Wed, 26 February 2014
Think of all the things on your to-do list. Think about it in morning traffic. You're not even at work, but you're already thinking about all that waits for you. What about the things on yesterday's to-do list that you pushed to today? Then there are all the things you have to do after work, instead of doing the things you'd rather be doing. If reading this opening sounds familiar to you, this week's show is about something you're probably fighting: stress!
We kick it all off by discussing the first stress we remember experiencing. Then...
Stress sticks with humans. In the animal world, many animals stress in the moment of fighting or escaping and then go back to just existing. We don't do that; the more cognizant of the world around them and the possibilities contained in that world, the more stressed animals become. Humans top that list. So...we dedicate some time to talking about what separates us from other animals.
This isn't all about animals and other humans, though; we ask each other if we consider ourselves stressed individuals before discussing what actually stresses us out.
Then we move on to others, talking about how big we think stress of the unknown plays into a person's current stresses. Some people seem to be stress magnets, but when looking at them, they create unnecessary stress in their lives. We devote some time to why we think some people actively create unnecessary stress in their lives before moving on to this: "How much do you think lifestyle, or want for a particular lifestyle, plays into stress?"
It's not that we think stress is silly -- it's clearly a real thing for so many. If we lived in certain parts of the world, we'd definitely be more stressed. Fortunately, nobody is going to kick in our doors and execute us, so...we ask: what are valid stresses for those living in suburbia? After that, it's on to talking about how much things people can’t change affect stress. And it wouldn't be fair to close the episode out without asking how we can all defeat stress?
So settle back and breathe deeply -- it's not so bad. And...let us know what stresses you out in the comments.
Wed, 19 February 2014
The stories often seem too perfect ("...and then the doberman was choking...on the burglar's finger!"); the reassurance it's fact is shoddy at best ("I'm serious -- it's true! It happened to my cousin's best friend's boss' daughter's tuba instructor!")
The urban legend.
What is it that makes some stories endure for lifetimes, and how does the Internet play a part in their spread today? That's what we're talking about this week.
We begin the episode by discussing the most recent urban legend we've heard; in Christopher's case, it was told the night before recording this episode, proving that far-fetched stories are definitely not a thing of the past. In fact, we discuss how we live in the golden age of half-truths and bogus stories; in part, because they are so easy to share through social media. After discussing why we believe urban legends are so easy to spread, we talk about how urban legends can still endure when sites like snopes.com and other sources for answers exist.
Urban legends endure despite how ridiculous many of the stories are -- belief is more important than fact where they are concerned. We ask (and answer): "What human need do urban legends serve?" Then we step back in time and share the first urban legends we ever heard.
Some urban legends cross the line and become not just stories to share, but deep beliefs people insist are true to the end. Dispute these people's claims or present facts and it doesn't matter -- they are all in and nothing can change them. After devoting some time to that, we discuss a couple urban legends we've believed, if only for a short time. Moving on from there, we share the craziest urban legends we've ever heard.
It's clear urban legends are a big part of the human experience. Many tales, even before the age of the Internet, spread and became things people insisted were true all around the world. With Shawn and Christopher both moving about in their youth, they saw it first hand: almost every town seemed to have their own weird killers killing in the same manner as the town where they lived before, and on the outskirts of those towns there always seemed to be railroad tracks where -- if you turned your car off and sat on the tracks as a train came your way (usually at midnight) -- ghostly children who died in a bus crash would push your car to safety. We close out the episode asking each other if urban legends will ever die?
We'd love to hear the craziest urban legends you've ever heard -- share away in the comments!
Wed, 12 February 2014
Some people do things because they enjoy it; others do things because they feel entitled. Like anything, entitlement can push one to greatness...or make them one of the most annoying people you may ever meet. This week, we feel entitled to talk about entitlement!
We start off chatting about whether or not we felt entitled to anything as kids, and if that changed as teenagers. It seems many believe entitlement is a feeling reserved for the young, but after talking about the past, we talk about the most entitled people we've ever met: adults!
With social media, everyone has a platform -- and many adults spend a lot of time online pushing their opinions on others. Are those people entitled to an audience no matter what they say, or are we within our own rights to shut the ranting poxmonkeys down? (Our answers, here, are probably pretty obvious by referring to the obnoxious blowhards demanding we listen as "poxmonkeys.")
Moving on from there, we discuss unsolicited criticism and ranting in general: why do people do this, and can any good come from it? Many believe anything said online is deserving of a contradicting rebuttal. When Popular Science removed comments from their website because they grew tired of recurring arguments derailing conversation, there was outcry. We take a moment to discuss why people feel so entitled to having their say, before moving on to asking if the Internet has contributed to a sense of entitlement to any and all opinions being thrown about with no regard to others. Often, with this kind of entitlement, anger lies at the root; we discuss the relationship between anger and a sense of entitlement.
Entitlement comes in all shapes and forms. If one wins the lottery, or even makes a lot of money on their own through hard work -- some family and others feel entitled to a cut. We share our thoughts about whether or not others are entitled to the fortunes of others.
Many creative people feel they are entitled to making a living doing what they love most, and that those who work cheaply (or for free) are not entitled to anything because they've undercut the way things have been done for years. We share our thoughts as writers on this, arguing that creative people are really nothing special and that to expect earning a living simply because you really love doing something is a strange sense of entitlement in its own right.
Politicians have done a great job in recent years branding things they don't like as "entitlements." We devote some time to discussing if these programs are good or bad...and if they are entitlements at all or simply basic rights. After that, we ask if humans are entitled to anything, simply for existing. Finally, we close the week's show by sharing what one thing we would make an entitlement if we had the power.
Despite all that's said in this episode, you're entitled to your opinions; feel free to share them in the comments.
Wed, 5 February 2014
One year ago, we loaded the very first episode of the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast. Since that day, we've produced a weekly show without fail...in large part because we live by our motto: "Chill the fuck out, and make the damn thing!" We've made 53 damn things so far, and have plenty more in store for year two. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate a year's worth of episodes than by talking about the power of taking it easy and making things you love.
We kick it all off by talking about our motto and discussing the things we've made since starting the podcast. Obviously, we've made 53 weekly shows, but we prove that if you just chill out and focus, there's time to make even more things that make you happy. After that, we talk about the best things we've ever made! (It's not surprising that those things are current things that came along, in part, since we really embraced our motto.)
It's easy to tell people to take it easy and make things, but we take it a step further by devoting some time talking about how we find time with busy schedules to make things. It's also interesting to us how the motto of taking it easy and making things has permeated our own lives...how something that just happened over the course of a couple episodes has now become a mantra we live by. We spend some time talking about others areas in our lives that have benefited positively by our motto. And since this is a one-year anniversary show and a new year for the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast, we talk about some of the things we plan to make in the next 52 weeks!
Our motto is broken into two parts (1. Chill the fuck out... 2. ...And make the damn thing!). We spend time talking about the first part of the motto, asking if we've found ourselves taking it easy even more since the motto came to be. After that, we devote some time to the most important thing the motto has done for us...and what personal improvement we've made as a result of making the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast.
Thank you all so much for listening to this show, and any others you've checked out! We would do the podcast regardless of who listens, but we push ourselves even more knowing there are people out there listening and replying. Big shout out to CM Stewart, whose replies are always very appreciated, interesting, and fun. We love the discussions that come out of doing shows as much as putting shows together, so please: always feel free to join in the discussion in the comments!