Not only was this past Tuesday Bastille Day in France, but just down the Iberian Peninsula a tad, in Pamplona, Spain, the annual San Fermin Festival wrapped up with the traditional running of the bulls.
Ernest Hemingway, later to gain fame in those "Know what I mean, Vern?" commercials, brought this Spanish silliness to worldwide attention in his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, or Look Homeward, Angel. (He was quite indecisive.)
You see it every year: it's like a worldwide convention of drunks and daredevils, rakehells and ne'er-do-wells, all soused up and ready to run rampant while quite possibly being rammed in the pants. Not to be gore-y. It is dumb, but people show up for it every year, just like a Bret Favre comeback.
And so the world's photojournalists have to spend precious dollars sending precious reporters and hard-bitten camerapersons to this small Spanish town up in the north of Spain, far from the rainy plain.
And heaven knows they are busy at this time of year! Somewhere - like lately in Dallas and Phoenix - there is an extended heat wave every summer, and that means the deployment of still more cameras and journalists as they vie for the new angle on polar bears looking miserable in zoos until some kind zoologist tosses in a gigantic iceball with frozen fish in it for the burned-up bruin, and then of course they have to cover the people frying eggs on the hoods of their cars or their sidewalks, kids opening up fire hydrants in the streets of the city as firefighters fret over lowered water pressure, and guys working as tar-spreading roofers or asphalt-pouring roadway builders.
My solution? Just keep using the same video, year after year! I mean, who the heck will know the difference anyway? Polar bear clothing styles never change: it's always a porkpie hat and a tie, collar optional.
You're welcome, CNN. Got to keep Anderson Cooper home and prepared for his street-sign hanging-onto-during tropical storm schedule. Man, I hope not, too!