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Flesh and Blood

Max Brooks shares his father Mel’s sense of humor. But when it comes to thinking about zombie outbreaks and how to prevent them, he is dead serious.

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These days there is a lot to worry about: global warming, financial collapse, terrorism—you name it. For writer Max Brooks, the threat that trumps them all is zombies. He sounded a warning call about these walking dead in 2003 with The Zombie Survival Guide, followed three years later by World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, an immensely popular account of a massive zombie outbreak (the movie version, starring Brad Pitt, is due out in December 2012).

Brooks joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry on the podcast to discuss the perils of dressing up like a zombie on Halloween, the particular horrors that a zombie infestation represents to Jews, and the origins of his own zombie fears—traced to one fateful night circa 1985 when Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft opted not to hire a babysitter. [Running time: 14:40.] 

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Jews love and appreciate intelligence. Zombies love braaaaaain. Their favorite breakfast is Brain Flakes.
Jews consume knowledge through books. Zombies consume Jews through their brains.
Okay, Jews consume knowledge, and then society consumes Jews… NO?
Come on… Am I the only one seeing this?

Just kidding. Enjoyed your interview with Max.

Susan Mervis says:

your recent conversation with max brooks inspired me to do a quick venn diagram comparing zombies with the golem. while i am not an expert, and this list is not exhaustive, this is what i came up with: how are zombies and the golem alike? they are both slow-moving, exhibit a kind of robotic behavior and are relatively unintelligent (i was gonna say ‘stoopid’ but i don’t mean to be harsh.) neither can speak, both cause fear and both are created or animated by humans. here is where they diverge: the motive for their creation is very different. a golem is often created by a rabbi (name one who isn’t!) while zombies are more voodoo-oriented (pit,pit, pit). a golem will often protect jews, but it may attack gentiles. it is usually obedient, although it does have some feelings which may get out of control. a golem is often seen as a super-hero (clayman?). a golem is an individual. now for the zombies: these are just masses of uncaring monsters who are undirected except by evil instincts. they are always the villain, and all of them are goys. thanks for helping me waste half the morning at work!

Josh Miller says:

Your latest interview with Max Brooks inspired me to share the link below. It is a piece from of a multi-media “exhibit” produced by a cohort of young Jewish story-tellers in the San Francisco Bay Area:

I’m not sure it completely addresses the question raised at the end of the podcast, but I think it is interesting to see that others are thinking about the intersection between zombie fears and Jewish perspectives.

i was a classmate of your dad at Eastern District H.S. in Williamsbugh Brooklyn N.Y. and he can tell you that the only Zombies we ran across then were all females. It was a great place to grow up and a wonderful group of people at that time, just ask your dad
Danny Jacobson


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Flesh and Blood

Max Brooks shares his father Mel’s sense of humor. But when it comes to thinking about zombie outbreaks and how to prevent them, he is dead serious.

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