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!
Wed, 23 December 2015
Chances are, your parents and even grandparents are on Facebook. Once "the next big thing hits," and is proclaimed the killer of the previous network or app, something new comes along to take its place.
Our desire to communicate in short bits of information seems to know no boundaries. Social media now drives revolutions and political campaigns. It's a way to stay in touch with people all over the world or sell the things you make. What was once seen as a risk by companies is now an asset.
But it's not all a wonderful thing. Some studies show that social media makes many people feel bad. Despite being connected in ways we never imagined, it leaves many feeling more lonely than ever. But is that the fault of the social networks, or the person using them?
It's a topic that interests us enough that when Shawn pitched this show, Christopher thought, "We've done that one already..."
But we haven't (we just talk about social media a lot). So, finally, it's a show dedicated to social media.
* * *
We kick it off talking about the first social media platforms we ever used -- going as far as why we joined the particular site. Then we chat about Facebook: when and why we joined.
Many people use social media to stay in touch with friends. We chat about which friends we stay in touch with through social media, and then talk about whether or not we have friends who refuse to use social networks.
It seems with each new network that a lot of hype surrounds the launch of new things. Does social media live up to its hype?
There are people (like Christopher) who tire of it all and take breaks. We discuss how often we take social media breaks, going as far as covering if there are some networks we avoid more than others. But even those taking breaks return: we talk about why that is.
Like it or not, social media is part of life. We chat about how life would be different without it, and then jump to the goofiest -- and best -- uses for social media we've seen. We also talk about the most annoying, tone-deaf use for social media.
We wrap it all up as we often do, talking about the future -- this time, the future of social media.
Comments are just another form of social media, and we'd love to hear what you think about it all in the comments for this episode.
Mon, 14 December 2015
When we look at something big, our minds are conditioned to say, "Damn, that's big!" Many people will never look at something big and see all the tiny pieces that make up the big thing. Because of that, it seems some people think creating substantial things is beyond them. For every thousand people who say, "Someday I'll finally write the best selling novel I know I have in me," is a person who probably actually does have it in them, but believes it's simply beyond them for a variety of reasons.
There are busy writers people look up to who shoot for 250 words a day. Over the course of a year, they have a novel. Inside a couple years, they have a body of work.
But not everything takes as long as a novel. A handful of paintings for a gallery show can be a body of work. Sure, we may not see all the paintings and sketches that got the artist to that point in what they do, but even those sketches in a pile compose a body of work.
With podcasting, one might hear that 7 is a magic number -- that if someone hit 7 shows, they will probably hit 20 or 25. Some shows have an arc that ends, and some are open. Some people have recorded thousands of episodes. We've recorded 150 episodes, which is enough that we decided -- in celebration -- to make our 150th episode all about what goes into a body of work.
* * *
We kick off the episode talking about the first body of work we ever created and quickly jump to what we think is the most impressive body of work ever created. Next, we discuss which body of work we've created that is our favorite -- and our favorite body of work produced by another person. What makes up a body of work -- how big does something have to be? We chat about that, as well as the benefits of producing a body of work.
The world is full of people who want to make things, but don't. We devote some time to why we think some people have a hard time creating a body of work -- and offer advice about how to get started.
Recurring elements appear in most bodies of work. We talk about how important consistency of theme is in creating a lasting body of work, and then chat about the strangest body of work we've ever seen.
After that, we hop into our imaginary time machines to discuss who we'd go back in time to watch work if we could, and we wrap it all up by discussing the next bodies of work we plan on making.
We'd love to hear about what you've made in the comments. (Feel free to link to stuff -- we love seeing what others are up to.)