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Vogue -- True Crimes Edition

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With Danny Woodburn

Flipping through the pages of Vogue today, I felt like detective Clarisse Starling knocking on the door to Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb's house. I leaf through page after page of cadavers or rather just the skins being worn for the love of fashion or rather obsession. I found myself looking at the squirrels in my yard, thinking of the raccoons that come around at night, the fox who walks her streets, just to put food in her belly. I wonder who is pulling up in a white van with blacked out windows luring them, and then gassing them, or knocking them on on the head when they are caught unawares.

There are so many possible suspects, Michael "the Axe" Kors, "Ice Pick" Versace, Zac "the Ripper" Posen, Oscar De la Chopper, to name just a few. At any given time there are more than a hundred of these fashio-paths roaming the streets of Paris, Milan, New York; each one, a dangerous place to a be a mink out alone at night.

I try to get into the psychology of these suspects. What drives them to this routine massacre? I try to put myself into their head, into their skins. They all profess a love for these animals; a sick kind of love. They love them dead, draped over a model's shoulders. These are the characteristics of these animal serial killers. What is textbook is that they have no remorse. They flaunt their expensive kills. They even put their name on it as a badge of honor.

The lavish color photos are staged, ornate and sophisticated. It feels like I am reading a dime store True Crimes magazine, but then I see it cost $3.99, then I see that Vogue seems thrilled with the photos, with the killings themselves. I begin to think I am living in some tribal society in the 16th century, but a tribal society would most likely utilize every part of a kill; for sustenance, for medicine, for primitive cultural or superstitious beliefs.

None of that is true here. This is for show, or obsession, or desire. You will not find a pair of mink eyes on a necklace by Vera Wang or a fox testicle broach by YSL. This idea to them would be barbarism, or at the very least classless; but not the wholesale destruction of a living creature for the purpose of couture, for profit. This is acceptable behavior.

I find myself numbing to the images. My mindset, I see, is slipping too close to the mind of the killer, because its glorification has become so acceptable by the masses. Just $3.99. I am unsure how to bring myself back from the images of these crime scenes. After all, it was so clean, so meticulous and thought out, that it's almost as if no crime had been committed at all. But deep within, I know better, as do the photographers, the models, the editors, and those who consume the end products. Just $3.99.