The New Yorker has always dealt with experience not by trying to understand it but by prescribing the attitude to be adopted toward it. This makes it possible to feel intelligent without thinking, and it is a way of making everything tolerable, for the assumption of a suitable attitude toward experience can give one the illusion of having dealt with it adequately. The gracelessness of capitalism becomes an entirely external phenomenon, a spectacle that one can observe without being touched—above all, without feeling really burdened. Even one’s own incompetence becomes pleasant: to be baffled by a machine or a domestic worker or an idea is a badge of membership in the civilized and humane minority.

Robert Warshow, “E. B. White and the New Yorker”, in The Immediate Experience: Movies, Comics, Theatre and Other Aspects of Popular Culture