Why are so popular – Madame Tussauds and Dan Brown books, for example?
The sentence is not mine, it’s David Mitchell’s.
Popularity fortunately does not result in persistence in time. On the contrary, declining popularity seems to grant longevity. For instance, bullfighting, still a cruel, pompous and ridiculous yet legal ‘entertainment’ in nine countries in the world, is definitely not popular in Spain. I am mystified as to why bullfighting still survives at all. Only a few hard-dies do like the tradition. Arguably, their interest in it remains, at least in Internet, unchanged in the last few years. I feel too lazy to research just how many people like ‘los toros‘ in Spain. Or maybe is just that I do not want to know, really.
But I know that the reason why the minority interested in ‘los toros’ it cannot be that they like it. It must something else, maybe it is about status or ideology. Or why not, because it is a subsidized entertainment, by local, national and European authorities. Some British media titles with recognised prestige (that is, among their followers), like the Daily Mail or The Economist, claim that every family in Britain finance this ritual slaughter.
Anything connecting Europe and money is a viral meme with a good start in life among the British. Adding bullfighting in the mix has all the chances of becoming a successful stereotype about the Spanish.
Ironically, the reason for the decline and eventual extinction of this tradition will not be a cultural one: it will be financial: 550 million euros of taxpayer money is allocated to the bullfighting industry per year.