• Mon, Feb 28 2011

The Misanthropologist: An Open Letter To John Galliano

Dear John Galliano,

I heard how you’re a racist now. First there was the report of you shouting slurs in a cafe, then today this video came out of you sitting in a (probably different?) cafe saying even more slurs, like “I love Hitler” and “you’d all be dead” and “gassed” (for being ugly). I mean, I guess you’re trying to fight that shit or whatever, but that video is hard to deny. Look, John Galliano, even I don’t say shit like that and I’m a complete asshole.

I guess it’s one thing to try and be provocative and say controversial things like “I love Hitler,” but I mean, that looks pretty stupid if you’re not 15 and even then people are all like, “Ugh, there goes Elizabeth Richard again, talking about how much she loves Hitler so people will pay attention to her. Why are teenagers such assholes?” When you act out that way, you’re no different from people who have giant voluminous t-shirts with slogans like “I do whatever the voices in my head tell me to do” or “I’m not prejudiced I hate everyone” and they all have grease stains and listen to KoRn.

But, here’s the thing, John Galliano. You’re a respected fashion designer, not a goth teenager who can’t catch a break and has to find swirly-proof mascara at the drugstore. Which is hard. Trust me, John Galliano. So, I guess, besides being a goth teenager desperate for attention, I can’t really figure out why you’d sit in a cafe and drunkenly announce you love Hitler and that ugly people should be gassed. I’ve tried to figure out what would possess you to say such things. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. You’re a bigot
2. You were drunk and trying to be funny but just came off like an asshole
3. All French (correction: foreign) people do this and I don’t understand because I’m American/less stylish
4. Ugly people should be gassed
5. This is some kind of high fashion performance art
6. You were doing research for a role
7. You were drinking some kind of bigot cocktail that made you a bigot while you drank it

Look, John Galliano, we’ve all said really, really dumb shit when we were drunk. Man, I have said some heinous shit. One time when I was drunk, I tried to mate a housecat with a bus stop. Another time, I was so fucking plastered that I convinced a group of schoolchildren that one day each and every one of them would be president and that their dreams matter. I’ve also tried to be funny while drunk and maybe probably came off like a bigot, too.

But that’s the thing, John Galliano. Maybe everyone drinks and tries to be funny or tries to be provocative when drunk and those jokes fall flat or they just end up sounding like an asshole. But the point is that just because you’re drunk doesn’t mean you don’t have to take responsibility for all the dumb shit that comes out of your mouth. Blame drugs for when things happen, not that they happen. Also blame them for making you feel awesome.

Which is why I’ll be pretty fucking bummed if you release a statement being all like, “This was taken out of context!” or “My shit is so haute you don’t understand.” I mean, in addition to being the guy who makes dresses at Christian Dior, you’re also like the king of France, so I feel like French people will let you get away with whatever you want. I mean, they’re still super down with Roman Polanski and he made The Ninth Gate. That shit was terrible.

So I feel like you might get too impossibly thin and chic a hall pass here, John Galliano, and a quickie public apology or pseudo-explanation about how you’ve got personal problems and you’re going to haul yourself off to Stop Being a Bigot Rehab and then you’re quiet for six months and come back triumphantly… I think it would be way too easy for you to play the “I’m getting the help I need” card.

Look, I know, especially in America, we’re kind of witch hunters when it comes to this shit, and we love stripping context from anything so we can look at quotations unaccounted for and we love being outraged and incensed without properly understanding shit. Here in America, we think context is for nancy boys! And even better, when people read stuff on the internet, oftentimes their understanding of nuance flies out the window. I guess because they’re reading on a screen, I don’t know.

My point is that there is no context for “I love Hitler.” Or “you’d be gassed” (for being ugly). For one, I just think that’s bad history because there were plenty of ugly Nazis. Like Albert Speer. Or Adolf “Rodent Face” Eichmann. I don’t know what kind of master race they were trying to breed with cheekbones like that.

What I’m trying to say is you should take responsibility for what you said and not try to pass it off as some drunken lapse/performance art/quotation out of context. I think you should say you were acting like a drunk idiot and drunk idiot bullshit came out of your mouth and you’re really, really sorry. It’s fine for you to say you’re not a bigot, because I don’t think one ugly, stupid statement makes you a bigot, but you do need to work on this whole ‘saying bigoted stuff’ aspect of your personality. Because it sucks. Especially when, besides that, you’re really fucking talented and seem like an okay guy.

That’s right, John Galliano. I, The Misanthropologist, am proposing you be the bigger man and say you were being dumb and that you feel ashamed. And not make up excuses. You were a dumbass but it’s not the end of the world. We won’t be unreasonable and erase you from fashion history forever if you don’t act unreasonable by pretending this was something other than you being a drunk asshole who needs to work on being a drunk asshole. Because it’s not fashion and it’s not cute. Go on, John Galliano, put the big in bigot. And let’s move past this.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Richard

PS
If there really is a drink that makes you a bigot, I think we should talk about this. And maybe you actually do have a problem because you’re addicted to these drinks that make you a bigot. I’m addicted to glue and that just makes me really fucking funny and charming. Choose your battles, you know?

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  • Fergal

    Thanks — smart and funny. But he’s British so don’t let him off because “all French people do this.”

    • Ashley Cardiff

      I passed this along to Elizabeth and she responded, “HE’S A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.”

  • Lauragirl

    Beautifully said. You forgot two things, tho: he’s uglier than shit, and his clothes are worse (on him), and if he was in Germany at the time, he’d be gassed too–12 million were killed; 6 millions Jews, 6 millions others, gays, artists, gays, whoever, gays–did I mention gays. They werent a nice people. Some people shouldn’t drink. He got fired–he got his punishment…

  • Jen

    You seem to be quite the expert on French people.