Still in serious recovery from a knock-down, drag-out Key West Literary Seminar. This one was two sessions, and with the extra element of a lot of younger writers the partying was a little more epic. I'm going to work up something about the whole experience, but for now you can catch some of the podcasts of the excellent talks, including a really dazzling one with cosmologist/novelist Janna Levin, and a reading from the inimitable Junot Diaz (left).
I'm going to do a series of photographs as I'm leaving hotel rooms for the last time. If all my travel schemes come through, there should be a lot of images by year's end. This one, at Island House, seems like a good start.
This is the credit sequence to a new skateboarding film called FULLY FLARED. My boy Sammy G. just sent me the link. It makes me feel like CITY OF GOD did, or RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS, SUNRISE or FIGHT CLUB. They say people cried at the premiere. Feast.
I'm going to be posting infrequently the next ten days as I'm involved in organizing the Key West Literary Seminar, so I thought I'd post something about what the name 'Meerkat Products Ltd.' is all about. The title comes from Graham Greene's 'Travels With My Aunt', a marvelous little novel in which a depressive London banker is shaken out of his spiritual doldrums by the arrival of his liberated, eminently pragmatic Aunt Augusta. MPL is the name of a sham outfit that Aunt Augusta had started to launder money for one of her many schemes, and to me it perfectly represents my ambitions to make my contradicting careers (tech writer for Esquire.com, cocktail enthusiast
, soft core/lifestyle photographer) all somehow pay my way:
"What Company?" I asked.
"It was invented by Mr. Pottifer to take care of my case and that of a
few other ladies in my position. It was called Meerkat Products Ltd. We
were appointed directors and our incomes (unearned indeed!) were put
down as directors' fees. The fees appeared on the books and helped the
company to show what Mr. Pottifer always called a healthy little loss.
In those days, the bigger the loss, the more valuable the company when
the time came to sell it. I never understood why.'
'Your aunt is not a business-woman,' Mr Visconti said with tenderness.
'I trusted Mr. Pottifer and I was right to trust him. During his years
as an inspector he had developed quite a hatred for the office he
served. He would do anything to help anyone about tax. He was very
proud of his ability to circumvent a new law. He always went into
purdah for three weeks after a new Finance Act.'
'What was Meerkat and what did it product?'
'It produced nothing or we might have shown a profit. When Mr. Pottifer
died I did look up Meerkat in the dictionary. It said a small South
African mammal like an ichneumon. As I didn't know what an ichneumon
was I looked that up too. Apparently it was something which destroyed
crocodile's eggs - I would have thought an unproductive occuptation. I
think the tax inspectors probably thought that it was a province in