Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Manolo knows

I've tried to explain my aesthetic approach to cherry picking from pop culture. Much of what's sold today is common and joyless, but some evinces brilliant design and great loveliness. Something utilitarian yet beautiful, something gracefully packaged, a wonderful consumable or wearable can change a person's mood, and I believe a coherent, pleasant personal environment is vitally supportive of one's self. In a modern urban, even suburban, society where we craft so little of what we use and where our access to natural beauty is often brief and constrained, vulgar consumerism is the method by which many people invite beauty into their lives.

The Manolo of Manolo's shoe blog says it well:
It is also the belief of the Manolo that the admiration of beauty, even of the beauty of the objects that can be purchased at the outlet store of the factory, it is not imcompatible with having the rich inner life.
Indeed, until recently, it was the commonly held belief that owning or even looking at the things of beauty could aid in achieving the inner spiritual beauty. (Do we not take our children to the museums of art? What is the purpose of that if not to inculcate into them some idea of the power of the beauty.)

The Manolo he will not pontificate on the trouble caused by the rise of the Protestantism, or the Weberian theory of the ethic of work and the iconoclastic leanings of Calvinism, instead he will merely note that most of the religions of the world believe that the spiritual it can be accessed through the contemplation of beauty. Why else, for the example, the veneration of the icons of the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox?

So, in the final response to the question, the Manolo he can only say that beauty and the acquisition of the objects of beauty, they have their own spirituality, one that if approached properly enriches the life.

Read the whole thing here

So if I find transendence in accessories and adornments, who's to say I'm purely shallow? Hey, I go to the Met, too.

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