Tag Archives: activist

Here She Is . . . Miss American Vampire {1970}

For our first post of 2019, we thought we’d do a classic vintage post about this most bizarre and unusual moment in time: The Miss American Vampire competition of 1970!

Move over Miss Universe (as amazing as that Lava walk was, Ms Catriona Gray), these ladies came to slay in their most imaginative  Vampire-esque looks, coupled with their charm, poise, and stage presence, as well as their videogenic quality; contestants were all hoping to take the grand prize of  a role in House of Dark Shadows! 

There aren’t many photos of the competition, or archival imagery available but these are some photos from the New Jersey regional competition in which Ms. Christine Domaniecki was crowned by Barnabas Collins himself (played by actor Jonathan Frid; who is also definitely deserved of a {STYLE IDOL} moment)!

The competition was held in several cities including Miami, Dallas, Philadelphia, with the finalists competing for the title in Los Angeles on September 10, 1970.

According to one of the judges:

“It was fun for the first five minutes. After that it got terribly depressing. Some of the girls came in bikinis. Some of them came dressed as witches or vampires or dead bodies. One girl stood in front of me and just stared.”

In a strange turn of events, the eventual winner of the National Competition actually never followed through with any of the rewards of her title choosing instead to stay in Los Angeles (House of Dark Shadows was shot in New York).

The full reasons are unclear, however, you may recognize the original Miss American Vampire, actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather {AKA Marie Louise Cruz),  from her perhaps her most famous role: accepting Marlon Brando’s Academy Award for “The Godfather” in  1973!

Brando was boycotting the Academy Awards in reaction to Hollywood’s portrayal of Indigenous Americans in the movies, as well as the recent incidents at Wounded Knee, and so Ms. Littlefeather took the stage to speak on behalf of the legendary actor.

Whilst her message was powerful, it was not so well received, garnering boos and jeers from the audience. Also, two days after the ceremony, while visiting Mr. Brando at his house bullets were fired into his front door. Scrupulous media slander also followed, and she claims that this also led to her being blacklisted in Hollywood.

 

So, in the end, the title of Miss American Vampire and the prize of appearing on House of Dark Shadows eventually went to New Jersey Regional Winner, Christine Domaniecki, who appeared on the show in the highly coveted role of . . .  Bar Maid.

I guess, any opportunity is an opportunity!

Funny enough, even with all the dramas and confusion, the Dark Shadows crew was ready to do it again with new pageant: Miss Ghost America in promotion of their new show Night of Dark Shadows! 

Granted, the prize was not as exciting as a cameo appearance (Dark Shadows was technically off the air), however, the winner did receive an appearance on The Dating Game , as well as a $250 savings bond. The winner was 18 year old Kate Sarchet.

I’d kill to find some video footage of either pageant, so if you know a source, please let us know!!!

So what do you think? Should we be bringing back these ghouly pageants??? Tell us in the comments sections below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. {STYLE IDOL} CAETANO VELOSO: Lost in the Paradise. . .

“Viewed up close, nobody is normal”

-Caetano Veloso

 

When it comes to bad ass boho gods, I’m sure we could all name a few; but very little do I ever see the name Caetano Veloso pop up, and this is for us….OUTRAGEOUS!!!

We should be worshiping this icon of perseverance, elegance, rebellion, philosophical contemplation, compassion, counter culture, and activism. . .

Very few bohemian icons really get the credit they deserve when discussing men’s style . . . the mainstream would rather iconize GQ demi-gods Tom Brady or Ryan Gosling, and that’s all fine and dandy, but when it comes to that elicit feeling of cool. . . boho gods cannot be beat; and Brazilian tropicalia folk rock artist Caetano Veloso is on the top of our list!

 

Caetano Emanuel Viana Telles Veloso

 born August 7, 1942

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Bad ass to the core, Veloso’s music touched a generation in the heart of Brazil with his inciting lyrics and enchanting melodies that brought a fusion of traditional Brazilian sound with psychedelic rock and folk helping create the “tropicalisimo” movement alongside best friend Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, and other bold and innovative artists of the time.

First premiering in 1965, fresh in Rio De Janeiro, Caetano won a lyrics competition for his composition “Um Dia”, getting him signed to Phillips Records. Two years later he received a standing ovation for his song “Alegria, Alegria” at the Brazil Popular Music Festival, marking the first time rock n roll music was ever played at the festival.

Him and his psych rock buddies were pioneers for a new sound, a new world, a new way of being; however, the powers that be would do anything they could to stop this burgeoning. Marxist students and communist supporters condemned the music for commercializing Brazilian culture, and incorporating musical influences from the United States.

The tensions between the Tropicalistas and the student left peaked in September 1968 with Veloso’s now-legendary performances at the third annual International Song Festival, held at the Catholic University in Rio, where the audience included a large contingent of students who were vehemently opposed to the Tropicalistas. When Veloso (backed by Os Mutantes) performed in the first round of the Festival’s song competition on 12 September, he was initially greeted with enthusiastic applause, but the situation soon turned ugly. Dressed in a shiny green plastic suit, festooned with electrical wires and necklaces strung with animal teeth, Veloso provoked the students with his lurid costume, his sensual body movements and his startling new psychedelic music, and the performers were soon being bombarded with loud insults, jeers and boos from the students, who became even more incensed when American pop singer John Dandurand made a surprise appearance on stage during the song.

{source}

Tensions would hit an all time high when he and his buddy Gilbert Gil were actually arrested in February of 1969 for little to no reason, and held in prison for three months, followed by four months of house arrest. Brazil’s military dictatorship which held the country under its grips until 1985, further had many and most of his songs banned or censored.

“… if you are the same in politics as you are in aesthetics, we’re done for!”

-Caetano Veloso

 

The two were exiled from the country for over a year, and spent most of their time in the dark and gloomy dims of London, England.  However, by 1972 the pair were allowed back into the country quickly returning to their musical careers that have since landed Veloso 9 Latin Grammy’s and a Grammy for World Music Album in 2000.

Here at The Eye of Faith we always have great respect for people who stand for something. After all, if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing! And Caetano Veloso definitely exemplifies this.

Never fearing the opposition, never backing down on his own sense of self; apart from his penchant for wildly magical psych rock stylings, it is his character that truly makes this man an E.O.F. STYLE IDOL.

“I TALK too much…Everybody from Bahia is like this. We are always touching each other, too. We are a bit too much.”

-Caetano Veloso

Let us not forget this beautiful bohemian God and his willingness to stand for freedom, for beauty, and to live life to the fullest!

“Alegria means joy, or joyousness… It is the best-known song of any that I have written, and it was the opening song of tropicalismo, the first to use rock-and-rollish electric guitars. Whenever I sing it, it is just like the Rolling Stones singing ‘Satisfaction.’ It was the first anthem. It’s an affirmation-of-life kind of song, but it has an ironical hint to it.”

The song begins, “I’m walking against the wind, without handkerchief or documents in my pockets,” and ends with a chorus of “Why not?”

It’s about being able to walk and be alive and be real and feel the sun…It was against the dictatorship without saying anything about it. And everybody likes that ‘Why not?’ at the end.”

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So, with your help hopefully this brilliant spirit can live on . . .share his story, and invoke the spirit!

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“They didn’t imprison us for any song or any particular thing that we said…It was a difficult atmosphere for them to understand, so they thought, ‘We might as well put them in prison.’ ”

-Caetano Veloso {source}

So rage forward with your emblazoned souls, and keep on keeping on!!!

If you like this, leave a comment below, and stay tuned for more stimulating musings . . .

If you haven’t already, check us out on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Crime of Passion or Crime of Fashion?

Everyone enjoys a mugshot, as much as the next. Invasive? Essential? Photography lent itself as a most incredible resource for law enforcement around the world. No one can doubt that!

These days we’ve all seen the Mel Gibson, Heather Locklear, and the yearly Lindsay Lohan. Somehow, it seems, the mugshot has lost all it’s vintage charm! What happened to the mugshots of yesteryear?! Not to fear, we have unearthed some treats!

“I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman.”

David Bowie.

Some cultures believe a picture holds your soul- your very essence. Before the days of digital, photographs were rendered using chemical processes that captured the very essence of the moment. So, if not your soul, definitely a true essence of ‘time’ has been made.

Pictures speak a thousand words, and most of the stories told here are in the eyes, and naturally, outfits of these “fallen” individuals who were all “taken in” for one thing, or the other. What could their crimes have been? Definitely ask yourself as you take in some special one-of-a-kind cruise through vintage angst, vanity, and liberation.

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”

Janis Joplin

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”

Malcolm X

“The best revenge is massive success.”

Frank Sinatra

“Vanity is my favourite sin.”

Al Pacino

“I don’t believe in that phony hero stuff.”

Steve McQueen

Why are we always fighting for freedom when we are all supposed to be free? We all have our reasons, and whatever they be- being true to yourself will never be a crime, no matter how you are judged. Keep on keeping on!

“But the whole point of liberation is that you get out. Restructure your life. Act by yourself.”

Jane Fonda

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Bad Girls Do it Well!!!

Sometimes it pays to be bad. Seems like British recording artist M.I.A. is always flipping someone off.  Her latest cry of bad girl BADNESS at this year’s Super Bowl, where her middle finger made more of a stir than even her performance.

It was no surprise here at E.O.F. when that illicit middle finger jumped to attention at the end of her verse for Madonna’s single, “Give Me All Your Luvin”, that featured her with fellow female hip-hop star, Nicki Minaj.

After all, M.I.A. has been paving the way for “bad girls” everywhere for nearly a decade now. Did nobody listen to her rap during the song: “I’mma say this once, yeah, I don’t give a shit” ?!!

For nearly a decade now she’s been conquering the landscape for bad girls everywhere.

A little swag, a pop of colour- trust M.I.A. to get it done.

It had been a while since she had exploded on the scene with her dynamic sound. A cool mix of afro, indo, elctro, alternative, and hip hop sound- she is definitely one of the true artists of the past ten years, who also  gives a distinct new definition to “World Music”.

More than that, M.I.A. is a constant activist. From genocide in Sri Lanka, to Palestine, and even African Americans in the U.S., M.I.A. is not one to sit idly on the sidelines as the world shatters before her feet. Not just that, but M.I.A. is a warrior of free speech, and an enemy to censorship and oppression. We’re dealing with a woman of power and action, and is that so bad?

With her latest music video “Bad Girls”, M.I.A furthers her frontier as a woman of power and action. The video transforms the rubble and ruin of the desert into a rapper’s paradise.

Rebel women in animal printed silks, vivacious neon, and drag racing desert gangsters. While the song is called “Bad Girls” it’s really about EMPOWERMENT and LIBERTY.

“Bad Girls” are not as much Bad, as they are Free.

All around the world it seems women are taking action into their own hands.

With 55% of the workforce in America being female, and the recent uprisings in the Middle East by women’s rights activists, it seems more and more ladies are grabbing destiny by the balls, and are not afraid to fight for it!

For so long, women’s roles have been dedicated to cleaning the house and caring for the family, and more and more these roles are being switched or lost altogether.


Living in North America it is easy for us to forget the unique advantage we have over our predecessors; things like microwaves, electric irons, food processors, toasters, vacuums, dishwashers, washing machines, television, computers, and cell phones have made our world a much easier place, and have contributed a hundred-fold to the advances in our society towards women’s rights.

However, the concept of “freedom” extends far beyond the idea of voting or going to work. While women have gained so many freedoms, women in nations such as Egypt and Iraq are fighting for their everyday rights and liberties.

Recently Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, a 20 year old media student drop-out from Cairo, posted nude pictures of herself on a personal blog in “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”- her bold action, in a country that deeply frowns against nudity of any sort, has started an outrage amongst both liberals and conservatives who do not know what to make of her actions. (for more)

Many fundamentalists accused her of being “mentally sick” and urged for her arrest. Others, agree that while her actions sudden, the immediacy of her art and message are powerful and signifying change all over the Middle East.

As Aliaa boldly stated on her blog to all naysayers:

“Hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues…Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression.”

Fiesty. Looks like a little M.I.A. has seeped into her.

While M.I.A. surely isn’t the first “Bad Girl” to hit the scene, we have to salute the Rebel Queen for defending the things that should value most: human life, liberty, freedom of expression, and love. Sometimes you have to be ‘bad’ to get your point across.

Living in such a noisy society,  it’s easy to get lost in the chaos.  So take it on yourself to ask what matters most to you, and to a better tomorrow. Then flip the bird, and promise you’ll fight for it! You are Supersonic! Like Uranium!

Enjoy the pictures. They are a collection of things we really thought brought out the best ideas of M.I.A.’s ultra-wicked new music video. Visit her site for more details.

Sincerely,
-The Eye x

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