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.
Mon, 28 December 2015
No, the title of this episode doesn't mean the Gorillamen have bolted into the trees to take a vacation hiatus from the podcast (although Christopher is taking his last vacation day of the year as this week's episode is being put together). With so many people taking time off at the end of the year, we decided to dedicate an episode to taking vacations.
* * *
We begin with our earliest memories of vacations and where we went (and what we did), and then we define what constitutes a vacation in our minds. After that, we discuss our best -- and worst -- vacations.
When people think "vacation," they often think of exotic locations that cost a bit of money for the trip. But can you take a vacation when you don't have much money?
We are connected more than ever, and that can mean an issue when announcing you are taking a vacation in certain areas. People you may know, there, want to see you, but all you want is to get away from it all and spend time alone, with your significant other, or your family. How do we deal with this situation? Find out!
Some people love taking vacations with family and friends, while others like keeping it to a significant other or immediate family. Find out if we like vacations with a group of friends and family, or just with our wives. Also find out where we like to go on vacation: beaches, exotic locations, cities, or the middle of nowhere.
Solo travel can be a wonderful thing. We chat about whether or not we've taken a vacation with nobody else...and then we talk about a growing issue with vacation: being constantly connected. With it being the end of the year, many workaholics are using up the vacation time they didn't take during the year. We know people planning to work at least a little bit over their vacations or, at the very least, keeping up with email daily. (How that isn't work is beyond us.) Is the actual getaway vacation a thing of the past when living in an always-connected society?
Traveling can be expensive, and sometimes when you finally get a break from work or the busy pace of life, the last thing you want to do is manage an itinerary and still have a schedule shoved in your face. Many people opt for a "staycation" when they have time off work. Is the staycation a valid vacation and, if so, do we like them?
The world is a big, wonderful place, but there are still dangerous places out there. Find out if there are places we'd love to see, but are afraid to visit -- and then find out what our dream vacations are.
We wrap up this week's episode by discussing our next planned vacations.
Have you had a wonderful vacation you'd love to chat about (or a tale of a vacation gone wrong)? Tell us about it in the comments!