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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.

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

Q:

Hey Anthony! I'm a huge Bayside fan and the mod over at the Bayside subreddit, /r/baysideisacult. You should check it out!

Is it true that everyone is Bayside is having kids so that you guys can teach them to play music and start the next rock supergroup?

A:

What was protocol when your team would find passengers attempting to uhhh... join the club at an altitude of 5,280 ft?


Q:

What basic steps should everyone take for broadband privacy?

A:

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?


Q:

What is your guilty pleasure film that you hate to admit you enjoy?

A:

that's awesome!

and yes, I do think our kids will all be forming a ripping band in the near future


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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


Q:

Serious question: Would either of you play at my wedding?

A:

Did you get to use the slide escape ever?

How awesome was it?


Q:

What is the stance of the new FCC Chairman on broadband privacy? Does he want to eliminate the new rules completely? Does he just want a different version of the rules? Can we expect new rules any time soon if these rules get eliminated?

A:

Were drugs used at all levels of the military, or just foot soldiers? How about within the Nazi government?


Q:

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?

A:

max will -anthony


Q:

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.

A:

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


Q:

Pervitin (meth) was used by many officers, and it was especially popular among the Panzer divisions who led the Blitzkrieg. In the government there was also rampant use - all the way up to Hitler. But he didn't use meth, he preferred opiods.

A:

Ooo, three main things: 1) What some people said they would do re: women if they had the power (they have it now and they are); 2)17th C Puritan New England, plus history through the ages -- nothing in the book that didn't happen, somewhere and 3) the dystopian spec fics of my youth, such as 1984, Ray Bradbury;s Fahrenheit 451, etc. I wanted to see if I could write one of those, too.


Q:

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?

A:

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.


Q:

What's going to happen with the FCC under the Trump administration? We are down to 3 Commissioners. When can we expect to have 5 again? How will this affect policymaking?

A:

So foot soldiers weren't on meth? If Hitler wasn't on meth, why was he rocking and shaking during the footage of the 1936 Olympics?

edit: added link


Q:

What is a book you keep going back to read and why?

PS, Thank you so much!

A:

i go pretty often. RxBandits are one of my favorite bands to see live -anthony


Q:

We were in London on Christmas. So there's nothing open. It's cold.

All that's open is the buffet and the bar. A mom was trying to hook me up with her son, but he was engaged. My other flight attendant friend was too drunk so I kept trying to put he kept getting wasted and I would keep trying to put him to bed in his room. He kept sneaking back out though and I wanted to keep him away because...well...I wanted to hook up with this lady's son.

Over and over again, I would keep putting my friend back in his room and say "we NEED to go to sleep". Head back down to the bar and he would pop back in with his ridiculous puffy zip-up jacket dancing into the bar screaming "heyyyyyyyyyy". So he would find out that I was lying to him every time I put him to bed.

In the end, this guy's mom walked us to my room and she was like "okay you guys are still gonna drink!". She knew what was happening. She loved me. Still have her WhatsApp number.

The mom and son were from Switzerland and were vacationing together. It was weird. Clearly she wanted us to hook up.

I don't know what happened to my flight attendant friend by the end of the night. I just left him in the bar.

I didn't eat either because it was a Christmas buffet with all this meat. I don't eat meat. So I just drank all this beer. I thought the guy left the next morning, but he had just gone to get cigarettes.

I thought he was gone for good and was relieved because he didn't really rise to the occasion and was ready to have my bed back. It was awkward when he came back.

A:

Right now we are down to three Commissioner so the President will have to nominate new Commissioners. So far he has renominated Chairman Pai to a new term since his term ends this year. He pulled the nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel recently, even though it is supported by Senate Democrats and he is required to nominate a non-republican.

The FCC can only have three of the five commissioners from the party of the President and tradition is that the President defers to the minority party's congressional leadership to select the two other FCC seats. It would be a HUGE departure from protocol if President Trump does not allow this.

We need a full commission to start tackling important consumer protection issues, so it is critical that the President start working with Senate Minority Leader Schumer to fill those empty seats!


Q:

He might have been on something. But I can only write about what the records show... Foot soldiers were also on meth. For the France invasion 35 million dosages were distributed.

A:

This is going to sound corny but Shakespeare is my return read. He knew so much about human nature (+ and minus) and also was an amazing experimenter with language. But there are many other favourites. Wuthering Heights recently. In moments of crisis I go back to (don't laugh) Lord of the Rings, b/c despite the EVIL EYE OF MORDOR it comes out all right in the end. Whew.


Q:

Elaborate?

A:

Is it true that planes exist?


Q:

[removed]

A:

How do academia and other historians view your focus on drug use?


Q:

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.

A:

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


Q:

Planes exist. What do you mean?? I don't understand. EXIST?? Planes do exist. Yeah.

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Hey Anthony, long time Bayside fan here.

I've always wondered, what's the story behind the bird logo?

Thanks and keep up the great music!

A:

What was the craziest thing you've witnessed on the job?


Q:

Do you think a lot of History is kind of moralistic, and sand off edges (like drug use) from their accounts to be taken more seriously?

A:

Thank you so much for everything you do! I don't even know how to give you a compliment that sums up everything I want to say about your writing and your existence.

I do especially want to thank you for the sophisticated presentation of feminism in your literature. As feminism goes through its latest identity crisis, I find myself also struggling with what it means to me.

My question(s): How, if at all, has your feminism changed over the last decade or so? Can you see these changes taking place throughout your literature? Lastly, can you offer any advice for feminists of the millennial generation? What mistakes are we making/repeating? What are our priorities in this political climate?

Thank you again :)


Q:

our friend Jason designed it when Sirens and Condolences came out and put it on the album art. We just stuck with it for a while and it kind of came to represent everything that we tried to stand for as people and in our music -anthony

A:

Craziest thing I've witnessed is...it was an actual mechanical error where there was a decompression. So that's crazy in terms of actual flying.

We lost air pressure and they had to drop the plane to normal level which is under ten thousand feet. The whole cabin started fogging up because when you lose the pressure it suddenly goes from hot to cold. Luckily the junior pilot knew what she was doing and was able to level out the plane :-)

With people...there was only this one family on a flight and they were the worst family you could ever imagine. While we were taking off, one of the girls decides to tell me she's terrified of flying. As soon as we take off, that's when she decides to get up and walk to the bathroom. So they're switching seats this old time and sitting on each others laps. Just the weirdest family.

They decided that putting napkins in cups would help with ears popping and were just sitting there, the whole family with cups on their ears...and they kept asking me when they were going to be able to see the Hollywood sign. That was the biggest thing where it felt like too much.


Q:

Absolutely. Especially when it comes to the Third Reich. But I think this will change, thanks to Blitzed - at least I hope so.

A:

Hello: I am so shrieking old that my formative years (the 40s and 50s) took place before 2nd wave late-60's feminist/women's movement. But since I grew up largely in the backwoods and had strong female relatives and parents who read a lot and never told me I couldn't do such and such because of being a girl, I avoided the agit-prop of the 50s that said women should be in bungalows with washing machines to make room for men coming back from the war. So I was always just very puzzled by some of the stuff said and done by/around women. I was probably a danger to myself and others! (joke) My interest was in women of all kinds -- and they are of all kinds. They are interesting in and of themselves, and they do not always behave well. But then I learned more about things like laws and other parts of the world, and history... try Marilyn French's From Eve to Dawn, pretty massive. We are now in what is being called the 3rd wave -- seeing a lot of pushback against women, and also a lot of women pushing back in their turn. I'd say in general: be informed, be aware. The prioriies in the US are roughly trying to prevent the roll-back that is taking place especially in the area of women's health. Who knew that this would ever have to be defended? Childbirth care, pre-natal care, early childhood care -- many people will not even be able to afford any of it. Dead bodies on the floor will result. It is frightful. Then there is the whole issue of sexual violence being used as control -- it is such an old motif. For a theory of why now, see Eve's Seed. It's an unsettled time. If I were a younger woman I'd be taking a self-defense course. I did once take Judo, in the days of the Boston Strangler, but it was very lady-like then and I don't think it would have availed. There's something called Wen-Do. It's good, I am told.


Q:

Anthony, when did you start singing/writing and how do you maintain your voice on long tours?

A:

Wow.. the decompression thing sounds nuts! At least all was well in the end

Lol these tourists 😂


Q:

How did the drugs get to the front line where they standard issue or handed out by medics who was supplying them?

A:

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?


Q:

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

A:

Alright signing off for now but will check back later and answer questions...


Q:

They were handed out by medics. They received the so-called "stimulant decree" in April 1940, telling them how much to dish out.

A:

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.


Q:

Max, any chance you'll take on some recent political issues via song? Your bluntness is refreshing.

A:

Are you able to see the different fare class of each passenger?


Q:

Did Hitler's health decline from taking too many drugs? Was there any recorded evidence of it?

A:

Have you read any good books lately?


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Max, I say this in the best way, I only knew say anything from "Wow, I can get sexual too". You came to Grand Rapids mi on a tour with modern baseball. Then I had your entire discography playing nonstop for the next month. You put on a hell of a show. ANYWAYS how does it feel to have the two most creative and sweet girls I've ever seen? I'm huge on Sherri's Instagram and they both seems so happy! Thank you for the jams and parenting inspiration.

A:

I have a fear of flying, especially during take off. What are some things I should know before my flight that'll comfort me?


Q:

Since the book is so controversial, were there any parts or topics that you fought for that couldn't be included?

A:

How did your experience with the 2017 version differ from the 1990 version of The Handmaid's Tale?


Q:

thank you so much. we ARE very very happy and i feel very very lucky to have stumbled into having an awesome family =MB

A:

Xanax.


Q:

No. Everything is exactly how I wanted it to be. And all of my research is included.

A:

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....


Q:

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?

A:

I have a fear of flying, especially during take off. What are some things I should know before my flight that'll comfort me?


Q:

Today's military (and other) extensively uses Modafinil, which is a wakefulness agent? Are you familiar with that, and do you draw any parallels?

A:

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.


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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...


Q:

Hi Max! Long time fan, first time caller. Thanks for doing this.

  1. Any plans to celebrate 10 years of In Defense (my personal favorite)?

  2. Is the Song Shop Fail thing still happening?

  3. WHEN NEW ALBUM?!

  4. Will you and Sherri adopt me?

A:

Have you ever had to evacuate a plane? If so, did people actually abide by the safety rules that are played at the beginning of a flight?


Q:

How common was the use of the same drugs in general? Were downsides known?

A:

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?


Q:

yes, yes, 2018, yes -mb

A:

No.


Q:

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?

A:

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.)


Q:

Anthony, I just moved to NYC what are some must check out bars etc?

A:

No to having to do that or no to people following the safety rules


Q:

What was the weirdest thing you found in your research for this book?

A:

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?


Q:

I don't really go to bars but you have to eat at the Parkside in Corona -Anthony

A:

No, I luckily have not had to evacuate a plane.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Anthony. Can we expect a solo album from you anytime soon? I absolutely love your solo work

A:

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?


Q:

I have never heard about Hitler eating organ cocktails. Was this some sort of fad pseudoscience or something?

A:

Hi Margaret! I love your writing. My mother gave the the HT to read in high school... back in 1989 I think. I read it so many times. Did you have any idea it would make such an impact on people? Thanks... I love you!


Q:

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

A:
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Don't eat the food. It's just not good for you.

  4. Bring your own little mini bottles of alcohol, it's allowed. Just don't let the flight attendants know.

  5. 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.


Q:

Morell, his doctor, was a pioneer - or at least that is what Hitler called him. He liked to experiment - and so did "Patient A", which was Hitler's nickname for Morell.

A:

Hello and thank you: No, I really did not have any idea. I was pursuing some lines of thought and emotion that interested me... I thought the book might get denounced (which it has, some) or ignored (which happened in the UK at first), but this kind of impact... no, I had no idea.


Q:

For both: How do you like your eggs?

A:

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.


Q:

Do you think the outcome of the war could have been different if not for the drug use?

A:

Did you enjoy your work with Darren Aronofsky?


Q:

sunny side up -anthony

A:

Yeah! It's awful! And then they try to hand it us while we're giving out drinks. We hate when people do it.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Max, would you ever consider just playing guitar for a side-project band?

A:

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=14y3.0.1.1.7.20.3.31)

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.


Q:

So you think meth gave the Blitz an advantage?

A:

Where do you get your amazing ideas?

Any advice for struggling novel writers?

Edit: Thanks /u/Hulu_Official for the Gold. I have been here for 6 years and it is my first gilding!


Q:

have always wanted to - mb

A:

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.


Q:

Absolutely. This is a huge chapter in the book, and I did very long and careful research about this. Hard to sum it up in a few lines...

A:

Ideas... never a shortage! I think my brain just works that way. Not all of my ideas have been amazing. Some have not, NOT worked out! As they say (I think it was Beckett): try, fail. Try again, fail better. Or something like that. We have all had projects that have ended up as smashed eggs on the floor. Struggling writers: check out Chuck Wendig's blogsite/website at www.terribleminds.com. He has SO MANY tips and encouragements! He saves me a lot of time b/c I would say much the same things myself. He's a freelancer, like me. If you have a day job (as I did for I dunno 16 years or something) the advice just has to cover a more challenging time period (i.e 12 midnite). No one said this would be easy!


Q:

Hey Guys, I understand you're Musicians but when your not touring or writing music, Do you have day jobs?

A:

im sorry but on a 36 hour flight im taking my shoes off


Q:

How did the army handle addiction? Was there any form of crisis after the war was over, and doses were not longer bring supplied?

A:

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?


Q:

no -anthony

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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).


Q:

Any hints on what material we can expect to hear on the upcoming tour?

A:

Do you remember your least favorite pilot/pilots to fly with? What'd they do to gain the title?


Q:

I actually heard about your book on NPR this morning, sounds interesting. How much cocaine did hitler use on a daily basis?

A:

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?


Q:

all kinds of stuff. and we always try to play a lot of old stuff as well as stuff we've never played.

-mb

A:

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.


Q:

He only used cocaine from late July 1944 to October 1944 - over 50 times during this period.

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

Every banged a pilot during flight ? Or a customer ?


Q:

What made you want to research and writie a book about this particular topic?

A:

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 :)


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

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!

A:

Most memorable celebrity/famous person encounter?


Q:

Were there other nations participating in similar programs?

A:

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?


Q:

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

A:

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??


Q:

The Allies learnt from the Nazis, and started developing their own programs later in the war, deciding to use amphetamines.

A:

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.


Q:

All for Anthony (Sorry Max!) -First of all -- your music has absolutely changed my life - but.....Do you check your Instagram DM's?

Also:

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.

A:

Which airline is the worst to work for?


Q:

I remember reading Live and Let Die when I was a little kid and having to go look up what a Benzedrine was and being shocked that Bond was so cavalier about taking drugs like that. Weird to think how commonplace its usage was back then.

A:

On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate the Hulu film?


Q:

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

A:

I can imagine Spirit would be the worst to work for...any one that you have to clean up the plane by yourself.


Q:

Also Billy Wilder has James Cagney order coffee with meth in his formidable "1,2,3".

A:

Have only seen (pre-screened) 3 episodes so far, but based on what I've seen it's a 10. My criteria: puddle of goo on the floor my end of Episode 3. Gasp. Shriek. It goes farther than I did in the book...


Q:

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?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Were there any close calls with Hitler overdosing? How do you think his regime would've handled it?

A:

Also, a Reddit constant question: would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses? Why?


Q:

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

A:

I would say just wear your seatbelt during it. We go through turbulence regularly. The pilots are aware and it happens all the time.


Q:

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.

A:

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.)


Q:

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?

A:

what is your favorite airplane to fly in?


Q:

Is it true that hitler suffered from parkinsons and was taking medication to treat it?

A:

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?


Q:

anthony, obviously -mb

A:

787! Dreamliner. So pretty.


Q:

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.

A:

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...


Q:

I love both of your lyrical styles. Where/When/How do you write lyrics to get such a great final product?

A:

I haven't been on one yet. Do they keep the humidity higher than other planes?

My favorite is the 747


Q:

The book has such a crazy cover, very different from most history books. Why did you decide to go that route?

A:

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?


Q:

I'm constantly fine tuning mine. I start by writing things before there is any music. I just write it as stream of consciousness with no meter or rhyme. Then I put it to music and turn it into lyrics. I keep tweaking it all the way until the record is recorded. -anthony

A:

They filter the air so it's not the dirty recycled air


Q:

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)

A:

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?


Q:

Anthony, How did you guys feel in the UK in 2015? Your show in Hackney, London will never leave my memory - I saw you pre-show at the bar and said hello as you walked by, to end up front row in the venue. I've been a fan for a long time and was surprised at the size of the venue honestly. What did you make of the turnouts personally and will you be coming back any time soon? I'd love to see your newer sets with the inclusion of Vacancy, I think it's one of my favourite records from Bayside and of all time!

A:

No, humidity. as in how dry do your sinuses feel after riding in a 787 vs other models?


Q:

Do the bad reviews bother you?

A:

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?


Q:

I love going to the UK. I love it as a place but the fans are real rabid and don't get to see us too often -anthony

A:

Yea! It has higher air humidification level so it's all around better air so it helps with your sinuses!


Q:

Yes, and no. Obviously Blitzed is a controversial book. I think the many positive reviews, and reactions by readers are what is most important.

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

what do you do when you're on land in between flights?


Q:

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.

A:

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?


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

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)

A:

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.


Q:

Max, what is Rum and The Stephen Hawking about? They're my two favorite songs but I can't figure them out! Can't wait to see you guys on May 6th!

A:

What did he leave as a "party favor" on your uniform?


Q:

Thanks for answering! I read up on Hitler's vegetarianism while waiting, interesting stuff.

Do you have any menu cards to show? :)

A:

How does it feel knowing America is basically on the road to becoming Gilead?


Q:

rum is just a song about feeling confident and happy and alive being in a less than credible punk band. stephen hawking is about an immature spat i was in at the time, but it kind of links to the idea of anger and how to manage it, being a free spirit as well as maintaining self respect - mb

A:

A line


Q:

I am in NY right now, didn't bring any copy of menu cards. Perhaps you can find some online?

A:

I cannot tell you how strange this feels. I wrote the book hoping to fend it off, and I believe it will be fended off: America is very diverse, a lot of people have been jolted out of political slumber and are paying attention, and the Constitution still stands. The upcoming Hulu TV series of which I;ve seen 3 episodes is even more up-to-date and chilling than the book, so let's see how that may impact. Support your leaders who are standing against unconstitutional laws; keep informed, as best as possible. Everything is "as best as possible" right now.


Q:

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.

A:

Do flight attendants get drug tested?


Q:

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"?

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Hey guys! First off, thank you for making the music you do.. it truly is the best. I've always wondered, if you weren't making music or in the music industry, what other profession would you have wanted to do?

A:

I heard that if you're in a career where you do something very often that most people don't do very often (e.g. wedding photographer, tour guide), then you get so used to it that you don't understand the hype at all. Is this the case for you? What do you think of people who get all excited, thinking "oh I get to ride in an airplane!!"? Also, what do you guys do after all the passengers get off? Do you just fly back home right away or do you have time to go to the gift shop or something?


Q:

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?

A:

i would be writing creatively (movies, comics, books) which I've begun doing anyway (comics) and plan on doing more of. - mb


Q:

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.

A:

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!


Q:

Hey guys! Going to get specific; What is your favorite Elliott Smith song?

A:

That's a throwaway account? Awesome.


Q:

Did German civilians know about this at the time?

A:

pitseleh -mb


Q:

I didn't. That was another problem with the job for me. That's why a lot of the older flight attendants don't look so great all the time. Some FAs made a point to use the hotel gym all the time, but when there is a 10 hour layover and the shuttle takes 30 min from the airport to hotel the last thing I wanted to do was go to a gym. I was a "slam clicker" on those trips. (Slam the door, click the lock, and you don't see me until the shuttle time)

A:

Did they know about Hitler's drug abuse? Absolutely not. Hitler was presented as a sort of healthy saint. Did the people know about meth? Yes, because many were taking it. It was legal in Nazi Germany, under the brand name of Pervitin.


Q:

Hi Max and Anthony, love both of your music ! My question is what is your favorite song from each other's band? Also would you ever consider doing a cover of that song?

A:

Intellectually and logically I'm aware of all the safety facts. When up at 30,000ft I can't help but think about how high up I am and that I have ZERO control over what happens to me!


Q:

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?

A:

The song I sing on of course!! - anthony


Q:

Yeah you don't have any control over what happens to you. Just wear your seatbelt.

A:

Hitler did. There is a list in Blitzed with all his drugs. Over 80.

No, it was not mandatory for the soldiers to take Pervitin.


Q:

Anthony, big fan. How do you decide what song ideas to use for solo stuff and what for Bayside stuff? Do you get an idea and have a plan for which project you want to use it for?

Also, do you feel you achieved the amount of success you set out for or did you envision playing arena shows and the like?

You guys aren't coming to MN this year so I'm contemplating the 6 hour drive to Omaha, you are one of 2 or 3 bands that I do everything in my power to see when you're around.

A:

Do you have to leave your belt on the entire flight? I always hate being stuck to my chair. So i mostly just take it of and sit in weird positions :)


Q:

Why was Hitler a vegetarian?

A:

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


Q:

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?

A:

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.


Q:

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?

Final question,
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!

A:

Why did you quit?


Q:

Did Hitler smoke pot?

A:

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


Q:

You're always away. I have a dog. The layovers aren't as glamorous as it seems. The travel benefits are nice, but you want to spend them with your friends and don't have that many days off.

If you have anything going on, you can't make a phone call and handle shit in the air. Some of the planes are gross....it's just not as glamorous as it seems.

A:

He never smoked anything. Marijuana was not popular among Nazi officials.


Q:

Do you feel more helpful or annoyed when people ask for extra snacks?

A:

How much drug use was involved in the V-unit divisions? And how early did the meth use start into the war?


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

Hi. How you doing? Fave Simpsons character?

A:

Thanks. Anything specific for guards in the camps?


Q:

Great... and grandpa Simpson maybe

A:

Found nothing on camp guards except that they drank heavily. But I am sure they used Pervitin - since Pervitin and alcohol "go well together".


Q:

Oh, cool, this was my mother's job!

She had all kinds of crazy stories, but one thing that struck me was that she said that when she was working for Delta in the 80s they had weigh-ins. Exceeding some kind of height/weight ratio could get you a reprimand of some sort, I guess. Do you know if there are airlines that still do this? Have you ever had anything like that happen/has anyone mentioned that to you?

A:

What inspired you to do this research and then eventually write your book? Was there an "aha" moment when you realized Hitler & his nazis may have been on drugs?


Q:

That doesn't happen anymore but we do have one day during training that is dedicated to appearance. Emirates interviews are full of attractive people. They are know for only hiring attractive FAs.

Back in the 40s they had to be under 5'8" I believe and less than 120 lbs and under 30 and single.

A:

The aha-moment came in Koblenz, in the Federal Archives of Germany, when I studied Theo Morell's notes, and felt like a fly on the wall. Fascinating material!


Q:

What was the most heartbreaking story you have encountered as a flight attendant? Also, how did you manage the situation?

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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?


Q:

That is indeed heartbreaking but also motivating. You took the responsibility the major airline firm wouldn't claim and did a very generous and thoughtful thing to provide adorable customer service. Even though you couldn't change the ultimate goal for the family, you still managed to make the best of the situation.

I work with a lot of people who could benefit a lot from this story. Hopefully they'll get the point.

Bonus question. What is the sweetest thing a kid told you after they received their candy? Even better how did their parents react?

A:

I assume the meth was taken in pill form? How is it different than the meds used today for ADD/ADHD?

Also, did Albert Speer use drugs? If not, was he aware of his "buddy's" habit? I ask, because in all of Joachim Fest's "Conversations with Hitler's Architect" I don't recall it ever being slightly hinted at, and that was indeed a very insightful book, relative to this space... or so I thought.


Q:

The best thing I've been told was that the best part of a boys trip was him telling me about the trip haha. He was mentally handicapped and the parents told me they hadn't seen him smile that much during the entire trip. He was telling me over and over about how he was super man going down a water slide. Taking the time to listen made my trip better, his family's trip better because they appreciated it, and his trip end with a positive experience. :)

A:

Meth was usually taken in pill under the brand-name of "Pervitin". This is similar to the meds used today for ADD/ADHD - but in Germany the use was unregulated. Not even a prescription needed until Nov 1939. And remember, Meth is different than amphetamines: stronger, and more addictive.

In regards to Speer: He was a patient of Morell (Hitler's doctor) as well, so I would assume he received similar treatment. Morell loved injecting Eukodal (Oxycodone) to all of his patients. But there are no notes I could find proving this. Morell's notes are mainly on Hitler. So we cannot be sure.


Q:

Did passengers hit on you? Ever take any of them up ok the offer?

A:

Guten Abend Herr Ohler!

The Guardian newspaper has described Blitzed as both 'spurious' and 'crass', and argues that whilst your book is 'readable' it is at the expense of truth and accuracy.

In particular, your argument that drug use was commonplace amongst the entire German population is highly contentious; the historian, Richard J. Evans went so far as to describe your conjectured idea of drug use under the Third Reich as both 'wildly implausible' and 'having no basis in fact'.

How would you respond to those critics and your peers who have cast suspicion on the authenticity of the claims made in your book? What is your response to the idea that you may have purposefully misinterpret Morell's journals in order to substantiate your own view-point?

Finally, numerous historians have agreed that Hitler exhibited signs of Parkinson's disease; however, you claim that his tremors were resultant from experiencing withdrawals or going 'cold turkey'. Do you have any evidence to corroborate your claim?

It is undeniable that your book touches upon interesting subject matter, but I think we have to be careful when producing any piece of historiography not to mislead readers through the misrepresentation of information derived from primary sources.


Q:

Ummm I had some people hit on me...I didn't take them up on the offer.

People would slip me their numbers all the time and write something like 'want to come join me for the layover?'. Layover. That was always the one.

I didn't know Adrian Grenier. He invited me to his 'how to make money selling drugs premiere' but I thought he was just telling me to go see his movie. I didn't pick up that he was inviting me. That was one.

We had just switched uniforms because we merged companies. I was super hungover so half my face has make up on it and half doesn't. Half my hair is curled and half isn't because I slept on one side. Because of the new uniforms, my jacket was too big and my shirt was too big. My pants were safety pinned up top and the bottoms were tucked into my socks and rolled over. They were these trouser socks that were too long. I had my pants tucked into my socks. Oh my god.

So that's when Adrian Grenier comes up and he looked like he had just come from a frat party. He looked awful. Told us about his movie. I didn't know who he was but my ex-boyfriend who I had just broken up with was obsessed with Entourage and when somebody mentioned he was there I caught on. He didn't look good.

I didn't realize he was hitting on me at the time. He goes, "hey you should come to my premiere...it's at this theater in downtown LA".

I had no idea what theater he was talking about because I was new to LA and was such a mess at the time. So I said, "Yeah that would be cool maybe I'll go check it out some time!"

He just looked at me just kind of awkwardly and nodding just kind of waiting for the next move. Imagine if you had asked someone out on a date to restaurant and they said "yeah I'll go check it out sometime!"

Afterwards, the other flight attendants were like, "you know he wanted you to go WITH him." Whoops. Missed my chance.

A:

Well, there was even a chocolate laced with Pervitin on the market. And from the production figures of Temmler it becomes clear that the product was very successful in Germany. There are many many reports of doctors and psychiatrists describing the effects it had on their patients. In regards to Hitler, I think I rather understated Morell's notes. I don't dwell on Barbiturates, for example - Hitler became dependent on them at a certain point in time. Parkinson's? It is a theory (because Morell gave Hitler a medicine called Homburg once, and because of Hitler's tremor), and it might be true. But I think it is more likely that Hitler suffered from withdrawal because Morell's notes definitely indicate this. I hope this answers some of your doubts. Have you read the book yet? Thanks, N


Q:

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?

A:

Did you come up with your username? I might have to buy the book just for that.


Q:

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.

A:

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!


Q:

Is it true that a lot of flight attendents have second jobs due to random working hours and holidays?

A:

How extensive was Nazi research on methamphetamine before it became widely used by them? Do you know what dosages they were taking? Did they take it orally or what route of administration was used?


Q:

Yep! As a new FA it's very tough to though because you're on call all of the time. The airline I worked for would call and sometimes we had as little as 2 hours to get to the airport for check in.

On the side I worked karaoke hostessing in Koreatown. My roommate did it with me as well. Sometimes the customers were really fun and she would invite them to our place to drink and party afterwards. I was working a flight to Cancun with a 24 hour layover. I got off the plane with my crew and a group of 3 or 4 guys from the flight approached me. In front of my crew they asked if I was (insert my name here) and if I lived in Koreatown. I told them yes and I used to. They went on to tell me they had been to my place and partied with me. (I'm not looking great to my flight crew at this point haha) They asked which hotel I was at, information we are not allowed to give out, and invited me to go hang out. I didn't go and after that I stopped working in Koreatown. Haha

A:

The first research was done at several German universities before the war. Most professors (also taking it themselves) concluded that meth was great. Sometimes they used high dosages. One conclusion was that meth reduces fear if administered in those high dosages. I dedicate quite a bit of space in Blitzed on this subject. Usually the meth was taken orally. But Temmler also manufactured ampoules for injection.


Q:

What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a flight attendant and what qualifications do need to get the job?

A:

First off, I would like to thank you Norman as I've read Blitzed and very much enjoyed it. Did you come across any interesting anecdotes from the people you met whilst researching the book? Do you have any plans to work on any further projects in the same field? Thanks for doing the AMA!


Q:

Don't say you want to travel during the interview. It makes it seem like you will only be there short term.

You only need a high school degree, but most of us had a bachelors, and nice smile.

Be prepared to lose contact with people. Your schedule changes, is crazy, and is usually not the same as others. (I would be up getting ready to go to work while my roommate and friends were still up drinking)

A:

I actually discovered another and quite fascinating story (about resistance against Hitler), which is pretty much unknown, and I am currently examining whether that could be my next book. On the other hand, I continue writing novels, and my next novel called "The Equation of Life" will be published in Germany in the fall.

Happy you liked Blitzed!


Q:

Has anyone ever had a serious medical issue (e.g., heart attack, stroke) while on one of your flights? How was that dealt with?

A:

Some of your research came from US archives. What was it you found here in the US?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Flight attendants work some odd schedules/hours, yet they are always expected to be pleasing and hospitable. Did you ever have to get into the act of being happy or nice, when in reality you were just plain exhausted and a little cranky?

A:

In your opinion, how valid is the thesis behind The Architecture of Doom?


Q:

Yep! I hated when other flight attendants were rude just because they were in a bad mood. It's part of the job. The passengers had to be up early too and sometimes are traveling for unpleasant reasons. They may be going through a bad day too. Usually passengers respond better if you're nice. The crazy hours and coffee and airplane food diet makes it easy to be not so nice sometimes. I worked with a lot of negative and rude FAs that I feel ruined the starting points of some people's vacations.

The best advice I ever got was from an awesome senior mama. She told me "Let someone be an asshole before you treat them like one." Passengers don't want to hear our problems, we chose this job. Be nice and make the experience better for everyone and it'll be a better experience for you too.

A:

I am not familiar (yet) with the Architecture of Doom. Will look into it. Thanks for pointing it out. What do you think?


Q:

can you ride a bike with no handlebars?

A:

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?


Q:

Yes. Probably not on an airplane though.

A:

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.


Q:

Although I hadn't purchased any inflight duty free shopping before, but I'm just curious

(1) how often did you manage to sell duty free stuff to passengers?

(2) Did you get a any bonus or commission for every sale? And last

(3) Does Airline pressure flight attendants to sell stuffs on board?

A:

I didn't work first class international and that's who usually sold the duty free. Honestly because of that I don't recall benefits. Some FAs would ask passengers to buy them things from it which is not allowed. And some would cut the designer scarves in half to sell them before the company caught on. All things I didn't personally do but it was a common enough practice.


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Is it true that there is a strong hierarchy between flight attendants and ground service agents?

A:

I'm not sure hierarchy... but there is a little animosity between gate agents and flight attendants. No one wants to be blamed for the door being closed late so they like to blame each other.

I was close with some agents and always tried being nice. One gate agent blamed the ramp for why we were delayed when I was actually just 20 min late accidentally... when your life is a mess like mine you need as many people on your side as possible haha


Q:

What's harder, working economy or first class?

A:

I like working first class because you stay busier. Economy is easy if the passengers are nice and not super needy.