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Glenn: Brian Sack ‑‑ and he's going to listen to this ‑‑ is a brilliant, brilliant writer. He is really very, very funny and he wrote a book called in the event of my inn untimely demise, 20 things my son needs to know, and I open up this book. I got this ‑‑ when did I get this? Over the summer, Brian?
Sack: You got the galley copy, the floppy one.
Glenn: I went back and reread it last night, but I opened it up and in the introduction ‑‑ now, this is a comedy book. This is a really very funny, very smart comedy book. In the introduction the first line is this: When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, this is when I went, well, that's an interesting way to start the book.
Sack: It is.
Glenn: She was, as I reminded myself every day, as old as I am now. That's not the say that she was really old at all. More like advanced young, perhaps premiddle age. She was still youthful, spirited, energetic and certainly should have had ample time here on earth to raise her sons. Alas, it wasn't in the cards. You go on and you talk about your mother and how your ‑‑ what your mother did for you, which was?
Sack: She left me a note. She left me a long letter with some instructions and things I should do, just in case she were to die. She wrote that in '79 and she died in '83 and that's when I got the letter. My father handed it to me.
Glenn: How old were you?
Sack: I was, 13, 14 at the time.
Glenn: Gosh, I didn't know that, Brian. We lost our moms at the same age.
Sack: We are very similar, except you're successful.
Glenn: I just milk I had it for all it was worth. I think this is a sign you're going to be successful because obviously you're doing the same thing.
Sack: It was more of an inspiration to me. When my wife got pregnant, I had this idea that I wanted to do something for my child and ‑‑ along the lines of what my mother did for me just? Case.
Glenn: Well, did your mother's letter start like this: Dear son, nondairy creamer is flammable and your marriage will suffer if you go skinny dipping with cheerleaders?
Sack: No. It was a little different.
Sack: Hers was more motherly, sincere, more, you know, don't take risks with alcohol and drugs and cars and meet a nice girl and marry her, you know, be good.
Glenn Beck interviews author Brian Sack
Glenn: But you have honestly, Brian, for today's world, I think you have fantastic advice. One of my favorite chapters, because it is so true, is Great Is Good.
Sack: Right. I learned that in college. College made me an extremist of sorts and I learned over the years that actually, you know, planting a flag on one, you know, extreme side is never beneficial to anybody.
Glenn: Yeah. That's not really the ‑‑ I mean, sure, that's the way you can spin the lesson. Talk about your extremism in college.
Sack: I became, like, a militant vegan. You know, I wasn't eating ‑‑ stopped eating meat because Morrissy from the Smiths same a song about not eating meat, Meat is Murder.
Glenn: No. Did you read your own book?
Sack: I did.
Glenn: You took the lyrics and you wrote the lyrics down and you posted them on your door in college.
Sack: Exactly. You're right. So let everybody know my new position, that meat was murder and ‑‑
Glenn: Right. You must have been really popular.
Sack: You know, I became very annoying because, you know, when people get preachy, you know, it's kinds of like when somebody stops smoking, suddenly they're knocking you about smoking or whenever somebody gives up something, they take the high ground all the sudden and it makes them a better person than you
They start lecturing you. And I was the guy, you know where that hot dog came from, right? You know where that veal came from? And I became annoying and gradually alone.
Glenn: And did you actually wear the canvas belt and shoes and ‑‑
Sack: That's what happened. When you take an extreme position, you find yourself on a very slippery slope people say, that's great, but you're wearing leather shoes. Oh, darn. So, I would go back to my closet and throwaway my leather shoes and come back with canvas ones and they didn't hold up in the weather and they would come back and say, your shoes are not leather anymore but your belt is and I gradually reduced all my wardrobe to cotton and things that didn't die. And the shampoo bottles for anything that might have animal product in it and I joined PETA, people for the ethical treatment of animals, and, you know, started hanging up posters of animal experimentation all‑around the campus and I was very actively annoying.
Glenn: Did you have any friends at all?
Sack: I had friends, but we just didn't talk about vegetarian politics.
Glenn: Right. But you had to have hung out with liberal people because you also were a member of the ACLU
Sack: No. I definitely was. I went to film school. My teachers were all showing me ‑‑ the biggest problem with film school was they were teaching us that Hollywood was bad and we should be making art films that make no money.
Glenn: So, how exactly did that work for you?
Sack: You have a bunch of 18 years old setting in a classroom and the teacher telling you, I made a film about Eskimos and that's the kind of film we should be making, not these Hollywood block busters that are actually profitable and you get indoctrinated and those with weaker minds, myself included, we fell for it. So, for many years I was kind of lefty.
Glenn: And you have the success record to prove it.
Glenn: Yeah. You're not in Hollywood making any of those ‑‑
Sack: I listen to do my teachers. I accepted their wisdom.
Glenn: Right. So, your advice to your son in this one is don't become an extremist. I really doesn't work out real well.
Sack: Right. In that particular chapter. Yes. It's like don't be ridiculous, basically and they're going to keep plowing the moral high ground, realize you're going to have to hold on to it. We see that all the time. You're going to get caught. So, you take see that all the time.
Glenn: And you also teach your son here in the ‑‑ are you going to give this book to him?
Sack: He can buy it.
Sack: How many freebies does this kid need?
(Insider audio contains the full interview)