Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 52: Last Seen…Finding Themselves

Thumbprint and pointing: Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 52: Last Seen…Finding Themselves"Who are you?" seems like an easy question to answer, but it's often more difficult to sum up who you are quickly. Do you talk about where you were born and raised, or do you talk about work? Your hobbies, faith (or lack of faith), and other things that define you? Favorite foods, music, movies, and other things? We kick off this episode with this very question and discover that it's not so easy to sum up one's identity in an elevator speech.

Childhood undoubtedly plays a huge part of one's identity. We spend some time discussing the one experience from early in our lives -- more than any others -- that is responsible for who we are today. Next, we talk about other influences on who we are and what effect those influences have had on how we carry ourselves today...and how we interact with others.

Some people carry physical identifiers of who they are on their bodies. We talk about the tattoos we have, what they mean to us, and if we'd like to get more. From there, we ask if individuality is a western ideal -- a bigger thing in America than in other countries? History is full of countries that attempted to stifle individuality. Is there an advantage of a society that puts more stock in everyone together for everyone, or does it take a nation of individuals to make a nation work best?

Individuality is an ever-changing thing, even if one can be -- on some level -- the same good or bad person they've been since they are young. Even into adulthood, asking "What do you want to be when you grow up?" can bring what matters most to us to the surface. We ask each other what we still aspire to be. (It's a rare moment when something we say is something we believe should be what everyone aspires to be, but it's safe to say we both believe that Shawn's answer to this question should be everybody's answer.)

We wrap it all up asking each other is we turned out how we thought we would. Find out if we became the people our childhood selves thought we'd be...

As always, we'd love to hear your answers to any of the things discussed in this episode. Let's start with "Who are you...?"

Direct download: migs52.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 10:31am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 51: Last Seen...Embracing Solitude

While this podcast is done as a team, most of the work the Gorilla Men do is done in solitude. This week, it's all about alone time!

We kick it all off asking is we were okay playing alone when we were young. After that, we discuss times (and the desire for times) spent alone. Obviously, not everybody is as okay with solitude as we are -- we ask if there's an inherent loneliness in solitude before discussing if there is freedom in time spent alone.

With technology, on some level, it's possible to always be connected. Social media, messaging, and other easy-to-use services can be great for those unable to venture into the world as easily as some, but there can also be a downside to always-on technology. We ask if there are benefits to disconnecting from an e-world -- before going on to talking about solitude's effect on creativity.

Solitude is not always voluntary: we spend some time discussing the negative effects of solitude. For those fortunate enough to be able to seek out solitude, they still often feel so overwhelmed by work, family, and tasks that they can't find time to themselves. In a time when leisure time seems to be waning for so many people, we ask if solitude is more important than ever. It's probably clear by now that the answer to that -- for us -- is that some degree of solitude is important. Then, Christopher asks what role solitude plays in subconscious thought, and Shawn asks if Christopher talks to himself when alone.

The general view of solitude is holing up alone in a room or cabin for a period of time, but we ask if solitude can be found with another person present...or even in a group. After that, we move on to talking about the biggest benefits of solitude before wrapping up with discussing how people can find solitude in a busy world.

We hope you'll share your views about solitude in the comments, but more than that: we hope this episode gives you some time alone in your head after listening...maybe even helping you claim some time to yourself!

Direct download: migs51.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 10:03am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 50: Last Seen…Being Intelligent

The 50th podcast. That's fun to type. We're closing in on a year at Men in Gorilla Suits...and that matters to us. Not that anything comes with hitting the 50th weekly show without fail, or even crossing the one-year mark on February 6. (The first show went up Thursday, February 7.) What matters is no matter what, we've put out a weekly show longer than many podcasts last.

Whether slammed with overtime at work, sick, busy with other things, or just wanting blocks of time off where we do nothing, we've proven our motto -- that it really is as simple as chilling the fuck out...and making the damn thing!

The damn thing we've made for you this week is a podcast about...intelligence!

We start off defining what we see as intelligence, before discussing our own battle stories with IQ tests (and the results that followed taking the tests). After that, we ask the question: do we all start from different, measurable levels of intelligence? Without IQ tests, are there ways to measure intelligence?

Obviously, it's rarely a simple thing, and we address that as we talk about different kinds of intelligence (book-smarts vs. street-smarts; survival mode vs. contemporary life). Some other questions:

  • Does the intelligence of someone in a city scale if they find themselves lost in a jungle?
  • Is the mechanic working on your car more intelligent than a college professor?
  • Can one become more or less intelligent, or is it pretty much the same throughout one's life?
  • Is learning or education different from intelligence?

Then it's genius time. Were Mozart and others like him a genius? How do average people stack up to those historically deemed geniuses? Is there even such a thing as genius, or is it all hype or adoration? Flipping genius on its head, does stupidity exist -- and if it does, is it measurable? Are some people just more intelligent than others?

Finally, we wrap it all up by discussing the most intelligent person we each know (and, in the process, Gorilla Shawn settles a life-long family dispute)!

So put on your thinking caps and hit the comments to discuss your thoughts about...intelligence!

Direct download: migs50.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 7:02am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 49: Last Seen…In a Routine

With one episode shy of our 50th show, and a handful of shows away from the one-year anniversary show on February 6, it's clear that creating the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast is now part of our routine. In fact, lately, we haven't recorded as often as usual because of the holidays -- this was the first show we did in weeks. Christopher flubs the opening (we kept it and didn't re-record), showing that falling out of routine can leave one a step off. Hell, Christopher felt off this entire show -- so much so that he set out to edit this episode the old way (routine), when we edited every pause and "uhm..." out of episodes. The good thing is, when you produce a weekly show, falling back into routines takes no time at all; Christopher's sleepy, out-it-it mode for the day had no effect on the episode, despite it feeling off for him. No editing was needed, and he was happy to hear that the show ended up better than he hoped.

But enough babbling...

We kick off this episode talking about the first routines we remember having. From there, we talk about how we form routines and habits, before discussing how important routine is in our lives. While it will become clear early on that we are not the biggest fans of routines -- going so far that we reject many routines others try to put on us -- we take a moment to discuss the importance of routines in completing the things that matter most to us. (Spoiler alert: it's pretty much, "The podcast is our biggest routine, and we really do abide by our motto of Chill the Fuck Out...and Make the Damn Thing!")

Sometimes the routines in life change. We talk about routines that have fallen to the side that we'd like to bring back into our lives...and we talk about routines we're glad are no longer part of our lives. Even for people like us, who reject most routines, one cannot have at least some routines in their lives. We take a bit of time to discuss where in our lives we see the most routine, and go as far as mentioning some routines that aren't a part of our lives that we'd like to invite in.

Writers and other people making creative things are known for strange routines (certain things on the desk, rituals before beginning their thing, and so many other quirks). We talk about if we have writing routines and, if so, what they are. Then it's on to talking about people who have routines that we've admired, before mentioning our own longest-standing routines.

Finally, we close with a quote by Amos Bronson Alcott, who said:

"The less routine, the more life."

Find out if we'd be okay living lives with no routines, and...let us know your own thoughts about routines (or routines, rituals, and habits you have), in the comments.

Direct download: migs49.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 48: Last Seen…Being Bad Guys

Whether factual or fictional, the real-life and made-up world is not without its share of bad guys. We begin the show discussing who the ultimate bad guy was to us when we were young. Sticking to the past, we move on to who the socially acceptable bad guy was when we were in elementary school -- before discussing current-day socially acceptable bad guys.

We get a bit deeper when we talk about why the United States always seems to need someone to label "the enemy"; then it's back to popular culture and asking, "What's the most laughable villain portrayal you've ever seen in a movie?" Sticking with movies, it's then on to who plays the best bad guys and who we believe to be the best bad guy from fiction.

Topping many people's lists of top bad guy from history would be Hitler. We toss Hitler out of the equation and ask each other who we deem the top baddie from history. After that, we discuss our arch-nemeses, and then move on to who the bad guy would be in a fictionalized version of our lives (and who would play us, as well).

We close it all out with our top 5 portrayals of bad guys and then listing the roster for our hand-picked bad-guy super team!

As always, we'd love to hear all about who you deem bad guys in the comments.

Direct download: migs48.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 10:51am EDT