I like irony. Irony is funny. I’m a fan of David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and The Onion. I enjoy darkly humorous books, and I’m not opposed to reading novels in which the main character is a terrible human being. Still, I recognize that there’s a self-protective safety involved in remaining on the outside, looking in and (often) laughing at something. There’s a certain amount of vulnerability required to express deep emotion about a person or a principle or idea—a vulnerability that is necessary for both the author and reader.