Knud Pedersen – 2

By Christopher Zoukis

At the age of 39, in 1898, Hamsun married Bergljot Goepfert.  The couple divorced in 1906 because of Hamsun’s bizarre perspective on life.  Bergljot found him difficult to be around, depressed much of the time, moody and demanding. 

Three years later, Hamsun married a very pretty, very sexy actress neamed Marie Andersen.  Planning on becoming farmers, thus realizing Hamsun’s dream of returning to the soil and a natural way of life, they bought a farm.  The reality of nature and farming quickly proved unpalatable to Hamsun.  The pure life was not nearly as much fun, nor as spiritually stimulating as he imagined.

They sold the farm.

Then they moved south, to Larvik, and shortly thereafter bought the manor house near Grimstad. 

Hamsun’s ultra-conservative political outlook, along with his personal history of growing up poor and hungry, led him to champion Hitler’s National Socialist movement in Germany.  He met personally with Hitler and with Joseph Goebbels.  Goebbels so impressed him, that Hamsun sent his Nobel Prize medal to Goebbels as a gift. 

Hamsun, in his zeal, made the mistake of writing and publishing Hitler’s obituary.  Published in the Aftenposten, Norway’s leading newspaper, he praised Hitler as a “warrior for mankind.”  Disgusted with such drivel, his irate countrymen burned Hamsun’s books or sent them back to him through the mail.

In the aftermath of the war, Hamsun was charged with collaboration and treason.  Supposedly, Hamsun was a member of Vidkun Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling.  Quisling, of course, was the Norwegian politician who betrayed his country to the Nazis.  As a reward, the Nazis made Quisling their puppet ruler in Norway.  On his part, Hamsun denied ever belonging to any political party in his memoir.

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Poppy von Frohlich

By Christopher Zoukis /

Haute couture is big business in San Francisco, the City by the Bay, a hip and with-it kind of place. Lots of money, lots of well-paid high-tech drones working for start-ups. Still, since haute couture’s business model revolves around super-expensive exclusivity that then trickles down to the masses by way of knock-offs and prêt-à-porter lines, even well-paid techies can’t afford the good stuff. The reigning business model either cuts them out of the running or relegates them to looking just like everyone else. Bummer!

Branding is essential to haute couture’s business model. The more exclusive the brand the more the lumpenproletariat lust for it. Everyone wants to feel special and be perceived as one of the elite. The appeal is emotional, which, as most marketing experts are quick to point out, is why people buy things. It’s what keeps businesses in business. Luxury car makers operate on the same principle – BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Ferrari, Tesla, ad nauseam. People want what they can’t afford or can’t have. It’s human nature.
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This means most people are doomed to unrequited lust. Unless they marry well or happened to invest in Google when it was less than $100 a share, it’s not happening. They should just resign themselves to shopping at Walmart, Target or Forever 21.

Maybe not.

Enter the mistress of mechanical advantage, whose name is Trudy Hodges. Ms. Hodges in not only a sorceress with needle and thread, she also has a happy knack for business. She created a unique business model for her own line of clothing, one that maintains exclusivity but doesn’t require customers to hock their first-born child or make a deal with the Devil or sell their body parts on eBay.

The company is called Poppy von Frohlich. And even though the name sounds like a cross between Pippy Longstocking and the Austrian army, the designs are anything but Teutonic. PvF’s clothing spans the spectrum from avant-garde to retro, including Italian wool coats with cotton flannel or thick satin linings and cotton crochet dresses. But no matter what, it’s just about fashion, always. And it’s green: no muss, no fuss, no waste; it isn’t a line in which half the garments are destined for the dump.

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