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.
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.
"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?
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?
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.