The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Changing a Light Bulb

Stewart Home – The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Changing a Light Bulb (Sabotage Editions ISBN 0954006321)

By my reckoning this booklet, published on 25th December 2005, is the 13th released by Sabotage Editions. It is part of a trilogy released to commemorate the demise of the International Standard Book Numbering system. Like many of its precursors it collects diverse articles, reviews and other writing by Stewart Home. So, as usual, a mixed bag – and all the better for that.

I particularly enjoyed Stewart’s extended review of Luther Blissett’s Q, which takes in some sideswipes at previous reviewers, Emmett Grogan’s Ringolevio and the legacy of Italian left-communist Amadeo Bordiga. A left-communist analysis makes an all-too-necessary entrance into Stewart’s scathing review of Martin Amis’ Koba The Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million. I have read Q, and have no intention of reading “Koba”. That Stewart manages to write engagingly about both of them says a great deal.

Other books reviewed more briefly (but just as insightfully) include Bill Drummond’s (post-K Foundation) How To Be An Artist, John Barker’s (post-Angry Brigade) Bending the Bars: Prison Stories, Darius James’ Negrophobia and Brendan Mullen et al’s Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs.

There are a couple of interview-esque pieces with Stewart himself – “Things I Was Once Asked by a Journalist” is possibly previously unpublished, given his answers:

Which books do you think should be given the Hollywood treatment?

Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement by Jean Barrot and Francois Martin directed by David Cronenberg would be a real corker – a Battleship Potemkin for the twenty-first century. I’d also love Spike Lee adapt Henry Flynt’s Blueprint For a Higher Civilization for the wide screen.”

“26 Things to do with a Pedagogal Paradigm” is an a-z list with everything from ambiguity to zeitgeist via Dracula and Trans Europe Express.

Other articles cover topics such as Stewart’s preferred funeral arrangements, 9/11, why Tony Hancock was the ultimate avant-garde artist, the euro and a brutal slagging of Sam Taylor-Wood.

This is a great read and comes highly recommended to anyone whose interested was tweaked after reading this interview with Stewart which has been bigged up by bloggers such as Loki, Psychbloke, Effay et al.

64 pages. Available for £3.75 plus p&p from: BM Senior, London WC1N 3XX, England, UK.


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