Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 139: Last Seen…Talking about Criminal Justice

Depending on who you ask, the American justice system is the best in the world, or it has a long way to go to clean up its problems. Probably no surprise that we lean toward, "We have a lot to fix, but it could be worse."

Friggin' optimists!

But we're not Pollyannas because we probably spend more time this episode talking about what is wrong with justice in America than what's right.

* * *

We kick it off with a couple questions: Have you ever had an experience with the American criminal justice system? If so, what was the first?

America loves court-room dramas, so we jump on the bandwagon and talk about whether or not we've ever been to court as a plaintiff or defendant. (Since we've posted Shawn's mugshot before, you at least have a good guess with one of the Gorillamen...)

Shawn Kupfer's Mugshot
Shawn shot a man in Reno...just to watch him die. That, or he might have just had a traffic warrant he got hauled in on. (Or he led a suicide cult to the grand comet in the ether...listen and find out the truth!)

Then we jump to whether or not we have turned to the American justice system for any sort of legal recourse.

We talk about our impression of the American criminal justice system before devoting some time to whether or not our courts work...and what might work better?

Americans like to think we are fair, but do we really practice what we preach? (Innocent until proven guilty, reasonable doubt, etc.?) Also, do we think most people found guilty of crimes actually committed them?

We devote some time to whether or not mandatory sentences are good things, before talking about if we sentence people too harshly, too light, or all-out inconsistently.

Americans are often all, "USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!" but is it merited for the U.S. having the best justice system on the planet, or do other countries put us to shame? (Like...maybe at least a dozen or so?)

Finally, we wrap it up with how we'd change the current system.

We'd love to hear about any run-ins with the legal system (or just what you'd do if you were in charge) you've had in the comments.

Direct download: migs139.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:12pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 138: Last Seen…Playing Role Playing Games

You hold in your hand a rectangular device with a smooth glass screen.

Are there any buttons on it?

There appear to be, yes.

I press one.

The screen lights up with a passcode message.

I make a hacking roll.

[The Game Master mutters to self: Okay, unfamiliar device modifier -1, but universal hacking kit (electronic) +2. Simple code +1...]

Okay, you need a 13 or less.

[Player rolls 3 6-sided dice. A 9.]

You make it past the passcode block. On the screen before you are rows of icons.

I look for one that says Podcast.

You find it.

I tap the icon and subscribe to Men in Gorilla Suits.

Wise choice. Give yourself a million experience points!

Ah, role playing games. Most people, even if they've never played one, have heard of Dungeons and Dragons. But D&D only scratches the surface of the world of role playing games (RPGs). We take our dice bags from our belts and roll a critical hit on this episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.

* * *

We begin with the first role playing game (RPG) we ever played...and how old we were when we first played it. After that, we discuss the effect RPGs have had on us.

We knock out our favorite -- and least favorite -- RPGs...and why we made our choices. Want to find out the most obscure RPG we've played? We share that as well.

After talking about the one RPG we'd love to see that hasn't been made yet, we talk about how RPGs have helped us as writers. On the subject of writing, find out if we've ever thought about writing for RPGs.

Also find out if we've crossed the threshold into Live Action Role Playing Games (and what we think about them). Then we go online and talk about World of Warcraft and other massively multiplayer role playing games (MMORPGs). Find out if we've played any...and if so, which ones. Before stepping back to our paper character sheets, we talk about how MMORPGs compare to tabletop RPGs.

And we wrap it all up talking about what the future holds for role playing games. (Somehow, Christopher totally forgot to mention Storium in this episode!)

Feel free to share your favorite RPG moments in the comments...and may all your rolls be 3s or 20s, depending what game you're playing...

Direct download: migs138.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:45am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 137: Last Seen…Talking about Marriage and Relationships

Marriage is one of those things we're conditioned to accept as our future from a young age.

We can both remember relatives talking about, "When you're older and get married..." for almost as long as we've been able to retain bits of the past in our brainmeats! It's a thing we're just supposed to do as humans.

This leads to all kinds of wackiness: people spending more on weddings and honeymoons than they can afford; people judging how much a person loves another by the size of an engagement ring. Some people say, "What's wrong with them?" about people who aren't married, as though marriage is the only thing that defines us in adulthood. Hell, some people (even those married multiple times who can't seem to get it right), fume that same-sex couples who have been together for decades and had to hide their love for many reasons are now able to [FINALLY!] legally marry. (So far, the damage to my marriage -- and all my heterosexual friends -- that was promised if same-sex marriage were legalized hasn't happened. Funny how that worked out...almost like love is stronger than ignorance and those into fear mongering.)

But marriage can also be wonderful. Since we're optimistic guys, we tend to lean that way, and decided to make marriage (and relationships) the topic of this week's episode.

* * *

We begin by trumpeting our massive dating prowess. Or...we would have if we had any actual moves in the past. Really, we open up this episode amazed we're not steeping in our own waste and wondering how we ended up with intelligent, awesome women in our lives. But before marriage, there were dates. We discuss out first dates before chatting about how good we are at dating (based on a scale of 1-10).

If you listen to the show regularly, you know we're both married. Find out how long we've been "officially" married in society's eyes; then find out how long we've been with our wives.

Some movies portray love as this pure thing where there is just a one and only, but [unless you're Christopher, who almost peed himself at the mere thought of talking to a girl, let alone actually doing so] most people have had a boyfriend/girlfriend (or two) before meeting the person they married. Also, find out if we were ever convinced we'd marry someone other than our spouses.

Running with the idea that we're conditioned to have views about marriage from a young age, find out if marriage is what we imagined when we were younger -- or if it's much different than we were led to believe. We then talk about whether or not we feel we are in good marriages.

People love to give unsolicited advice and opinions. We talk about the best -- and worst -- pieces of marriage advice we've been given. After that, we talk about the best -- and worst -- things about being married.

We wrap up this episode by looking toward the future and asking, "If you were to be single at some point in the future, would you date/marry again?"

We'd love to hear funny/sad/wonderful relationship and marriage stories in the comments -- including some of the best (and worst) bits of advice you've ever been given.

Direct download: migs137.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 136: Last Seen...Watching Online Video

Chances are, if you've taken a peek at any social network or news site, you've seen an online video today. Chances are good that it began playing all by itself. Maybe you have things you subscribe to on YouTube. Or perhaps your thing is the Netflix binge-watch.

Online video has not only changed the way we watch news, entertain ourselves, or even take part in production -- there are still so many horizons to be crossed as technology improves.

This week, it's an audio show about online video.

* * *

We kick it all off back in the days of extreme buffering issues and downloading things from Usenet as we talk about the first online videos we ever saw. After that, we leap to the present and share how often we watch videos online.

Next, we move on to the appeal of online video and how online content has changed the way stories are told with video cameras. We share some of our favorite online videos...stuff like this:

And this:

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

And hell, even this:

Turns from Breakwater Studios Ltd. on Vimeo.

Oh, and why not this (Not Safe for Work):

Or this (We are not classy individuals):

After sharing some of our favorite online videos, we talk about videos we've made for online viewing.

While we've made videos and put them online, we are far from famous. Some people, though, have turned online video into very lucrative careers. We talk about the phenomenon of YouTube superstars and discuss if they are real celebrities...or something else entirely. We also chat about our feelings about something that seems to bother a lot of people: those who seem to constantly document their lives with video.

For some, online video is really about marketing. Online video changed content marketing; we discuss whether or not it's ever worked on us.

It seems there is always some new way of sharing video online. Find out if we think apps like Meercat (you remember that, right?), Periscope, Blab, and others will eventually give YouTube a challenge.

Online video has been around long enough that it has become a media staple. Now that it's been around a while, can it become as important as film or television? (Has it already reached that point, or even passed it?)

We end this episode as we typically do -- looking toward the future. What is the future of online video?

We'd love to hear your feelings about online video in the comments...and even see videos you've made or appeared in.

Direct download: migs136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:05am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 135: Last Watching True Crime TV

Earlier today, old-school wrestling legend, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was arrested for the 1983 death of his girlfriend. (Figured if we're providing a link about the story, it may as well be a TMZ link!) Soon, the story will be a thing on a variety of true-crime television shows.

True crime TV is so big, entire cable networks are dedicated to the stories behind the murders and capers. It doesn't matter if it's unknown people in a no-name town or a huge celebrity trial after a low-speed chase in a white Ford Bronco -- the viewing population has a hunger for crime stories.

So we decided to talk about it on this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.

* * *

We begin by talking about the first true crime TV shows (or "Murder Shows," as Shawn likes to call them), we remember watching. After that, we talk about the most recent murder show we've watched. (And it will become apparent why Shawn pitched this topic.)

Everybody needs a favorite murder show, right? We talk about our faves, and then we discuss if it's a problem that there are so many of these shows that an entire network can run them 24/7.

Then we get a little more specific and chat about the following crimes we've seen on these shows:

  • The most interesting murder tale.
  • The saddest murder tale.
  • The goofiest murder tale.
  • The biggest murder tale.

If you watch enough of these shows, patterns emerge. One such pattern is that more than a handful of Eagle Scouts have gone on to commit murders. We talk about why that might be -- and then move on to revealing if we've ever worried that our spouses might have thought about killing us for insurance money.

We wrap up the weeks episode talking about the show we wish would just go away.

Do you watch true crime television shows? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Direct download: migs135.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 4:41pm EDT