Crosspost[X-Post from /r/AskHistorians] "IAMA Classics lecturer and Roman expert who spent 10 years building a detailed 3D model of ancient Rome and turning it into a free online course. AMA about the eternal city!"
Mar 9th 2017 by Georgy_K_Zhukov • 25 Questions • 447 Points
I am the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. My novels include The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin (winner of the 2000 Booker Prize), Oryx and Crake (short-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize), The Year of the Flood, and—my most recent novel—Hag-Seed.
- Watch the latest trailer for the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQgosh5EOoY
- Handmaid’s Tale on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/handmaidsonhulu
- Handmaid’s Tale on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/handmaidsonhulu
- Handmaid’s Tale on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/handmaidsonhulu
- Proof: https://twitter.com/MargaretAtwood/status/839258321425207298
Hello: Now it is time to say goodbye! Thank you for all your questions, and sorry I could not get to the end of all of them... save for next time! Very best, Margaret
Did the Nazis view the soldiers as having a meth problem? I remember hearing that Japan gave soldiers drugs to reduce inhibitions about certain missions (kamikaze attacks, etc.). There are also reports of Allied soldiers being given amphetamines. Was the Nazi leadership giving soldiers meth strategically?
What is your guilty pleasure film that you hate to admit you enjoy?
and yes, I do think our kids will all be forming a ripping band in the near future
We would literally just have to tell them to stop. We'd knock on the door. There were people trying to hook up during flights in their seats too. Basically, you find the flight attendant most comfortable walking by and telling them to stop.
There are no guarantees, but my colleague from the ACLU has a link to best practices he will share.
But the first step should be to demand that Congress not repeal the current rules. Without them, ISPs don't have to tell you when your information has been breached. They also wouldn't have to ask your permission to share personal information like SS#, geolocation, and web browsing history.
Strategically, absolutely. They issued the so-called "stimulant decree" in April 40, just before the attack on France. I dedicate a large of Blitzed on this.
Haha there are so many of them! Just say Miss Congeniality again on a plane -- very funny! Also The Producers and Young Frankenstein. Also Singing in the Rain when depressed. In the World O Vampires, I am a Christopher Lee fa; but also Let The Right One In, Swedish version. Night of the Living Dead, first one... a classy low budget horror film I could go on... :D
Thank you so much for writing The Handmaid's Tale. It was the book that got me hooked on dystopian novels.
What was your inspiration for the story?
max will -anthony
I never used the slide but we had to during training. You get electrically shocked every time you do it. Static shock. Not electric shock. You know when you touch someone and it goes DING. That was it.
Chairman Pai has made it clear that he wants to weaken the privacy protections. He believes that ISPs need a break, instead of consumers needing more control over their data. The Chairman doesnt even want the FCC regulating broadband privacy. If these rules are eliminated using the CRA, the FCC is prohibited from making any rules that are similar, meaning there will be no protections at all! - DH
To both of you: I always wonder if members of my favorite bands (especially live) go to concerts (and not just go back stage, but just attend a concert). Do you? If so, what are some of your favorite bands to see live?
Where is you funniest story about staying overnight in a hotel during a layover? I've seen some funny behavior from flight crews at one of our local hotels.
What is a book you keep going back to read and why?
PS, Thank you so much!
i go pretty often. RxBandits are one of my favorite bands to see live -anthony
The Handmaid's Tale gets thrown out as your current worst-case scenario right now but I read The Heart Goes Last a few months ago and I was surprised how possible it felt. Was there a specific news story or event that compelled you to write that particular story?
I have to say- The Handmaid's Tale changed my life when I read it in high school. I was raised in a conservative town by conservative parents and it challenged so much of what I believed to be true and steered me towards a completely different path. Thank you so much for everything you've shared with the world and continue to share. You're an inspiration.
i'm pretty sure ant grew up going to punk and hardcore shows in new york whereas i grew up playing with Maroon 5 on the fucking sunset strip - MB
Planes exist. What do you mean?? I don't understand. EXIST?? Planes do exist. Yeah.
That's not information we are experts on, however if you care that your Internet Service Provider might track and sell to other companies that you are visiting websites about strippers... you should be worried about the broadband privacy rules going away! Right now, ISPs can't give away that information without your permission, but Congress wants to repeal those rules. They introduced two resolutions this week to do so.
prominent historians like the late Hans Mommsen, or Ian Kershaw, and Antony Beevor have praised the book, saying it is a missing puzzle piece. this makes me very happy.
Thank you. The Heart Goes Last -- yes, came from my interest in what happens when a region's economy collapses and people are really up against it, and the only "business" in which people can have jobs is a prison. It pushes the envelope (will there really be some Elvis robots?) but again, much of what was only speculation then is increasingly possible.
Anthony, when did you start singing/writing and how do you maintain your voice on long tours?
Wow.. the decompression thing sounds nuts! At least all was well in the end
Lol these tourists 😂
How did the drugs get to the front line where they standard issue or handed out by medics who was supplying them?
Mrs. Atwood, I have only read A Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, but I really love how you change the rules of the utopian genre, particularly in Oryx and Crake. I wrote a short research paper for one of my classes comparing Oryx and Crake to Thomas More's Utopia, essentially arguing that neither work truly conforms to the utopian/dystopian generic distinction that we try to make so often.
My question would be then, do you think there ever has been a true distinction between utopias and dystopias, or is this just a result of superficial readings of these texts due to their broader categorization as science-fiction?
I never sang in a band before Bayside so I've been singing for 17 years but I've been writing songs since I was 9. Maintaining your voice on tour is all about technique. I have worked at perfecting my technique for a long time. -anthony
Alright signing off for now but will check back later and answer questions...
They were handed out by medics. They received the so-called "stimulant decree" in April 1940, telling them how much to dish out.
Hello: I have an essay on this in In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination -- in which I coin the term Ustopia to describe the Yin/Yang relationship between them: every Utopia contains within it a little Dystopia, and vice versa. It's one of my literary interests and I have read a lot of them, even some boringly-written now obscure 19th C ones like Bulwer Lytton's The Coming Age. Always fascinating to see what people come up with as a desirable state of affairs.
Max, any chance you'll take on some recent political issues via song? Your bluntness is refreshing.
Are you able to see the different fare class of each passenger?
Did Hitler's health decline from taking too many drugs? Was there any recorded evidence of it?
Have you read any good books lately?
our next record isn't political but it's socio-political in nature and is about one aspect, a direct product of the kind of society that could actually elect Donald Trump - mb
Yeah, you know when somebody gets bumped up to first class or when they're a mileage club member that used points instead of paying.
People that get bumped up feel super entitled. Take advantage of being in first class, drink all you want, eat all you want, whatever. Just treat us well.
It certainly did. The Nazi propaganda machine tried to keep this a secret. But some footage got out, showing how deranged Hitler was, and how strong his tremor. Especially the organ concoctions (described in the chapter of Blitzed called "Slaughterhouse Ukraine") paint a vivid picture of this.
I am always reading... many good books! I intend to get the Bailey's longlist and read those, and many more that are on my to-read list. There's an app called Reco where I have an account and post recommendations... I must update it! Homegoing is on it, for example.
Since the book is so controversial, were there any parts or topics that you fought for that couldn't be included?
How did your experience with the 2017 version differ from the 1990 version of The Handmaid's Tale?
No. Everything is exactly how I wanted it to be. And all of my research is included.
Different times (that world is closer now!) and a 90 minute film is a different proposition from a 10 part 1st season series, which can build out and deep dive because it has more time. The advent of high-quality streamed or televised series has opened up a whole new set of possibilities for longer novels. We launched the 1990 film in West and then East Berlin just as the Wall was coming down... and I started writing book when the Wall was still there... Framed it in people's minds in a different way. Also, then, many people were saying "It can't happen here." Now, not so much....
Max, One of my favorite songs from you is "Ahh...Men" off of Say Anything's self titled album. Can you talk a little bit about your head space when writing that song? Does the song mean anything to you now that it's been quite a few years since you wrote it?
I have a fear of flying, especially during take off. What are some things I should know before my flight that'll comfort me?
Today's military (and other) extensively uses Modafinil, which is a wakefulness agent? Are you familiar with that, and do you draw any parallels?
What was your involvement in casting of the Hulu movie as an executive producer? I love the choice of the highly underrated Elisabeth Moss for Offred.
still means very much to me as I'm a believer in the metaphysical and the oneness of the universe and the song is about my devotion to things that are larger than myself, which i king of how i keep myself centered and find meaning in this weird fleeting life - mb
Honestly though, we're really well trained. We go through 6-7 weeks of just evacuation training. Every kind of emergency you can think of. We're so well trained.
I first heard about Modafinil when I researched Blitzed. The German Army (its elite units) was using it in Afghanistan, and I believe the US troops are using it as well. It is like taking amphetamines without the high. Very "efficient" I suppose.
Hello: I didn't have any involvement in the casting -- not my forté! But very happy the way it has turned out, and they are all giving it their every ounce of energy. Elizabeth Moss is herself a producer on this film. She is a very good choice, as Offred is an everywoman -- not an exceptional brave resistance fighter or anything -- caught up in this world and just doing her best to get through it without cracking up or getting killed, and Elizabeth can show that quality very well. And she has to perform without makeup. Many actresses might shy away from that...
How common was the use of the same drugs in general? Were downsides known?
In interviews, how often do you get asked about being a Canadian writer or being a female writer? How often do you wish you were asked about either?
The Temmler company that manufactured Pervitin neglected the downsides, and praised only the "good effects" of meth. Only later people started realizing that meth was an addictive drug - and it was made illegal in Germany in May 1941. Does this answer your question?
I have got asked about both a great deal over time. But nobody ever asks me what it's like to be a canoe-paddling writer, or a writer who gardens, or even a knitting writer. Neglected fields! (I'm going to wish I hadn't said that.)
What was the weirdest thing you found in your research for this book?
Do you find similar pleasure in the slower more immersive experience of a modern 10 hour television series as you do a novel? Any standout shows that you have particularly respected?
I believe it is the chapter in the book titled "Slaughterhouse Ukraine". About Morell's monopoly on all the organs of all the slaughtered animals, making weird concoctions out of these, testing them on Hitler.
Hello: The trend got going in the 80s in England with longer series TV adaptations of things like Jane Eyre. Also the amazing The Singing Detective -- I think it was the 90s. I like to get them once the whole thing is finished and then watch back to back. Longer forms allow deeper exploration, series of connected episodes work like old serial fiction, ie Dickens -- a cliffhanger at the end of each! But I'm kind of a sucker for that. Novels are very different in that they are made of words and words alone: the reader supplies everything else. Note: novels can do smells. Harder in TV and film: you can have people say Pee-yew etc but you don't actually get a description of the smell in detail.
Anthony. Can we expect a solo album from you anytime soon? I absolutely love your solo work
We've all encountered "restaurant secret menu" type posts on social media that usually turn out to be 90% junk or isolated to one specific location of a chain or whatever. I've seen a few for airlines as well, but don't know how much of that is believable either.
That being said, what would you say are five tips for travelers that are legit and many people don't know to do, but would make their flight more enjoyable or more memorable?
i hope that I can get the time to again. Bayside keeps me pretty busy and I always said that I would never take time away from the band to work on the solo stuff. Whenever there is a gap in Bayside's schedule again, i'd love to -anthony
Bring the flight attendants chocolate when you get on the plane, especially if it's a long flight. In Chicago, bring them popcorn. That always goes a long way. They'll remember you and you'll be taken care of for sure.
DON'T try to go to the restroom when there's turbulence. There were so many guys that would end up peeing on themselves because they thought they could handle the turbulence and then they'd come out with pee on their pants.
Don't eat the food. It's just not good for you.
Bring your own little mini bottles of alcohol, it's allowed. Just don't let the flight attendants know.
Again...use the bathroom before you get on the fucking plane. I don't know why people don't do it. They'll come on and the first thing they have to do is use the restroom. You know that's the worst possible area to use a bathroom.
Also...don't take your shoes off and walk bare foot....and know that people change diapers on the tray tables.
people change diapers on the tray tables.
Really? I understand that when you have a child you need to get things done, but that's similar, in my mind, to changing a diaper on a table at a restaurant- seems disrespectful.
Do you think the outcome of the war could have been different if not for the drug use?
Did you enjoy your work with Darren Aronofsky?
Yeah! It's awful! And then they try to hand it us while we're giving out drinks. We hate when people do it.
I believe so. The meth abuse by the Wehrmacht was so heavy, and fit the military strategy of the Blitzkrieg like a glove, that it is hard to imagine how the outcome of the campaign against France would have been without the drug.
Very smart team! But that is rather in limbo, as HBO changed CEOs and pulled out. They are looking for another venu however. It's a daunting 3 book project, not easy to do.
Max, would you ever consider just playing guitar for a side-project band?
Not trying to be that guy or be a fun sucker here, just want to present the facts. Number 4 is technically true the way you wrote it, anyone can bring alcohol onboard the A/C, but drinking their own alcohol per the FAR's (Federal Aviation Regulations) is illegal.
14CFR § 121.575 Alcoholic beverages. (a) No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him. (Source: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=9d44397fe14f0fe4366f769cf9d2956c&r=SECTION&n=14y126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52)
Is the FA going to get a FAM or have the police meet the A/C because your drinking your mini, of course not (reportable for failure to comply however). But it is illegal.
If you bring your own champagne or wine from Duty Free, which people do when they are celebrating sometimes, we are allowed to serve it to you. I had seen people with their own minis and the most we ever did is tell them to stop or try to take them from them.
Hey Guys, I understand you're Musicians but when your not touring or writing music, Do you have day jobs?
im sorry but on a 36 hour flight im taking my shoes off
How did the army handle addiction? Was there any form of crisis after the war was over, and doses were not longer bring supplied?
Congratulations on being a Bailey's finalist. Does the novelty of so many nominations and so many awards ever diminish?
And have you ever considered coming to South Africa to do some talks?
Take your shoes off, I just wouldn't walk to the restroom without them! The floors are the dirtiest!
I've had a very elderly lady with her care taken getting sick on herself, I literally thought she was dying, but her care taker said she was ok, and on the floor. We just put this powder over the mess then they vacuumed it between flights.
Babies get sick, grown men pee on themselves and the floor, and I've never seen anything but a vacuum used on those floors.
The Army tried to set programs into place that would take care of addicted soldiers. But they failed in the end due to lack of resources. After the war, many soldiers were still addicted, and my research shows that Pervitin (meth) use is very high in Germany even in the 50s.
I would so much like to go to South Africa but as I say, I am screaming old and long travel is becoming more difficult, for many reasons, not all of which have to do with me alone. I have Duties. It's lovely to be a Bailey's finalist, kind of them, but I am in the Gold Watch and Goodbye phase of my "career" (Lifetime etc. -- hey! I only get one?) so this will go to one of the many fine, edgy books on the list, all of which I will read with pleasure (have already read some of them).
Any hints on what material we can expect to hear on the upcoming tour?
Do you remember your least favorite pilot/pilots to fly with? What'd they do to gain the title?
I actually heard about your book on NPR this morning, sounds interesting. How much cocaine did hitler use on a daily basis?
I'm a male in his 30s, and I listened to the audio book version of The Handmaid's Tale performed by Claire Danes just this last month. What an incredibly thought provoking piece of literature, one I think all genders should read. How do you feel about the audiobook platform in general, and what concept in the story plaguing the narrator is most terrifying to you?
all kinds of stuff. and we always try to play a lot of old stuff as well as stuff we've never played.
There were always ones that would be inappropriate. One carried extra pantyhose with him in case we 'got a hole in ours'. That's creepy. That's weird, right? That's not nice, it's weird.
There was one pilot who had a tendency to brag at bars about how much he made but would never buy a round at the bar. We all would, but he wouldn't.
There was one I was in love with. He had all of these death metal band stickers on his crew bag and flew with a guitar with him. Slaughter Nuns was one of the band names. Something like that. He was my favorite because he was the nicest.
He only used cocaine from late July 1944 to October 1944 - over 50 times during this period.
Hello: I grew up in the age of radio, so I am very comfortable with audio versions. Claire Danes does a wonderful job! A good one can add a whole other dimension. Looking forward to the Special Edition now underway at Audible.
Which concept is most terrifying? All of it, I guess. Not being in control of any part of one's life.
Ant - I've posed this notion to you a couple times before in person, but I absolutely loved when you and Nick did Gumshoe Radio... one day, it would be so sweet if you guys would throw a podcast of sorts together if you can find time in your schedule; any interest?
Every banged a pilot during flight ? Or a customer ?
What made you want to research and writie a book about this particular topic?
Thanks for opening up this world and new worlds for us all to explore, you inspire me to write.
-As a young poetry writer I often feel overwhelming pressure for my ‘Big Important First Work’ to be perfect. The issue is that it never feels completely done, so I keep it hidden in my desk. I worry that in a few years I will look back and wish I had written it in a completely different way. At what point do you decide to release a work into the wild regardless of potential imperfections or later regrets?
-What is your opinion on self publishing? Is it better to wait to be picked up by a publisher, or to say screw it and self publish?
-Do you have any ‘writing rituals’? For example, a time of day you write best, a notebook of ideas, or a mandatory cup of coffee to get the words flowing?
Also, where can I find your upcoming speaking engagements? It seems like every time I travel you’ve just passed through and I’ve missed my chance :)
i would love to. we had a lot of fun with Gumshoe. We're all so busy these days though, I'm not sure we'd be able to. I wish I could just put a show together whenever I had time but i think that those things come with expectations of consistency that I can't commit to -anthony
No. I banged another flight attendant but it was on a layover. Not as good of a story but planes gross my out so I'm afraid of whatever I would get from going to the bathroom on a plane let alone banging on one.
A friend of mine is a DJ in Berlin. He is a history and a drug buff. When he told me about massive drug use in the Third Reich, I thought this was worth checking out. And my first visit to the Federal Archive of Germany was so fascinating (because I found so much evidence) that I seriously pursued the project.
Hello: I too have a desk drawer full of things I haven't finished or that I am not yet ready to publish. But send some of them out into the world - then you will worry less. Self-publishing: pros and cons either way. You might try Wattpad for instant feedback. I hand-set my first book of poems (7 in number) but that was long ago. Try literary magazines and online ones? Writing rituals: I would like to have some, but I don't really. It's grabbing time and staying up late, as it always has been, it seems. Upcoming speaking engagements are usually in www.margaretatwood.ca under Events (when we remember to update. ;) Thanks for your q's.
Anthony, Bayside had gotten me out of some really dark times when I was younger and I'm really grateful for that. It's a big reason for why I try to make every concert I can in NY you guys do. Holiday shows are always a blast. One question for ya,
1) Are you the one who does that piano for baby Britain and other songs like string me along?
Max, I've always wanted to see say anything live and I'm really looking forward to finally getting the chance!
Most memorable celebrity/famous person encounter?
Were there other nations participating in similar programs?
Thank you for doing this!
What book do you believe vital for kids to read before age 18/while still in school?
Also: Stone Mattress is a treasure and I have wondered if you had traveled to the Arctic before writing that piece?
I play some of the piano on the recordings but sometimes we bring in experts. I played on String Me Along but not baby britain -anthony
Rita Ora! She was on a flight and
We're doing first class service. Rita's assistant is in the back of the plane and she keeps coming up to her in first class. So we're like, "okay you can't keep coming up". We understood but had to say "alright now that's enough". So we stuck her assistant in the back of the plane so she couldn't help with what happened next...
No one can really come up to the front bathroom in first class unless the back is blocked. Some guy goes rogue and walks up to the front and we see him just...staring...kind of...So we go up to check it out and we see that Rita's boob is just hanging right out.
Luckily no one saw besides him because she was in the very back of first class. We tried to put a blanket over to cover the boob. She had on this button up shirt. She's passed out...her boob fell out. It's literally just out. So we tried to put a blanket over her but she kept taking it off in her sleep. We kept coming back and the boob kept coming out.
Like...why? Why don't you want the blanket on you? Can't you tell it's out??
The Allies learnt from the Nazis, and started developing their own programs later in the war, deciding to use amphetamines.
The Arctic - yes, many times over the years. I started writing the story on a ship there to amuse my fellow passengers, with How-Tos contributed by my criminally-minded partner; there really were 5 men called Bob. Tey got very nervous.
I think kids find books that call out to them if given half a chance. What IS vital is to have a school library + access to a librarian (marks go up by 20% on average) and a home with books in it, even public library books if possible. I don;t like to tell people what they Have to read because it is a very individual thing. I would have to have a convo with a person. Then I might begin to be able to make a recco.
All for Anthony (Sorry Max!) -First of all -- your music has absolutely changed my life - but.....Do you check your Instagram DM's?
1) Will you have Vinyls available on this tour? I've been trying to get one for years (I want my purchase to yield you the MOST money - so I'd rather buy stuff directly from the band)
2) Can I somehow play guitar on a song at the DENVER stop of this upcoming tour? I know that kind of interaction with fans is typically not Bayside's thing.. but hey, worth a shot.
3) Would it be possible to do a quick 5 minute interview with you in person for an upcoming project?
Please don't stop.
Which airline is the worst to work for?
I am very bad with social media. I try and at least read comments but i never really check messages
are you better than jack?
you are interviewing me now
I can imagine Spirit would be the worst to work for...any one that you have to clean up the plane by yourself.
Hi guys! My question is for Max- First off, thank you for your beautiful tunes. Seriously. They've gotten me through so much. Anyways - Say Anything has some pretty serious fans. Has there ever been a fan at a show that just went overboard to the point where you had to be like, "Dude, calm down"? With that being said, have you ever had a fan that just blew you away with how INTO the show they are?
Were there any close calls with Hitler overdosing? How do you think his regime would've handled it?
Also, a Reddit constant question: would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses? Why?
well, during smaller shows with a pit sometimes i'll get grabbed or lovingly choked out which can be kind of intense, and does invoke a sort of calm-down thought, though i appreciate the whole thing. pretty much every show has fans that blow me away with their enthusiasm and especially knowing all the words to the songs ( : -MB
I would say just wear your seatbelt during it. We go through turbulence regularly. The pilots are aware and it happens all the time.
There is one report by Dr. Giesing, saying Hitler nearly overdosed on the Cocaine he gave him in the fall of 1944. I think everyone would have been relieved, in fact.
Hmm. Good question. Are the ducks dead ducks, or are they alive? Are they Zombie Ducks? Is the horse a Pale Horse? Maybe not enough information here. I think I'd pick the hundred duck-sized horses. Easy to stampede, no? ("Scram, ducks!" Opens and closes an umbrella very fast. That's worked for me in the past, against those weeny ducks.)
Hey guys. This one's for Max. Over Say Anything's history you've had an awesome amount of guest vocalists on the albums. Who's your favorite or the one person you would've never guessed you'd have featured on one of your tracks?
what is your favorite airplane to fly in?
Is it true that hitler suffered from parkinsons and was taking medication to treat it?
What would you be doing right now if you were an American? Would you run for office? Would you protest? Would you be planning to resist ICE?
787! Dreamliner. So pretty.
Morell (Hitler's physician) gave him a medicine called Homburg once. Homburg is supposed to treat Parkinson's. Other than that there is little evidence. Perhaps Hitler's tremor. But I reckon this comes from withdrawal from opiods.
I would make a very bad politician, so no, I wouldn't run for office. But I would support those who were running. I would certainly turn out for protests, as I did here in Toronto, wearing a rather strange pink hat. I don't know what else I would do! We are in a time when reality seems to shift every day...
The book has such a crazy cover, very different from most history books. Why did you decide to go that route?
Dear Ms. Atwood,
Thank you for writing THE HANDMAID'S TALE. Is there anything in the series, not included in the book, that you feel could have been?
This was my publisher's decision. I think they did a great job. Each country's cover looks very different. I also like the German. It was done by artist Douglas Gordon. Try google: "Der totale Rausch" (the German title)
Yes I think they've got a few things in there (from what I've seen already) that I wish I'd thought of, but we can talk about those after the series, b/c No Spoilers eh?
Hi Margaret, You've been proactive in embracing technology and seem really pleased with the new adaptation of Handmaid's. I was wondering if I could ask you how you would feel about a HMT computer game? Could that work and how would you see it as succeeding or failing?
Yes, and no. Obviously Blitzed is a controversial book. I think the many positive reviews, and reactions by readers are what is most important.
I think it could definitely work -- there's one of The Great Gatsby, and one called Plague Inc -- but I haven't given much thought to how it might be done. Not my area but down the line, willing to consider.
Hey Max, your experiences with bipolar, anxiety, depression, drug/alcohol abuse etc. are pretty inspiring and your art has helped a lot of people get through their struggles with mental disorders and disabilities, including myself. I know that you're likely far beyond the worst of it, but how do these things--if at all--effect your present-day life with touring, multiple projects and family? Been a fan of your's for awhile, best wishes to you.
what do you do when you're on land in between flights?
This youtube clip is highly relevant: Hitler shaking at the 1936 Olympics.
Is Hitler's favourite food/sandwich known?
Edit: As many noted this is slightly sped up, and he's watching the olympics intensely. Hitler apparently also suffered from Parkinson's.
Firstly - thank you for so many wonderful books and being an inspirational woman (HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!) What has been your favourite part of making the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale?
thank you for your wishes! i still deal with my disorder every day but thankfully a healthy lifestyle and medication deals with what could be total insanity. the rest is just being a really emotional guy who takes things in deeply and has powerful feelings, but i wouldn't trade that for anything now that i'm surrounded by people who love and support me. It totally works and everyone has their shit in life to deal with -MB
I would also go out by myself. I didn't go out with the crew because they just go to the hotel bar and get wasted. I would like to go on adventures.
You don't get long layovers all of the time. A lot of them are only about 10 hours.
During a layover in Baltimore, I'm at a bar by myself drinking a dirty martini. The bartender set me up with a guy who said he was from Amazon or Google. I don't know what it was but they apparently had a project going on there.
We go out boppin' around town from bar to bar and drinking. He's like 50 and I'm like 22 at the time. I'm a vegetarian but I guess at some point I really wanted steak. So he gets me a filet mignon. I don't remember a lot but I remember he had to bring me back to the hotel and walked me into my room.
Woke up the next morning and he had kindly left a party favor from the night before on top of my uniform.
I really don't know who this guy actually was or if he's some lonely ex-convict, I don't know. The bartender was just like "here's here from out of town for about three months. Now that I think about it...I really don't know why he was on his own.
Hitler shaking at the 1936 Olympics.
Hitler was a vegetarian. And he was really into sweets. Does this answer your question? (I actually studied all the menu cards for the headquarters)
Haha, so far it's been watching the results -- but talking with everyone too, and seeing the astonishing amount of energy and enthusiasm that's gone into it at every level. I love seeing people do something they're passionate about very well.
Hi Max! I'm a longtime megafan that has been to every one of your shows in Orlando since 2005, and some in other states also. Happy 11th birthday to the ... is a Real Boy album! Just a few questions:
1) Why did you choose to write the song "Less Cute" from a female perspective? Was it difficult writing from the perspective of the opposite gender?
2) What is your favorite SA song with Sherri? (mine is Six Six Six)
3) How are your girls doing on the road so far? I hope mini-Max (aka Coraline) isn't throwing too many tantrums!
Bonus question: At your HOB show summer 2015 in Orlando, I crowd surfed to Ahhh... Men and when I got to the front you held out the mic so I could sing a couple lyrics. I also touched your chest. Do you remember me? Probably not, but it was top 3 best moments of my life and I didn't shut up about it for weeks after.
Do flight attendants get drug tested?
At least some finnish soldiers were given pervitine during the war(those drugs can still be found in houses of older people) did we get those from the germans since we were allies with them? And how usual it was to give regular jaegers some "boost"?
1) The song is about someone's reaction to misogyny so the story and the character appeared in my mind as female. But I've been there myself in certain ways.
2) I like "So Good" and "Cemetery" since they're so blatantly about her. Actually my favorite is probably "The Shape of Love to Come" for the same reason.
Yeah. Usually you get pulled right off of a flight.
I had "sit time" in Denver, which is when you have just two or three hours in between flights. Not quite a layover.
I'm in the crew room and I get...approached....for a drug test. They said they were looking for me for a drug test. So I finished my burrito but I had to warm up my fake urine. The whole time I'm talking to this lady who's doing the drug test and just saying, "I'm sorry I can't pee yet." Meanwhile, I'm putting the fake urine in my pantyhose and I have one of those Hot Hand things...those hand warmers. That's how you heat up the fake urine.
So I have that against me while trying to waste time and talk with this lady about other drug tests and trying to pull out hints on how to pass the next one. Sitting there just kind fidgeting around to try and warm it up. Every now and then I would go into the bathroom and see if the fake urine was ready. It has this black line that shows the temperature. Once it turns green or something, then it's 98.6 degrees. Hot enough to be used.
I went in like 4 or 5 times and kept saying "nope sorry I have a shy bladder". She'd reply saying "oh no it's cool!". Because I don't look like someone needs a drug test....or maybe I do. Maybe right now I do.
Then finally when I get it ready and present it to this lady, her phone rings and she goes out to take the call. She's talking for at least 5 minutes and my fake urine is getting cold so I keep breathing on it to keep it warm because I didn't want to do it again. I didn't have any more! I only carry one little thing of fake urine on me.
I get them in Hollywood at this smoke shop. Every time I'd buy it, he'd look at me weirdly because I look pretty innocent.
The Fins had their own approach I believe. I never read that they got it from the Germans. But I would have to do more research on this.
Great book! I'm totally enthralled by it. I'm just wondering, what happened to Morell's wife? I take she lived in luxury during the war. Was she investigated at all after war? What happend to their fortune?
i would be writing creatively (movies, comics, books) which I've begun doing anyway (comics) and plan on doing more of. - mb
It's not as glamorous as it seems. People think a lot of our job is traveling to amazing places all the time and having long layovers, but a lot of time it's a flight to Newark with a 10 hour layover or a redeye flight to Hawaii just to turn right around... there are some really great trips though. Mostly the senior FAs get those trips.
She was never investigated. Morell lost his fortune. But in fact I am not sure exactly how she lived after the war. Happy you like the book!
Did Nazis use anabolic steroids at all? If so, which ones? Also, was it mandatory for the soldiers to use the various drugs that you've said?
The song I sing on of course!! - anthony
I usually know before I actually write the song who I'm writing for. It's generally pretty obvious by the time it's done at least.
I don't think that we ever set out to do anything like that. When you're a kid and you start a band with your friends, you never think you're going to go on tour or get a record deal. you just want to play the venue you grew up going to shows at. Then you do and all these crazy things start happening. We make a good living playing music which is more than I ever thought would happen. I think When you keep moving the goal posts on yourself for what success is, you're setting yourself up for misery. -anthony
You can loosen it. It's not like it needs to be the tightest possible...you can do what you want with it. What kind of awkward position are you sitting in? How weird can it get?
In the late 19th century, vegetarianism was en vogue among right wing populist people in Germany. The composer Wagner for example was a vegetarian. There was the belief that you became superior if you didn't eat meat. Hitler bought into that.
My heart is seriously pumping right now! Max and Anthony, I am SO happy you're touring together. You both got me through my teen years and I've passed my love for you to my younger brother. We are going to your Baltimore show coming up!!!
A few questions... Max, what is bus life like with Sherri, Lucy and Coraline? Not everyone tours with family and I just love thinking of you all in that bus together! What'd the funniest thing that has gone on?
Anthony, I feel like your music and just general feel has changed a lot over the years. Do you feel different? How has the whole scene changed over the years?
Will you be performing This is Fucking Ecstasy together?
Feel free to answer some or none of that. I'm just excited thinking that you'll see my questions!! See you soon!
Why did you quit?
bus life rules with my family. i've tried doing it without them and frankly, it's dark. funny stuff happens pretty much every day because they're huge characters and are really used to their kooky lifestyle -mb
Do you feel more helpful or annoyed when people ask for extra snacks?
How much drug use was involved in the V-unit divisions? And how early did the meth use start into the war?
I never mind giving people snacks! Just ask when we do the service... I hated people always ringing their call bell.
There was an international flight that had a little kid playing with the bell button so on this particular plane we could disable the alert noise and just ignore it... when one flight attendant went through the cabin a man stopped her and yelled at her saying "I keep fingering you, and fingering you, but you never come!" while motioning toward his call bell button. Hahaha that flight attendant could barely listen to his request without bursting out laughing
I didn't find anything about the V-units and their drug use. I would imagine they were on it. The meth use started with the attack on Poland. It was officially used a bit later, however, with the attack on France starting May 10.
Thanks. Anything specific for guards in the camps?
Found nothing on camp guards except that they drank heavily. But I am sure they used Pervitin - since Pervitin and alcohol "go well together".
What was the most heartbreaking story you have encountered as a flight attendant? Also, how did you manage the situation?
Did you ever consider naming your book Kristallnacht to Crystal Meth? My psych professor keeps saying that would be a great title for a book on that subject.
There was one situation with a father and son. The people behind the son kept kicking their seats telling them to not lean back so far. They both got pretty heated and we're starting to yell. When I approached them they said they were waiting to go to the funeral of the mother/grandmother. They were going to miss their connection most likely and not make it home in time which is why they were so aggravated and didn't mean to be so rude. They wanted to be with family and this was of course the time that all the flights were delayed. I understood, the people behind them understood. I gave them and the passengers behind some of our snacks without charging and thanked them for calming and apologized for the inconvenience. The airline wouldn't do anything for them when they eventually did miss their connection. The only thing I could really do was apologize again and give them free drink tickets. The son started crying and they both appreciated my help when the airline was so inconsiderate.
People don't usually share their stories, so if I ever saw someone having a rough time always tried to do what I could.
Also parents with well behaved kids coming back from Disneyland always got a couple free drinks and the kids received candy from me... those people had been through enough Haha.
I thought about "Kristall" actually, when I was still considering writing a novel about the subject. But I think Blitzed is an amazing title. Don't you agree?
Is it true that flight attendents get sick a lot because of being exposed to people with different germs in a confined space all the time? Any tips on how not to get sick travelling?
Did you come up with your username? I might have to buy the book just for that.
Some get sick, some build tolerance. If there is a cold or flu going around we usually get it right away. I wore gloves picking up trash sometimes to avoid getting sick.
I'm not sure if those Emergen-C or Airborne tablets work but that's the best advice I really have. You're crammed in to a small area with hundreds of people recycling the air... it's hard to avoid.
We thought about calling the book "High Hitler" in Germany. But my publisher decided it is too jokey for the topic. However, the Spanish translation that is being published in Latin America is called "High Hitler". Enjoy the book!
Has anyone ever had a serious medical issue (e.g., heart attack, stroke) while on one of your flights? How was that dealt with?
Some of your research came from US archives. What was it you found here in the US?
There was a man on the flight back from Melbourne that passed out and seemed to seizure while waiting for the restroom. We held his and put him on his back without bringing too much attention to the situation. We called over the intercom for a medically trained passenger since we are only trained for some of the medical emergencies. Turns out the man was diabetic, that was the reason I was told at least. We did not have to emergency land or anything. Every time something like that happens we have to document it.
I have had a guy pass out and hit his head on one of the carts in the galley. It was a medical condition and he got up, but the other FA accused him of being drunk and interrogated him. I stood up for the passenger and had the FA walk away. We did have to do the report still because his head bled a bit.
US intelligence interrogated Theo Morell, Hitler's physician, and only shared part of those files with Germany after the war. I learnt quite a few things about Morell's actions in DC.
What turned Germany away from drugs, and meth in particular? Was there somewhat of a nationwide withdrawal when meth became illegal? Are there any lasting effects from this period on drug culture and markets in Germany today?
Meth was very popular in the civilian population even in the 50's. Your question is very interesting: Why did it get less? I would have to do more research on this - in Blitzed I focus on the Third Reich itself.
The East German Army was still using it in the 60's, supplying their border troops with it.
How much time would you get to actually spend time in new cities? Like if you went out of the country, what would your turn around be? Would it have been fairly easy to spend a weekend there and then work a return flight the next week? Or was it pretty much, off to the hotel, and then right back the next day for the next flight?
Would you work with the same people usually? Pilot, co-attendants, etc? or was it pretty random each day? Or after a few months you pretty much new everyone?
And thanks! Always appreciated my FA's as a guest.
Sometimes you get 48 hours somewhere, other times it can be 9. I know there was a trip with a very short Shanghai layover I never wanted to get. When you start it's pretty random because you're on reserve. Once people bid for their trips and get a schedule for the month they usually fly with those same people at least all month. The pilots are usually different.