Mario and Galliano plumb the depths

November 24, 2016 23:21

On Monday, at the British fashion industry's awards ceremony, one fashion statement outdid all the others. And it wasn't a plunging décolletage or a revolutionary cut or anything of that sort. It was the choice of John Galliano to make the most high-profile speech of the night. Mr Galliano is a designer of outrageous talent, an acknowledged genius of the trade. His credentials as a public speaker are rather more questionable.

His only famous orations hitherto were in a Paris bar in 2011 when he yelled at two women: "People like you ought to be dead, your mothers, your forefathers would all be ----ing gassed. I love Hitler." A few days earlier, in the same bar he had shouted at another woman: "Dirty Jew. You should be dead" and to her Asian companion "----ing Asian bastard, I'm going to kill you."

For this, he was tried, found guilty of "public insults", fined. And he was removed from his job as chief designer at Christian Dior.

Yet here he was, in place of honour, presenting a lifetime achievement award to Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue and empress of all she surveys. Anyone, no matter how high and mighty, would have been happy to get that gig but the organisers (or more likely Ms Wintour) chose, of all people, Galliano.

Perhaps here was his chance to show public contrition, to admit he had been disgusting. But no. He paid homage to his benefactress for, like the philanthropist she is, she had supported him throughout and, like the power-wielder she is, had got him desirable jobs.

Did he say in his speech that she had reached out to him when he had been a racist pig? Of course not. He presented himself not as a villain but as a victim: "She reached out to me when I had become an outcast," he said. You don't have to be bulimic for that to make you sick.

Galliano's father was a plumber by trade, so is Super Mario, the video game hero whose picture was posted on the internet by his namesake, the Liverpool footballer Balotelli. "Be like Mario, He's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican, Jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew." I am sure it was supposed to be anti-racist but it only took a nanosecond for it to be deemed racist and for all hell to break lose.

Balotelli took it down sharpish but not sharpish enough. He has apologised now but I preferred his first response: "My mom's Jewish so will you all shut up please."

This is true, or true enough. His natural parents immigrated to Italy from Ghana but the woman who has been his foster mother since he was three is indeed Jewish.

And we all know that having a Jewish mother is an excuse for almost anything. Perhaps it explains why he's incapable of scoring goals. Scousers say he couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo, he might say he couldn't hit a boiling fowl with a wurst. Liverpool should know better than employ a Jewish striker. In 1992, the Israeli Ronny Rosenthal (22 goals in 97 games for Liverpool, 11 goals in 100 games for Spurs) missed one of the simplest open goals in football history.

Balotelli – looks like an African, shoots like a Jew. I can say that. My mom's Jewish so will you all shut up please.

November 24, 2016 23:21

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