Asserting that ‘we are everywhere’ is probably more convincing than the claim that ‘I am everywhere”. Nonetheless it doesn’t take much suspension of disbelief before I’m able to convince myself that indeed “I am everywhere” – after all, I’ve been billing myself as ‘an ego maniac on a world historical scale’ for years! Recently I stumbled upon someone on Goodreads with my name who has been promoting my books rather energetically over there – unfortunately this Stewart Home can’t possibly be me since he joined the site in July 2007 (whereas I joined yesterday) and he’s based in the USA. My author profile at Goodreads is here.
When I read what other people write about me it can often seem like I’ve been even busier than I actually am. Reviewing my recent White Columns show in the New York Times on on 18 November, Roberta Smith wrote: “A brochure written by Mr. Home explains a lot, if not everything. For that, there is his lavishly detailed Wikipedia entry, which also appears to be his handiwork.” To me the entry in question has an inconsistency which makes it obvious it is a collective effort rather than mine. I suspect that some of the imbalances in the article are the result of other people using Wikipedia to promote themselves. For example, while many of my books and exhibitions are passed over without discussion, there is a bizarre passage about the Evening Falls nightclub (including the fallacious claim that I didn’t read there). Likewise, when I last checked, no one had updated my list of exhibitions on this Wikipedia page to include my recent White Columns outing.
Moving on, I’ve also seen some nutjob using web 2.0 comment facilities to allege that I write my own Amazon reviews…. of course they offered no proof, and had obviously missed the fact that I just don’t take the user generated content on that site very seriously. As you’ve probably gathered by now, way too many of my leisure hours are spent reading about myself for me to have the time to write reviews of my own books for Amazon. Likewise, it will come as little surprise to most of my readers that one of the things I love about the web is the way it allows everyone to turn over their own past – and in some cases rediscover material they’d pretty much forgotten. I didn’t have any images of the Anon exhibition I’d been a part of in Luton back in 1989 until John Wynne posted some photographs of it on his Facebook profile. I immediately snaffled those featuring my contributions and added them to my Flickr photostream – where they look absolutely fantastic in an utterly weird eighties appropriated post-pop art kind of way. Likewise, earlier this year I finally got around to putting an image of my ‘original’ Art Strike Bed onto Flickr, done several years before Tracey Emin attempted to recuperate this particular assault of mine on the sensibilities of the London art establishment.
I could use this piece as an opportunity to write about how I’m attempting to replace the planking fad with a craze for photos of people standing on their head – there are currently a dozen pictures of me doing headstands on my Flickr profile (see if you can find them all). However, rather than banging on about my topsy-turvy online presence, I’m now going to get even more self-referential and obsessive. What I’d like readers of this blog to do is tell me in the comments below whether I used the best possible title for this post, or whether I should have reversed it so that it ran: “Reclaiming my future, occupying my past”?
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Comment by Tom McGlynn on 2011-12-22 15:49:34 +0000
If others want to cover your tracks Stewart, I say let ’em. As long as you stay one step beyond. The future is ours to remake!
Comment by mistertrippy on 2011-12-22 16:41:53 +0000
Yes indeed, time to reverse out of the past and let something else unfold!
Comment by Nick Papadimitriou on 2011-12-22 17:14:08 +0000
Nothing is wasted in the economy of ideas – particularly when they’re ideas we have about ourselves.
Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2011-12-22 20:38:28 +0000
I’ve only been Stewart Home since August 2007… I’ve no idea who the Goodreads impostor is!
Comment by raymond anderson on 2011-12-22 20:46:20 +0000
Past my reclaiming, future my occupying!
Comment by mistertrippy on 2011-12-22 22:41:27 +0000
Ray – can you run that by me again in various permutations and in past, present and future tense?
@ Christopher Nosnibor – I can’t remember when I became Stewart Home – but I’m pretty sure I’m not Tony White the actor hired to play him….
@ Nick Papadimitriou – The only ideas I have about myself are the ones I get from other people – and they’re all good (even when theyr’e bad)….
Comment by Paul Curran on 2011-12-23 00:35:44 +0000
Comment by Gideon Burton on 2011-12-23 00:45:43 +0000
Obviously you used the best version of the slogan as your title, and saved the inferior variation to ask a rhetorical question at the end. It seems you were asking for this kind of reply… or were you?
Comment by Stewart Home on 2011-12-23 01:14:02 +0000
Comment by Lucy Gordon on 2011-12-23 10:10:59 +0000
The title is sweet but The Tower & The Hanged Man would have been better….
Comment by Stewart Home on 2011-12-23 10:54:20 +0000
Occupy your Present in order to Reclaim your Past and your Future
Reclaim your Future Occupy your Present and Destroy your Past
Destroy your Future Reclaim your Present and Occupy your Past
Strike your Future Occupy your Past and Reclaim your Future
Fuck your Present Fuck your Past and Fuck your Future
Reclaim your Present in order to Occupy your Past and your Future
Space your Future Time your Past and Class your Future
Taste your Future Feel your Present Smell your Past
See your Present Think your Future and Hear your Past
Comment by John Wayne Bobbitt on 2011-12-23 11:25:39 +0000
Reclaim the past? Cock! I’m reclaiming my manhood!
Comment by George Reeves on 2011-12-23 12:26:56 +0000
Maybe it could have been called ‘My circumferential pygmy gun? ’tis a coup’
Thus spake Zarathustra
Comment by Russell Brand on 2011-12-23 14:25:38 +0000
Russell Brand is a 21st century sex god would have been even better!
Comment by Sex Addict on 2011-12-23 15:33:28 +0000
I am everywhere – ask your girlfriend!
Comment by Katy Perry on 2011-12-23 19:19:53 +0000
Forget the future – reclaim your own asshole now!
Comment by Peter Pan on 2011-12-23 20:47:12 +0000
The future is where you go when you get old – and that’s not somewhere I want to be!
Comment by Tommy Cooper on 2011-12-23 21:48:20 +0000
I think you should have used the title “My one-eyed trouser snake can perform magic tricks!”, because just like that it would have pulled in more readers than the rather staid headline your’ve got.
Comment by Ginger Spice on 2011-12-24 00:16:47 +0000
I quite like the one you used but you could have improved it by adding “by making it red” to the end of the title…
Comment by Tent City University on 2011-12-24 01:05:47 +0000
What about “The future is occupation, you can’t reclaim the past”?
Comment by Simon Strong on 2011-12-24 09:14:18 +0000
How do you think I feel!? I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve told me they thought that Stewart made me up!
Comment by Quiet Riot Girl on 2011-12-24 11:02:59 +0000
Could you have fitted ‘occupy my arse’ in there somewhere? Oh I can just go and add that into your wiki entry and attribute it to you anyway.
I often get accused of being Mark Simpson, as I energetically promote his work. I have never actually pretended to be him though.
I think it’s nice if people are taking on your name/persona and using it to talk about your work positively.
I’ll go and look at ‘Stewart Home’s goodreads page, see if I can finally get hold of one of his/your books.
Quiet Riot Girl
Comment by mistertrippy on 2011-12-24 11:31:13 +0000
Yes definitely ‘occupy your arse’ could have helped with the hits – all occupy mentions do right now…. We just had the comment above about ‘reclaim your asshole’ – meaning in this instance, I presume, Russell Brand.
I’d have to go check to be 100 percent sure but I’m convinced Mark Simpson (assuming you mean the British writer of that name) gave my second novel Defiant Pose a real stinker of a review (but then I like those anyway – I just count the column inches) twenty years ago… but subsequently gave me at least one very nice and positive reivew (and I think more than just one – although maybe the other stuff was mentions rather than reviews). Have a great 2012 – it’s after the end of the world!
@ Simon Strong – but you’re still a cult legend. I guess ‘underground’ is your middle name. And I’ve read all your books and so have several others I know!
Comment by Quiet Riot Girl on 2011-12-24 17:09:49 +0000
Mark Simpson was probably just jealous he can’t do fiction. Though I think some of his essays start to take on a fictional narrative, if only he’d let himself go…
Let me know if you find any reviews by him (yep the Brit writer, author of Anti Gay etc).
I’m currently writing a book based largely on his work so any input is welcome:
Comment by Michael Roth on 2011-12-25 21:42:50 +0000
I’ve corresponded with Tony White on several occasions and found him to be quite a decent chap. But I always assumed “Stewart Home” was a computer program / spam bot which auto-generated content. Am I wrong?
Comment by mistertrippy on 2011-12-25 21:59:38 +0000
Are you right or are you right? Or is that a rhetorical question?
Comment by Elron Hubbard on 2011-12-25 22:23:07 +0000
Stewart Home is Boring