In Which the Manolo Considers the State of the World

Let us stipulate that, despite what Boing Boing tells you, if you are over 10 years old and you are building the Sistine Chapel out of Legos, or are recreating key scenes of Anna Karenina using Barbie dolls, you need to get the life.

The Infantile Brick Bible


Our society no longer produces art for grownups, just endless mountains of disposable, derivative, infantile trash, which is then celebrated by disposable, derivative infants on the internet.
The Execrable R. Crumb


“Isn’t that cool,” says the manchild from his mancave, as the interweb delivers yet one more piece of trivial flapdoodle.

Once, men and women produced serious art filled with soul and meaning, joyfulness, fine feelings, deep emotions. Now, the great genius of our age, hailed by fanboys and know-nothings, is the execrable R. Crumb, whose repulsive drawings offend the senses. To look upon them is to feel your heart sink, to listen to the critics offer them praise is to feel your gorge rise.

But what of the “serious” artists of our debased age?

Let us also stipulate that we hold no affection or respect for those who impoverish us with their lackwit offerings, who reduce the ineffable to the trivial, who hide their inferior skills and empty heads behind the facade of jargon. Such is the state of our world: We have become trivial peoples who mistake our trivialities for profundities, and pat ourselves on the back for it.

So, what must be done?

Don Colacho

Don Colacho

The Manolo does not know. He is the creature ill-suited for action, fitted for good-humored epicurean repose, rather than stoic purposefulness; he is the satirist and aesthete, ineffectual in all but words and good taste.

If pressed to chart the course, he replies with the aphorisms of Don Colacho: perhaps we should consider ourselves as he did, “merely travelers who suffer shipwreck with dignity”.

But why shoes, Manolo?

Kahikalow from Manolo Blahnik


Well made shoes represent honest labor done for useful purposes. Beautiful shoes show us that even the mundane can be elevated to the sublime. Shoes that are both transmute craftsmanship into art.

Shoe Personalities: Keen Newport H2

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoes tell us much about the wearer

Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2, priced at $100.

Manolo says, your name is Rick. Not Ricky, Rick, and you work as the engineer for one of the oil companies doing tolerance analysis, but that is not important.

What is important is that you like to run. No, you love to run, really run. Ten, fifteen, twenty miles the day, much more on the weekends.

Although you run the very respectable marathon times, you have this awkward gait that forces you, when you are in the race, to run more frantically. Thus, it is not unusual for bystanders to shout as you go by, “What’s chasing you, buddy!” (Mark, one of your old running “friends,” would always shout back “Zombies!” People would laugh, which is why you prefer to run alone now.)

You started running again twelve years ago, to combat the onset of the middle-aged spread. And today, you weigh five pounds less (actually 4.65lbs less this morning) than you did when you were in college.

“The best shape of your life,” you like to announce frequently to whoever will listen. Your wife, Debbie, she doesn’t like to run, or exercise much at all, which is why she put on that weight, fifteen pounds. She was not that good looking to begin with, but she was nice to you in your senior year, when the other girls would not give you the time of day. And she has been the good mother to Rick, Jr., taking him to his trombone lessons and making sure he does his homework.

Most mornings you’re up early, four-thirty, and out on the road by five, running. Because of this, you maintain the strict 8:30PM bedtime. Debbie doesn’t seem to mind. She doesn’t like to have people talking to her when she’s watching Mark Harmon on NCIS.

You like these Keen shoes because they’re outdoorsy, and they look cool with your favorite work pants, those khakis ones that convert into shorts by unzipping the legs. So clever. They must have been designed by the engineer.