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11.11.2014
The clothing company Ralph Lauren released an online advertisement for its RRL line last month that drew scathing criticism from Native Americans. The ad's imagery harked back to the Old West, with henley jerseys and rustic jeans displayed in faded sepia tones. Another page depicted a stoic Native American man with dark skin, braided hair and a Western shirt-and-vest combo. Critics charged that the ads reduced people, and indeed entire cultures, to mere marketing props. The episode neatly summed up an issue in fashion and pop culture that has drawn heated debate in recent years. The “cowboys and Indians” movies of the 1950s did much to solidify these tropes in modern American culture, building on centuries of stereotypes. Model Karlie Kloss wearing a Native American headdress during the taping of the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York. Take the war bonnet, a feathered headdress worn by the warriors or leaders of many Native American tribes.
Such cliched images are what many Native Americans in the fashion industry want to transcend. Raised in Montana on the Crow Indian Reservation, Yellowtail wants to bring authenticity to indigenous fashion with her line B.Yellowtail, which will be released in spring.
Bethany Yellowtail's "Old style floral elk tooth dress" on the runway at the Santa Fe Indian art market. Patricia Michaels, a 48-year-old Native American fashion designer who appeared on Bravo’s "Project Runway" in 2013, told HuffPost that she doesn't consider it her place to police what people can or can't use in their designs.
The famed designer behind his eponymous brand built his fashion empire on images of classic Americana, clothes that evoke the idyllic American dream.
There's a pervasive idea that Native Americans are a thing of the past, said Kim TallBear, a professor of anthropology and Native American and indigenous studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Katherine "Kate" Upton is an American model and actress known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue first in 2011, when she was named Rookie of the Year, and again in 2012, when she was announced as the cover model.
In April 1986, following an attack on American soldiers in a Berlin disco, President Reagan ordered the bombing of Muammar Qaddafi's terrorist camps in Libya My duty was to fly over Libya and take photos recording the damage our F-111's had inflicted. I was piloting the SR-71 spy plane, the world's fastest jet, accompanied by Maj Walter Watson, the aircraft's reconnaissance systems officer (RSO). After several agonizingly long seconds, we made the turn and blasted toward the Mediterranean 'You might want to pull it back,' Walter suggested.
Scores of significant aircraft have been produced in the 100 years of flight, following the achievements of the Wright brothers, which we celebrate in December. Twenty-nine years later, I stood awe-struck in a Beale Air Force Base hangar, staring at the very real SR-71 before me.
Ironically, the plane was dripping, much like the misshapen model had assembled in my youth.
The SR-71 was the brainchild of Kelly Johnson, the famed Lockheed designer who created the P-38, the F-104 Starfighter, and the U-2. In 1962, the first Blackbird successfully flew, and in 1966, the same year I graduated from high school, the Air Force began flying operational SR-71 missions. We trained for a year, flying out of Beale AFB in California , Kadena Airbase in Okinawa, and RAF Mildenhall in England . One day, high above Arizona , we were monitoring the radio traffic of all the mortal airplanes below us. The Blackbird always showed us something new, each aircraft possessing its own unique personality.
One moonless night, while flying a routine training mission over the Pacific, I wondered what the sky would look like from 84,000 feet if the cockpit lighting were dark.
On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum , sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 minutes, averaging 2,145 mph and setting four speed records. With the Libyan coast fast approaching now, Walt asks me for the third time, if I think the jet will get to the speed and altitude we want in time. Only the Mach indicator is moving, steadily increasing in hundredths, in a rhythmic consistency similar to the long distance runner who has caught his second wind and picked up the pace. I move my gloved finger across the small silver wheel on the autopilot panel which controls the aircraft's pitch.
With no words spoken, I sense Walter is thinking in concert with me about maintaining our programmed course.
I see nothing outside except the endless expanse of a steel blue sky and the broad patch of tan earth far below. There seems to be a confirmed trust now, between me and the jet; she will not hesitate to deliver whatever speed we need, and I can count on no problems with the inlets. As reported earlier Jennifer Lopez won't perform in FIFA football World Cup 2014 opening ceremony. Down below are list of free channels where you can watch free live Worldcup 2014 opening ceremony and matches in your country. And while one page touted bandanas and “Western-style” shirts, the opposite page showed a Native American sporting a feathered headdress, holding a rifle across his lap. Many people seemingly remain tethered to the idea of a romanticized Old West -- a time of death and carnage for America’s indigenous population. These films mashed up the traditions of countless tribes indiscriminately, often depicting Native Americans as primitive, even bloodthirsty brutes. Each feather was earned through a sacrifice or an act of valor, making the bonnet a mark of great respect.
Her clothes are modern takes on the classic designs of her culture, adapting the work of her ancestors to the 21st century -- for example, designs based on the beadwork of her great-grandmother, who lived in the 19th century.
It should come down to thoughtfulness and taste, she said, adding that if the non-Native American designers who have gotten in trouble in the past had simply collaborated with Native American designers who know the culture, everyone would have benefited. Her “Elk Antler Cape” strives to portray the beauty and grace of indigenous hunters and the animals that give their lives.


Many of his brand’s designs succeed in that -- from preppy polos to denim workwear -- and his Navajo prints of the 1980s popularized many indigenous patterns. Lauren himself, though, addressed his love for Native American aesthetics in an interview with the Associated Press last June. His Double RL Ranch in Colorado is chock-full of tents and artifacts, and there's even a decorative vintage photo of a nameless Native American child. The idea that Native Americans no longer exist makes it easier for society to ignore their voices.
Qaddafi had established a 'line of death,' a territorial marking across the Gulf of Sidra , swearing to shoot down any intruder that crossed the boundary. We had crossed into Libya and were approaching our final turn over the bleak desert landscape when Walter informed me that he was receiving missile launch signals. Aircraft such as the Boeing 707, the F-86 Sabre Jet, and the P-51 Mustang are among the important machines that have flown our skies.
I had applied to fly the world's fastest jet and was receiving my first walk-around of our nation's most prestigious aircraft. After the Soviets shot down Gary Powers' U-2 in 1960, Johnson began to develop an aircraft that would fly three miles higher and five times faster than the spy plane-and still be capable of photographing your license plate. I came to the program in 1983 with a sterling record and a recommendation from my commander, completing the weeklong interview and meeting Walter, my partner for the next four years He would ride four feet behind me, working all the cameras, radios, and electronic jamming equipment.
On a typical training mission, we would take off near Sacramento, refuel over Nevada, accelerate into Montana, obtain high Mach over Colorado, turn right over New Mexico, speed across the Los Angeles Basin, run up the West Coast, turn right at Seattle, then return to Beale.
While heading home on a straight course, I slowly turned down all of the lighting, reducing the glare and revealing the night sky. The most significant cost was tanker support, and in 1990, confronted with budget cutbacks, the Air Force retired the SR-71.?The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire. Unbeknownst to most of the country, the plane flew over North Vietnam , Red China, North Korea , the Middle East, South Africa , Cuba , Nicaragua , Iran , Libya , and the Falkland Islands . The jet was made for this kind of performance and she wasn't about to let an errant inlet door make her miss the show.
With all inlet doors tightly shut, at 3.24 Mach, the J-58s are more like ramjets now, gulping 100,000 cubic feet of air per second.
The jet does not skip a beat, nothing fluctuates, and the cameras have a rock steady platform. With the deft feel known to Swiss watchmakers, surgeons, and 'dinosaurs' (old- time pilots who not only fly an airplane but 'feel it'), I rotate the pitch wheel somewhere between one-sixteenth and one-eighth inch location, a position which yields the 500-foot-per-minute climb I desire. The gravity of Walter's voice tells me that he believes the signals to be a more valid threat than the others.
To keep from worrying, I glance outside, wondering if I'll be able to visually pick up a missile aimed at us.
I have only had my eyes out of the cockpit for seconds, but it seems like many minutes since I have last checked the gauges inside.
Walt and I are ultimately depending on the jet now - more so than normal - and she seems to know it.
Walt says the DEF panel is now quiet, and I know it is time to reduce our incredible speed. At best, indigenous people were depicted as noble savages, piteous characters not yet corrupted by the "civilized" world. But at the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, supermodel Karlie Kloss strode down the catwalk in panties, a skimpy bra and a massive war bonnet-like headdress.
Cultural representations of Native Americans are always focused on the past, she said, as seen in sports franchises like the Cleveland Indians and Washington's NFL team. I quickly increased our speed, calculating the time it would take for the weapons-most likely SA-2 and SA-4 surface-to-air missiles capable of Mach 5 - to reach our altitude. But the SR-71, also known as the Blackbird, stands alone as a significant contributor to Cold War victory and as the fastest plane ever-and only 93 Air Force pilots ever steered the 'sled,' as we called our aircraft.
My first encounter with the SR-71 came when I was 10 years old in the form of molded black plastic in a Revell kit. In my previous 13 years as an Air Force fighter pilot, I had never seen an aircraft with such presence. At Mach 3, the plane would expand several inches because of the severe temperature, which could heat the leading edge of the wing to 1,100 degrees. Within seconds, I turned the lights back up, fearful that the jet would know and somehow punish me.
On a weekly basis, the SR-71 kept watch over every Soviet nuclear submarine and mobile missile site, and all of their troop movements. She gave way to no plane, proudly dragging her sonic boom through enemy backyards with great impunity. The Mach correspondingly increases slightly and the jet is flying in that confidently smooth and steady style we have so often seen at these speeds.
With the power of forty locomotives, we puncture the quiet African sky and continue farther south across a bleak landscape. With each mile we traverse, every two seconds, I become more uncomfortable driving deeper into this barren and hostile land.
We are a roaring express now, and as we roll through the enemy's backyard, I hope our speed continues to defeat the missile radars below.
The jet raises her nose one-sixth of a degree and knows, I'll push her higher as she goes faster. Within seconds he tells me to 'push it up' and I firmly press both throttles against their stops. Returning my attention inward, I glance first at the miles counter telling me how many more to go, until we can start our turn Then I note the Mach, and passing beyond 3.45, I realize that Walter and I have attained new personal records. The cooler outside temperatures have awakened the spirit born into her years ago, when men dedicated to excellence took the time and care to build her well. Meanwhile, the real-life meanings attached to certain items, customs and historical figures got distorted or lost, and white Americans, for the most part, neither knew nor cared.


Chanel put headdresses on the runway in 2013, and Pharrell Williams donned one on the cover of Elle UK in 2014. A flowing, hand-painted organza skirt symbolizes the years that Michaels' ancestors spent observing and preserving nature. I estimated that we could beat the rocket-powered missiles to the turn and stayed our course, betting our lives on the plane's performance.
Cementing together the long fuselage parts proved tricky, and my finished product looked less than menacing. Lockheed engineers used a titanium alloy to construct more than 90 percent of the SR-71, creating special tools and manufacturing procedures to hand-build each of the 40 planes. Traffic congregated near the airfield fences, because everyone wanted to see and hear the mighty SR-71 You could not be a part of this program and not come to love the airplane. Then Walt tells me that he is getting lots of electronic signals, and they are not the friendly kind. Before he can say anything else, my left hand instinctively moves the throttles yet farther forward. The Mach continues to rise, but during this segment of our route, I am in no mood to pull throttles back.
I found myself recalling the words of former SR-71 pilots who were fired upon while flying missions over North Vietnam They said the few errant missile detonations they were able to observe from the cockpit looked like implosions rather than explosions.
With spikes and doors as tight as they can get, we are racing against the time it could take a missile to reach our altitude. We hit the turn, and I feel some relief as our nose swings away from a country we have seen quite enough of.
Normally the Mach would be affected immediately, when making such a large throttle movement But for just a few moments old 960 just sat out there at the high Mach, she seemed to love and like the proud Sled she was, only began to slow when we were well out of danger.
I pulled the throttles to idle just south of Sicily , but we still overran the refueling tanker awaiting us over Gibraltar. Sealant resembling rubber glue covered the seams, but when the plane was subsonic, fuel would leak through the joints. Special heat-resistant fuel, oil, and hydraulic fluids that would function at 85,000 feet and higher also had to be developed. But I have my hands on the stick and throttles and can feel the heart of a thoroughbred, running now with the power and perfection she was designed to possess. Entering the target area, in response to the jet's new-found vitality, Walt says, 'That's amazing' and with my left hand pushing two throttles farther forward, I think to myself that there is much they don't teach in engineering school. It will only make it more difficult for any launched missile to solve the solution for hitting our aircraft. My eyes are glued to temperature gauges now, as I know the jet will willingly go to speeds that can harm her. A final turn is coming up and we both know that if we can hit that turn at this speed, we most likely will defeat any missiles. This was due to the great speed at which the jet was hurling away from the exploding missile. Screaming past Tripoli , our phenomenal speed continues to rise, and the screaming Sled pummels the enemy one more time, laying down a parting sonic boom. As my eyes adjusted to the view, I realized that the brilliance was the broad expanse of the Milky Way, now a gleaming stripe across the sky. In contrast, my cockpit is 'quiet' as the jet purrs and relishes her new-found strength, continuing to slowly accelerate. The temps are relatively cool and from all the warm temps we've encountered thus far, this surprises me but then, it really doesn't surprise me. We are not there yet, though, and I'm wondering if Walt will call for a defensive turn off our course. Where dark spaces in the sky had usually existed, there were now dense clusters of sparkling stars Shooting stars flashed across the canvas every few seconds. Like the combat veteran she is, the jet senses the target area and seems to prepare herself.
I realize that I still have my left hand full-forward and we're continuing to rocket along in maximum afterburner. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley know what real speed was 'Dusty 52, we show you at 620 on the ground,' ATC responded.
Leaving the footprint of our sonic boom across Benghazi , I sit motionless, with stilled hands on throttles and the pitch control, my eyes glued to the gauges. I knew I had to get my eyes back on the instruments, and reluctantly I brought my attention back inside.
To my surprise, with the cockpit lighting still off, I could see every gauge, lit by starlight.
In his most innocent voice, Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace.
In the plane's mirrors, I could see the eerie shine of my gold spacesuit incandescently illuminated in a celestial glow. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, ' Aspen 20, I show you at 1,982 knots on the ground.' We did not hear another transmis sion on that frequency all the way to the coast. Despite our speed, we seemed still before the heavens, humbled in the radiance of a much greater power. For those few moments, I felt a part of something far more significant than anything we were doing in the plane. The sharp sound of Walt's voice on the radio brought me back to the tasks at hand as I prepared for our descent.



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