Men in Gorilla Suits (general)
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. 68: Last Seen...Talking Comedy

Humans love to laugh. In recent years, we've discovered that there is some truth to the adage: "Laughter is the best medicine." We pay to watch movies that make us laugh; most people live within a drive from a comedy club (or 2...or dozens). Some of the most popular podcasts out there are shows done by funny people. What is it about comedy that we love so much? That's what we're talking about on this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.

We begin by discussing the very first thing we remember laughing at...and then, the very first joke we remember telling. (Spoiler alert: Christopher once memorized the entire 101 Elephant Jokes book.)

There are certain things that are synonymous with comedy -- we talk about what comes to our minds when someone mentions comedy, and then we discuss the funniest movies we've ever seen. Books can be funny as well; we devote a little time to funny books before discussing whether or not the Internet has been a good or bad thing for the development of comedy.

Want to know what stupid thing makes us laugh every time? Listen and find out...and also find out the most wrong things we find funny.

It's a great time for comedy, with podcasts and so many other ways funny people can reach an audience. Find out who we think is the most brilliant mind in comedy right now and what our go-to sources for comedy are when we're in search of a laugh.

We wrap the episode up discussing the funniest person we know personally and what was the last thing that made us laugh so hard that we almost had an unintentional body function occur.

We'd love to hear what you think is funny; as always, feel free to share in the comments.

Direct download: migs68.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 39: Last Seen...Celebrating Halloween!

We begin the Halloween episode of Men in Gorilla Suits as we begin most episodes: by discussing our earliest memories of the topic. Find out when Halloween memories stuck in our brains. from there, it's on to our favorite costumes from our pasts. (This section had a beta listener rolling with laughter at Shawn's choice and our discussion of those cheap, vinyl costumes popular in the 70s and 80s.) The costume talk doesn't stop there, though...we reveal what we'd consider our ultimate costume if we had the talent to make them, and what creature we would want to be if we could change into a monster just like that.

But let's be honest: for many, Halloween is all about the candy! We discuss the best -- and worst -- things people dropped into our Halloween bags when we were younger. Find out if our candy was ever stolen from us [by a band of thugs dressed like the baseball gang from the movie, The Warriors], or if we were ever the ones doing the stealing.

For some, Halloween is about destruction. Find out how many pumpkins we've smashed in our time and any other mischief on October 31st we got into. For others, Halloween is all about entertainment. Find out what books, movies, and music we recommend for Halloween.

In recent years, Halloween has returned to its roots for some, and become seen as evil by others. We take a moment to discuss the religious side of what is largely a secular holiday, before wrapping the episode up with a couple favorite stories from past Halloweens -- and our plans for this year's festivities.

We'd love to hear some of your favorite Halloween memories in comments, so please share.

Direct download: migs39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 37: Last Seen...Addicted to Technology

Recently, Louis C.K. was on Conan O'Brien, talking about how smart phones destroy one's empathy. We begin talking about that, asking each other if we agree with Louis C.K.'s thinking. Then it's on to the physical ways smart phones make us feel when we ask each other if we've ever felt separation anxiety when not able to use our phones.

Like it or not, the Internet (and easy access to technology) has changed the way we do so many things. We talk about why we're online and, as writers, we take a few moments to ask if online promotion has been worth it for us...or if having a "brand," "platform," whatever we're calling it this week is all hype.

Speaking of hype, a lot has been written about how always having access to information has degraded human focus. We ask if we had more focus before or after technology became such an available thing. By reading this online, it's clear that on some level, the gorilla men are okay with technology, but what technology makes us cringe? Do we feel the need to keep up with everything? Can we make it through a lunch without checking for or answering a text message -- find out!

Back to technology's physical effects...we take a few minutes to ask if checking Facebook and other things is a reflex. Do we play games on our phones, or is that the line we draw where we say, "Nope, that eats up waaaaaaaay too much time!"? Then it's on to our biggest tech weakness and a discussion if we can -- or even want to -- change it. Have we ever been so connected that technology has affected our sleep?

Thoreau had Waldon; now, simply taking a one-week social media break is cause for writing articles...we discuss taking social media breaks and ask if we could sit in a cabin all weekend without any tech. Finally, we wrap it all up by asking what is gained (and lost) by always being connected.

If you're reading this and listen to the show, you obviously have feelings about technology and the way we've all come to use it. We'd love to hear your thoughts about this episode in the comments.

Direct download: migs37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:31pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 33: Last Seen…Watching the News

This Just In: the apes behind Men in Gorilla Suits are talking about the news this week!

Breaking Story: Men in Gorilla Suits ask, "When did the news become interesting to you?" Then those nutty monkeys talk about whether they prefer their news televised or if they'd rather find it online. They also ponder this: "Has 24-hour cable news added to the news or damaged it?" This pundit says it's all about money and is clearly right because the Gorillamen ask what influence advertisers have on the news -- and whether it's good or bad?

"LIBERALS!!!" (Calm down, Tex!) Does the word make your flesh crawl, or are you one of them? ("Serpent!") Doesn't matter; all that does: "Is there a liberal bias in the news?" And...what effect have pundits had on "news"? Also: is news from other countries better?

These days, news travels faster than ever. In a rush to be first with a story, do news stories suffer? If so, how? Then: "Social media as news — accurate or not?"

Why share actual news online when you can share...MISERY!!! Interviews with grieving families, court cases that have no real effect on your life, and sensational stories you'll forget by next week -- is that news, or just a sensational grab for ratings? (Probably pretty clear where the Gorillamen stand on this one-- watch out for their hurled poo!)

But "the news" is really an easy target. Is the news to blame for the shift it’s taken, or are we the problem?

"What's that? Some people avoid the news entirely?! HERETICS!!!" The Gorillamen talk about the movement to avoid the news. (Can you imagine that, avoiding the news? It's rumored one of the Gorillamen didn't even know about the Navy yard shooting that had the nation saying, "Oh, you wacky Mondays...does 12 dead even count as a mass shooting anymore?")

Really, it all comes down to this: does the news actually affect us, or is it presented in a manner to make us believe it does?

Is the news even important anymore?

If you don't listen, clearly...you don't want to be informed. So listen to this week's episode and express your rage, thoughts, or anything else you feel in the comments below. Because these days, the news is interactive, and even the slack-jawed knuckle draggers have a say!

(Views expressed are those of an unseen narrator and do not reflect those of Men in Gorilla Suits.

Maybe...)

Direct download: migs33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 30: Last Seen...Watching Reality TV

Reality TV: people seem to love it or hate it. People also seem to forget how long it's been around...and that even its critics have probably enjoyed some kind of reality programming. This week, we're all about versions of reality on television that succeed and fail, often in very strange ways.

We start out talking about early shows we recognized as "reality" programming before talking about the opposite ends of the reality TV spectrum. Is reality TV legitimate, or is it just lazy TV?  We discuss the shows that have pulled us in, and those so bad, we were almost turned off to the medium entirely. We talk about the character of reality TV -- those we've loved, and those we loathed. The part that surprised us both: does reality TV have value? The answer may make you think twice about knocking reality TV and realizing it's like anything: there's good and bad and everything in between...

We'd love to hear about which reality TV shows you've loved, and even those you've hated...

Direct download: migs30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 29: Last Seen...Focusing on Priorities

In a time when smart phones and TV screens are everywhere, it can seem so hard to focus. This week, we discuss why people seem to yearn for these kinds of distractions in their lives and what they can do to regain focus on the things that matter to them. How has technology of all sorts made it easier than ever to procrastinate? Do programs and apps meant to keep people offline and away from distractions really work? If not, what can people do to keep their priorities before them?

The more we use quick and satisfying technology like social media sites, text messages, and email, the more we physically rewire our brains to crave more instant gratification. How do we wire our brains to focus on the things that matter in our hearts more than playing rounds of Words with Friends or Candy Crush?

Some people have gone as far as saying distractions have robbed us of our culture -- we address that and how it's really all a matter of priority. After discussing distractions in the workplace, we talk about ways people can focus more. As writers, we talk about how we focus on something as big as novels in an age of distractions -- and how those tips can carry over to anything people do.

We spend a bit of time talking on the power of solitude...how being alone and free of distractions for long periods of time leads to wonderful things! After that, we ask what's more important: focus or action...before finally wrapping it all up by asking if focus, priority -- or something else entirely -- is the most important thing when it comes to getting things done?

We're almost to our 30th episode. Without focusing on priorities, we'd have never gotten this far.

Direct download: migs29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 28: Last Seen...Being Extreme

There's a fire burning inside some people. We see the spark turn into a blast of heat in an instant when certain topics are brought up; just like that, the most normal person can let loose with a barrage of extreme views.

This week, we're talking about extremists: what constitutes an extremist, why people become so extreme about certain things, and...what we can do about it. Whether it's an angry group in the streets or people spewing anger on Facebook, extremism comes in many forms. There are the stereotypes: Islamic terrorists and other religious zealots hellbent of destruction and hate; eco-terrorists and racists. These are the extreme of the extreme, but everyday people are not immune to extremism.

Angry Christians and angry atheists are doing battle right now, online. Same thing with political battles and so many other topics. Ask for a long discussion about classic art online and you may not get a single reply, but type "Gun control: yes or no?" and watch the floodwaters rise. (And yep, we talk about gun control in this episode!)

We ask if there's an increase in extremism, or if it only seems that way because it's now so easy to be heard online. Are the most extreme people on different sides of an issue that different, or are they united by that fire burning deep within? We ask if there's ever a good reason for extremism and even ask ourselves if we have any extreme views. We chat about extremists many don't think to be extremists before discussing what we think is the most dangerous thing about extremism. Finally, we close it all out by asking what can be done to curb extremism.

Dare we say it -- this might be the most important episode we've ever done...

Direct download: migs28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 27: Last Seen...At the Movies

This week, it's all about movies! The first movies we remember seeing, and a bit about the people who got us into movies. There's talk about drive ins and multiplexes; the times before the rise of the blockbuster and what followed after blockbuster films became common. We discuss the difference between film and movies as well as the movies that made us both want to write screenplays one day. Are movies better or worse than they used to be? Yep, we cover that! Along the way, we talk about our favorite movie characters and the worst -- and best -- movies we've ever seen.

Quick Note: We recorded this over Skype, each running our own sound. Shawn doesn't have a buffer between his desk and recorder, so there are some bumping sounds throughout the podcast. In the spirit of this week's show, just imagine it's the footsteps of the t-rex from Jurassic Park!

Direct download: migs27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:33am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 21: Last Seen...Being Critical

This week's show is all about criticism. While it leans heavily toward writing criticism, we do talk about general criticism and criticism as it pertains to the arts and jobs in general. So here we go:

We begin with an important question: is criticism even helpful for writers and artists, or is it counterproductive to creating "pure" art? Along the way, we discuss how to offer criticism and take criticism that comes your way. We share some personal stories about criticism: the best and worst criticism we've received as well as some other tales of being criticized. With anyone with an Internet connection able to review someone's work online, the review has become a type of criticism. We discuss ways writers and artists can use reviews to see how people feel about what they are doing and maybe even improve their work. We close by looping back to the beginning and asking if criticism is a necessary component of art, or if great work can be created with no outside influence.

Direct download: migs21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT