Vassily Meerkat, the modern Stoic

Malcolm holds that Redfellow Hovel is the natural successor to the Stoa Poikile, a place where calm, philosophic dialogue and elevated thought is the rational norm.

Only yesterday, Malcolm was in his porch in an exchange with a tin of Dulux Brilliant White emulsion. Thus he feels the link to the Athenian ‘painted porch’ (Geddit?) is particularly apt.

On the other hand …

Elsewhere in the Hovel there is a line-up of five of those complimentary meerkat dolls. The most recent additions being Vassily (as above) and Maiya. Only one to go (Yakov, since you are so concerned).

From this the outsider may properly intuit there is another layer to life at the Hovel: something more manic.

As for Vassily, Malcolm recalls a time when similar dress was natural for the tormented soul of a Boho poet. Thom Gunn leaps to mind: the likeness is startling. And there’s Gunn’s Cat Island:

Sensible bourgeois
wild-cats working 
with the furred impudence
of those who don’t pretend
to be other than whores,
they give you not
the semblance of love
but simply
a look at their beauty
in return for food.
Models, not escorts.
They lack, too,
the prostitute’s self-pity,
being beyond shame.
And we lack
what they have.

Sensible bourgeois wild-cats … who don’t pretend to be other than whores — got to be advertising types.

Which is why Malcolm believes there must be enormous dramatic and comic, even philosophical, potential in the day the VCCP agency floated the whole comparethemeerkat.com thing. Somewhere between logic and lunacy.

Any ad campaign that runs for nearly four years (the first Alexsandr Orlov spot was as long ago as January, 2009) has become venerable. This one seems to have some suricate [] legs still left.

Malcolm’s American grandsons regard Alexsandr & Co. as the ultimate examples of British cool.

And the Lady in Malcolm’s Life (at her most printable, bourgeoise and epicene) now responds to being cut up on a roundabout with ‘Son of a mongoose!’

Socratean, this post is not.

[] From wikipedia:

The meerkat or suricateSuricata suricatta, is a small mammal belonging to the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of theKalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”. A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. In captivity, meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years, and about half this in the wild.

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Filed under advertising., History, Literature, Muswell Hill, reading

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