There's been more than a few stories on Kotaku recently concerning sexism--some good, some baffling--but this one caused a double-strength arched eyebrow. Mainly because I can't really say there's much difference between a skin-tight organic-metal "armor" bikini on the upper concept art, and then end result of the metal-and-chain bust piece with the bikini-attached-to-silk-strip thong, on the "actual" game shot. (Barring that the color blends are better in the concept art, than in the game costume, at least.)
Then came SL's latest scandal, which is puzzling to say the least. (Though it hasn't been without its up side, to be fair.) I'm still not entirely sure why people are attacking Miss Ohmai: she made a pixel tribute to a vintage fur stole, something that has just not been seen in this form for years, if not decades; so how did she "kill" anything?
(That's a serious question--for all my [former] investment in SL, I never lost sight of the fact that it is a virtual world. And the people that do, tend to scare me.)
Even separating out the tribute from its virtual roots, and placing it firmly as an actual created object in the real world (which it's just not, people, come on now)...something like this is about as close as you're going to get, these days, for new items. And vintage items--like this offering on eBay--are precisely that, vintage. Vintage means--for those who care about such things--that the animal died a long, long time ago, and at this point was not even slain by people one might run into, even were one living in the heart of a fur district. Vintage means the item now exists, but can be relined with new satin, or subtly altered to enhance its natural beauty--the original incident which brought it into being is now long past.
More to the point, animals die. Animals, like people, die all the time. And there are rarely quiet, peaceful, dignified deaths for animals, passing away surrounded by the support of their loved ones, at greatly advanced ages. This is because nature is as harsh as it is beautiful, brutality and shining light combined, and death, injury, illness and trauma are facts of life.
Really, if you stop to think about it, they're facts of our lives too, because we are as much of nature as the fox, the ermine, the rabbit, the bear--for all that we distance ourselves from that fact.
If you haven't gathered this by now, I'm not a member of PETA. I'm for wearing fur. I'm for wearing leather. (Hells, there was a poet some years back who wanted, after his death, his last published volume to be a limited edition of fifty, bound in his own skin. I have no compunctions about that, either.) I do not think it is base and unworthy animal cruelty to use all of the animals slain--meat, bone, marrow, fur, skin, claws--and I am for rational uses of resources.
Do I disagree with animal farms solely to harvest fur and toss the rest of the animal aside? Yes. But I think that's a wasteful practice in general. By all means, keep rabbits for their fur, but for their meat, too. And I'm also against feeding chickens ground-up chicken, because they're not omnivores; I'm against keeping food animals penned in small spaces in general, and fed massive doses of antibiotics to keep them productive, because what enters the meat then enters us, on later consumption. (And no, I'm not a vegetarian either.)
The point behind all of this, though, is that this is not a real, physical item. Let me repeat that again, because it's vaguely important: THIS IS AN ENTIRELY IMAGINARY RECREATION OF A VINTAGE ITEM. IT IS DESIGNED TO LOOK LIKE FAUX FUR. SO NO ANIMALS DIED TO MAKE THIS...EVER...AT ANY TIME.
Of course, some people are really, really dim, and will keep complaining to her anyway. My advice? Support the hell out of her designs to spite them.
And this may be the weirdest thing I've seen this year.
On that note, I'm off to celebrate the Longest Night with family, so we're killing City of Heroes' Winter Lord as a group! To battle!