Under the duvet

By Jenni Frazer
February 28, 2011

You know those weekends when you feel that you should just have pulled the duvet up over you on Friday night and not emerged until Monday morning?

This was just such a weekend.

First, Dior's head designer John Galliano, not once, but twice (noch), ranting unappealingly in a Paris bistro-bar. Almost certainly the worse the wear for alcohol, Galliano managed to get himself arrested for apparent antisemitism and then was no sooner released than he was back at the same bar and ranting even worse. This time he was caught bang to rights on film and the results are not pretty.

Fash-world, unsurprisingly, is all of a flap and some of Galliano's greatest fans have rushed to defend him. Seems a complete no-brainer to me - antisemitic abuse, even when expressed through an alcoholic haze, is not acceptable. No ifs, buts, or maybes. With great grace Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of Dior, who is Jewish, has said that Galliano will be suspended pending the outcome of the police inquiry (into rant number one.) Which is completely as it should be, highlighting the point that antisemitism is a universal stain, not just a Jewish issue. (UPDATE: suggestions that Galliano has been sacked not yet confirmed.)

Duvetwatch number two: Charlie Sheen, star of the US sitcom Two and a Half Men, the production of which has now been almost certainly shut down for good after Sheen embarked on his own rant against the show's producer, one Chuck Lorre. Sheen felt it was important to tell the world that Lorre's original name was Levine - actually Charles Levine, though in Sheen-speak this became Chaim. Result: a lot of decent actors and writers out of work, all because of Sheen's substance-addled big mouth.

And duvetwatch number three: Channel 4's The Promise. I have no doubt that my colleague Simon Round will eviscerate Peter Kosminsky's four-part programme both skilfully and delicately, but I have a few observations. Apart from the suggestion that all Israeli Jews live in palatial surroundings with swimming pools and four-star views, the generally hateful depiction of anyone on the Israeli or Jewish side compared with the near-angelic rendering of anyone on the Arab or Palestinian side, the fact that an 18-year-old with no discernable income can apparently fly business class with impunity... what about the other ludicrous nonsense? The wandering of a monoglot English teenager through Gaza City and no-one lifts an eyebrow? The coincidence stretched beyond belief as the teenager searches Hebron and Gaza for the descendants of a man called Mohammed? I mean, why shouldn't we have a programme where someone is searching for a grandson of a man called George, in Birmingham? Equally ridiculous. By the end, as the Israeli bulldozer approached, a la Rachel Corre, I was positively willing the Israelis to get rid of the wide-eyed Erin, and hang the consequences.

More troubling is that those who should know better are applauding this pile of old poo as groundbreaking drama which should win awards. As I said, a weekend for the duvet.


Joe Millis

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:18

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-2 points

Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, what did you think of the play?

Jenni Frazer

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 18:22

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And just as I was thinking longingly of the duvet, Dior fired John Galliano and up popped Julian Assange, in Private Eye of all places, rambling worryingly about a Jewish conspiracy.
Life this week is like a bad Jewish joke. "Colonel Gaddafi, Julian Assange, and Charlie Sheen went into a bar. John Galliano was serving..."

Joe Millis

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 18:23

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Serving what?


Tue, 03/01/2011 - 18:49

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I knew Assange was a bad sort by the fact that the same people who were singing his praises and claiming he was the new Messiah on the Times website were the same people that routinely bash Israel. Such people are generally always wrong about everything, especially when they are passionate about the subject.

Joe Millis

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 18:52

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Problem is that most of the initial stuff he brought out about the Middle East was seen as serving Israel's interests (Arabs not liking Iran, scared of its nuclear capability etc). Hell, even Bibi used it.


Thu, 03/03/2011 - 10:50

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Best review of The Promise yet, Jenni.

I submitted it to the Channel 4 comments thread on The Promise yesterday, but it is yet to go up:



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