Friday, September 6, 2013

The Week That Was: Fashion Nazis, The Wonderful Boss, Shellie Calls It Quits, Letters From Ariel, and Even More Gunfire

Here is to the late, Sir David Frost--the man who, in the end, exposed Richard Nixon for what he really was. 

Sometimes telling the truth, even in a funny way, causes problems. Just ask comedian and actor Russell Brand. On Wednesday Brand was in London, attending an awards ceremony thrown by GQ magazine. One of the corporate sponsors of the shindig was the German fashion house, Hugo Boss.

Here is what Brand had to say about the company. "If anyone knows a bit about history and fashion, you know it was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis. But they looked fucking amazing, lets face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality." Shortly after goose stepping smartly on stage, Mr. Brand was kicked off the premises for being disrespectful to the good people who run Hugo Boss.

A quick look at Wikipedia provides us with these fun facts. The company founder, Hugo Ferdinand Boss joined the National Socialist Party--you know, the aforementioned Nazis--in 1931. He began the company's proud history of corporate sponsorship when he became one for the Schutzstaffel, other wise known as the SS. By 1933 his company was running a print ad campaign saying that it had been, "A supplier for National Socialist uniforms since 1924." That might have been a bit of braggadocio, but in 1934 the company did become an officially licensed supplier of uniforms to the SS, Hitler Youth, and Sturmabteilung, also known as both the SA and Brown Shirts, plus a couple of other party organizations. During the war the Boss factory became so busy it used 30 to 40 prisoners of war and around 150 slave laborers, mostly from eastern Europe, to keep production up. It was 1999 before the company decided to contribute to a fund meant to compensate people forced into slave labor by the Nazi regime. It was 2011 before it issued a public apology of sorts for ol' Hugo's willing and lively participation in the Third Reich.

Reports are that Hugo Boss paid GQ nearly $400,000 to have its name attached to the proceedings. There is no telling how much money the company annually spends on advertising with the magazine. Whatever the amount, as Mr. Brand just found out, you can fuck with just about anything now days, except a source of income, no matter how foul it's past. Once you've gone there, the very next step is your ass going out the door.

On the subject of bosses, Rochus Misch, who was the personal bodyguard and gofer of Adolf Hitler, died at age, 96 yesterday. Hitler, as you might recall, was the head of that very same Nazi party, Hugo Boss was a member of. According to Misch in interviews and a book he co-wrote, Adolf was, "a very normal man. He was no brute. He was no monster. He was no superman. He was a wonderful boss." Herr Misch claims, as most of these guys have done, he knew nothing about the holocaust and says Hitler never brought the subject up when he was around. According to Misch, "It was never a topic, never." I suppose not. The systematic murder of 10 million people and the creation of an entire bureaucracy to carry it off isn't something you'd probably discuss with your door man and telephone operator. Indeed, spare the little people the details. Besides, loose lips sink ships.

Meanwhile, once again proving fame just isn't for everyone in a relationship, reports are, Shellie Zimmerman has filed for divorce from her husband George. George was last seen being busted by local police for speeding. There is no word as yet if he will plead not guilty and if his defense team is prepared to show he was fleeing for his life from a young black male dressed in a hoodie.

In Ohio NBC News has reported that Ariel Castro wrote a couple of letters to his children back in June. In one he said, "I still can't believe what I did to put me in the situation that I'm in now." It seems safe to say everyone else, especially the three girls he kidnapped and sexually abused for a decade, feel exactly the same way.

Finally, in New Orleans, police arrested Darnell Ramee, 19 and Keelen Armstrong, 24 this week and charged them both with murder in the first degree and attempted murder in the first degree. The two rambunctious youngsters are accused of shooting an 18 year old baby sitter in the back last Thursday. She was wounded, but the one year old child she was holding at the time was killed. The weapon was a 9mm semi automatic. No motive has been established.

Yes, guns don't kill people, but people who have them certainly do. Now, do we get rid of the guns, or the people? I'll leave it to you.

That's it for me. The weekend looms.

Watch out for flying chairs and as Mick Jagger once sang, "When you ride your bike at night, always wear white."

sic vita est


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