What Amber appeared now to be confiding to him … seemed to Atwater very close to the core of the American experience he wanted to capture in his journalism. … The conflict between the subjective centrality of our own lives versus our awareness of its objective insignificance. [T]his was the central great informing conflict of the American psyche. The management of insignificance. It was the great syncretic bond of US monocultralism. It was everywhere, at the roof of everything — of impatience in long lines, of cheating on taxes, of movements in fashion and music and art, or marketing.
-David Foster Wallace, The Suffering Channel