Wed, 28 December 2016
Why people tell the truth -- or lie -- is this week's topic.
* * *
We begin back in the past, when we first became aware of truth and lies. Find out if we were honest or liars as children...and how we fare as adults. We also devote some time to whether or not the people we know (or whom we're even close to) tell the truth.
Truth in media has become a hot topic of many conversations. Does truth in media exist anymore? Also: has truth always been nebulous, or is that a recent development?
Then we get a bit deeper and talk about whether it's even possible to know the truth about anything at all.
Do people in power sometimes have to lie? We devote some time to that before moving on to whether or not there is a Real Ultimate Truth™ in the universe.
And we wrap it up by discussing if there will ever be a time humans are truthful...or if some form of lying will always be with us...
Fri, 23 December 2016
In the year 2000, flying cars will take us to work and robots will babysit our children and walk our dogs. We will vacation on the moon and Mars; all our needs will be taken care of. Our only fear is an attack from Galagaxian-7...or maybe a portal opening from a fantasy realm and dragons loose in the streets. Lines blur between Macondo, City of Mirrors and our world; somewhere in northern Wisconsin, an English bulldog controls the forces of gravity.
Speculative fiction is often viewed as the genre of pulps, but so many classics we're used to are speculative works -- even though we do not see them as such.
This week, we devote an episode to speculative fiction...
* * *
We begin by defining what speculative fiction is to us, and then talk about the first speculative work we fell in love with. After that, it's on to why people love speculative fiction so much...while others hate it.
Find out if we have ever written speculative fiction...and if we think there's room for speculating in literary novels (or if here are already speculative literary novels out there).
Next, we discuss the differences (or similarities) of speculative fiction and magical realism...and whether or not we should consider all fiction speculative fiction.
We run through some of our favorite works of speculative fiction before chatting about what speculative fiction does that other forms of fiction can't.
Finally, after devoting a bit of time to things we've not seen done with speculative fiction that we'd like to see, we speculate about what the future of speculative fiction looks like.
Feel free to speculate all you want in the comments below...
Thu, 15 December 2016
"Where you headed?"
"Gonna get me an Orange Julius and then wander Spencer's Gifts..."
"Awesome. I'll catch up with you after I pick up the new Van Halen album at Camelot Music..."
This week, we're talking about malls!
* * *
We kick it off with our first trips to mall and our impression of the places as kids. After that, we talk about our main memories of 80s mall culture.
Find out if we were those kids who hung out at the mall (spoiler: we were!) and which malls we considered our home bases for rampant consumerism.
We chat about the best places to hang out in malls...as well as some of the more ridiculous mall stores we've encountered.
Malls come and go; in honor of that, we devote a little time to chatting about dying malls and what it's like to be inside an abandoned mall. After that, we talk about some of the reasons why malls shut down.
But there are places where malls are still a thing. We discuss why that is before moving on to out favorite malls ever.
If you listen to the show regularly, you know that Shawn volunteers quite a bit this time of year...and sometimes, his volunteering takes him to malls. We chat about how often we find ourselves in malls before wrapping it all up with the future of the shopping mall.
Wed, 7 December 2016
We live in hurried times. Text messages, email, and many other things vie for our attention. At work, managers ask, "How's that coming along?" sometimes just hours after you've given them an update about a task.
It would seem to many that patience is a thing of the past. But is it really?
People still wait for things. Granted, in many instances, we've figured out ways to make those waits shorter, but if you are human, you've probably waited for something this week. And even if you turned to your smartphone or some other distraction...really, that's another form of patience. (You've still accepted the wait.)
But then there are those weird people like Christopher, who still take pleasure in simply sitting and waiting. He'd argue, though, that there's not much difference between the thoughts in his head and someone going to their phone to pass the time. Some might say, "Well, he's patiently waiting and thinking about story ideas, instead of wasting time on his phone," but Shawn has written multiple novels on his phone.
This is all getting a bit off topic...
This week, we talk about patience (and the need for immediacy).
* * *
We begin by talking about the first thing we remember "needing" right away...and whether or not we were patient kids. Also, we discuss whether or not we are patient adults.
Has the Internet affected patience and people's need for immediacy? We chat about that before moving on to how patience and immediacy have affected trends in productivity.
Next, we talk about how patience and immediacy factor into the work most people do. After that, find out if we prefer a slower or faster pace of life.
We often talk about Millennials on the show. Many older people say Millennials lack patience, but is that lack of patience truly real; and if so, is it truly the domain of that generation...or has the urge for immediacy affected other generations as well?
We discuss whether or not patience and immediacy are mutually exclusive ideas, and whether immediacy ever has its place and if patience isn't always such a virtue.
And we wrap it all up in the future: will we find more ways to do all the things right now, or will we become more patient for some reason?
Tue, 29 November 2016
About acting grown up.
It is the one event in history more impressive than putting an American flag on the moon.
Two hundred episodes later, the Men in Gorilla Suits are still going strong...
* * *
Instead of the usual single topic being the focus of the episode, we take a look back, seeing how our feelings have changed regarding older topics...
From Episode 3, we discuss how conspiracy theories have not only gone more mainstream than ever...but how they are, at least in part, responsible for the current President-Elect of the United States of America.
Then it's a step back to the first episode, in which we not only discuss how our perceptions about being adult geeks have changed...but whether or not we are happier with our adult lives.
Episode 89 found us chatting about patriotism, which ended up being largely about nationalism. We look back and see how much has changed in that regard in just two years. (Hell, even in the last two weeks!)
In episode 54, we talked about entitlement. Find out if we think it's a bigger (or smaller) problem than it used to be. (Really, we didn't mean for this episode to be largely about the 2016 US Presidential Election!)
We discussed podcasting in episode 105, and we do so again today by devoting a bit of time to how much podcasting has changed in the past couple years.
Episode 108 was [largely] a celebration of apathy. Find out if we've been able to continue practicing focused apathy to better our lives since recording the episode.
We devoted Episode 168 to motivation. We chat about whether or not our drive for things has changed much since then...and if we've seen others more or less motivated to do the things they want to do in life.
Episode 153 was all about being American (and what it means to be American). We talk about what that means to us -- and the world -- has changed recently.
What we didn't tell you is that this entire episode was recorded 200 years in the future. Which is convenient because we also like to talk about Star Trek. According to the Trek timeline, last year (2215) saw the Drema Quadrant mapped for the first time...and we're just years away from making first contact with the Klingon Empire. Find out how accurate Star Trek was in predicting the universe in which we now live, in 2216.
Also: we hate to break it to you all, but Earth is long gone. We wrap up Episode 200 discussing whether or not we're better off without that little rock and leaving the solar system in which we were born long behind us.
* * *
Last week was Thanksgiving in the United States. Whether you've listened to just part of one episode of Men in Gorilla Suits or allowed us to steal away roughly 235 hours of your life (almost 10 entire days!), thank you so much!
(We probably shouldn't have put it in that way...now that you know how much time you've lost listening to us babble, we'd fully understand if you never listened again...)
Wed, 23 November 2016
The frantic nature of the Harlem Shake may have given us the Mannequin Challenge. Others choose to express themselves by trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon without choking...or they throw it in Mom's face and jump off bridges because all their friends are:
Humans love doing stupid things because others are doing them. And sometimes those things aren't so stupid and catch on. We incorporate them into life so they become trends.
Fads and trends is the topic this week on Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We kick it off with the first fad we remember seeing...and then the first fad we took part in. After that, we establish the difference between a fad and a trend.
Find out if we ever kept up with trends -- and if we do so now (and why). After that, we talk about the last time we considered ourselves trendy.
Shawn once started a fad in his school. (Trust us, you'll want to find out what it was!)
We devote some time to the dumbest -- and coolest -- fads we've ever seen. After that, we talk about what we'd like to see become a fad or trend.
And we wrap it all up with the future of fads and trends.
Wed, 16 November 2016
So...that election. You know, the one that said, "Hey, you might not claim to be a bigot or racist, but if you voted for the doughy orange one, you're at least okay with bigotry of sorts." At the very least, in the words of Hasan Minhaj:
Because the Gorillamen are disappointed that people voted -- at least in part -- for these things, disappointment seemed like a fitting topic this week.
# # #
We kick off the week's talk with the first time we remember being disappointed, and then jump to whether or not we were often disappointed as children...and even today, as adults.
Find out our biggest disappointments in life and the most recent thing to disappoint us.
After that, we talk about how we deal with disappointment -- and why some people seem to deal well with disappointment, while it destroys the lives of others.
We chat about how expectations and reality factor into disappointment before discussing whether or not we agree with quotes about disappointment like, "Disappointment just means something better is around the corner."
Is it possible to do everything right in one's approach to an endeavor and still see nothing come from it? We devote some time to that thought, and then talk about how often we're disappointed in other people.
And we wrap it all up with advice we'd give someone who is often disappointed.
Feel free to share any of your thoughts about this week's topic in the comments below.
Wed, 9 November 2016
It's funny that this week's show is about time. Shawn's recently been busy, so we didn't record on our usual night. Then Christopher had an early day in the office on Tuesday, so Monday night recording was a no-go. Tuesday night in America was election night. (You might have heard a thing or two about that...)
So, it's funny that we're talking about time when this is the third week in a row with little commentary and Christopher just cutting and pasting our talking points for the episode below.
# # #
Thu, 3 November 2016
We recorded way later than usual this week, and to top that off, game seven of the World Series went into extra innings...so Christopher didn't get to put the episode together after recording. But here it is, all shiny and chrome the morning after the Chicago Fuckin' Cubs won the Motherfuckin' World Fuckin' Series!
# # #
Just the list, again, since the show is going up a bit later and there's a bit of a rush this week with other things...
Wed, 26 October 2016
Wed, 19 October 2016
This week, we dedicate an hour and change to the great outdoors...
* * *
We begin as we often do: back in the past. We talk about the first kind of outdoor recreation we remember doing, and then leap to our favorite things to do outside as kids...and now, as adults.
Find out if we think outdoor activities are important to the development of kids...and our favorite things to do outside today. Also, we discuss whether or not we feel being outside is important beyond levels of simple personal satisfaction...and then we share some of our favorite outdoor memories.
We chat about outdoor activities and trips we'd love to do, including what we'd do if money and time were no object.
We live in a fast-paced world where we hear some people even listen to podcasts at 2X speed to take more in. Find out if we think we lose anything by living such hurried lives often away from nature. Sticking to that idea, also listen to us talk about the role the Internet and technology play in how we interact with the natural world.
And, as always, we wrap it up in the future; this time, chatting about what the future holds for outdoor recreation.
Thu, 13 October 2016
For many, that's what authority is -- someone with perceived power ruling over others.
But authority is also just being the person who has the authority to sign off on documents...things like that.
Really, though...we stick more with the first example of authority this episode...
* * *
We begin by talking about the first authority we recognized in life...and then whether or not our parents were seen as authority figures when we were growing up. We stick to that a bit more and discuss how our parents compared to friends' parent where authority was concerned.
Find out if we have a problem with authority [yes, we do] and when the problem started for each of us. We also chat about why we think authority can make us bristle a bit.
We devote some time to current authority figures in our lives, and whose authority we refuse to recognize -- as well as who we will listen to.
Many people say we must have authority for a society to survive, but is that true? We devote some time to that before talking about whether we follow authority more or less than others we know. And find out what gives someone enough authority that we will actually follow them.
We wrap it all up with the future of humanity's relationship to authority.
Now...respect our authority and leave a comment below!
Wed, 5 October 2016
Really, podcasting is beneath us -- we only do this to be ironic. Our true fans listen to us on vinyl while drinking craft beer you've never heard of in exclusive bars meant to look like dives, even though they aren't. All your thoughts are provincial; you simply don't have what it takes to run with us.
We're sooooooo over The Decemberists, Grizzly Bear, and Bon Iver -- you know, the bands you're just now discovering. Our background music is a single note from Velvet Underground's "Lady Godiva's Operation" extended for hours while an Icelandic band only three people know of sings about the plight of being so misunderstood.
It's not that we're better than you, but...we're simply better than you!
If that makes us pretentious, well, then...call us pretentious. We're not so pretentious that we refuse to do a podcast about the subject...
* * *
We begin by talking about the first time we became aware of this thing called pretension, and then jump to how pretentious we are on a scale of 1-10. Find out what does bring out certain pretensions in us -- and why we think hipsters are so pretentious.
Then we chat about what is wrong about being pretentious...and whether or not anything good can come from pretension.
After a discussion about why we think pretensions are important to people, we devote some time to whether or not becoming more pretentious as a society comes with being civilized.
Find out if we think being pretentious lends itself to also becoming a bully -- and who stands as the most pretentious group or person we know.
We devote a little bit of time talking about if it even matters to us to put pretentious people in their places...and what we do in those rare instances.
And we wrap it up pondering whether or not Americans will grow more pretentious in the future -- as well as the rest of the world.
If you like bands no one's ever heard of, or feel you're better than others simply for what or who you know, leave a comment below!
Tue, 27 September 2016
Men in Gorilla Suits consists of two middle class guys doing a thing they enjoy doing. Sometimes we talk about serious issues. The class system in America affects many people, and that's what we're talking about this week...
* * *
We kick the week off by talking about which class we consider ourselves to be -- as well as chatting about the class or classes we've lived in over the course of our lives.
We discuss whether or not a class divide exists in America, and what other factors (besides money) contribute to class hierarchy.
We devote some time to how we've seen different classes treated in the towns where we live...and if we have ever treated people differently based on the class they are in.
There's much talk in this political season about the erosion of the middle class, so we talk about that a bit -- and then we move to whether or not it's possible to move up or sideways in a class structure.
Much of the heart of this week's episode resides in this discussion point: In America, do you think that a lot of what some people do is to avoid moving down in the class structure? Or is it to try to move up?
Find out how we'd solve the class problem in America...and what we feel the future holds for class systems.
Thu, 22 September 2016
The Gorillamen have been on the road in the last month. Right now, so many people who live in one place are working in other places. Even with technology that brings us together, we still travel for business...a lot!
It's time to catch your flight and listen to this week's Men in Gorilla Suits episode all about...business travel!
* * *
We begin by talking about whether or not our parents traveled much with work...and then move on to our first business trips, including our longest time away from home for work.
Find out how much we travel for work today, including our most recent business trip.
Many people have trips lined up -- find out if we are those kinds of people.
Then we discuss if business trips are even necessary, given recent advances in technology that allow us to work with others remotely.
After that, we chat about our best -- and worst -- business trip memories.
There are people out there who live for business travel. We talk about why we think some people prefer business travel to being around home, and then chat about our favorite -- and least favorite -- things about traveling for work.
And we wrap it all up with a discussion about the future of business travel.
Mon, 5 September 2016
Wasn't there just an Avengers or Captain America movie? What music is popular this month? You've seen Stranger Things, right? Oh yeah, can I get a cheer for FOOTBALL SEASON?! Geeks have finally won the good fight, to the point that even geeks can't keep up with the very thing they are.
Pop culture has always moved along with speed. For years, top 40 music lists changed on a weekly basis. TV shows came and went. Movies were once only there for a week or two before moving on.
But with craving comes ways to get more. Music got more diverse, cable and the Internet changed the ways we thought about television, and now theaters have 25+ screens to keep up with demand.
Wrap it all up in hundred dollar bills, and people will churn out as much as Americans (and the rest of the world) can consume. (Because if we're good at one thing in America, it's consumption!)
Today, you so much as blink and you missed 20 trends. Add to it Internet memes, YouTube videos, and so many other things, and it seems like we're all traveling near the speed of light and still being passed by pop culture.
Cultural acceleration is the topic of this week's Men in Gorilla Suits!
* * *
We begin with something not-at-all about this episode: talking about the fastest we've ever traveled in a motor vehicle. Then we get into this week's actual topic, kicking it off with whether or not culture seems to have sped up.
We jump to a cultural trend we found out about after it had it's time in the spotlight...and chat about whether or not missing it made us feel old.
Find out when we last felt we were on the cutting edge of culture -- and the first thing to happen culture-wise that we just didn't get, or that even made us feel irrelevant.
We then discuss whether or not we think there's an age when one naturally fades from the cutting-edge of pop culture. After that, we talk not only about if there are pop culture standbys that always remain relevant...and what those things might be. Find out why we think some things will always work on a cultural level.
Because we're middle aged, we devote time to discussing if we think people in their late 30s - 50s have always felt that culture speeds up relative to their age -- or if culture really is accelerating.
And we wrap it all up with this: what's the next big pop culture thing?
We know it's so early 2000s to leave a comment on a blog, but if you are so inclined, have your say!
Thu, 1 September 2016
God damned atheists! Always being all up in our faces with, "There is no God!" while vaping and brushing dandruff off their trilbies (or is it trilbys?)...another reason to hate those neck-bearded mouthbreathers!
Here's the thing: atheists are all assholes...at least it seems that way if you go online to look for them, where -- sadly -- many people are first exposed to atheism. (And where, if we're being honest, even good people of all types often come across as assholes.)
It's almost akin to being introduced to Christianity by a hell-and-brimstone, neo-conservative Baptist shit-storm of a church.
Why...it's almost like NO group of zealots have a lock on absolute asshat-ery!
But here's the real thing: atheists aren't all assholes. Religious people aren't all bad guys (even those hated Muslims, although it can be hard to convince Christian and atheist zealots of that...it's almost like they do have something in common after all!). Sure, the Gorillamen may not get how otherwise rational individuals can believe in absolute constructs, but we're not willing to say all religious people are ignorant assholes wandering the world fueled by little more than their brain stems.
This week, a life-long atheist and his buddy talk about...ATHEISM!!!
* * *
We kick it off talking about when we first became aware of these things called atheists. Then we jump to the following:
After that, we leap to the new atheist stereotype: neck-bearded, trilby-wearing, vaping mouth-breathers (with a dash of misogyny). Is that accurate or not?
Find out what effect the Internet has had on atheism...as well as if the Internet meme linking atheists to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao bears any weight.
Without religious rules to guide them, how can atheists have morals?
Then we chat about the downsides of being an atheist.
Lately, there's been a rise in people identifying as non-believers -- and even out-right atheists. Find out what we think has contributed to that rise (aside from the Internet), and then find out who are favorite famous atheists are.
We go a little deeper and discuss whether or not one can find beauty in existence through atheism (and how)...and we wrap it all up by talking about the future of atheism.
At least one of us has been pinned down and assaulted for not believing in any gods, so do any damage you please in the comments below.
Wed, 31 August 2016
Not killed in an accident, and no suicide...straight up muthafuckin' murdered!
Someone taking the life of another!
We're fascinated by murder in America. We've raised Hannibal Lecter to hero status, and we will never be lacking in true crime television, movies, and books.
One-eight-seven is police code for murder, and what episode is this?
Keep an eye behind you and listen to us talk about murder for awhile, all the while remembering that statistically, a real person will be murdered somewhere in America before you're done...
* * *
Oh, sure...we're goofy up front and ask if either one of us have been murdered, but then Christopher ruins it all by asking Shawn if he knows anybody who's been murdered.
Find out if anyone has ever attempted to kill us and whether or not we were ever afraid we would be murdered.
Confession time: have we ever murdered anybody? Okay, so more realistically, find out if we ever thought about murdering someone.
After that, we discuss whether or not we are fascinated by murder. We keep that line of thought and talk about whether or not we think murder is a big part of America...and if the United States has more problems with murder than other parts of the world.
Then, finally, we get down to talking about the murders Americans seem to love: serial killers. Do we have a bigger problem with serial killers in America than other parts of the world? And what's the scariest murder we've ever heard of.
We devote some time to the unsolved murders that fascinate us most -- as well as our favorite TV or movie murder.
If you watch the news (or listen to a certain politician whose hair looks like it survived a gangland stabbing), you'd think the murder rate was skyrocketing. But it's not. We chat about what we've done right in reducing the number of murders in America...and then wrap it all up talking about the future of murder.
So grab a butcher knife and make a bloody wreck the comments...or just stop by and say hi.
Mon, 22 August 2016
Cleanliness is next to Godliness...
Cleanliness has its place. It keeps us healthy, until it makes us sick if we take things too far.
Need something fast, organization and cleanliness gets you there quickly. Electronically or physically, there's no denying that cleanliness has its place.
So...we are keeping this description tidy and letting you all know this week's topic is all about cleanliness!
* * *
We kick it off by talking about the first time we realized there was this thing people did called "cleaning." After that, we talk about our cleanliness factors in the following times:
Find out where we place ourselves on a scale of 1 - 10 (with 10 being obsessively clean) when it comes to personal hygiene. Also find out if we are so clean that we deliberately avoid situations that can leave us muddy, dusty, or sweaty.
Ever lied awake at night thinking, "I wonder the longest the Gorillamen have gone without properly bathing?" We give you that answer...and then talk about how clean (or dirty) we keep our vehicles.
We then discuss whether or not Americans are obsessively clean (they are, at least where showering is involved).
There are conceptual phases of cleanliness. Find out if we have dirty minds...or if we keep clean processes when it comes to writing and other things in our lives.
And we close out this week's show with this: Have become clean to the point that we've made bacteria stronger? What role will cleanliness play in the future?
Let us know how clean (or not-so-clean) you are in the comments below...
Thu, 18 August 2016
But is it all that bad? Have there been justified wars? Or is it all just proof that humans are a waste of carbon?
We talk all about war on this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We begin this week's show on a happy note: talking about when we first became aware of war. (Fortunately, it was not in the same manner so many children have learned about war...by actually being in the middle of a friggin' war! WTF, adults?!) Then we discuss our reactions upon learning that we could die by enemy gunfire or a burst in the sky.
We then jump to whether or not we think any of America's [recent] wars have been justified...or any of our wars at all!
Things get even sadder when we chat about what has shaped history more: war or peace? Then it's on to family members who went to war, died in war, and what those who returned from war were like.
Find out if either of us have ever worked for the military-industrial complex, and then listen to us prattle on about whether or not war is good for the economy...and whether or not the American economy could survive without wars.
What's the next war we think we'll see America step into or start? We talk about that. And then we almost laugh (and cry) when answering this: do we think we'll see an end to war in our lifetime?
We wrap it all up on this happy note: is war ever necessary?
Hit the trenches, and leave a comment below if you are so inclined.
Tue, 9 August 2016
With all the professional cameras, amateur cameras, security cameras, and smartphones, the number of photos taken in a day [even in small towns] must be high -- let alone, all around the world.
Camera technology changes quickly; the ability to take quality photos from things we carry in our pockets is beyond imagination to those who once looked at Fotomat kiosks as the epitome of convenience.
Oh, snap: the topic this week -- obviously -- is photography!
* * *
We begin by going back in time to talk about the first photos we remember affecting us...and then jump to whether or not we took many photos when we were younger. Find out what our first decent cameras were...and also if we've ever made money with photography. There's no denying times have changed when it comes to photography...we discuss whether or not shooting (and processing) film is somehow more "real" than shooting digital images.
We chat about why we think photography is such a popular form of art, and even devote time to whether or not we think photography is generally on par with painting, music, and writing. Sticking to that kind of thinking, we talk about whether or not photography gear matters in capturing good images.
It seems you can't go more than 10 minutes without seeing a selfie. We discuss whether or not the ability to share images through social media has made us vain...and how having cameras with us at all times (smartphones) has changed photography.
Find out how important photos are in our lives...as well as some of our all-time favorite photographs.
And we wrap it all up in the future...chatting about what photography will be like in the years to come.
Wed, 3 August 2016
Few things say "cultural appropriation" like a thin, white model -- barely dressed -- and wearing a warbonnet on her head. At the same time, there are so many things from other cultures people don't think twice about in America. Some will argue that appropriation of any kind is terrible; others claim it's bound to happen in a place where many people come together...that it can even help others come to understand what they may have once feared.
Cultural Appropriation is the topic of this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We begin with whether or not we identify as white -- and what it means to be a white guy in America. After that, we talk about whether or not we identify as American -- and what that means to us. Next, we chat about whether or not we fit wholly within what most consider a white, male American...or if we've borrowed traits and ideas from other races and cultures.
We discuss the first thing we remember admiring about a different culture -- and whether or not we attempted to appropriate what we admired into our lives.
We've all appropriated something from other races and cultures...find out what we've brought into our lives and why we chose to focus on those things. (As always, it's mostly about all kinds of food with us!)
Using a scale of 1 - 100, we talk about how much we think we've personally been influenced by other cultures...as well as how much Americans in general have been influenced by others.
For some, cultural appropriation is much more than simply cooking a meal originating elsewhere in the world. We chat about extreme example of cultural appropriation, and then jump to the best -- and silliest -- uses of cultural appropriation we've seen.
Near the end of the episode, we discuss the one idea or concept from another culture we would like to see adopted in America, and then wrap it all up with this: In the future, do we think cultures will borrow from each other more or less?
Tue, 26 July 2016
In ancient times all the way up to right now; played in the dirt or on special tables made for board games -- humans love board games...and the Gorillamen are no different. In fact, this is one of those episodes that made us think, "It took us this long to get to this topic?"
* * *
We begin by going back in time and kicking it all off talking about the first board games we remember. After that, we discuss our favorite board games back then -- and if we still play board games with any regularity today.
Find out what the last board game we've each played was...and why we think board games have such a huge appeal.
We run through lists of our favorite board games, and then dedicate a bit of time to what a Men in Gorilla Suits board game might be like.
Is there a certain kind of mind that's most appealed to playing -- and even making -- board games? And do we see a difference between board games, war games, and table top role playing games - or are they all the same to us?
We chat about our favorite board game memories (Christopher made a grown man cry) and how technology has influenced modern board games...before wrapping it all up by talking about the future of board games.
Do not pass go or collect $200 until leaving a comment about your favorite board games below.
Thu, 21 July 2016
Ask most people if their life is chaotic, and they will say "Oh hell yes!"
There's rushing about for work, taking the kids to 20 different kinds of practices, errands, working around the house, and hours of Candy Crush while watching a myriad TV shows. Teenagers will talk about how much school work they have (and they do!)...as well as the pressure to pick their life path before even experiencing what will become most of their lives. Millennials will talk about how busy they are trying to balance work and life. And we two Gorillamen will talk about chaos in a much different manner.
For us, chaos is an unpredictable system in which certain patterns often emerge. It is not something to be feared, but surfed!
So this week, we talk about all facets of chaos: how for many it's a hectic thing, how it can destroy us all, and even how it's beautiful when viewed a certain way...
* * *
We kick it all off discussing if the universe tends toward chaos or order -- and then jump to which we tend toward in our own lives.
Life can be chaotic. We talk about whether or not it bothers us when our lives are chaotic...and who we know who has the most chaotic life -- and the most ordered.
We get all trippy for a moment and ask if reality is subjective or objective. Sticking to that kind of thinking, we move on to whether or not one's mental attitude can affect the world around them.
Getting back to ourselves, we reveal if we can alter our perceptions and points of view easily. After that, we ask if it's possible to modify reality.
Then we devote some time to the big point of the episode: is there order in chaos? Also: whether or not chaos can be a good thing.
And we wrap it all up talking about the most chaotic our lives have ever been.
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about this week's topic in the comments.
Mon, 11 July 2016
How could such a self-centered, good-for-nothing generation come into existence when their Baby Boomer grandparents and Gen-X parents are so damn flawless?
Or...is that all bullshit? Could Millennials be doing well, all things considered, with what they're being handed? Could it be they are more likely to not care if a black guy is dating a white girl or -- GASP -- if two guys want to marry? Could it be that much of their negative press isn't wholly true; that maybe they write articles about themselves in defense of Gramps in a Crosby, Stills, and Nash t-shirt shaking his cane on his front lawn while his Nirvana-wearing T-shirt son (Bleach t-shirt, at that; you know, to prove they were fans before Nevermind, even though they weren't) throws Pabst Blue Ribbon cans of irony at a 24-year-old passer-by just wanting to pay off her student loans?
Or...could it be something somewhere in between (but probably skewed toward bitter Boomers and jealous Gen-Xers just being grumpy before their time)?
Step into your safe place and listen to this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits!
* * *
We cut right to it at the start and talk about how many Baby Boomers (and Gen Xers to a degree), say Millennials are lazy and financially irresponsible. But is there truth to that? After that we discuss our personal experiences -- good and bad -- with Millennials at work.
We devote some time to the traits we believe Millennials have over those before them...and also where they may be a bit lacking than previous generations.
But one thing is certain: Millennials are cowards compared to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, right? We destroy that bit of stupid before jumping to why we think Boomers and Gen-Xers have such an issue with Millennials.
Some evidence points to Millennials not being as entrepreneurial as the generations before them. Find out if we think that's true and, if we do, why we think that might be. (And maybe point out that many Boomers and Gen-Xers don't quite get that ways of making money on one's own no longer relies solely on starting a traditional company.)
Next, we get a bit specific, talking about our generation (Gen-X). Are we just jealous that Millennials got more attention and opportunities in their early 20s, while we were handed nothing much at all? (And, if so, doesn't that make us the whinier generation complaining about the generation we spawned?)
You can probably guess by reading this far that we don't have issues with Millennials...you might even say we like them. But...would we want to be a Millennial -- or continue clutching our Dinosaur Jr. CDs and remain Gen-X? (Somewhere in a dark bar outside of Seattle, two 45-year olds are drinking Rainier Beer while arguing about who's better: Mudhoney or Tad! They leave when an old guy drinking a Busch shouts, "I'm sleeping with the ghost of Janis Joplin!" and poops his Depends.)
As positive as we are about Millennials, we do wonder how they will react when Generation Z comes into their own and gets the limelight. We talk about that a bit before moving on to whether or not the so-called "Millennial [distracted] Mind" is real or not. (Hint: Christopher knows 70-year-olds who can't get through an in-person conversation without playing Words With Friends.)
And we close it all out with this: will there be a day a Millennial in a Lorde t-shirt shakes her fist at a GenZer while shouting, "Get off my lawn, ya punk!" (i.e. that Millennials will one day become critical and bitter)?
(If so, we'd still call that progress over sad old men getting riled up about things that really don't matter...)
Be like an old person and leave a comment, 'cause we're afraid of the Snapchats and the Bemes.
Mon, 4 July 2016
What is seen as responsible to some is seen as taking on too much for others. In turn, some people look at a person making riches surfing or skateboarding and claim that person isn't responsible...because they aren't in an office job with standing. (Perhaps that's just jealousy that someone figured out a way to make millions doing what they love, while most people are stuck in jobs they'd not do were they independently wealthy.)
What constitutes responsibility is an interesting thing, so that's the topic for this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We begin by talking about our first responsibilities and then move on to when we actually became aware of this thing called responsibility.
Find out if we actively seek out responsibilities today...and if we consider ourselves responsible people. After that, we chat about whether or not we currently have a lot of responsibilities.
We devote some time to discussing the times in our lives when we were the least responsible -- and the most! Sticking to that thought, we get more specific and talk about the least responsible thing we've ever done...as well as the most.
Perception can be a strange thing. We wrap up this episode discussing whether we think people see us as responsible adults or overgrown children...and whether or not those two things are mutually exclusive.
Feel free to do the responsible thing and leave a comment about this episode.
Wed, 29 June 2016
If we say, "What do you think of when you think about performers?" you probably think of an actor, musicians, or maybe even [God forbid] a clown or mime. But chances are you spent your day around performers: people holding back what they really want to say or that guy at work who honestly thinks his desperate attempts to suck up to managers isn't recognized as the corporate version of jazz hands that it is!
We all perform...whether it's looking out over the audience from a stage and overacting in the hope that your father will see in what you do the same thing you do, or saying to your kids, "This breakfast you made is yummy," when it tastes like Play-Doh and cat urine. (Hint: you probably just ate Play-Doh and cat urine.)
Performing of all sorts is the topic this week, so step into the spotlight and claim your 15 minutes!
* * *
We kick it off talking about the first performance we remember actually impressing us, and then talk about performing before others we've done.
Find out if we believe live performances are better than other kinds of performances -- as well as the worst performances we've ever seen. After that, we chat about the last thing we did that we consider performing.
Enough theater and movies -- we jump to talking about work...specifically, what role performing plays when we're at our day jobs. From there, we move on to the role performing plays on social media.
While it's evident that many people take up performing as a desperate attempt at getting attention, are all performers inherently seeking acceptance and attention? And does performing (as entertainment or even at work) inherently mean one is being fake?
We list some of our favorite performers and then chat about how the Internet has changed performing in recent years.
We wrap it all up by talking about what the future holds for performing.
For an encore: wave those jazz hands loud and proud and leave an interpretive dance in the comments.
Wed, 22 June 2016
"I remember it as though it were yesterday: the first time I wiped my butt with a log. It was after I beat up 12 men in a drunken brawl and zipped off with a bunch of strippers in the old Pontiac GTO I restored with my bare hands. Did I ever tell you about that time I punched a moose so hard in the head that it went mad and destroyed a lumber camp? Those bark-skinned pussies didn't know what hit them! But it was out in those woods, living off the land, when a log was all I had at my disposal. You know what it's like when you eat nothing buy protein 'cause yer in the gym all day, pumpin' iron and getting all swole for your next big fight. You may as well be shitting steel girders! Or maybe you don't know, 'cause yer not a real man like me..."
What it is to be "manly" varies over the years and depends who you ask. Some would say there's not even a need for manliness in modern society. It's an interesting enough topic -- what it is to be "manly" -- that we decided to dedicate this week's episode to "manliness."
* * *
We kick it off by defining what manliness means to us -- and then talk about when the concept of "being a man" was introduced to us.
We chat about the most stereotypical manly things we've ever done...as well as the least manly things.
Most males are taught by their fathers what it is to be masculine. Find out if manliness was important to our fathers when we were kids...for themselves (and for us).
Also find out if we consider ourselves manly...and what someone wanting to be more manly would have to do to achieve our version of the concept.
After that, we discuss whether or not the concept of manliness is old fashioned...and if it should become obsolete.
We also talk about if traditionally defined manliness is useful...or if it's actually damaging.
And we wrap it all up with what it will mean in the future to be "manly."
So grit your teeth and let us know what you think about manliness in the comments.
Thu, 16 June 2016
People begin their day with a stop for coffee and a bite to eat. At lunch, we head out with coworkers to get away from work (and often, depending on the group, talk about work while eating...for the record, we hate those kinds of lunches). Dinners out with family and friends -- it's easier than cooking, after all...or at least it feels that way at the end of a long day when you don't want yet another list of tasks to contend with.
It's just not Americans -- all around the world, from cities to even rural areas, people make a living cooking for others. Because we're fans of restaurants (and have even worked in them), we decided to chat about eating away from home on this week's show.
* * *
We begin with the very first restaurant we remember and then move on to how frequently we went out to eat with family when young -- and today.
We talk about working in restaurants, and then share our favorite local restaurants -- as well as our favorite restaurants anywhere.
Celebrity chefs are big draws, and their restaurants further bolster their coffers. Find out what we think about them. And while on the subject of chefs, there was a time when culinary school was almost deemed just one mere step above prison, but now it's seen as an admirable pursuit. We talk about why we think views have changed over the years.
We share whether or not we prefer fancy restaurants to dives -- and why. Also find out the most expensive meal we've paid for (and even the most expensive meal on someone else's dime).
We close out this week's show chatting about why there are so many restaurants -- and if there's a limit to how many places we can build in honor of food.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about this week's show in the comments.
Thu, 9 June 2016
* * *
What is the first holiday you remember celebrating?
What was the "big" holiday in your household growing up?
What's your favorite holiday now?
What was your favorite holiday as a kid?
What's the stupidest federally recognized holiday?
What's the stupidest non-recognized holiday?
What isn't a holiday that should be?
Why do you think there are so many holidays?
What holiday do you think Americans should co-opt from another country/culture?
Whose birth or death should be a national holiday?
What do you like most about holidays?
What do you dislike?
Thu, 2 June 2016
On Memorial Day, Christopher saw a couple cop cars behind a truck with a couple kayaks in the back. Christopher was going to buy beer, a substance that has led to more than a few fights in the drink's history. On the way back, the cops were searching the vehicle.
It's not right to stereotype people, but Christopher guessed that maybe they had a little marijuana on them...a substance that has not contributed to nearly as much violence over the years as alcohol.
And yet, the dudes with the kayaks were in trouble from the looks of things. (This point made very well with this video by The Streets)
Trouble is a strange concept to us, so we decided to devote an episode to it. We hope you like it, but if you don't -- worry not because...you're not in any trouble...
* * *
We begin by discussing the first trouble we remember getting into, and move quickly to the last bit of trouble that came our way (as well as the worst trouble we've ever been in).
Next, we get a bit more philosophical and ask if getting in trouble can ever serve a purpose. We also chat about the appeal of getting in trouble.
Find out the who the biggest troublemakers we've ever known are -- and what activity right now gets people in trouble that we don't think should be a big deal. (Hint: If legalized, we'd still not smoke it.)
We discuss whether or not rules and laws prevent trouble...and whether or not society deals with troublemakers well (or generally treat them terribly).
What is it about troublemakers some people are attracted to -- and at what point do troublemakers cross the line for us? Find out right before we end this week's show by asking if we think people will get into more or less trouble in the future.
You won't get in trouble for not leaving a comment, but we'll definitely be happy if you choose to share your thoughts about trouble or this episode.
Wed, 25 May 2016
But pain goes beyond physical injuries. Emotional pain can lead to physical pain.
Hell, many people believe life is pain.
Whether it's a chronic illness or feelings that cannot be shaken away, part of being human is experiencing pain. So that's the topic for this week's show.
* * *
We begin by talking about the first time we remember being in severe physical pain, and then get even happier by jumping to the first emotional pain we remember experiencing. Then we leap to the present day and discuss the last thing that caused us pain.
We're both getting older (this episode is being loaded the day before Christopher turns 47, and Shawn trails Christopher by 9 years), so we wondered: do we believe we experience more or less pain than most men our ages?
After that, we chat about the worst pain we've ever experienced -- as well as how we deal with pain and reduce its effect on us.
Some say that modern life is an attempt at the avoidance of pain. Find out if we believe there's any truth to that...and if we'd want to live a painless existence.
We wrap it all up by wondering if there is value in pain.
Leaving a comment doesn't hurt; if you are so inclined, have your say about pain!
Thu, 19 May 2016
When we aren't recording podcasts, writing, or doing the other things we do on our own, we're busy working corporate jobs. Corporate America gets a bad rap by many, but it affords us enough security to approach episode 175 of a weekly podcast without an end in sight (or ever missing a week). It has provided us with a higher income than we made at more menial jobs. Some places we've worked have even offered some great perks we'd never have imagined when we first started working in offices.
But we've also seen more than our fair share of layoffs. We've worked long hours to cover the mismanagement of tasks and other things. We've had to hear people complain and gossip about jobs that -- for us -- are a far cry from the days in corn fields, on warehouse floors, and in restaurants being yelled at as an entire team by irate managers. We've seen work/life balance blur in an always-connected society.
We've lived the life for years, so it seemed time to devote an episode to corporations.
* * *
We begin by talking about when we first became aware of these things called corporations (and the jobs that came with them). We then move on to our first corporate jobs; as well as our best -- and worst -- corporate day gigs.
Many people view corporations as inherently evil things, but...is that true? Are they better, worse, or the same as "Mom and Pop Shops"?
There is no denying the reach of corporate interest into politics and the power big companies wield over nations. We discuss Citizen's United (i.e. the corporation as person), and move on to whether or not corporate tax havens and loopholes should be stopped.
Whew...got serious there for a moment! After that, we chat about a movie that seems like a documentary: Office Space. Hear some of our funniest and saddest corporate stories.
We did an entire episode about buzzwords and buss phrases early on; we revisit that when we talk about "corporate speak" leading to a potential problem with communication as a whole...and then we ask if corporate America is getting worse?
And we wrap it all up by discussing the future of corporations.
Fill out your TPS Report and drop it in the comments to have your say!
Thu, 12 May 2016
Marketers do what they can to get you to buy, while others tell us all to be appalled by consumerism.
This week, we chat about buying stuff!
* * *
We begin by talking about the first things we bought on a regular basis -- and what we spend the most on today.
We make it clear from the start that yes, we consume stuff; in fact, we chat about how often we go into stores for one thing and come our with a dozen things...and what we do if a store is out of the thing we are there to buy. What then? (And where do we go to buy our stuff?)
If you ever lost sleep thinking, "I wonder how often Shawn and Christopher shop for groceries, clothes, and other things?" then this is your lucky day! We also discuss whether or not we've gone out to purchase something in a major metropolitan area like the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and failed at the task. (i.e. Is the Metroplex full of all one can hope to buy?)
We chat about people who stockpile purchased items -- and whether or not there's ever a reason to stockpile goods. Are we members of warehouse clubs, or do we feel there's simply no need for them? Find out!
We come right out and answer this question: Do we consider ourselves consumers? (And then we talk about what we consume most.)
Find out what brands we would gladly promote...before we wrap it all up with this question: What is the future of consumerism?
It costs nothing to leave a comment, and the joy you will receive in doing so far exceeds that of buying a gold-plated pony! (So have at it!)
Wed, 4 May 2016
Nothing happens to us if we don't get this show out weekly, but we told ourselves from the start that we would get episodes online by Thursday of every week. 170 episodes in, we've never missed a deadline; in fact, it's not uncommon to post episodes early.
We usually record episodes on Sundays. If recording in person, it's an 11:00 a.m. start time. If we don't meet in person, it's 9:00 p.m. Sunday night on Skype.
While one could argues these are deadlines more than schedules, we both schedule things to various degrees (erring quite heavily toward the side of no real schedules -- just hitting deadlines and remembering the bodies of work we have created to drive us to create even more). Others schedule things down to the seconds (which helps if, say...you're launching a rocket into space -- but it's probably not necessary for daily life).
This week we are on schedule and...talking all about schedules.
* * *
We kick off this week's show talking about the first schedules we remember. Oh, wait...Christopher had his runsheet out of order, so we really begin in the middle, talking about whether or not we prefer schedule things by time or by necessity to complete the thing. After that, we leap to how important schedules are to completing our creative endeavors -- and how important schedules are in our lives.
We devote some time to discussing how we schedule things in our lives (if we use any apps, planners, or other things), and what kinds of schedules work best for us.
Many people swear by books like Getting Things Done and productivity blogs. Find out if any of those things have ever helped us with scheduling; then we chat about whether or not people can go too overboard with their schedules. And sticking to that topic, we talk about whether or not people generally give their kids too much to do.
We've all had to deal with someone not only heavily into scheduling, but also wanting others to follow their methods for scheduling things. We discuss how we deal with those people, and then move on to some commonly scheduled things that could use a revamp. (Okay, so we mostly hammer on the 40-hour work week.)
Finally, we wrap it all up by talking about what advice we'd give people where scheduling is involved.
And right on schedule...we ask that you leave a comment if you are so inclined to discuss this topic further.
Tue, 26 April 2016
By Christopher's own admission, loading this episode will be one of the most boring tasks he completes this week. (Right up there with speaking of himself in third person!) From day jobs, to the times following them, people look to myriad things to alleviate boredom, succeeding to various degrees.
You could say boredom is our shadow, but is there a way to fight it?
Ho hum...this week, we talk about boredom...
* * *
We kick it off talking about the first time we remember experiencing boredom -- as well as our most recent moments of boredom.
Find out what we did to alleviate boredom when young...and today.
We chat about how often we're bored today -- and whether or not it's more (or less) than when we were younger.
We also discuss whether or not one can be bored when they have a lot going on -- and also what always bores us...and what we find boring right now.
We know many bored people. Find out what advice we have for the bored masses in an effort to combat those feelings, as well as the most -- and least -- boring things we do in our lives.
We wrap it all up with this: does boredom ever lead to any good in people's lives?
If you're bored, we have a remedy for that: leave a comment and chat with us!
Thu, 21 April 2016
Or does it take something more, like a mentor constantly checking on your progress?
Maybe you hate someone and are like, "I'll be damned if that son of a bitch is successful before me!"
Or perhaps you simply enjoy doing something, so you do it.
There are many reasons people seek out motivation; probably as many as there are to be motivated. That's our topic for this week's episode...
* * *
We begin back in the past, talking about the things that naturally motivated us as children -- and the things for which we needed motivation in order to do.
Find out what motivates us today -- and what we need motivation in order to do even as adults.
After that, we discuss how we feel about motivation as an industry, and why we think many people will pay good money to be motivated by another person.
Clearly, some people are naturally motivated, while others need assistance to do their things. We chat about why that might be before we move on to whether or not people have ever come to us to be motivated.
We talk about groups that are meant to motivate each other (writers groups, meetups, etc.), and then discuss how we stay motivated while working from home.
Is using anger a good or bad way to motivate oneself? (e.g. "That guy will not make it before me, and I will succeed before him if it's the last thing I do!")
And we wrap it all up with this: is there a point at which motivation can be bad?
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Wed, 13 April 2016
The OTHER side...
The truth is out there...and...it's not what they want you to believe.
This is the episode in which you will hear Christopher almost come unhinged. This is the episode you will see (and hear) the Gorillamen fly the "No Ghosts" banner -- but they are not Ghostbusters...
And yet...they have experienced "paranormal things."
That's the topic of this week's episode.
(You might even walk away from it being like, "Okay, I do NOT want to push that Christopher button...holy hell - I can't believe he said that about one of his favorite people of all time!)
* * *
We kick it all off by talking about the first time we were introduced to...THE PARANORMAL!!!
Find out if we believed in ghosts when we were kids, and what -- if we believed -- those ghosts were (are).
Déjà vu. We've all experienced it, but does it mean we're psychic? What is that feeling that we've not only been here before, but that we can predict...the FUUUUUUUUTURE (at least for 5-15 seconds -- but rarely longer)?
Find out if we have ever experienced precognition...and also: if we believe any psychic powers exist (and if so, which ones).
If you know us, you know this is not a favorable episode if you believe in paranormal things. Find out what we think are the silliest paranormal things to us (this is where Christopher may have crossed a line and angered someone very dear to him), and also: if we know of any paranormal claims that defy explanation.
We wrap it all up with what we'd need in order to actually believe a paranormal claim.
Feel free to leave a comment...while it's probably clear we lean toward the side of skepticism -- as long as you don't insist our experiences are "something more," we won't bite...
And in honor of this episode, the best "ghost" thing Christopher has ever seen...posted by Shawn on social media...
Oh yeah...that sound in the background near the end of the episode? Not ghosts -- but a snoring Boston terrier!
Wed, 6 April 2016
Oi, ya c@unts -- we f&cking did it! We went an entire f@cking episode of our sh$tty podcast without any G!d-d%mned swearing! That's cooler than sh*t -- especially because the motherf%cking episode is about f#cking SWEARING!!!
And it wasn't easy because our f#cking signoff is "Chill the f*ck out, and make the d@mn thing!" No s%it -- look at that motherf@cking image up top!
We're badass b%stards for not dropping so much as a b%tch, @ss, or other sh%tty word that's okay of f!cking television...let alone f&ck and c@nt and other words that make people cringe like sh$t-monkeys!
So open your f@cking earholes and listen to our only "clean" f&cking episode to date!
* * *
We kick it all off with our first memory of swearing -- and then talk about the first time we swore (and if we got in trouble).
After that, it's on to places we don't swear (if they even exist) -- or people around whom we refuse to swear.
This whole episode came to be after reading that Adam Carolla is doing a couple "clean" shows to attract big advertisers. Some podcasters say swearing limits audience size. We discuss our thoughts on that, and then chat about whether we have (or would) not swear in order to get a specific deal.
We discuss if certain words cross the line (fuck and cunt vs. shit and damn) -- and whether or not that makes any sense to us.
By the time we get to it, we've established things, but we talk about when we were "allowed" to swear at home...and if we dare swear around our parents today.
Some say that swearing is a sign of low intelligence...but is that shit fucking true? Hell, there are even advantages to swearing -- and we talk about that shit!
Is a corporate environment elevated to the point that swearing is wrong, there, or is it as okay to speak in an office as though you're on a factory floor?
Bleeping words we all know or writing F#ck instead of Fuck. Is that shit goofy, or does it make sense -- even though we know what's being written or said?
We close out this episode by talking about how violence is far more accepted by many people who will storm out of a movie in which someone says fuck. Is there a certain hypocrisy to that, or is watching a hero put down 30 bad guys more acceptable than someone stubbing their toe and saying shit?
Leave a fucking comment if you want. Or don't if you're like, "Screw those @ssholes and their f&cking potty mouths!"
Wed, 30 March 2016
It seems one can't watch the news without hearing that ISIS, their neighbors, or even the weather is out to get them. While we're at work, criminals are stealing our stuff. No one has money; we're all facing a Mad Max future...and it's all the fault of politicians and the people who follow them.
There's a lot of money in making people secure (or feeling secure after you've scared them). This week, we're all about security.
* * *
We kick it off talking about if we feel more or less secure than we once did, and then step back to the first thing that made us feel secure...and the thing that shattered our sense of security.
After that, we discuss the least secure times in our lives -- as well as the most secure time.
Security and stability are the most important things in some people's lives. Find out how important it is to us -- as well as the thing we're most worried about upsetting our security. We chat about what we feel would make us more secure, and whether or not there's too much emphasis today on safety and security.
Find out our plan for an active-shooter scenario at work...or if we even have one. We also devote some time to whether or not closing the borders would make America more secure.
And we wrap it all up with what we think security will look like in the future.
Feel free to leave a comment, or gaze below at the horror that is Shawn with Nick Jonas's fake nipples over Shawn's eyes. (It makes sense if you listen to the episode. Okay, not really...)
Wed, 23 March 2016
Ah, prog rock, you wacky thing. The musical equivalent of an awkward night of Dungeons and Dragons with a table full of mouth-breathing cretins; the music of "nice guys" and straight up assholes who thought the best way to win over the opposite sex was by telling them how wrong they were in their musical choices -- and to prove it, put on Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans or Relayer (or worse for the unsuspecting woman: both albums back to back!).
We are not beyond seeing the weakness and ridiculousness in the things we held [or still hold] dear to us. But come on...entire albums dedicated to a concept was going to win over only a handful of people, regardless of gender. But for those of us who "got it" new worlds opened to us. Prog rock -- largely -- was the realm of desperate men who thought, "If I can't beat the crap out of the jocks, I can at least show off how intellectually superior I am to EVERYONE by my choices in music." (Or maybe you just liked the music -- it's possible.)
If it sounds like we're going to dedicate the next hour to slamming on prog rock and its fans, you're wrong. Cut us, and we bleed musical synthesizer backing layers in weird time signatures, wrapped in fantasy lyrics (and so much more).
We will defend how hokey what we love was [IS!!!] until our last breath.
Yes (<--- see what we did there?)...this is our tribute to the very music that kept us alive through our teen years and into adulthood (and hell, a blood that still flows through us today): prog rock!
* * *
We kick off this episode Living in the Past, when we talk about the very first bit of prog rock we remember listening to. Then we move on to how we define prog rock...and even show our hand and reveal whether or not we find prog rock just a bit hokey or not (and why).
MUTHAFUCKIN' SYNTHESIZERS, Y'ALL!!!
Can prog rock exist without synthesizers? Or, at the very least, we discuss just how important synthesizers are to progressive rock. Closely on the heels of the synthesizer is the concept album in its importance. We discuss not just the appeal of the concept album, but share what we feel is the ultimate concept album. (We match up on this one!)
Prog rock existed in a very tight time in popular culture -- and we'd be remiss to not address the link between prog rock and the many other things that came to light during that time. So we devote time to that.
And while we define what we feel makes up prog rock, there are bands that many don't put on their lists of progressive rock bands. We chat about those bands before coming out and telling you all what are our favorite progressive rock bands.
Face it: prog rock is trippy. We talk about the importance of drug use on the music, and then jump to whether progressive rock is largely the domain of guys -- or if it crosses genders. (But come on...largely, at least, it's a sausage fest!)
In the homestretch we discuss what we deem the ultimate prog rock album -- and wrap it all up with the influence of prog rock on modern music...and even music in the future. (Because we must have waited our whole lives for this moment (X6!).)
Feel free to share your favorite prog rock moments, bands, or anything else in the comments (because if you like prog rock, we know there are few things in life more important than establishing who you are by the bands you still love...and should you feel that's a poke at you, prog rocker-man (face it: odds are, you probably have a penis -- with an exception or two of female regulars to the show!), the person writing this is listening the Jethro Tull's "Jack in the Green" while typing this...and while [Christopher] will admit that there is a bigtime hokey factor on Songs from the Wood, he will stab you in the eye with a holly branch as he draws his last breath in defense that the album is one of the best homage's to nature ever written..)
So yeah, pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder...and let your hair blow in the breeze!
* * *
One more thing: in the episode, we tease a fellow podcaster named Mitch Todd about a prog rock tune he was once part of. We say "tease," but if you replace "tease" with "secretly admire," it's probably more accurate. So we give you the best thing to EVER come out of the God-forsaken state, Oklahoma: Zyrian doing "Winds of BAAG." (Down to the featured Wendy's cup, everything about this is GLORIOUS!!!)
And if you want to hear an interview with Shawn on Mitch's podcast, go here.
And to hear Christopher and Mitch come up with a monster on the fly, go here.
Wed, 16 March 2016
Christopher just read a Facebook post about a podcast that just hit 163 episodes. They have 1 millions downloads (and good for them). To put that in perspective, this is our 163rd episode, and we’re at 8,815 total downloads.
Here’s the thing: we could look at our biggest episodes ever and be like, “All we should talk about are movies, TV, music, the 80s, and…poop! (Oh, and religion.) Seriously, those are the topics of our big episodes. But…if that’s all we talked about, the people who love that we talk about such a wide range of things would be like, “Uhm…if I wanted movie talk every week, there are better sources.”
This much we know: people appreciate that we’re just us. Granted, we could pretend to be what we’re not (and probably get more downloads), but this is the show we want to do.
It goes against everything people say in conferences and meetups, but the show exists for us, and if you like it, cool. If you don’t, well…that’s also cool.
We can only be what we are, and if we are nothing else, we are…authentic. And that matters to some, as we chat about this week on Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We kick it all off talking about the first time we heard something was “authentic.” Then we move on to right now and people’s obsession with things having to be “authentic.”
It’s probably clear just by reading this that we believe “authentic” is up for debate. So we devote some time to whether or not we have a preference between authentic and less-than-authentic (manufactured, modified, etc) experiences.
If you listen to us, you know we believe wars could be stopped if people gathered at a table and shared a good meal. Food is a great way to learn about others. We discuss the most authentic Mexican food weve ever had — as well as the least!
But we’re not down on unauthentic stuff; in fact, we chat about whether or not there’s something to be said for inauthentic stuff (cuisines, experiences, music, entertainment, etc.). And then we get political.
Find out if we believe “authenticity” is part of the appeal of candidates like Trump and Sanders — and if we believe either are truly authentic.
Also find out if there are things we feel are important to be authentic…as well as what we let slide.
We close out this week’s episode with the least — and most — authentic experiences we’ve ever had.
Feel free to leave an authentic reply in the comments. We’ll even give you an authentic reply.
Tue, 8 March 2016
One day, several years ago, we imagined having a podcast. (A podcast made out of rainbows and songs and wind all wrapped up in the remnants of a mummy and steeped in a gallon jug of Prohibition-era bathtub gin.)
It's the only way we can imagine to describe what we do.
Or maybe we're very serious individuals lacking foresight and vision, unable to scour the depths of our minds to summon this thing called imagination.
So to remedy all that, we decided to create an episode dedicated to cotton candy memories and envisioning all the things that go bump in the night. This week, we talk about...imagination.
(If you can imagine that!)
* * *
We begin back as wee laddies, talking about the first time we were aware of this thing called imagination. After that, find out if we consider ourselves very imaginative...as well as how important imagination is to our lives.
As you know, we like chatting about society...so we chat about whether or not imagination benefits society, and whether or not there's actually room in office jobs for "outside-the-box thinking" -- or if many people using the phrase would even recognize good ideas if others handed them over.
Most people have met a person who think life is all about expression and imagination with no limits. We discuss if imagination all on its own without structure or limitations is overrated -- and whether or not imagination is inherent or something that can be learned. (It should be no surprise that we think imagination can be learned and refined, so we dedicate some time to how people can become more imaginative.)
We talk about the most imaginative creators we look up to -- and then about the most imaginative person we personally know.
Many people seem to believe that with so many distractions in life that we've all lost our attention spans and imaginations. But is that truly the case?
And we wrap up this week's show discussing what the future holds for imagination.
We like imagining everyone who listens will leave a comment. Feel free -- we're pretty harmless (except when hopped up on 1920s bathtub gin).
Wed, 2 March 2016
Close your eyes, and align your chakras -- we're getting all New Age up in here! Okay, so if you listen to us regularly, you know that's unlikely, but...we do try to see the good in things we [largely] don't believe. (Unless, you know, you believe in being racist, homophobic, or just generally full of hate.) We even admit that there are some things many attach to New Age beliefs that work -- including sme things we think are ridiculous.
Was the Age of Aquarius was monetized so we could all become Reiki masters, or is there something more to it all?
That's the subject of this week's episode.
* * *
We begin by talking about when we were first introduced to new age ideas, and then move on to the most useful things we've learned from the philosophies. (See, we're not totally out to discredit it all -- just, you know, most of it...like the notion that a human being contains enough energy to power a city!) We also chat about the dumbest things we've seen.
After that, we discuss whether or not we think we'll ever see a case where a new age cure trumps a scientific/medical cure. Sticking with that train of thought, we ask if there are some things that new age practitioners have right that science has wrong or yet to prove.
It's probably evident where we stand when taking sides, but we clarify it with this question: do we identify more with new age philosophies, or scientific facts?
But we really do try being fair, going as far as talking about what parts of the new age movement are misunderstood or misrepresented.
But let's be honest, when you can make any claim you want, and all you need for success is convincing a small group of people that it's a thing, it's a system that could easily be prone to fraud. So...is that the case? Also, find out the scariest advice we've ever seen given from a new age perspective (as well as the best advice).
We also discuss how we draw the line from something useful in the new age movement to something fraudulent or dangerous...and wrap up this episode chatting about what we think is the future of new age type movements.
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Wed, 24 February 2016
We'll get right to it: you want to know our greatest regrets -- the things we are most ashamed of -- it's all right here! (Okay, and Christopher, at Shawn's request, talks about the time he found his father in the basement doing surgery on himself.
Ralph Bertil Gronlund may have been a man wrought with regrets, but he did shit his own way...
* * *
We kick it off by talking all about the first time we became aware there was this thing in the world called regret. After that, we define regret...and chat about whether or not it's possible to live a life without regrets.
Want to know what we regret in life? We talk about that shit...and then we discuss people [not by name -- we're not assholes] we know who are torn apart with regrets to the point that life is hard for them. (And, sadly, a lot of people are like, "Get over it!" to them. Ah, were it that easy for those people...)
Sticking to that, we chat about why some people have a tougher time with regrets, while people like us are like, "Ah well, there was a time in the past when we were stupid...and even did horrible things..."
We step back to the "Get over it!" advice, talking about whether or not that's a realistic bit of advice when dealing with people who carry regret. (By now, it's probably clear that we are not heartless bastards and feel for those around us.)
We love technology on this show, so...we devote time to how technology affects people's regrets...as well as how simply being an American (and what we "stand for") can play into regrets.
If we had a time machine, find out the one thing we'd go back to in our own lives and change. But let's be honest: the present is where it's at. We talk about if there's anything we're doing right now that we might one day regret -- and what we can do today to prevent that from ever happening.
And while we were scheduled to talk about what advice we'd give to a person torn up by regrets, we had such a great time with this episode that Shawn thought Christopher was setting him up for our end catch phrase. But it's probably fair to say we'd each have said something like, "Get professional help, and realize we all make mistakes. Find a way to love yourself and see your good, no matter what terrible things you did in your past. They're probably not as bad as you imagine them to be." (Seriously, Christopher really did something shitty to a kid in his neighborhood, but the past is the past...)
And don't regret not sharing your greatest regrets in the comments.
Wed, 17 February 2016
Some people feel it's a huge obligation to help others, while others are mostly interested in helping themselves and a few people close to them. Is one view of society right and the other wrong? What about those who volunteer more to boast about all they do, rather than actually helping causes? Can a person be like, "Fuck it -- I look out for Numero Uno," and still be decent...or must we all give more of ourselves than we have to give? (And at what point is giving convenient and actually a personal sacrifice?)
In short, is there a proper way to volunteer one's time?
That's what we're talking about on this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We kick it all off by talking about how often we volunteer our time, and quickly jump to the last time we volunteered. On that topic, we discuss what we last did to help others -- and why we volunteered our time and energy.
Want to know if we've ever volunteered to get something in return? Well, listen in 'cause we talk about that. And also find out our ideal volunteering scenarios.
After that, we chat about whether or not we've been forced by loved ones or even the state to volunteer our time...and then we move on to our worst -- and best -- volunteering experiences.
Are we so ingrained with volunteering that others volunteered their time for something we organized? And is there a societal obligation to volunteer?
We close it all out by talking about how often we've volunteered for things no one else wanted to do.
Feel free to volunteer a little bit of your time and leave a comment about this week's episode.
Wed, 10 February 2016
Today, it's not hard to find some middle-aged guy talking about the "Pussification of today's youth," when they rarely did anything to merit any real degree of boasting. But to hear them tell the story, we were all hanging from hot air balloons from threads of dental floss while today's younger people are living in a world of cushions and hugs.
The thing is, that's all bullshit. Men and women have always taken risks to various degrees, and still do today. That's the topic this week -- not the board game, Risk, but actual risky behavior and how it's shaped humanity.
* * *
We kick off this episode talking about the first time in our lives when we realized there was this thing out there called risk. After that, we discuss whether or not we were risk-takers when younger...and whether or not we are today.
We chat about the greatest risks we've taken...as well as the funniest.
Is physical risk the pinnacle of risk, or are there other kinds of risks that eclipse even the kinds of things that can kill us? Also: find out what we've learned about ourselves by taking risks.
Risk has become a bit of a buzzword. Go to a conference of many sorts, and you'll hear people saying that even things as normal as blogging and podcasting are "risks." Are those actual risks -- and is "Take more risks!" good advice, or just a platitude?
After that, we talk about if what constitutes risk has changed over the years or remained the same. We also discuss the point at which taking risks is unwise.
We weren't kidding in our intro about hearing middle-aged men talking about today's youth being "pussies." But is there any truth to the notion that millennials don't take risks?
Then we drag out our imaginations and pretend we have kids. Find out how we'd deal with having kids who are thrilled by taking great risks.
And we wrap it all up with a look to the future -- and whether or not humans will reach a point of maximum risk achieved...or if we will always find new risks to take.
Take a risk and leave a comment if you'd like...we'd love to hear about some of the risks you've taken in life.
Wed, 3 February 2016
When thinking about strength, most people seem to think about physical strength. We've all seen circus strongmen, female body builders, and even wiry-looking people who can seemingly dead-lift a Yugo.
But strength goes well beyond just physical strength. We've all heard tales of people lost in extreme conditions who only survived because they were mentally strong. Emotional strength is craved as much as physical strength by others.
This weak is all about strength! (<------ See what we did, there? "Weak." That's some STRONG comedy right there. Or maybe lack of sleep...)
* * *
We begin with the first time we ever looked at someone and thought, "Damn, they're strong!" Find out if it was physical, emotional, or mental strength we first witnessed. Then we talk about what comes to mind when someone mentions strength. Next, we discuss what we feel is the most important kind of strength: physical, mental, or emotional. (And we even define what the difference between mental and emotional strength is to us.) Also: Is physical strength even relevant these days?
After all that, we talk about strong people: the strongest person we know (physically), as well as the most mentally and emotionally strong person we know. (Even all-around strength of da human supérieur!)
Find out if we consider ourselves to be strong, and hear how we'd hold up under interrogation, "enhanced" interrogation, and out-and-out torture.
In the homestretch, we chat about our greatest feats of strength in life, and close it all out with the most important kind of strength in today's society.
Feel free to flex your commenting muscles if you desire, and leave your thoughts about strength.
Thu, 28 January 2016
These are the people we hope to become. Some are driven to succeed because of the people they looked up to, while many more fall short of their dreams. Sometimes heroes themselves "fail us."
Is it even realistic for an adult to have a hero, or is it something that should be reserved for youth?
Heroes are the topic of this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We begin by chatting about who our earliest heroes were, and then jump to whether or not parents or other relatives ever held hero status in our lives. After that, we talk about how important heroes were to us when we were younger -- and why that was.
We list off our heroes from childhood before discussing whether or not heroes are important to us today. Maybe we no longer have heroes -- just people we admire on some levels. We talk about that, and then move on to why the deaths of people we may have never met, but still admire, can affect us as though we were close to them. Also: find out if we'd ever want to be somebody's hero.
Sometimes heroes "fail us." We discuss why some people are stung when they see a flaw in someone they looked up to, and why some people will go to great lengths to defend the actions of a hero-done-wrong.
The "real life hero" (police, soldiers, firefighters, etc.) are often positioned as having more merit than imaginary heroes. We chat about why that might be, and wrap it all up with how our views of heroes has changed over the years...and how new generations will define what constitutes a hero.
If there's anybody you look up to (or even dislike who's liked by many), feel free to talk about it in the comments.
Wed, 20 January 2016
For some, they are the best days of their lives, while others could have easily done without them. Football games, parties, and fun; dodging bullies, isolation, and despair.
Being somewhere in the middle of it all, we decided to devote this episode to high school days...
* * *
We begin by sounding off: when did we graduate high school. After that, we talk about where we went to high school...and whether or not it was a good experience for us.
Find out if we agree with those who say high school is the best time of one's life as well as what we remember most about those years.
For many, extracurricular activities are what high school is all about. We discuss what we took part in -- and then chat about how many people from high school we're still in touch with.
High school is supposed to serve a purpose: preparing students for college. Was that the case for us? Did it even vaguely prepare us for the adult world?
As we often do, we hop into our imaginary time machines to go back to our high school selves. We have 30 seconds to offer advice about the time and life ahead. Find out what we would tell our younger selves.
Because we're old enough to have had high school reunions, we chat about if we attended any...or plan to in the future.
And we wrap it all up by discussing what we'd do to improve high school as it currently exists.
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about this week's topic in the comments if you are so inclined.
Tue, 12 January 2016
Fuck the system -- Tear it all down!
You make it easier on yourself if you're just like us...
Do you really want to be just like them?!
It's for your own good...
Only you know what's right for you!
It's an old battle: to conform or not to conform? Some (including us) argue that by not conforming...you're probably still conforming.
So...is resistance futile?
This week's episode is all about conformity (and non-conformity). Whether you're on the side of the popular jocks and cheerleaders...
...On the side of the deliberate non-conformists (who, remarkably, all look and act the same as each other, in much the same way as the jocks and cheerleaders)...
...Or if you're the geek totally out there on your own...
...This is an episode for you!
* * *
We kick is all off by talking about our first memories of conformity, and then jump to the benefits -- and drawbacks -- of conforming. After that, we discuss how important conforming is to society...and to us.
There are those who take incredible offense with those not like them. We talk about why that is before chatting about how much our environments influence us and our views.
Trends. Ah, wacky trends. We cover some of the trends we've followed, and then jump to whether conforming (or not conforming) has ever had a negative effect on us.
Our teens years are the most awkward years in our lives. It's a time when conformity is almost vital, even if you claim to not conform to anything at all. We chat about why that is, and then move on to whether people see us as conformists or non-conformists...and if those views are even accurate.
We wrap it all up by discussing the future, and whether or not conformity will be more -- or less -- important in the coming years.
Conform to the ways of all the cool kids and let us know your feelings about conformity in the comments. (To not comment is still conforming to an even bigger group, so sit at the "cool table" for a bit and have your say!)
Or just watch this:
(Is it sad that Christopher, at least, kinda envied Tom Hanks at the end of Mazes and Monsters...and still has days he kinda still does...?)
Tue, 5 January 2016
Some consider a group of men with guns holed up in a small Federal building they decided to occupy American.
People from other places might view Americans as loud and fat; others may say we're friendly. Some might even say we invaded their land and made a big mess of things.
America is a funny place. We can get away with things that would get us killed in some countries. At the same time, many think we're the only country with such freedoms...when that's far from the truth.
This week, we talk about what it is to be American (whatever the hell being an American is).
* * *
We begin by talking about how far back we have to go to find non-American citizens in our families. After that, we jump to whether or not people from other countries assume we're Americans when they meet us (and why we think that is how we're viewed). Next, we discuss what we love about being Americans...and what we're not so keen about.
People make assumptions about Americans. We chat about the assumptions we think people from other countries make about us because we're Americans, and even touch on the assumptions we make about our place in America.
American citizenship can be a heated topic -- so of course we devote some time to that. We chat about what we believe should be the process of becoming an American; what parameters (if any) should one lose their American citizenship; what we think about dual citizenship (and if we're eligible); if those who carry dual citizenship are any less American than single citizenship citizens; and what countries we would gladly share citizenship with if we could choose another. We also pretend we're exiled from America -- find out which countries we'd hope would take us.
Also find out what duties and responsibilities -- if any -- we believe we have as Americans (at home and while abroad).
And we wrap it all up with what we think America will be like in the future.
If you're an American, we'd love to hear your thoughts about all this in the comments...and if you're from another country, we'd love to know how we're viewed where you are from.