Wed, 28 August 2013
Reality TV: people seem to love it or hate it. People also seem to forget how long it's been around...and that even its critics have probably enjoyed some kind of reality programming. This week, we're all about versions of reality on television that succeed and fail, often in very strange ways.
We start out talking about early shows we recognized as "reality" programming before talking about the opposite ends of the reality TV spectrum. Is reality TV legitimate, or is it just lazy TV? We discuss the shows that have pulled us in, and those so bad, we were almost turned off to the medium entirely. We talk about the character of reality TV -- those we've loved, and those we loathed. The part that surprised us both: does reality TV have value? The answer may make you think twice about knocking reality TV and realizing it's like anything: there's good and bad and everything in between...
We'd love to hear about which reality TV shows you've loved, and even those you've hated...
Wed, 21 August 2013
In a time when smart phones and TV screens are everywhere, it can seem so hard to focus. This week, we discuss why people seem to yearn for these kinds of distractions in their lives and what they can do to regain focus on the things that matter to them. How has technology of all sorts made it easier than ever to procrastinate? Do programs and apps meant to keep people offline and away from distractions really work? If not, what can people do to keep their priorities before them?
The more we use quick and satisfying technology like social media sites, text messages, and email, the more we physically rewire our brains to crave more instant gratification. How do we wire our brains to focus on the things that matter in our hearts more than playing rounds of Words with Friends or Candy Crush?
Some people have gone as far as saying distractions have robbed us of our culture -- we address that and how it's really all a matter of priority. After discussing distractions in the workplace, we talk about ways people can focus more. As writers, we talk about how we focus on something as big as novels in an age of distractions -- and how those tips can carry over to anything people do.
We spend a bit of time talking on the power of solitude...how being alone and free of distractions for long periods of time leads to wonderful things! After that, we ask what's more important: focus or action...before finally wrapping it all up by asking if focus, priority -- or something else entirely -- is the most important thing when it comes to getting things done?
We're almost to our 30th episode. Without focusing on priorities, we'd have never gotten this far.
Wed, 14 August 2013
There's a fire burning inside some people. We see the spark turn into a blast of heat in an instant when certain topics are brought up; just like that, the most normal person can let loose with a barrage of extreme views.
This week, we're talking about extremists: what constitutes an extremist, why people become so extreme about certain things, and...what we can do about it. Whether it's an angry group in the streets or people spewing anger on Facebook, extremism comes in many forms. There are the stereotypes: Islamic terrorists and other religious zealots hellbent of destruction and hate; eco-terrorists and racists. These are the extreme of the extreme, but everyday people are not immune to extremism.
Angry Christians and angry atheists are doing battle right now, online. Same thing with political battles and so many other topics. Ask for a long discussion about classic art online and you may not get a single reply, but type "Gun control: yes or no?" and watch the floodwaters rise. (And yep, we talk about gun control in this episode!)
We ask if there's an increase in extremism, or if it only seems that way because it's now so easy to be heard online. Are the most extreme people on different sides of an issue that different, or are they united by that fire burning deep within? We ask if there's ever a good reason for extremism and even ask ourselves if we have any extreme views. We chat about extremists many don't think to be extremists before discussing what we think is the most dangerous thing about extremism. Finally, we close it all out by asking what can be done to curb extremism.
Dare we say it -- this might be the most important episode we've ever done...
Thu, 8 August 2013
This week, it's all about movies! The first movies we remember seeing, and a bit about the people who got us into movies. There's talk about drive ins and multiplexes; the times before the rise of the blockbuster and what followed after blockbuster films became common. We discuss the difference between film and movies as well as the movies that made us both want to write screenplays one day. Are movies better or worse than they used to be? Yep, we cover that! Along the way, we talk about our favorite movie characters and the worst -- and best -- movies we've ever seen.
Quick Note: We recorded this over Skype, each running our own sound. Shawn doesn't have a buffer between his desk and recorder, so there are some bumping sounds throughout the podcast. In the spirit of this week's show, just imagine it's the footsteps of the t-rex from Jurassic Park!
Wed, 31 July 2013
Defend the wicket and pile up the Atlas stones -- this week, we're talking sports! Obviously, we're talking about some more obscure sports in that opening line (to Americans, anyway), but trust us: there's plenty of talk about football, baseball, and that other sporting event Americans clamor for: lumberjacking!
Wait -- basketball...we mean basketball. (Even though hockey's probably mentioned most...because hockey is BEST!!!)
But don't think this is a talk all about games and stats and players because...well, we probably couldn't sustain sports radio-esque chatter like that for an hour. (At least Christopher couldn't.) Instead, listen to Shawn talk about striking out at T-ball and find out what Christopher once did to get much more than a red card in a soccer game. At the same time, we chat a little bit about the sports we have actually succeeded in pulling off...sometimes to levels of actual proficiency. Shawn talks about the sport that saw many broken bones for him, while Christopher talks about the sport in which he's "pretty fast, for a big guy..."
Sure, we talk about athletes and teams that have impressed us, but we also talk about some weird sports -- and things some argue are sports at all. We wrap it up talking about how sports geeks aren't much different than geek geeks; in fact, Christopher makes the argument that anyone playing in a fantasy league of some sort just might be more of a geek than someone playing Dungeons and Dragons.
It's more fun than SlamBall...and SlamBall's pretty fun, right?