The sublime high of visibility

This monologue from speed-fuelled gonzo journalist Cameron Colley in Iain Banks’ 1993 novel Complicity suggested something interesting to me about social media. Have social platforms made this accessible to the masses while simultaneously cheapening it by leading us from who gets to speak to who gets heard?

This is a kind of hit unique to the profession: near-instant in-print gratification. I suppose if you’re a stand-up comic, a live musician or an actor the reward is similar and even quicker, but if what you’re into is the printed world and the dubious authority of on-the-page black-and-white, then this is entirely the biz. The best fix of all comes from a front page splash, but a page lead on an odd-numbered page provides a pretty sublime high, and only getting a basement piece on an even page produces any sensation of let-down.

Iain Banks, Complicity, pg 24

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