Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: Coco Chanel: The Nazi Who Invented Fashion

Part One: Coco Chanel: The Nazi Who Invented Fashion

Tue, 28 Mar 2023 10:00

Robert is joined by Courtney Kocak to discuss fashion designer, Coco Chanel.

(2 Part Series)

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Welcome to Biggie Burger. I'll take a cheeseburger. Two door or four door. What? Sorry, I'm shopping for a new car on the Roto app. Did you know that Roto finds discounts and rebates specific to each customer? That's kind of cool. Right. So you get the car you want at the price you want. It's like getting your burger just how you like it. Get every rebate and discount available. Then save big on your next car with Roto. Download the Roto app or check out Roto, the easiest way to buy or sell a car right from your phone. This year at Ashley's anniversary sale, we were able to secure a more affordable price on the same great quality as before. And we're passing those savings on to you. Shop new, lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store and online. Get ready for summer with 10% off on all outdoor furniture. Plus, we're offering five years special financing with no minimum purchase. Visit your local Ashley store or to celebrate and save today. Visit the planet. Yeah, access right now at slash podcast festival. State Farm, a proud sponsor of I hard radio's black and fake network. State Farm believes our stories are essential for creating stronger communities, which is why they are committed to elevating and championing black voices all year round. Like a good neighbor. State Farm is there. What's a cocoa? My Chanel. Yeah, that's not a very good introduction. What's cocoa? What's cocoa? My co-sack. What's cocoa? My Courtney co-sack are guests for today on behind the bastards. A podcast about the worst people in all of history that this week is talking about Coco Chanel. Courtney, welcome to the program. Thank you. I am honored by this alliteration. This is great. Yeah, we worked really hard on it. Well, first off, it's been a bit since you've been on congratulations on the engagement. Thank you. Yeah, that is getting married is widely considered to be the second most significant bond to people can engage in. The most significant, of course, being podcast partners. And this is Sophie and I's fifth anniversary of doing the show. Oh, no. I just upstaged your engagement. You're my anniversary to you guys. No, this is my news is like six months old. Yeah, congratulations. Courtney, what do you know about the fashion industry, the world of high fashion? You're always so well dressed as Sophie said. That's why I shocked that someone thinks I'm well dressed. You always look amazing. Thank you. It is a very low maintenance effort and I know nothing about fashion. Honestly, that is appropriate because that is the kind of fashion that was pioneered by the guest or the subject of this week's episodes, Coco Chanel. The other thing she pioneered was being an Nazi collaborator. So mixed bag Courtney, do you know much about Coco? I know too. She's someone you know much about or is it just sort of like a name on a brand, which I think is the case for most people. I think it's, yeah, it's the brand. It's like the vibe. It's the Chanel number five, you know? Yeah, that's so fascinating. I mean, having gone through this, we're about to start. But like the fact that she now, like when you say Chanel, you think rich people spending way too much money on clothing and perfume, right? You think like walking into a really high end mall, you think like a $6,000 pants suit, like that sort of shit. I get like the second you say there would Chanel a smell. That's what happens for me. Yeah. I mean, and that is to be honest, like, yeah, that's a testament to her success. She has about the saddest bleakest early life story we have ever covered on this podcast. No, you cannot start lower than Coco Chanel starts life. Yeah, I mean, again, this is behind the bastards. It doesn't end in a good person, but we're all going to be kind of rooting for her at the start of this here. Oh, Coco, baby Coco. Baby Coco. So my considered opinion Courtney after, I don't know, five years of behind the bastards, is that we can kind of broadly file away nearly all of our subjects into two categories. Category one is people who suck complete ass. And category two is people who still suck complete ass, but are also impressive in some way, right? So for example, Chow Chescu, the dictator of Romania, just sucked complete ass, right? Elron Hubbard sucked ass, but he was also incredible, right? He just had some amazing talent. Right, but, yes, just wonderful author. I like the way. Personally, he summoned the anti-Christ in the desert by masturbating with a guy who invented rocketry, but, you know, there's a lot of, oh, yeah, quite. We've got some episodes on it. This week our bastard is from the sucked complete ass, but was also objectively impressive category. That is Coco Chanel and Inatshell. She's an incredibly impressive person, terrible, but very impressive. So what's your quick question on that scale of after five years of bastards? Yeah. How many have this tragic early life? Like is this really a case for more social programs? A decent number of them. We talk about Saddam's early life was so bleak that he had to hold his teacher at gunpoint to learn how to read. Oh, God. Yeah, there's early life was a nightmare. He learners a really, really tough childhood. I would, you know, I'm never going to be, I don't know, like there's this thing going on, a colleague of mine, Will Sommer, who has covered a lot of, you know, the same kind of disinfo beats and stuff reporting on QAnon just wrote a book about it, gave an interview to I think Jacob and recently where he was like, well, a lot of the problems we have with QAnon wouldn't be happening if there was like socialized medicine in this country and people could rely on good mental health care. And I feel I mixed about that. I don't want to like put everything on because I think that all that can kind of put the onus on like, oh, it's mental illness that causes these problems. And I actually don't think the nut of these like our most bastardry is mental illness. For one thing, if I get a sense that like we're writing about someone who is just mentally ill, even if they did shitty things, I'm not going to like focus on them. Like, I don't think Hitler was mentally ill. I don't think Saddam was. I don't think Elrond Hubbard was like, they're just shitty people, you know? Yeah, but like Kanye, you're not like reporting on enough. Yeah, exactly. Like Kanye is a bad person, but also a lot of his badness is due to the fact that he is a deeply sick, unmedicated person. And like, I don't want to, yeah, I feel like ways about that. This is all very complicated and beyond the competence of a guy who professionally makes dip jokes on the internet. So I'm not going to, but I will say I do think there is a significant case for decent, like I think there is a case for you have fewer people like Coco is somebody who because of how rough her upbringing is. She grows up hard as fuck and kind of, and I think a lot of people would have been less hardened and less cruel and maybe less motivated in ways that led them to bastardry. If they had been able to rely on like sufficient food and stable housing and that sort of stuff when they were little kids, I don't think that's a non, but also I will say most of our bastards, it's far more common for us to have a bastard who like grows up rich than it is to have a bastard who grows up poor and desperate. So I don't know, I don't know where to take this. I have no like solid stance on this shit. But yeah, I don't know. Sometimes people just suck. Sometimes people suck and they make great fashion, you know, both in fashion. Yeah. So I have to, before we start, I want to make a note about the provenance of most of the information that we're going to be talking about today because Coco Chanel was born into gut-riching poverty and a time and place in which record keeping was a lot less robust than it is today. So we're heavily reliant on her own memories for information about her early life before she became famous. And most of this is info that she gave to biographers in fashion industry journalists decade after, decades after it happened when she was famous. She is a veteran liar. She was an incredible liar. And she would often lie about the same thing several times within an interview. For every significant development in her childhood, there are two or three contradictory stories, all of which are based on things that she said. So the two books that are going to be the bulk of my sources for these episodes are Coco Chanel, the life in legend by Justine Picardi, which covers pretty exhaustively all of the contradictory claims about her past. It provides really good context, but it's also really frustrating because she'll tell you one story and then another and it's like, well, I have no way to know which of these is true. What the fuck? My other source is sleeping with the enemy by how Vaughn, which suggests Vaughn is the guy who reported on her nots he ties. And he basically just kind of like picks what is probably the likeliest version of her story and goes with that. But he doesn't really give you context on the other things he claimed. I'm going to be kind of mixing both of these narratives up in order to try and give you the best context I can. So the official record states that Coco was born Gabrielle Chasnell on August 19th, 1883 and what is most commonly referred to as a poor house and the town of Salmer. Her mother, and this is in France, by the way, obviously. Her mother, Yogyny, is about 20 years old when she has Gabrielle and her father is a guy named Henri Albert and he was 28 years old. And as you might have guessed from the fact that she was born in a poor house, they did not come from money. Gabrielle was delivered into this world by members of the Sisters of Providence, which were in order of nuns who ran a series of these poor houses across France. Basically, all social welfare programs are run by the Catholic Church in France in the 1800s. Like, right? Like, there's not, you're not going to like a government poor house generally. You're something that the church is running. As an adult, Coco didn't like to talk about her birth and her early life, but justine Picardi notes one story that she told often enough that we can probably glean something from it. Quote, she did occasionally mention a train journey that her mother had undertaken just beforehand before her birth in search of her elusive father. What with the clothes of that time, she remarked to her interviewer with her customary circuitous vagueness, I suppose no one could see that she was about to have a baby. Some people helped her. They were very kind. They took her into their home and sent for a doctor. My mother didn't want to stay there. You can get another train tomorrow, the people said, to soothe her. You'll find your husband tomorrow, but the doctor realized that my mother wasn't ill at all. She's about to have a baby, he said. At that point, the people who had been so nice to her were furious. They wanted to throw her out. The doctor insisted that they take care of her. They took her to a hospital where I was born. Oh, so that... You get a lot about the culture, right? That is true. Where it's like, oh, this is a sick woman. Let's take... Fuck this bitch. She's pregnant and alone. Fuck her. Yeah. That's my nightmare. Yeah. It's pretty rough. Like I said, it doesn't start much harder than Coco's early life. So depending on who you ask, the name Chasnell, because again, her original name is not... Well, the name on her birth certificate isn't Chanel. Depending on who you ask, this is either because Chasnell is just a misspelling or it's an earlier medieval version of Chanel. You don't really know. Either is pretty reliable or pretty possible. Interestingly enough, Gabrielle's father, the son of a peddler, had been born himself into a poor house in 1858 and also had his name misspelled on his birth certificate, but in a different way, it was listed as Charne. So it's likely that just like Nundzart graded reading in the 1880s... It's true. It was under evolution. Yeah. It's just been evolving this whole time. Yeah. It's just like up on Shoveh fucking half illiterate Nundz handling healthcare because no one else is going to do it. So Coco's father, Gabrielle at this point, her father Albert made his living such as it was by selling junk on street corners. He's literally like a trash dealer, right? He's kind of like finding whatever he can and selling it for what he can. He's got a little horse-drawn cart and he's like taking goods from town to town. And then, he's like, well, the girls' parents were eventually wed about 15 months after her birth, but this was not a stable life. So she's not... She is born out of wedlock, right? They're not married when she gives birth, but they do in married soon after. But her dad is not in the picture often. He either just doesn't care about having a kid or is just so married to this traveling salesman life that he's gone basically all the time. He's like the junk baby. The junk is just so important. The junk's calling me, honey. You can't lock me down. I got a soap trash on the street. The junk is his art. Yeah, it's very funny. I mean, it's not. It's tragic, but it is kind of funny. So her father's gone all the time and in order to like survive, Coco and her mom have to live with relatives. And this is not... You don't get the feeling this is a super close family, like a lot of times when they're living with an aunt or an uncle. It's like, well, what else are we going to do? We can't kick around on the street, but we don't really want her here. Everybody's poor as shit. She had numerous brothers and sisters. Her youngest brother Augustine died as an infant in 1891. All the evidence suggests that Coco's father was basically absent most of the time. But she had a habit later on of claiming that she was his favorite and that he had given her her nickname Coco because he disliked the name Gabrielle. This is not true. We'll talk about where the name comes from a little bit later. She just lied about her dad loving her for reasons that I shouldn't have to like talk about. That's bleak. That's bleak. It's important to note, but like, yeah, you can't throw shade on so what for that? It's understandable. It may be true that after one trip away from home for work, her father gave her a present. She talked about this present that he gave her a lot. It also tells you a lot about the time because the present was a human knuckle bone that had been turned into a pin holder. Oh my goodness. There's just bones all over the... This is like you can still hang out in Paris if you wind up in some markets and find human bones on sale. I have been there. I didn't buy any bones. I don't engage in the human bone trade, but it's not... If you're going to buy human bones and you have cash to spare, you can find like some monk skulls and shit in markets in Paris. It's doable. Don't do this. But you can. That's all I'm saying. So this knuckle bone that she gets from her dad has like the Eiffel Tower printed on one side and Notre Dame on the other. So it's like some weird tourist chatsky made out of human remains. It says again, so much about the late 1800s. Also just Paris, right? Yeah, and Paris. And Paris stuff. They love that thing. Easy to get bones, right? There's bones all over the fucking place. Now Coco is a weird fucking kid. She is kind of goth as fuck. And so when she gets this knuckle bone, she buries it in a cemetery as an offering to the dead, which is fucking rad. Look, it's hard not to love little kid Coco. And in fact, by age six, she would later claim she spent all of her free time in a graveyard. Like that is her playground as a kid. She's fucking Wednesday. She is. She is. She's very Wednesday, Adam. Yes. She told one biographer every child has a special place where he or she likes to hide, play and dream. Mine was an auvergene cemetery. I knew no one there, not even the dead. And yet the dead seemed to come alive for her there, although they remained as silent as the graves. I was the queen of this secret garden. I loved it subterranean dwellers. The dead are not dead as long as we think of them I would tell myself. Oh my god. I kind of love that. She's kind of a dope kid. Yeah. She is basically a Pixar protagonist at this point in her life. Let's get the early Coco Chanel movie, the Gabrielle. Yeah. You'll have to leave out the Nazi stuff. Yeah. But yeah, her early life, it is hard not to be on this kid's side right now. She is particularly drawn in her fucking cemetery wanderings to two one labeled tombstones, which she would adorn with flowers in the springtime. She had several ragdolls she made for herself and she would bring them with her to the graves. She later said, I wanted to be sure that I was loved, but I lived with people who showed no pity. I like talking to myself and I don't listen to what I'm told. This is probably due to the fact that the first people to whom I opened my heart were the dead. Oh, creepy. Yeah. Again, goth as hell. It's hard to see her transition from being this epic goth Wednesday Adam's figure child to the clutching your pearl. Well, I mean, look, who does not see such a great thing. We'll get to this. The sad truth is like so many people, she falls in with a bad crowd and that bad crowd is the British royal family. But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's impossible to say which of these stories she tells about her childhood are in fact true. But it is worth noting that death would have been one of the first realities she had to confront. Not only did her little brother die when she was like eight or nine, her mother is sickly for her entire early childhood. Some of her cocoa's earliest memories are watching her mom cough blood onto handkerchiefs. Probably some sort of tuberculosis. We don't really know, obviously, like you're not going to get a great, you know, diagnosis back then. Not good labs back then. Yeah, they just said, she's got the consumption. She coughs a lot. Like it could have been a thousand different things. Tuberculosis is not unlikely. As a result of kind of this, the color red features particularly in her early recollection. She would always be fascinated by red. Coco often recalled this story to interviewers from when she was five and her mom had to move her and her siblings into the house of an uncle. We were shut away in a room covered in red wallpaper. To begin with, we were very well behaved. Then we noticed that the red wallpaper was very damp and could be peeled off from the walls. So being kids, the girls start to pull strips of wallpaper off and they leave the room eventually like completely stripped bare. The pleasure was sublime, but eventually their mother found them. And mom doesn't like say anything, but she realizes like they've destroyed this room basically that belongs to a relative. So her earliest memory is like gleefully ripping all of this wallpaper off and then her mom sees it and just starts sobbing on the bed because they're way down. She's like, we're homeless. Yeah, it's fucked up. This is such a sad childhood. She's like a rolled doll character. It's just endless sadness. And now's mother dies of tuberculosis or something similar in 1895 when Coco is 12. Her mom is 33 years old. She dies in, so all of the kids are like with her in this freezing bedroom in the city of Brive. And her mom just like dies trying to get warm and Coco and her siblings find her, but there's no other adults in the house. And we don't actually know how long they're alone with their mom's freezing corpse before other adults find them and take them away. She would never talk about this. Oh, God. Hard to imagine a greater trauma. Oh, that is terrible. It's fucked up. Yeah. Like I saw my grandma die, but it was the opposite, a very beautiful experience. This sounds horrible. And you're like one way to survive. Just dies in front of you. It's a fucking nightmare. So dad again is like out and about. He comes back every now and then, but as soon as mom dies, dad is like, this is my opportunity to abandon my family. Because once and for all. Again, just as sort of like being a single mother, you would get fucking spit on by people. It's also assumed that like, well, if you shouldn't be a single father raising kids, if like your wife dies, you hand your kids over to somebody else. Like that's not how everyone did it, but that was not an uncommon way to handle the problem at the time, right? And Henri Albert showed no real inclination to raise his family. So he's like the junk. You guys, I'm sorry. Kids, he's the junk. He has two sons and like three daughters at this point. And he he sells his sons basically, he basically fight. He finds a farm that will like take them. And I think he probably gets like, it's on the verge of human trafficking. It's one of these like, if you teach my kids how to do farm work, they'll work for you if you let them live here. But like, it's sketchy. But since you know, girls are not useful in this period in time by the by the standards of a guy named Henri Albert. And so he sends Coco and her sisters off to a fucking nunnery. He's like, go to this orphanage. Just orphanage run by nuns. Like I have no ability to profit off of you. So the extra evidence. I mean, better than prostituting them out, I would say. Yes, he definitely didn't pick the absolute worst option. So he basically takes whatever money he has left and then fucks off to the United States to find his fortune. And Coco never sees him again. This is the end of her dad being a factor in her life. She was never able to really admit this. Certainly not to biographers and maybe not to herself. She would make up stories as an adult about all these times her dad had come to visit her while she was being raised by the nuns. She would also lie regularly and say that he had left her with her aunts who had raised her. She was not raised by her aunts. She's raised by nuns. There's documentation of this. But you can kind of get, again, in the story she tells that are not true about her childhood, you can't get pieces of the truth. So for example, even though she would claim it was her aunts who had raised her, she would talk about the way they raised her and how stern they were. And you can assume she's talking about the nuns, right? She's just kind of pretending they were a family. So she would say stuff like, my aunts were good people, but absolutely without tenderness. I was not loved in their house. I got no affection. Children suffer from such things. And I don't have truth. Yeah, I don't need to fact check that last part. I trust that she was suffering. Coco had a lot of family in the area. She did have aunts. And she's not, so this, and again, this kind of tells you something about the way in which life was back then. When you are a kid whose parents die or leave you and you're in like one of these orphanages run by nuns, you still have family in town. She still has connections with her family. So she's not isolated entirely. But it's also like nobody can really handle the burden of taking care of her. So the nuns are going to do it. Yeah. Other statements she made later in life hint at her real feelings towards how this childhood went, quote, from my earliest childhood, I've been certain that they have taken everything away from me that I'm dead. I knew that when I was 12, you can die more than once in your life. Oh, God. Yeah. It's fucked up. That's a, I'm really curious if these people are going to show up again, you know, in 20 years or whatever when she's famous and they're going to be like, Oh, remember when we took care of you. I'm going to be honest. Yeah. I mean, she definitely has like some family who get money from her. Her dad never shows back up. I kind of think he just like fucked off and died in the US trying to strike at Richard something. You know, people, people died for no reason back then. We'll probably never know. Um, he does seem like the kind of guy who would come back for money. Yeah. I mean, I'm sure he would have if he could have, but you know what never dies, Courtney. What's the need for capitalism and ads? That's right. Capitalism so far cannot be killed. You know, stay tuned, pay attention to this spot in case that changes. But no one's did it yet. Ah, this show was sponsored by BetterHelp. Life is a process of learning more things about yourself. For example, I recently learned that reading about terrible people all the time can sometimes make you sad. And when you're sad, it helps to talk to people. If you think you might need to talk to someone, therapy is a great way to do that. It's all about deepening your self-awareness and understanding because sometimes you don't know what you want or why you react the way you do until you talk through things with an objective observer. BetterHelp connects you with a licensed therapist who can take you on that journey of self-discovery from wherever you are. So if you're thinking about starting therapy, BetterHelp might be a good option for you. It's entirely online. It's designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist. Discover your potential with BetterHelp. Visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's slash behind. 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So it is worth digging into more what kind of place this orphanage was and what sort of things Coco and her siblings learned there. Later in life, she would tell a story of sitting with other children in a wooden pew in the church. A nun would poke her with a stick whenever she sang the Ave Maria to loudly. She recalled that a hunchback man was sitting nearby and told a biographer, I'd have liked to sit down beside him and touch his hump and tell him that it didn't matter. He could still be loved. Oh, yeah, that's sweet. That is sweet. Yeah. So again, you get this feeling that not only is she denied tenderness, but she wants to show it and just is raised in an environment where like they believe kids are fundamentally evil would have to be treated strictly in order to bring them up properly. She just has no outlet to express or receive affection as a little kid, which is not good for kids. Spoiler for those of you who have kids. Don't raise them this way. It doesn't go well. When it comes to what kind of thing she learned from the nuns, well, we know that she got what was for the time a pretty decent education in the basics. She learned how to read. She learned not a ton of arithmetic because she was a girl, but she learned enough that she was able to get by as an adult. She runs a large business. So the basics of her education are about as good as you could hope for at the time, given her socioeconomic level. Outside of that, the curriculum was rather less wholesome. And I'm going to quote now from how Vaughan's book. At the turn of the 20th century, Catholic institutions, such as Obesine, indoctrinated Catholic youth to loath Jews. Chanel was no exception. She was often given to anti-Semitic outbursts, well-known French author and editor-in-chief of the French Fashion Magazine Marie Claire, Marcel Hadrich tells of a conversation he had with Chanel over his book and Moses created God. Chanel asked Hadrich, why Moses? You can't believe that ancient stories are still of interest or you hope Jews will like you. Your story? They won't buy your book. When the conversation turned to how new fashion boutiques were spring up like mushrooms in Paris, Chanel declared, I only feared Jews and Chinese and the Jews more than the Chinese. Hadrich observed, Chanel's anti-Semitism was not only verbal but passionate, demoted, and often embarrassing. Like all the children of her age, she had studied the catechism. Hadn't the Jews crucified Jesus? The most Christian thing I could do is hate another religious group. Yeah. But she is up until, I mean, it's probably worth noting that like her early life, this is not unusual anti-Semitism, right? This is a pretty normal amount of anti-Semitism to grow up with. For the time. For the time. Not excusing it. I'm just saying like, her education is not an abnormal one. A lot of French kids in the same period are taught the same things. She does grow up to be an abnormally anti-Semitic person for French society at the time. She is more racist than the background level of her society. Eventually. At this point, she's just a little kid. So it is worth noting that while Coco deeply imbibed the church's teachings on Jewish people, she was less convinced about the existence of God. She kind of probably never was really a believer. This is probably not surprising given the fact that her childhood might be considered to disprove the existence of a loving God. Also, just like the, I very much identify with that. And they told me about religion, I was like, I don't know if this is true. So at age 18, Coco moves from the orphanage to a Catholic school for girls. And the big news story at the time would have been the Drifus affair, which was focused around the 1894 arrest of a Jewish French artillery officer under false claims that he'd been a spy. We have talked about the Drifus affair on several occasions. It is a watershed moment in the history of European anti-Semitism. The gist of it is that there was a massive court case, one of the first big media circuses around a trial in Western history. It ignited an entirely new right wing media industry in France, which largely formed around spreading anti-Semitic propaganda. How Vaughn writes. During Chanel's teens at the Convent and later in the Catholic community in Moulin, anti-Semitism was in full froth. The widely read Catholic assumptionist daily La Croix raged against the Jews. A typical spokesman for the church's position was the Jesuit priest Father Du Lac. The spiritual guide to the anti-Semitic publicist Edward Droomont, author of Jewish France. Droomont coined the slogan, France for the French. So not much has changed about right wing politics. I was going to say this sounds very familiar. France, there's a lot of similarities in France now about this shit. Nothing changes spoiler alert because people are incapable of learning lessons, which is good. It's good that we can't learn lessons, but we do get better at building bombs. I like that. Yeah, that's good. Yeah, it's good stuff. I was actually reading, this is completely off topic, a very cool story about this Italian physicist who worked with Enrico Fermi, brilliant physicist, considered by Fermi to be like a Galileo-level genius. He was probably the first guy to really figure out neutrons and neutrinos and have a real complicated understanding of the kind of physics that go into the making of a nuclear bomb. And he disappeared off the face of the earth in 1928. And one of the most likely explanations is that being as smart as he was, he realized that nukes were the end result of his research and went off to a conflict, or to vent his way. I can't, like, I fuck off. I'm not doing science anymore. It's a fun story. Anyway, not related to Coco Chanel, a little related to Coco Chanel. So Chanel somewhat thoughtlessly adopted the right-wing attitude in her society towards Jewish people. And to what was best for French society in general, she's always very conservative. Some of this has to do with the company that she keeps as a young adult who are mostly cavalry officers. And this is, don't hang out with cavalry officers first off. At 20, she gets a job working as a seamstress. And so basically, the place that she's, the school that she's going to is geared towards preparing poor children to be productive members of the economy. So the nuns teach Coco how to sew so that she can make money. And it's kind of worth spending some time on what that instruction entailed. So I'm going to, I'm going to quote from Justine Picardi again. She spoke of being taught to sew by the aunts, himming and seaming her true sew. And of how she wore a white shift in which to bay it herself because it was a sin to look at one's body. She said that she sewed cross stitches on her nightgowns to make them look Russian. Sometimes she used to rub her nose to make it bleed at night. The blood dripped on her white night dress. And when she cried out for someone to come to her bedside, a nun would emerge. Slashes of red appeared elsewhere in her narratives. Two cherries that she stole to eat before her first communion before she panicked and sought absolution from the priest for her wickedness. The blood stains on her night dress when she reached puberty, not understanding what had happened to her, but believing she had hurt herself and her redened skin when the aunts beat her. I remember that they used to take my knickers down to spank me. First there was the humiliation. Then it was very unpleasant. Your bottom was as red as blood. So that's how she learns how to sew. Uh, again. Catholic church. Catholic church. Very, very good leafy hair. Kind of a nightmare in this period, you know, debatably better now. So that's a pretty rough life experience. It is worth noting that her time in the convent provides Coco with enough of a basis in reading. They do, I think a particularly good job of teaching her to read because she is a life-long reader. She loves fiction. She is a huge fan of like one of her biographers, Justine will note that like do you know that short story, The Yellow Wall Paper. Oh. Yeah, it's a very famous like short story that she kind of transposes into some stories about her life. She loves like all of these different kind of like romance novels and stuff that are popular at the time. She's particularly in love with like these, these kind of melodramatic like what you call like kind of what you'd find in like an airport romance novel today, right? Like that's the kind of literature that she really enjoys. And she likes it because she wants to escape for really obvious reasons like it's this, she later tells a biographer quote, I thought that it was all awful because in my novels there was nothing but silk pillows and white lacquered furniture. And I've liked to do everything in white lacquer, sleeping in an alcove made me miserable, it humiliated me. I broke off bits of wood whenever I could thinking what old trash this is. I did it out of sheer wickedness for the sake of destruction. When one considers all the things that go on in a child's head, I wanted to kill myself. So she's like, you know, an intelligent kid, she finds fiction, she develops this love of reading. She's obsessed with these like she's horny for sure. She's obsessed with like these Charles Charlotte Perkins Gilman stories about like sickness and kind of the oppression of women and also these stories of like swashbuckling romantic adventure, but they just kind of make her angerier and angrier. So as soon as she can, she gets this job as a seamstress, but she wants more independent. So she gets a second job singing at a cafe. This is where she meets all those cavalry guys because this is like kind of a bar. She's like 19, 20 at this time. So she gets this side job singing at this cafe where cavalry men are known to go drink and let off steam. So yeah, this is kind of like in cafes in this time, like group singing sessions, kind of the early versions of karaoke is a common form of recreation. And this is where she picks up the nickname Coco. And there's two versions of the story of how one of them is that it's a nickname the soldiers give her because Coco is a French name for kept women cockat. So basically one is that when she is a teenager, ish, these adult soldiers are like bitch looks like a, like a, you know, a kept woman. And she was like thank you. That is a compliment. This is the nicest thing anyone has said to me. Yeah. The other is that Coco, the singer only knew two songs. One is Coco Rico, which is a song about a rooster because Coco Rico is the French version of Cockatooodle Do. And the other song is Quiqua Vu Coco, which is a song about a girl who lost her dog. Now the audience here are all drunk horny soldiers who are more interested in her appearance than her voice. So when she would come on stage, they tended to greet her with a mix of barnyard noises and chance of Coco, which is the name of the dog from the song. So probably through some mix of all of this is how she accrues her nickname Coco, but she's kind of proud of it. Like, you know, they barked at me. It was so romantic. You would not believe. Look, I mean, there's problematic aspects to this. But her time singing in the bar is the first period of her life that kind of sounds like it might have been fun. I was saying that. Yeah, no. Is this like how she works her way into the eventual spy stuff? No, no, no. No, this is much, much too early. Yeah. Again, this is like barely the 1900s, right? So she's just a little kid at this point. I mean, she's a young woman, but like, you know, she's a little world kid's in 19, 19. Late. At age 23, after she's been a couple of years as a seamstress and singing, she runs into a wealthy former former French cavalry officer named at the end, Balson. Now she, she claims they meet when she's on vacation to the city of Vichy. That might be true. She might have just met him at the cafe. Either way, Balson asks her out to a date the next day. And he like kind of falls for her. So he takes her to his compound because he's a very wealthy man from a very wealthy family. And she basically, as soon as she's like, oh, this rich guy is kind of offering to let me live on his rich guy compound. Is this mistress? Yeah, done. Absolutely. Like, 100%. I'm on board. Totally. Yeah. Like, of course, why wouldn't you do this? I'm so bummed that we're really going to hate her later. Yeah, it's a bummer that this ends with Nazi because so far, this is an incredible like fucking, you could get 20 episodes of a Netflix series out of this that would have like a third of the country on the edge of their seats. Oh, that's a great idea, Robert. Yeah, yeah, yeah, take it. Take it. So Coco is very low-born and very poor. So she can't marry Balson, right? Because he's a French noble kind of guy. That would be embarrassing for him. Yeah. Yeah. But also Balson very much loves her, right? Like he is, and that is the thing. Like none of these, she's going to be kind of a kept woman for a bunch of men. They are all absolutely like maniac for her. She is very, very good at, I mean, she's an endearing person, right? This is not just like a, oh, they're like, letcherous old men who want her around because she's cute. Like they fall for her, people will make like these very intense sacrifices for her. She has these very intense romantic relationships with these men. And this is not abnormal in French high society. Kind of the norm for French aristocrats in this period is like you marry some high-born lady who is fancy enough that like your family is happy. And then you never see each other. And you have a bunch of mistresses and chateaus around the Riviera and other nice places who are like the actual people you spend your time with. And everyone is aware of this and that's a pretty normal aspect of life in this strata of society. Coco transitions very easily to this life. And she likes, she really, she meets a couple of other courtesans who are like also mistresses of rich guys and she finds them very admirable. She learns a lot from them. They're kind of like her mentors. She also meets a bunch of French noble women who she hates. She doesn't like the way they dress. She thinks their makeup is shitty. She thinks they smell bad. She like hates these fucking rich ladies. She like fuck these rich ladies. Like the courtesans are the ones who I want to be like, right? Like obviously that's why the men want to spend time with them. For sure. No, some of those mistresses are like super impressive to read about. Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. These are, I mean, a broader and more fascinating history than just Coco. So for a few years, she enjoys the high life with Balcon. Becoming acquainted to high society, she rides horses a bunch. She flirts incessantly with Balcon's friends. He cheats on her regularly too. But you know, that's their French. But of course, eventually the realities of their divergent social situations and Balcon's love life outside of her cause issues. And they break up. They don't wind up being like hating it. Like they remain friendly. This is kind of another pattern. She tends to like stay pretty close with her exes, which is interesting to me. Yeah. And anyway, in 1908 at age 25, she falls madly in love with another aristocrat. And this guy is British and his name is Arthur Capel, but everyone calls him boy Capel. Um, which we don't call people boy anymore. It's like a name. Bring us back. Is it condescending? I don't know. I think it's like he's got like a boyish face. Like he's just, oh, it's a compliment. Yeah. Yeah. I don't think it's like condescending. He doesn't seem to hate it or anything. Um, boy is a very wealthy British aristocrat. He falls head over heels for Coco like everyone else does. And he puts her up in a fancy Paris apartment. So she gets her own place now that he pays for. That's very nice. The two are very much in love for a time. But as an English aristocrat, he also cannot marry a poor French woman. But he pays, he cares about her. And he cares about her enough that like not only does he put her up in an apartment, but he gives her a chunk of money to invest in starting a business. Oh. So that she can become financially independent, which is a sign of actual care as opposed to just like, you know, he doesn't, he has, he does not seem to want to keep her dependent on him, right? Which I also find interesting. Is she sewing this whole time or was that if she doesn't know that? No, she sucks assets sewing. She always, she learns how to do it. But she, she usually hires other people to do that. She's not, she's never going to be a very good. I, I bring that up, but like she's not very good at it. That seems to be the consensus. So by this point, Coco has come to the, the conclusion for herself that if she wants to exist in the rarefied air of men like Balson and Capell, one option is to just be a kept woman, but that only lasts so long. And if she wants to really succeed in high society, she's going to need to make a fortune of her own. And it's interesting. I, one of the things I find fascinating about her is she certainly has the potential given her beauty, given her obvious intelligence, given her social skills to acquire a fortune by like making some old rich guy fall in love with her and taking his money, right? Like that is an option for Coco. She could have handled that if she wanted. She does not seem to be interested in that. She could have probably convinced a lover to set her up for life, but she doesn't seem interested in that either. She wants to make a fortune for herself. And so she starts a business, a business that's going to make her name known to people and allow her to feel potent, standing next to these rich people that she's going to spend her life around. Robert, I'm so mad that this is. I know, I know, it's hard, it's hard not to be on her side. She's pretty rad at this stage. That's for the rampant anti-Semitism. Oh yeah, yeah, that is still happening all the sudden. That is not major red flag. 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Mortgages through sofa bank and a member FDIC, NMLS, 696891, Lone & Offer Terms, Conditions, Restrictions, Apply, Equal Housing Lender. Back. Sorry about this Hugo Boss. Sorry about this. Hey, hey, sofa, you know the Hugo Boss, you know the Hugo Boss motto. It's been a long time since the Holocaust. Sorry, Hugo Boss. You don't have to say you're sorry to the people who made uniforms for the SS. That's fair. You're not sorry, Hugo Boss. It's okay. Rest in peace. If you are, if the same thing with like fucking IBM providing like the technology that the Germans use to do a lot of the, like keep track of a lot of the people that they put in the camps, like if you worked with them, yeah, oh yeah, that was a big early IBM played a crucial role in the Holocaust. And you can keep giving companies shit for that. It doesn't matter that nobody there today did that. You can keep giving them shit. It's fine. Look, they rolled over that money. That money is a part of their present success. You can continue to give them shit for working with the Nazis is my opinion. So anyway, Hugo Boss, if you want to sponsor the show, I will delete all of this. I have no principles. So during her time in the Upper Crust, Coco developed both a distaste for the Garnets War developed a distaste for the Garnets worn by rich society women, right? She thinks they're ugly. They're very complicated. You've seen movies and TV shows set in this period, you've seen paintings like these massive dresses with like the whalebone corsets and these huge wide like like they're they're required. Gen, like a lot of the bigger dresses and shit require multiple people to help you put them on, right? It's like a suit of Knights armor. Coco does not like these big complicated, all these layers, all of this. She likes bath robes. She likes wearing men's clothing, large shapeless shirts. She also likes suits and she thinks it's frustrating that women don't get to wear stuff like that because that kind of clothing is liberating and you can move in it and you can be active in a participant in the world and you can take care of dressing and stuff on your own, right? You don't need a team of people. And so, Capel, like Chanel convinces Capel to invest in her business and the first thing she's going to make is just align a hat, right? I guess because that's the easy thing to make. But the hats do reasonably well. And around the time she's starting her clothing business, Coco's life gets struck by another tragedy. Her sister, Julia, had gotten pregnant and had a child when Coco was around 20 and when Coco's around 27, Julia catches her husband cheating on her and commits suicide. And so Coco is forced to take responsibility for her nephew, Andre. That's one version of the story. Coco's sister definitely dies. Some people will say Andre was probably Coco's son and she just would never admit it. We really have no idea. She calls him her nephew so I'm just going to call him her nephew for the rest of the story because you know, whatever. But she raises this kid kind of. So she does, I will say this, she does a much better job of raising Andre than her father test of raising her. Yeah, that's so interesting. Yeah, it is, it is interesting. And she gets boy, Capel, again, it's kind of the evidence that he really does love her. He arranges for her nephew to go to a really, really expensive English boarding school. Like one that was going to kind of like cement him as a member of English high society. It's going to teach us maybe his son. It's not impossible. I don't think it is. It's not impossible because they, no, I don't think it could, it could be because the timing doesn't work out because again, by the time they meet the kids a couple of years old. Okay. So I think it is a situation of like Coco's trying to figure out how to take care of this kid, maybe there's a little bit of, I don't want a little kid running around and stuff. But in any case, he spends a significant amount of money to give this kid a good chance at life. And the fact that the kid is at a boarding school leaves Coco free to focus her efforts on her new business. When the Great War hits in 1914, boy, Capel joins the army and serves while Coco jots between her Paris factory, the Riviera and the coasts. And she is kind of following French elite society leaves Paris during the war for the most part because Paris is getting shelled a lot of the time. So they're like, well, let's go party. We're not going to fight in this war. You know, let's go. I mean, some of them do, but most of them, most of them go party, especially the ladies. So they're kind of hanging out, chilling and stuff. And while all of the people, these people are dying on the Western front, Coco's business blows the fuck up. It blows up like 155 millimeter howitzer shell and a trench full of French 18-year-olds. Not even the disruption of the war can hinder her success. In short order, she has more than 100 employees. And in order to deal with the shortages of wartime, she starts using her own fabric blends. Jersey is a fabric, you know, like Jersey fabric. She starts to use. It had never been a part of high fashion, but it's one of those things that has no real military use, it's not used in uniforms. So she's able to get a supply of it and she kind of makes it high fashion. And this kind of informs the kind of clothing that she makes in this period, which is loose, baggy and androgynous, right? Like that's a big part of the stuff she's making. A lot of the feel of her early clothing is like, I'm wearing my boyfriend's shirt, you know? Yeah. Yeah, very consciously like what she's doing. So that's the stuff that gets her rich, not these hats that she was making before. No, the hats are kind of like a test run. It's this kind of adrogynous baggy, but comfortable and stuff that you can move in and be active in. Now, the most iconic design of her early career is her creation of what she calls and she's the first person to say this, the little black dress. That is a, that is the Coco Chanel original. And obviously today that concept is bigger than any fashion brand. There's God knows how many kinds of little black dresses, but Coco Chanel is the one who decides in a fashion world that is dominated by 1800s fashion that like fuck all these big fucking dresses with these huge hoops skirts and shit. I am going like women want to wear a slinky lightweight black dress. And there's a couple of different stories as to how this look comes about, but I'm choosing to quote this version of events from Justine Picardi's book. She was dressing for the evening at the apartment in the Avenue Gabriel, no mention of Boy Kepel who was often away, not only in the arms of other women, but also as an army officer undertaking clandestine missions for his friends and government. I'd never been to the opera before. I had a white dress made by my own modests. My hair which came down below my waist was done up around my head in three braids. All that mass set straight upon that thin body. She had so much hair she said that it was crushing me to death, but fate intervened and gave her freedom. There was a gas burner in the bathroom. I turned on the hot tap to wash my hands again. The water wasn't hot so I fiddled with the pilot light and the whole thing exploded. My white dress was covered in suit. My hair, the less said the better. I only had to wash my face again. I didn't use makeup. In those days only the caquettes used makeup and were elegant. The women of the bourgeoisie weren't groomed and they wore hats that flopped all over the place with birds nests and butterflies. But nothing was going to stop her from going out that night, not even her burnt hair. I took a pair of scissors and cut one braid off. The hair sprang out all at once around my face. In those days I had hair like sable. Undaunted she cut off the second braid and then told her made to cut off the third. The girl began to cry but Chanel didn't care or at least she didn't care about the loss of her hair or of the suit stained white dress. I slipped on a black dress I had crossed over in the front. What a marvelous thing youth. And caught in the waist with a sort of minaret on top. The bobbed hair and a little black dress Chanel was neither slave nor girl but something of her own making. Everyone at the opera was looking at her. She later told an interviewer they were also impressed that the darling of the English became the beauty of Paris. Afterwards however, yeah so that's the story right. She's going out this night, this burner explodes and she winds up like throwing together this outfit that something she's got short hair, she's got this slinky black dress. People don't dress this way right. And it takes the fuck off. People cannot stop talking about how good Coco Chanel looks in this dress. I love it. And I also think yeah, she's essentially a sex worker and like they have been so influential on this kind of you know, it makes sense. It tracks. Yes it totally tracks and it people like one of Coco's nicknames is the woman who killed 19th century fashion. Like if you watch those like gone with the wind as shit, she kills that and she kills it on that night with that little black dress right. It makes such a fucking impact on French fashion that like it it it's like a bomb goes off in the fashion industry. Now Coco is also an activist for women's liberation and a lot of her obsession with loose and comfortable women's fashion is married to her commitment to liberation. One CNN fashion article I found noted she wanted women to move in breathe in her clothes just like men did in theirs. Her work was in many ways a form of female emancipation. This is so clean. It sucks. It sucks. It sucks where it's building. This is pretty cool. So while Coco's career reaches its heights during World War One and immediately afterwards she's just doing amazing. Her love life is a little less successful because her lover boy Kepel dies horribly in an automotive crash right after the war ends. It's a bummer. Makes her very sad obviously. One of the things that makes her sadder is that Kepel's most of his possessions, he's got some wife back in England right. She gets a lot of stuff but he leaves a lot of money to Coco. He also leaves a lot of money to an Italian woman that Coco does not know making it clear that like so he's you know he was playing the field more than she was aware of. I would have loved to see that while reading. Yeah I would. I'm sure that was fun. She would later tell a biographer his death was a terrible blow to me. In Luz and Kepel I lost everything. What followed was not a life of happiness I have to say. This seems to most by this she will have fallen love with other men. Most people who know of her life tend to say like this was the love of her life right. This was the guy that she she cared about the most. That said while she never recovers maybe emotionally from this financially she just does better and better and better. The war years give away to the roaring twenties and this is when Chanel reinvents herself as Coco. Pivoting off of her little black dress she launches a line of loose fitting jersey outfits made to emulate in her words the poor look. So the look of like poor girls right. That inexpensive high fashion so she's taking you know she grows up dirt poor she's taking like well these women who have to work for a living this is how they dress and she's making fancy rich people versions of it right. Like that's that's a big part of the early success of Chanel. On the end 20s vibes flapper vibes very very she's perfectly we are building to the flappers because that is partly a creation of Coco Chanel. So androgyny is central to her work. She is very much into the idea of women wearing clothing that covers up their hips that covers their breasts. She's also very much open to like one of her most famous Chanel models will pose in Chanel clothing dressed as a man and wearing mustaches. This is part part of why they're doing this is that like Coco for whatever reason is like really into this kind of androgynous style. And part of it is that it gets people talking right. Like these ads this is like this is you know risque. This is kind of all the edge of acceptability. And this kind of risque tinge mixed with flawless fashion pedigree helps Coco influence an entire movement in women's clothing. Quote and this is from that CNN article. Her designer clothes inspired flappers to wear shorts sheers shorts sleeved and sometimes sleeveless dresses and rolled down their stockings to just below their knees. French and American fashion magazines such as Madame Waselle, Femina and Minerva celebrated her creations. Chanel launches the ravishing dark green sports suit Lady fellow sports a Chanel raw silk dress at the ritz. Chanel launches the black two-lay dress Chanel's creation for evening a white satin sheath covered over with an embroidered and beaded cloak still critics could be ferocious. Women were no longer to exist all that's left with a boys created by Chanel. She gets kind of balled out by guys for being like you're making like women don't look like women anymore because they're they're they're dressing you know in this new fashion style you've brought on. So by the 20s Coco Chanel is richer than God. She is as rich as all of most of these guys she's hanging around right richer than a lot of them. And yeah through sheer force of will and talent she has made a place for herself in the highest halls of power and European pride. She later told an interviewer. An orphan denied a home without love without either father or mother my solitude gave me a superiority complex the meanness of life gave me strength pride the drive to win and a passion to greatness and whenever life brought me lavish elegance in the friendship of a Stravinsky or a Picasso I never felt stupid or inferior why because I knew it was with such people that won succeeds. Good climber that's alright. Yeah yeah yeah and she is she like she hangs out with Picasso she hangs out with Stravinsky she's like close with all of these people that's like the social set that she moves in. And yeah Coco blends in effortlessly with these luminaries not just because she's successful and rich but because she's witty she becomes very well known for her quotes as well as her clothes lines like a woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future and if you're sad add more I like this one if you're sad add more lipstick and attack. Okay so not so feminist. Yeah I mean this is this is the 20s like what do you want right. I love it about perfume has no future. She also made some statements that are still baffling like if blonde wear blue perfume no one seems to know what that means. Sometimes she just said things because they sounded good. She was an innovator in the speed with which she released radically different lines of clothing. And when she worked at such a dizzying pace that her competitors could not keep up never before had fashion moved so quickly or changed so often and Coco saw this as the key to the success of her empire quote addresses neither a tragedy nor a painting it is a charming and a femoral creation not a never lasting work of art fashion should die and die quickly in order that commerce may survive the more transient fashion is the more perfect it is you can't protect what is already dead. And this is where I don't know if you can lay this morally on her but this is where we can lay it like the biggest negative impact of Coco's life which is that she kind of helps lay the foundations for fast fashion not just the industry were like every season there's a new outfit which had not been a thing before in the same way but like this idea that fashion should be discardable that you should be moving through outfits that you should be getting outfits right now Chanel she is not making fast fashion right Chanel was a luxury brand it's a luxury brand in her day but the idea that clothing should be a femoral Coco is the one who pushes that and most successfully does so and the human costs of the fashion industry today due to this are enormous we can't entirely because she's not making these choices she's not having her shit made in Bangladesh right where these factories burn down and killed 2000 people but that is a result of her choices even if it's one that maybe she wouldn't have first seen although knowing Coco I don't know she would have been against it it is it's so it odds with her like timeless style it is it is but it's she did not see her style as timeless it we see it as timeless because of how iconic it became right she she was always iterating always moving always changing Coco's clothing obviously we've talked about how liberator it was to women in the west but the industry she innovated now bases its profits on the continued suffering of thousands of women primarily in southeast Asia some 80% of the garment workforce is industry workforce is female most of it resides in countries like Bangladesh with very few worker protections and an interview with Deutsche Well Industry expert Jisela Burkhardt notes the industry wants us to hire women because they are seen as docile and they might not organize very easily when they come home for example they might not be able to go to trade union meetings because they have so much to do it's a very patriarchal society in India and Bangladesh so women are not used to being treated as they should be as human beings this also makes it easier in the factory bosses shout at them and treat them differently than men. So that's just getting them pregnant and make them desperate. It's and again this is this is not morally if you're talking about what is she morally responsible for it's much more the anti-Semitism than like modern fast fashion but it is worth noting that modern the modern fashion industry is horrific is a lot of it is does is direct she is probably the number the single most influential designer certainly and why fashion works the way that it does today at least up there right like it's hard to beat Coco fucking Chanel for that. And amazing legacy we're working on here quite a legacy Courtney that's going to be all for part one of our emotionally confusing series on Coco Chanel. This was the good part I'm assuming. Yeah it is going to get rapidly more anti-Semitic. So and a lot more Nazis because the 20s are happening but also the British royal family although those guys are Nazis too so Courtney you got anything to plug. Oh my God you guys yes I have addicted to making podcasts I have three if you are a podcaster check out podcast bestie if you are a writer check out the bleeders and if you're horny and like to fuck check out private parts unknown and yeah that's what I'm up to all right and where should people follow you on Twitter and Instagram court. Oh yeah I am on the social medias at Courtney Kosak K O C A K O and you can find this is a hot tip this is not really on the internet. Oh wow I'm about to end I'm thinking of retiring from only fans you guys so this is your last chance if you want to check out Coco Peep show. Well check out Coco Peep show and when that ends you can find my only fans. Yeah finally got to leave this this grueling life of podcasting behind. You were just celebrating our five year now you're abandoning me. That's right that's right. He's going to be killing on only fans as long as I get 10% good times good times everybody. All right part two is coming up you know later this week you know how it works you watch this show it'll be back. Behind the bastards is a production of cool zone media from more from cool zone media visit our website or check us out on the iHeart radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. So instead of selling my car using the roto app on my phone I posted an ad online. Now it's non-stop phone calls and people at my door. I'm Larry I'm here about to sit down. Not now Larry see roto will buy your car or even buy you out of a lease without the hassle. Hey I'm not a hassle. Yes. Yes. Are Larry. Use roto to buy a new car or sell your existing car or lease in just minutes. Some of the roto app or check out now. This year at Ashley's anniversary sale we were able to secure a more affordable price on the same great quality as before and we're passing those savings on to you. Shop new lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store and online. 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