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

Infantile


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

Execrable


“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

Sublime

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.

11 Responses to “In Which the Manolo Considers the State of the World”

  1. Jeannie Dahl July 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    It had to be said, Manolo, and you said it exceptionally well.

  2. Klee July 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I saw a version of those manolo boots on ebay-higher, in black, they were breath-taking. I so want them.

    And thank you for the rant, it is needed.

  3. Patsy July 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Bravo!

  4. Elisa July 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Beautiful shoes, a sight to soothe a weary heart from these dark days. Fortunately there are still artists whose work justifiably calls for praise.

  5. Patty July 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Eloquent and very true, Manolo. When our cultural standards become indistinguishable from pop culture, we are all in trouble.

    It is a blessing, the consolation of the pretty shoes.

  6. Lisa in Berlin July 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    This might be your best post yet! Bravo!

  7. Deborah July 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Wonderful post; it encapsulates precisely why I feel so out of sync with the world today.

  8. Grumpy not Sneezey July 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    In order to create something that will last for more than 15 minutes, the artist must be of some substance first. That means starting with a real education or profound study of history and culture based on appreciation and deep reflection. It also means years of work to truly master a medium.

    Today, we have McArtists going to McCollege, learning McArt Theory, never mastering a single medium or themselves making McArt and simply unable to grasp it’s all stupid and worthless.

    I’m surprised some radical eco-freak group hasn’t targeted these McArtists for a gross waste of resources.

  9. The formerly shoe-obsessed Wayne July 4, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Well said, but then you ruined it all by showing such an ugly shoe.

  10. blackbird July 4, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Well said.

  11. kjuliek July 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    There is an ugliness to Crumb’s drawings that degrade our humanity. I have always thought so, but never heard anyone state it. Thank you for your persistence in encouraging an elevation of our sensibilities. We need your voice.