Galliano and Hitler: Business is business

If you harbour any disgust for the super rich and the courtiers who hang around them, fawn over them and serve them then there is now even more evidence to back up your assessment of the self-indulgent global elite.

Dior super-designer John Galliano (I confess I had never heard of the man til now) revealed his true character this week by making some of the most vile and stomach turning comments regarding Jews and Hitler I have seen for a while (they reminded me of First Nations chief David Ahenakew’s foul rant). At two different establishments the famous Dior designer ranted viciously at other patrons, taunting them with anti-Semitic venom. At one he declared “I love Hitler” and then outdoing even that offense, “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be fucking gassed.”

This was not the first incident involving this openly aggressive anti-Semite. Just last week Galliano was arrested for allegedly insulting art historian Geraldine Bloch calling her a “dirty Jew face” and an “ugly, disgusting whore.” He arrested for being drunk but later released.

Hopefully this execrable man will again be arrested again and charged as he can be in France for expressing such sentiments.

But his unbelievable comments reveal as much about the elite and the corporate world as they do about him. Dior initially “laid him off” a until they could investigate. Investigate what? It was all captured on a video which had gone viral and if Dior was hoping for extenuating circumstances I would love to know what they think would mitigate against the horror of his hateful outbursts.

As of this posting Dior still hasn’t decided if they will cancel a Friday show by the “creative genius.”

Business is business. It reminds me, too, of Ford Motor company doing business with Hitler’s Germany throughout the war – and of course his was not the only company from an allied country doing so. These are just a couple of the thousands of examples of the moral depravity of capitalism whose principal defenders seek to separate business and what it does, from society and what it is. Morality and ethics have no place in the corporate balance sheets.

Of course corporations themselves don’t speak, that is left to the executives and spokespeople (now mostly women who present a softer image). And when they decide not to speak the entourage coughs up the apologists to do the job. In this case fashion writer Jeanne Beker tweeted: “He’s a creative genius and his work, in this case, must be separated from his personal p.o.v.” Point of view? I wonder if Ms Beker, living in her rarefied world of obscene wealth, privilege and status, has ever even heard the phrase hate speech. It is hard to imagine a more stunning disconnect with the core values of the society Ms Beker actually lives in. It is a testament to how “separate” the ruling elite and its sycophants can become as we move inexorably into a new feudalism.

What if some creative genius had a computer full of child porn or was found to be having sex with children? Would that, too, have to be “separated” from his creative work? Galliano joins a select club worthy of a double standard along with Roman Polanski who was convicted years ago for sodomizing a 13 years old girl whom he had drugged. He was defended by a shocking number of Hollywood figures, including one of my formerly favourite entertainers, Whoopy Goldberg, who stepped up for Polanksi when he was finally detained in Switzerland with the inspired comment: “While it wasn’t rape, rape.”

What the apologists are really saying is not that these “artists'” work should be separated from their behaviour, it’s that their behaviour should not be judged at all because of who they are. It’s the elite itself (think of all the bankers who should be in jail) who must be separated from the rest of us. This is just one result of the ever-increasing gap between the super-rich and the societies they inhabit, but don’t really live in.

Galliano was defended by another ethically-challenged member of the fashion world’s courtiers, model Chanel Iman who described Galliano as “caring and loving.” Thank goodness for actress Natalie Portman, so far the only sane voice coming out of the entertainment business. She, who promotes Dior perfume, said she was “shocked and disgusted” and stated: “As an individual who is proud to be Jewish I will not associate with Mr. Galliano in anyway.”

But surely you shouldn’t have to be Jewish to denounce this man. Where is everybody else?

The media and business put these defective creatures on pedestals and tell us all to worship them. The trouble is, too many are happy to comply. Yet I don’t think that casual viewers of fashion entertainment and Hollywood intend to provide these people with a pass on morality.

It will be interesting to see the final spin Dior puts on the matter. We know ahead of time that is all it will be. It will have nothing to do with what is right or wrong. It’s like everything else they produce: can they sell it?

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