Indifference is actually just the contemporary version of frugality, for U.S young people: wooed for several gorgeous hours a day for nothing but our attention, we regard that attention as our chief commodity, our social capital, and we are loath to fritter it. In the same regard, see that in 1990, flatness, numbness, and cynicism in one’s demeanor are clear ways to transmit the televisual attitude of stand-out transcendence — flatness is transcendence of melodrama, numbness transcends sentimentality, and cynicism announces that one knows the score, was last naive about something at like age four.

E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, David Foster Wallace