2018 Man of the Year: Brazilian Man Who Lives in a Sandcastle

Marcio Mizael Matolias
Marcio Mizael Matolias

He is known to many only as the "King." His crown is golden. His raiment is simple: a pair of striped trousers and a bare torso soaking up the golden rays of the sun. His scepter is plastic, as is his throne. And his palace is made of sand.

For more than two decades, Marcio Mizael Matolias has been monarch of all he surveys. Like many a king before him, he grew up in exile. But 22 years ago, seized by wanderlust and in response to what can only have been the pleadings of ancestral voices, he left the cruel city for his native land. Hither he wandered. Free of the fetters of a cruel and alien civilization that had made of this prince a bondservant, he has devoted himself to the life of the mind, reading architectural treatises and making tasteful improvements to his estate. He has also successfully avoided having to pay rent, which is double the average monthly wages in Rio de Janeiro.

Gaze upon the manifold spires, the bulblike towers and domes, the fantastical arabesques, whimsical turrets, the winding stairways, the seemingly unbreachable fortifications, the roughly 3 meters of interior square footage, which house Matolias' collection of books and the simple battery-powered heating pad upon which the royal meals are prepared! You would be hard pressed to find any building erected since the turn of the century in which both archaic fancy, utilitarian value, and modern eco-friendly design standards have been so skillfully blended.

There are times, alas, when the ruler regrets the solitude of royal life. "At times," His Majesty said recently, "I feel very lonely." Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown! But these glooms subside. Matolias cares more for the well-being of those under his dominion than for his own comfort. "When you feel good about yourself, you spread it to those around you." He is truly a river unto his people.

A great bard has foretold the king's fate. A day will come when the cruel waves wash away this fort, and the kingdom by the sea will be no more. But the memory of this great emperor of the sand and surf, this sultan of ease and breeze and good times, will live in the memories of the people nearby who let him use their shower and at the Washington Free Beacon, which is proud to name him a 2018 Man of the Year.