DNA Magazine - - CONTENT -

There’s a fine line be­tween brav­ery and stu­pid­ity. And noth­ing blurs that frail boundary more than when men ex­plore bull-themed recre­ational mad­ness. Whether you’re a sports­man, gourmand or thrill-seeker, grab it by the horns!


If you like your near-death ex­pe­ri­ence with a side of cul­ture, head to the Span­ish town of Pam­plona. In July each year, this his­toric town, the an­cient cap­i­tal of the King­dom Of Navarre, comes alive with encierro (the run­ning of the bulls). Per­haps it’s the steady diet of sun­shine and san­gria that blinds the senses of lo­cals and tourists alike who aban­don logic and rea­son to tango with the toros.

Once a prac­ti­cal means of trans­port­ing bulls from their overnight cor­ral to the bull­ring or mar­ket, to­day encierro is a rite of pas­sage. Women were pro­hibido un­til 1974, but now they, too, can ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of be­ing chased by a 900kg horned bovine. Fif­teen people have died dur­ing the run­ning of the bulls since records be­gan back in 1910. Hun­dreds more are in­jured each year from “gor­ing” – an oc­cu­pa­tional haz­ard when chased by any­thing with a three-foot pe­nis.


If you pre­fer top­ping to tram­pling, head to the rodeo for some bull rid­ing or, ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Ge­o­graphic, “the most dan­ger­ous eight sec­onds in sports.” It’s hard to imag­ine any­thing more ter­ri­fy­ing than be­ing strapped to the back of an an­gry bull, but all over Aus­tralia and the Amer­i­cas, from Ade­laide to Alice, Al­berta to the An­des, cow­boys hot­dig­gity-damn dig it. Check out the chaps-wear­ing, beef jerky chewin’ stock­men at pbr. com and


Bullfighting is not a manly pur­suit, but the strug­gle to end it is. Ac­cord­ing to PETA, bulls “may be weak­ened by beat­ings, have their horns shaved to keep them off bal­ance, or have petroleum jelly rubbed into their eyes to im­pair their vi­sion.”

De­fend­ers of this “sport” say there is noth­ing cruel about pit­ting man against beast… when that beast is on the pointy side and weighs al­most a ton. It’s true that mata­dors are of­ten in­jured; Google Juan+José+Padilla+gored if you’re strong-stom­ached. Oc­ca­sion­ally they’re killed, but it’s doubt­ful whether this af­fords the bull any con­so­la­tion as it slowly ex­pires from ex­haus­tion and blood loss af­ter be­ing re­peat­edly stabbed with ban­der­il­las (brightly colored sticks with har­poon points on their ends) and hav­ing its spinal cord sev­ered with a dag­ger be­fore be­ing dragged from the arena… of­ten still alive.

This pro­tracted slaugh­ter is all done in the name of en­ter­tain­ment. A mata­dor’s suc­cess and pop­u­lar­ity cor­re­lates to the flair of their per­for­mance dur­ing the butch­ery. With the earn­ing po­ten­tial of half-a-mil­lion dol­lars per per­for­mance, it’s im­por­tant the crowd is sat­is­fied.* *I have not been to a bull­fight but, like dog poo, I know in­stinc­tively (with­out the need to sam­ple) that it is shit I will not like.


In 2010, the Red Bull Air Race World Se­ries was placed on hold pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into safety. Dur­ing tri­als that year, Brazil­ian pi­lot Adil­son Kindle­mann flew so low his wing clipped the wa­ter, crash­ing his plane into the Swan River in Perth, Western Aus­tralia. He sur­vived but the air race did not.

The rac­ing com­mu­nity was dis­ap­pointed, but not sur­prised. Fly­ing at nearly 400kmph, less than 20 me­tres off the ground pulling up to 10 G’s in some ma­noeu­vers – safety was al­ways go­ing to be an is­sue. How­ever, fol­low­ing a three-year hia­tus and some tweak­ing to the rules gov­ern­ing speed, height and stunts, the red bull boys once again took to the air in their mag­nif­i­cent fly­ing ma­chines in Abu Dhabi this year. Go to red­bul­lair­


Noth­ing brings out the in­ner war­rior in a man like an­cient hunt­ing turned mod­ern sport. And while archery’s ori­gins may be hunter­gath­erer, to­day it is a much more re­fined pas­time with all man­ner of com­pound bows, sta­bilis­ers and coun­ter­weights. It has even found its way into the Sum­mer Olympics. Archery in the 21st Century comes in many shades, from Kat­niss to Hawk­eye, but the aim is al­ways the same – bulls­eye.

Run, For­rest!

Brazil­ian pro­fes­sional bull rider Guil­herme “Hol­ly­wood” Marchi pre­pares to dis­mount.

JR wears COLT Collection jock strap.

We much pre­fer snatch­ing rib­bons in the bulls don’t die. [See our fea­ture, Cock And Bulls, DNA #144]

Red Bull Air Race: fa­tal­ity-free… so far.

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