bulls tricked the people into running off of a cliff. (“The bulls changed the road sign! The arrow was supposed to point to the left!”).
But wait, here come the protesters! They’re naked, and they look very determined.
The LOS ANGELES TIMES is providing good coverage of the event, and BULLRUNNING has a live webcam of the Plaza del Castillo, where various tourists and bulls are right now getting drunk following today’s action. And of course you have the first-ever Running of the Bulls Twitter feed. I don’t know how you picture your demise, but I never imagined being gored to death by a bull while Tweeting. If you attend the memorial service of a person who had this happen to him, please save the program.
Somewhat amusing: The guy at about the 1:20 mark of the video below who is knocked over by runners and then trampled by the bulls, and ends up on his face, motionless as people ignore him. I’m going to the plaza webcam now to see if he’s still lying there.
Local merchants aren’t exactly celebrating, however, as business is way down in the country that has a 17.4 percent unemployment rate. Some are managing to smile, however.