A few weeks ago I wrote the great Albert Brooks and offered to do what I could to heighten awareness of his new book, “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America.” I suppose if I’d really wanted to help I would have written the St. Martin’s Press publicist and gone from there, right? Except book publicists are sketchy people these days with the book industry in decline, and it seemed somehow simpler to write Brooks because we’ve spoken a couple of times and he knows the column, etc.

Brooks completely ignored me. I might as well have been an assistant book editor from an obscure Riverside County alternative weekly. But let’s turn the other cheek and offer a portion of a Proust q & a with Brooks in the online Vanity Fair.

VF: What is your idea of perfect happiness? Brooks: Not sure what happiness means. Need to look that up. VF: What is your greatest fear? Brooks: That three days before I die I’ll find out what happiness means. VF: Which historical figure do you most identify with? Brooks: Pete Best. VF: Which living person do you most admire? Brooks: You don’t know him.