The older I get, the less time I have for deliberate hoaxers and even semi-hoaxes. This one is a little odd, though. In fact, it’s one I’ve been seeing on the Internet (and especially on social media sites like Facebook and G+) for a while.
This photograph has been turning up all over with this commentary added, or something very close.
This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Alvaro Munera’s career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this otherwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. (The look on this bull’s face says it all for me. Even grievously wounded by picadors, he did not attack this man.)
Torrero Munera is quoted as saying of this moment:
“And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer – because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”
“Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them; and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.”
All is not as it seems, however. While Munera has spoken out against bullfighting, these apparently aren’t his words, but those of Antonio Gala. The photo probably doesn’t show Munera, who in any case didn’t retire from the bullring after an encounter like this, but after an incident in the ring rendered him paraplegic. And it’s also quite possible that the photo represents a desplante, a gesture of defiance in which the torero proves his domination of the situation (and the bull) by adopting a position that looks very dangerous.
I don’t know how much it matters to most people that so much of the detail is inaccurate in this case, but it does illustrate an essential truth in a deceptive world: much of what we assume to be truth because we hear it from someone we trust is simply hearsay.
Also comprehensively discussed at Snopes, as you’d expect. 🙂
David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
Small Blue-Green World/AVIEN/Mac Virus