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What are Manolo Blahniks?--

Instapundit and Bidinotto point us to this story, with Glenn asking whether Oprah has been reading Ayn Rand.

Oprah Winfrey is a rich woman -- and she's got no problem with that.

Speaking in Baltimore on Monday at a fundraiser for Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, Winfrey told the audience, "I have lots of things, like all these Manolo Blahniks. I have all that and I think it's great. I'm not one of those people like, 'Well, we must renounce ourselves.' No, I have a closet full of shoes and it's a good thing."

Winfrey, 52, who is reportedly worth more than $1 billion, said she doesn't feel guilty about her wealth. "I was coming back from Africa on one of my trips," she said. "I had taken one of my wealthy friends with me. She said, 'Don't you just feel guilty? Don't you just feel terrible?' I said, 'No, I don't. I do not know how me being destitute is going to help them.' Then I said when we got home, 'I'm going home to sleep on my Pratesi sheets right now and I'll feel good about it.' "

Should I feel bad that I didn't even know what Manolo Blahniks were (they're shoes) and that I'd also never heard of Pratesi sheets.

Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Prof Lindgren, clearly your wife or girlfriend never made you wathc a marathon of "Sex &the City." :)
4.12.2006 3:35pm
drive by marathon:
I hope not, Ayn Rand is a terrible writer with an annoying and pretentious pop-philosophy. I'd hate to see Oprah peddle her books to bored middle American housewives.
4.12.2006 3:48pm
Anonymous Jim:
Not that I disagree with you drive by, but have fun in here now that you said it.
4.12.2006 3:54pm
Houston Lawyer:
I despise Opra. However, she's right about her wealth. She earned it. It's hers. She has no reason to feel guilty about it.

The Manolo, he likes the shoes on the women.
4.12.2006 4:00pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Oprah Winfey in Manolo Blahniks?? what a waste of machinery.. Sara jessica Parker on the other hand...
4.12.2006 4:01pm
Jim Lindgren (mail):
Mike BUSL07,

We don't get HBO. My wife considers it a waste of money, so I've never seen Sex and the City.
4.12.2006 4:02pm
drive by marathon:
Jim, I hate the fact that I know this (and you will too, if your wife reads this), but Sex and the City is now aired on TBS as well.
4.12.2006 4:04pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Yeah, but it's even less watcheable on TBS. They cut out the more boisterous dialogue and the nudity, though after seeing Kim Cattrall writhing around on some guy for the umpteenth time, you sort of lose your appetite.

Oh and not to be mean, but Parker shouldn't wear Blahniks - she should be in horse-shoes and a saddle, trotting around a track with a little guy on her back.
4.12.2006 4:09pm
TO:
Feel bad about the Manolos, but not the Pratesi sheets.
4.12.2006 4:13pm
JohnAnnArbor:
You mean you've never seen Manolo's Shoe Blog?
4.12.2006 4:24pm
CJColucci (mail):
No
4.12.2006 4:38pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Sorry John, of all the shoe blogs that I read with regularity, Manolo is not one of them.
4.12.2006 4:42pm
Bob Loblaw (www):

We don't get HBO. My wife considers it a waste of money
By far the best shows on TV (as a whole) for the price of a few DVD rentals (which I guess she might also consider a waste of money).
4.12.2006 5:10pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I hope not, Ayn Rand is a terrible writer with an annoying and pretentious pop-philosophy.
I would never call Rand a great writer, but remember that she wasn't a native speaker; I think Joseph Conrad is the only example of a non-native speaker who became a GREAT English writer.

We The Living isn't great writing (and I believe it was her first novel in English), but have you read Anthem? It may not qualify as "great writing" but it is powerful.

You don't have to buy into the whole objectivist philosophy to get see some merit to her ideas an antidote to how collectivism had taken over the intellectual community in the 1930s.
4.12.2006 5:17pm
PersonFromPorlock:

I think Joseph Conrad is the only example of a non-native speaker who became a GREAT English writer.


Nabokov?
4.12.2006 5:28pm
madisonian (mail):
I think Joseph Conrad is the only example of a non-native speaker who became a GREAT English writer.

Are you kidding me? Have we forgotten about one V. Nabokov? Who by the way thought (correctly) that Conrad was a terrible writer: "I cannot abide Conrad's souvenir-shop style, bottled ships and shell necklaces of romanticist cliches."
4.12.2006 5:28pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Twice beaten to the Nabokov punch, my $.02 are that he was not only a great writer in both languages, but also a terrific translator. His translation of Lermontov's "Hero of Our Time" is probably the best translation of a Russian work into English that I've seen.
4.12.2006 5:33pm
Donald Kahn (mail):
I read The Fountainhead when I was about 18, and was overwhelmed by the brilliant repartee, and wondered if I might be capable of it when I "grew up."

I dipped into it again some years later and found it ludicrous. Ah, youth!
4.12.2006 5:33pm
Oris (mail) (www):
Um, Mike BUSL07? In what universe is calling someone a horse being anything other than intentionally mean? o.O Just curious.

But no, there is absolutely no call to feel bad about not being familiar with absurdly expensive shoes and sheets. Especially if you've never had the misfortune to be subjected to that dreadful show. :)
4.12.2006 5:35pm
dork, jd (mail):
I had to go to law school to learn what the slang term "187" meant. Don't feel bad.
4.12.2006 5:44pm
Justin (mail):
dorkjd: And for that alone it was worth it, I bet.
4.12.2006 7:13pm
Sean Carroll (mail) (www):
Yes, you should feel bad that you move in financial circles in which knowledge of hyper-expensive shoes and sheets is not commonplace. Because that feeling will drive you to get a better-paying job, driving the engine of capitalism just a little bit faster, and everybody wins.
4.12.2006 7:14pm
Fishbane (mail):
No, Sean, he should feel bad that he lacks the brand recognition gene. It is every red-blooded American's duty to recognize brands! If you don't, the generorists have won!
4.12.2006 7:33pm
eddie (mail):
You should only feel bad that such is the stuff of popular culture now.

But what about this: How do you feel about Scalia saying his refusal of recusal in the Cheney case was his most proud moment?

Is this what great jurisprudence is about?
4.12.2006 7:40pm
Scott from L-Cubed (mail) (www):
I could understand Lindgren not reading the Manolo blog, but surely he's been over to Underneath Their Robes at some point, right?
4.12.2006 7:40pm
Jim Lindgren (mail):
Scott from L-Cubed,

Sorry, I've been there only a few times following someone else's links.

Jim L.
4.12.2006 8:35pm
hey (mail):
eddie: "refusal of recusal"... I found that a hilarious way to put it. Not effective for understanding, but funny in a punning/onomatopeia way.

on substance... Not familiar enough with the specific speech to have an opinion, but likely greatly disagree with you on Scalia. Still the wording was funny.
4.12.2006 8:52pm
snowball (mail):
Are you kidding me? Have we forgotten about one V. Nabokov?

I thought that Nabokov wasn't quite a "non-native" English speaker because he was raised by an English (or English-speaking) governess and his family spoke English at home.
4.13.2006 1:11am