Quotation by Michael J. Arlen

A few days ago, while seated snugly in an airplane seat on my way back to New York from Chicago,... it occurred to me that a rather striking similarity existed between the situation I found myself in then, flying in a modern airplane, and what I've often felt as I watch television. To begin with, both experiences are largely passive, or at any rate they have been transformed into passive experiences. But this shared passivity is itself more complicated than it seems, for though it produces in both cases an obvious condition of quiet and inactivity, it also demands from the passenger or viewer a very definite emotional commitment. One might call it a commitment to specifically nonaggressive and uninvolved behavior.
Michael J. Arlen (b. 1930), British–born U.S. author, TV critic. "Prufrock Aloft; Prufrock Before the Television Set," The Camera Age: Essays on Television, Farrar (1981).
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