Books are up against TV and movies and video games and a multimedia society that is so busy that people don't have contemplative time any more. I worry deeply about this. In fact, I worry about everything all the time. I used to be a punk. All I wanted to do was tear everything down, and that was so much easier.
I've never really been met with indifference, where they say, 'Who cares?' I think that's what good art is supposed to do. It's not supposed to make you feel good about your own prejudices and your own values; it's supposed to open you up in some way and get you outraged or make you happy or make you sad or whatever it's going to do.
It's just my natural way - to be funny. I don't know why that is. But as I've said, humor is a quick cover for shock, horror, confusion. The critics hate funny writers for the most part. They think funny is not serious, but I think that funny can be even more serious than nonfunny. And it can be more affecting, too.
In previous generations, there was purpose; you had to die, but there was God, and literature and culture would go on. Now, there is no God, and our species is imminently doomed, so there is no purpose. We get up, raise families, have bank accounts, fix our teeth and everything else. But really, there is utterly no purpose except to be alive.