‘It’s called the spray: I.P. (that’s intellectual property, or thoughts you own) gets sprayed out in fine dots, across a load of different ‘channels’. Newspapers is one part of it.
I’ve always loved a newspaper: the feel, the sight, the metaphorical weight. And by the time I finished studying I was an expert on them. Knew them well. I precis. This target, a then economics student called Nathan, described another concern:
“I subscribed to a lot of serious papers then. It was just while I was browsing. I began to agree quite perfectly with certain phrases in the text. Just economic theory watered down for mass consumption really. But this agreement rang a bell; it made me think about the ideas that I was currently formulating for my thesis; it ultimately made me doubt the originality of my thought. It was everything put together that did it really. If not for everything else going on I might have accepted it. But time and again what seemed like my ideas, or things that were in my thesis, kept occuring. Just aphorisms, pithy understanding (as far as it went), brief turns of phrase, that sort of thing. I had to accept it, each time that I next saw one: ‘that idea is mine’.”
Most targets realise fast their work’s been stolen: the idea seems such a perfect match, it’s obvious. Some targets think, at first, the copiers don’t realise they’re copying. Others see at once that it’s on purpose.
I have to keep it simple, see? That intellectualism, they say, can’t belong to me. I have to speak quite plain to you because bigger words belong to the elite. And they’ll rely on prejudice — their own included — that a face like mine can’t speak convincingly.
But anyway, don’t listen to me: I’m not a writer or a thinker, just a lowlife with a page and a fantasy.’