"Self-conscious people’s oversensitivity to real humans tend to put us before the television and its one-way window in an attitude of relaxed and total reception, rapt. We watch various actors play various characters, the deep thesis that the most significant quality of a truly alive person is watchableness, and that genuine human worth is not just identical with but rooted in the phenomenon of watching. Plus the idea that the single biggest part of real watchableness is seeming to be unaware that there’s any watching going on. Acting natural. The person we young fiction writers and assorted shut-ins study, feel for, feel through most intently are, by virtue of a genius for feigned unself-consciousness, fit to stand people’s gaze. And we, trying desperately to be nonchalant, perspire creepily on the subway."
David Foster Wallace in E Unibus Pluram - Television and U.S. Fiction