Humano, demasiado humano -

Humano, demasiado humano


Mexican toreador Christian Hernandez lost his nerve during a bullfight the other day and fled from the ring, too hoots of derision from the crowd and, inevitably, from the entire Twitterverse. While it shouldn’t need pointing out that Hernandez was badly gored in the leg two months ago, and that the vast majority of the people laughing at him will do nothing more dangerous this year than jaywalk, that’s not quite why I have a great deal of sympathy for him. The key point, I think, is this one that Hernandez himself makes:

“There are some things you must be aware of about yourself,” he said. “I didn’t have the ability, I didn’t have the balls, this is not my thing.”

One of the dominant fetishes in our culture is the search for self-discovery and self-awareness as a form of self help. But the quest is almost always framed as the discovery of hidden or previously unknown powers or capacities: to achieve your goals, all you have to do is believe in yourself. The most blatant example of this is in the Matrix, where Neo has to come to believe that he is The One, but that was just ripping off countless hero-with-a-thousand-faces narratives, from Star Wars to any episode of Oprah.

But one of the most underrated aspects of self-discovery is the way it forces us to come to grips with our limitations. We are biological and psychological beings, and part of growing up is coming to grips with the limits of our capacities, and yes, even our weaknesses. Part of courage is knowing yourself.

Here’s the footage of Christian Hernandez, shortly after taking the red pill:

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Humano, demasiado humano

  1. 'Maturity' is the stage when you are able to throw out all the cultural programming, and become your own person.

  2. I was actually most impressed that he still went out to bow and wave to the crowd after the bull was removed, despite the derisions.

    What a barbaric sport.

  3. Recognizing one's own limitations is key to accepting imperfection in others, and thus is key to empathy and (dare I say it?) love.

    • That's very nicely put.

      • I agree, but I also like this: "…the vast majority of the people laughing at him will do nothing more dangerous this year than jaywalk…"

  4. Good for him. It also takes courage to do what he did.

  5. How many others consider running out of the ring the smartest thing he did and going into it in the first place to be the dumbest?

    Dumb macho sport.

  6. I see the Sontagian "Courage is a morally neutral virtue" crowd has arrived on cue. Citizen_ca takes it to another level and just obliterates logic, suggesting cowardice is in fact a form of courage. Thinly veiled misandry, of course we've got that too. Cultural imperialists wanting to impose their effete values on a more manly society – extremely Liberal, it's the basis of their foreign policy.

    But getting back to "obnoxious equivalency" which seeps through this comment thread like grey sludge, I saw some broad on some talk show last week claim that her husband's torn achilles tendon was as tough on her as it was on him. Really. Anything is everything can be nothing when you're a Liberal. It's Oakland as ideology – no there there.

    • And I see our favourite Steynian poseur has also arrived on cue.

      Really, this schtick is getting old – time to turn your undoubted talents to a new one.

    • When Rina Virk was attacked, was it courageous because the mob would have been disappointed in her escape?
      I'm not suggesting that fear of death isn't stronger than judgment from others, but I am suggesting there's more than one type of courage.

      • Are you talking about a FEMALE and seriously expecting Bonkers to take you seriously? You'd better quit with your impertinent questions, you effete Liberal so-and-so, if you don't want that CONSERVATIVE MAN to browbeat you until you're laughing so hard, he'll have to browbeat you some more.

        • I don't get it, this is funny, and you're a Liberal. You did use CAPS, but no exclamation points, and you're pretty stingy with the punctuation, by Liberal standards!!!!!!!! Do you still get paid by Liberal International for this post?????

          But seriously, I fear for the future, by which I mean I am full of courage for the future, by which zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

          • Are you making a pass at me?

          • Who do you like in the fights tonight? I'm taking Jardine over Bader. Excuse me while I go estimate the square footage of stuff, read some non-fiction, and generally act all stoic like. Speaking of which, Zen Buddhism is a total ripoff of the Stoics and Cynics. But to answer your question, no, I am not fond of hirsute posteriors, but rather ample bosoms, so you're not my type, sorry.