Friday, August 17, 2007

Madonna's birthday do

Victoria Newton seems convinced that Madonna's birthday party was "traveller-themed", seemingly solely because Eugene Hutz played some music. Unfortunately, it's a theme she warms too a little too quickly:

I NEVER thought that MADONNA would spend her 49th birthday with a bunch of gipsies.

But the Queen Of Pop — who has millionaires BRAD PITT, GWYNETH PALTROW and STELLA McCARTNEY as friends — slummed it on her big day yesterday with a traveller-themed bash for 20 close pals.

The Sun doesn't have the best track record when it comes to Travellers - they ran a 'Stamp On The Camps' campaign a while back, and one of their journalists apparently opened an interview with a traveller by asking "where did you get the money for that television", so it's perhaps unsurprising at the tone of Newton's piece. Just try imagining her opening gambit with, say, "Pakistani" or "Germans" or even "taxi drivers" in place of "gipsie" - why does Newton feel able to suggest that spending time with people of any race would be "slumming it"?

It gets worse, though - the piece is headlined:
Madge gives her pals some gip

Even if the idea of rich people playing at being gypsies - on a par with blacking up, or that "African" party they had at Windsor Castle a year or two back - doesn't make you feel queasy, the use of 'gip' surely will. Newton's defence of a racial slur would presumably be it was meant in a punning way. Although since the other meaning of the word is pain, it doesn't make sense as a pun, either.

Madonna at least has the defence of being known for her well-meaning condescension; Newton really should know better.