Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I want you to look at these photos of Anne Frank, and think of what beauty was lost to the world the day she died in a concentration camp. Then I want you to multiply this loss by six million. This is not a pleasant thing to think about, but necessary after what I've heard on the news today.
I debated with myself whether I would post these thoughts, but in the end, I can't hold my tongue. Today, I read about John Galliano's inexcusable anti-Semitic rant, in which he talked about how Jews should be gassed and expressed his love for Hitler. I also read Natalie Portman's eloquent response, which I applaud.
What dismays me, perhaps as much as the rant itself, are the excuses I've read by various people for his behaviour. The two most common excuses are that he was drunk and that because he's talented, he should be forgiven.
Let me point out two things. Using the drunk excuse isn't even plausible when you're fifteen and think that it's actually a valid reason to get away with crap. But perhaps more importantly, having talent does not excuse degrading, dehumanising, abusive and abhorrent behaviour. I don't understand how we've developed this culture that allows famous people and artists to get away with this ridiculous behaviour by citing their "genius". Whatever your profession is, you are, first and foremost, a human being. If you say or do anything that incites hate and bigotry, in my opinion, no amount of beautiful art or creative genius makes you decent.
The other unpleasant thing that occurred over the past few days is relatively minor in comparison. I discovered that one of my film reviews was plagiarised and copied, word for word, on another blog, without credit. Thankfully, the post has now been removed and I suspect the blog is a spam blog anyway. But I do want to say a few things about this for the sake of clarity:
1. I don't mind my work being re-blogged, quoted, or re-used, as long as you let me know about it and give me credit for my work by stating that I'm the author and linking back. This is basic and fair, I do the same for the people I feature on this blog.
2. I do actually check whether my work has been copied online. This is fairly easy to do through anti-plagiarism websites. So if you "steal" something from this blog, I will eventually find out about it and take appropriate action.
3. Writing is my profession and therefore what I post on this blog represents me. This means I will protect it. In the end, if you steal someone's creative work, you're only fooling yourself.
Sorry for this dose of unpleasantness, but I feel I had to say these things. I know that with regard to the plagiarism issue, most of the people who read this blog would never ever do anything like this because you guys are too lovely. But let's face it, there are a lot of spam bloggers out there.
If you've read this post, your reward is me letting you know that I'll be posting another fabulous Miss Moss guest post tomorrow.
EDIT: Sorry, I can't let this go, because two days after I posted this, I read this post by Vogue Italia. Seriously? Are they trying to insinuate that he was provoked - is that really the issue here? I commented on this post on the Vogue Italia website, and I urge you to do the same. It might also interest you to know that the unbelievably insensitive editor in chief of Vogue Italia also capped off her defense of Galliano with a coded anti-Semitic remark herself.