Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 110: Last Seen…Talking about Rap and Hip Hop

"Four and three and two and one, and when I'm on the mic, the suckas run..."

Hip hop and rap -- styles of music that seem to be either loved or hated. We're on the love side, and it's entirely possible that if you're on the hate side, we might win you over by the end of this episode.

We kick it off talking about the first rap or hip hop we remember hearing. After that, we move on to what we say to those who tell us they can't stand rap and hip hop (even going as far as saying it's inferior to all other music). Want to know what songs we play for those who say they hate all rap and hip hop? We tell ya!

Rap gets a bad...rap for being sexist and homophobic. While it's not something exclusive to the style of music, it's definitely prevalent enough that we spend a little bit of time to talk about that. And while we're on that roll, we discuss the use of "nigger" and "nigga" in rap and hip hop. (Hint about our feelings: just typing that seems sooooooo wrong. This part of the show devolved into talking about the awkwardness and desperation of Quentin Tarantino.)

Rap and hip hop have been influential enough to have offshoots like nerdcore and trip hop. We discuss that for a bit before jumping to how rap and hip hop have influenced music in general.

We take a little detour and talk about the best live rap or hip hop shows we've seen, and then it's on to a one-minute lightning round where we rattle off all the rap and hip hop we like as fast as we can.

We'll be the first to admit that not all rap and hip hop is good. We devote some time to the worst tunes before wrapping it all up by discussing what the future holds for rap and hip hop.

We'd love to know how you feel about the music; feel free to comment below.

Direct download: migs110.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 11:24pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 109: Last Seen…Committing Crimes

As you read this, we're stealing your wallet or purse. Now...we're breaking into your car. Shawn just might assault you for the sheer joy of committing a crime. Christopher just stole your identity...

Okay, so we're not criminals, but crime is a fascinating topic to us; we're surprised it took us 109 weeks to finally get to it.

We begin the episode talking about the first time we remember hearing about crime; then we jump to whether or not we've been victims of violent crimes or any property crimes.

We couldn't do a show about crime without coming clean and talking about anything we've done that can be deemed criminal activity...or things we've done that -- without a doubt -- were criminal. After that, we talk about the worst crimes we've committed (at least, according to the law).

It's easy to jump online and convince yourself that you will be a victim of crime on any given day, but...is crime more or less of a problem today than when we were young? And what do we think contributes to the perception that crime is running rampant right now?

Criminals can be stupid and, sometimes, outright hilarious. We discuss the craziest crime stories we've heard and then put on our poorly-made super hero outfits and talk about if we've ever had a desire to fight crime. (Oddly enough, it wasn't, "Oh, yes...I always wanted to be a cop." Nope, we go straight to vigilantism.)

Crime in America is on the downswing, and has been for quite some time. We talk about what we believe has led to the overall decrease, and then we discuss where we believe the most crime-ridden places in the first world are when it comes to violent crime.

We wrap up the episode -- as always -- looking toward the future. Will humanity ever wipe out crime, or is it something that will always be around?

As always, confess any of your criminal activities, or share your thoughts on crime, in the comments below.

Direct download: migs109.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:45am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 108: Last Seen…Being Apathetic

Meh...

Yawn...

We almost didn't do this episode because we just didn't care...

We were feeling rather...apathetic.

But then we remembered that apathy sometimes gets a bad rap, so we decided to stand tall and defend it.

Sort of...

We begin by discussing what we think the average person thinks of when you ask them what apathy is. After that, we talk about the first things we remember being apathetic about.

Why do some people become apathetic in the first place? We chat about that before asking if we've seen people use apathy as a defense.

If you listen to the show, you know there's a facet of apathy we embrace. We talk about the power of controlled apathy a bit, and then move on to when apathy can become a problem. Find out if we've ever seen apathy damage someone.

Another popular form of apathy is voter apathy. Are people who don't vote because they don't care part of the problem, or are there reasons some people don't vote that go beyond simply not wanting to go through the motions?

Next, we talk about how to overcome damaging apathy...and what we think can make one person obsessive while others become apathetic. Along the same thought, we discuss if a person can be apathetic in some aspects of their life while being very active in others.

We wrap it all up wondering if humans will always be apathetic.

If you care enough about this episode, please leave a comment below. If you don't, we get...it's cool...

Direct download: migs108.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 107: Last Seen…Being Corrupt

It seems everywhere you turn -- government, corporations, religion, education -- there's corruption. So much so that many people seem to think that honesty is a thing of the past. (These people often forget that the past was full of just as much corruption...maybe even more.) Are we all doomed to live in a world where the little guy is crushed beneath the boots of those cheating their way to the top, or is that view of the world not really justified? That's what we're talking about on this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.

We begin the episode talking about the first example of corruption we can remember (hint: Christopher was born in Chicago and raised in the area). After that, we discuss the first time we were on either side of something corrupt (as the victim or the one actually being corrupt).

We get a little bogged down in semantics when we talk about whether or not absolute power corrupts absolutely -- and then we talk about how big a problem corruption is where we live.

When most people think about corruption, they think about government. We talk about how big we think corruption is on a federal level, and then jump to corporations (including if we've ever seen corruption at any of the places we've worked).

We step away from the idea that corruption is reserved solely for the powerful and talk about other forms of corruption worthy of concern. Next, we discuss the most corrupt organizations we've heard about.

It seems like every week (or several times a week) there's a new video of corrupt police activity. We talk about whether or not police departments are more corrupt today than they were in the past, and then...we jump to the National Football League. (Because why not?! Actually, it was a talk about the NFL that triggered this episode for Gorilla Shawn.) If we were made commissioner of the NFL, find out if we'd give in to corruption...and how long it would take either of us to become corrupt.

We wrap up the episode talking about what we can do in the future to slow down or even stop corruption...or if it's just something we'll always live with.

Leave a comment below and we'll be sure that if either of us are ever made President of the United States, we'll give you the cabinet position of your choice!

Direct download: migs107.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 106: Last Seen…Talking about Family

If you're reading this -- whether you like it or not -- you have [at some point in your life] been part of a family. Chances are you're still part of a family. (We have met very few loners in life who have eschewed or lost all family.) It's something we all have in common, but what constitutes a family can be very different depending on who you ask. That's what we're talking about on this week's episode of Men in Gorilla Suits.

We begin by talking about our earliest family memories and then jump to how large our immediate families were (and are).

There are those who say, "My friends are family!" Does that hold true to us, or can only actual relatives be family?

The Brady Bunch introduced many people to step families at a time when it wasn't as common as it is today. We discuss our experiences with step families -- and then talk about in-laws...are they as bad as sitcoms and movies make them out to be?

Find out if family is the most important thing in our lives; then we talk about our best -- and worst -- family memories.

Families are not perfect things, and sometimes there are relatives who are just very hard to deal with. Find out if either of us have ever written off a family member.

With more people having children later in life (or not at all), "fur-kids" has become a term many use to describe their pets. We some time to talking about how important pets are to family.

It seems even the most Leave-it-to-Beaver families have some degree of dysfunction going on. We ask if there even are any normal families out there, or if it's all an ideal that can never exist.

Finally, what constitutes a family has changed over the years. We talk about the future of the family and the challenges faced (and -- hopefully -- the acceptance that family is really what we make of it...).

If you feel compelled to join in the conversation, have your say in the comments below...

Direct download: migs106.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 105: Last Seen…Podcasting about Podcasting

This coming Saturday marks a fairly big day for the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast. On February 7, 2013, we loaded our first episode. Over a hundred episodes later, we're still going strong.

What better way to celebrate this milestone by podcasting...about podcasting!

We begin with the first podcasts we remember listening to and then jump to how we describe podcasts to those not familiar with them.

Most people into podcasts are familiar with Serial. It's one of the only podcasts we can think of that people at work talk about, but has it really gone mainstream (as many podcasters claim)?

Regardless of Serial's standing, there's no doubt that it has opened people's eyes to podcasting and influenced people. Find out how we feel the success of Serial has influenced podcasts.

Find out if either of us did any podcasting before Men in Gorilla Suits -- as well as what made us want to podcast.

Within podcasting, some argue that content is the most important thing while others say production matters so much that they will not listen to even a great show if it doesn't sound like it was produced in a studio. Obviously, a mix of both things is ideal, but if we could choose only one thing, find out what matters more to us: content or production quality.

Beyond that, find out what we feel is the most important thing when doing a podcast -- and also, find out how podcasting has changed our lives.

Clearly, we like podcasts. We talk about some of our favorite shows, including particular episodes that stand out as our all-time faves.

Finally, as we usually do, we look toward the future -- this time speculating what the future holds for podcasting.

Whether you've been there since the start of Men in Gorilla Suits, or if this is the first episode you've listened to, we thank you so much for letting us into your ear holes! We'd love to hear what some of your favorite podcasts are in the comments below...

Direct download: migs105.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 104: Last Seen…Evolving

There are those who do not believe that animals evolve. Not just evolution about certain animals based on the strongest evidence we have, but outright -- people who believe nothing evolves.

This is probably not a show for those people...even though we'd argue that it really is.

Evolution. No nice way to say it: some people (usually neo-conservative people who fear science), don't believe in even the facts surrounding evolution. Fortunately, most religious people, liberals, and actual conservatives we know DO believe in evolution. (Because only a very stupid person -- or a person with an agenda -- would look at the facts about evolution and deny them.) Obviously, evolution is the topic of discussion in this week's Men in Gorilla Suits. (We're probably not doing our side any favors by using a baboon in a top hat as the image for the week, but...BABOON IN A TOP HAT, PEOPLE!!!) So stretch that back, stand upright, and evolve with us...

We begin with what has probably been more than established with that introduction: do we believe in the theory of evolution? (Christopher doesn't even like prefacing that statement with the inclusion of "theory" ... find out why.)

Find out when the concept of humans evolving from other animals was first introduced to us, and find out the moment when we actually pictured ourselves evolving from another primate.

Also clear by our introduction: some people don't believe in evolution. Some of these people have come up with some very wacky "arguments" against evolution. Find out the craziest anti-evolution arguments we've ever heard.

What do we feel are the most evolved forms of life on the planet? We talk about that before jumping to what evolved intelligent life on other planets might look like.

We throw humans out of the mix and talk about what we feel is the apex predator out in the wilds...and then we talk about the next step in human evolution. We also talk about how humans have changed in the last 100,000 years or so, before we talk about whether or not we believe humans are evolved...or just a stepping stone to something else down the line.

We wrap it all up talking about the future of the human race (from a biological point of view).

We'd love to hear what your evolved fingers can type about this topic in the comments below.

Direct download: migs104.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 7:57am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 103: Last Seen…Sick and Injured

Poor, poor Christopher. New Year's Eve he felt it...a slight scratching in his throat. The thought went through his head: "That EVIL family that came in late to the last Hobbit movie, sat up front, and THEN...saw the seats next to me and SAT IN THEM...the hacking girl who should NOT have been out an about...IT'S ALL HER FAULT!!!" (Not even knowing her Christmas must have been spent being miserably sick summoned compassion from a very compassionate individual because...poor, poor Christopher began the new year SICK!!! As in, missed two days of work sick...when I didn't plan to take ANY time off until late April.)

But let's talk about Shawn and all his broken noses. His cauliflower ear. A semi-professional fighter in all kinds of fighting styles in his youth, Shawn is not a stranger to injury. Hell, in this very episode...he friggin' bled all over the place from the side of his head! Not kidding...we were chatting away and he rubbed at a shaving injury. BOOM! It looked all Helter Skelter! Were Christopher not used to goofy, bloody injuries himself, he would have insisted on Shawn stopping and cleaning up...but Christopher's only regret was that he did not get a photo of all the blood.

"What the hell?" you might be thinking? "This is no way to begin show notes for an episode!" But you have probably figured out by now that we are talking, this week, about sickness and injury...

We kick this episode off talking about our earliest memories of being sick or injured...before jumping to the sickest we've ever been. (Christopher apparently ate a shit sammich in Chicago in the mid 90s...)

Injuries. It's not like we plan them. We discuss our most surprising injuries before talking about...surgery! Find out if we've ever had surgery and, if so...why we let someone cut into our bodies.

Medicine. Some say, "Great stuff -- LOVE medicine!" Others...not so much. Find out where we stand on medicine and, if you've ever really wondered, find out what medications we take on a regular basis.

Many who are not fans of medicine push holistic cures even more quickly than the most prescription-happy doctor. Find out where we stand on natural remedies (although we probably just showed our hands with that last line).

Do we consider ourselves sickly or healthy? Find out before we jump to mental health. Is mental health an illness, or all in the heads of those who experience it? Find out where we stand on that and then...find out if either of us are hypochondriacs.

After that, we talk about the illness or injury that most terrifies us.

We close the episode out talking about our weirdest health boasts and what the future holds for illness and injuries.

Want to chime in? Feel free to talk about anything in this episode (or anything we missed that you wished we talked about) in the comments below...

Direct download: migs103.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 102: Last Seen…Playing Fantasy Football

If you listened to our episode about sports, you know we like sports well enough. We have games and players we like, and we enjoy watching these games and players...but if sports one day ceased to exist, life would go on for us. The thought of a world without sports, for some, is the thought of a world they could not live in. We've argued before that sports fans have the potential to be more geeky than any comic book fan, and with the rise of fantasy sports, that geekery is taken to new levels.

There are fantasy leagues for so many sports, but the biggie -- by far -- is American football. So much, that we're dedicating this week's show to fantasy football. (Also because we played fantasy football this season.)

We begin by talking about when we first got into football in general, and then jump to when we first played fantasy football. Who roped us into playing? Find out!

There are people who live for fantasy football, to the point that some speculate it costs workplace productivity 13 billion (yes, BILLION) dollars a year. Find out how often we checked our lineups and how much time we lost playing. Fantasy football consumes weekends for some; we talk about how invested we were in our teams on game days.

It's clear fantasy football isn't going away. We talk about why we think it's only grown in recent years before dedicating some time to our own strategies: how we decided what to do. (Were we into stats, or did we play from the gut?) We also talk about the lessons we learned from our season of fantasy football.

For some, fantasy football is all about winning -- and as silly as it sounds (especially when playing friends) -- a win can feel good. We talk about our best wins (and most heartbreaking losses) of the season.

Anyone listening to Men in Gorilla Suits knows we are fascinated by why people do things. We talk about the appeal of fantasy football to non-football fans and the most die-hard fans...which really comes down to this question: do you even need to be into football to enjoy fantasy football?

Many sports fans equate sports to life, so...we wrap up this episode equating our fantasy football season to a life lesson. (Because SPORTSBALL!!!)

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about this episode in the comments below...

Direct download: 102.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 10:28pm EDT

You hear a lot of people say that people don't go outside anymore, but whenever we go outside, whether it's a state or national park, or just a walk around our neighborhoods, people are always out and about, enjoying nature. We hear people at work say things like, "I wish I could get outside more." We've seen backyards that, while they may be a bit manicured, fall away into wide fields with views of nothing man made. It's our experience that humans crave being outside.

So that's what we're talking about this week: nature!

We begin by talking about our earliest memories of nature, and then jump right into what we love best (and hate most) about nature. (Spoiler alert: Christopher hates these possibly more than stinging insects. And THIS is the most accurate image of a wasp ever created!)

After that, we discuss how important nature is in our lives -- and talk about some of our favorite memories in nature. If we had complete dominion over nature, find out what we would change about it...and find out the scariest things that have ever happened to us outside. Next, we jump to our favorite natural places visited...before talking about where we would visit (and what we would do) if time and money were no object.

While it's sometimes just "You kids get off my lawn!" curmudgeony hype, it's true that -- at least in America -- kids are urged by busy parents to stay inside more. Latchkey kids were once more an exception than the norm, and we discuss what kids who don't get to go outside frequently lose in the trade for what is often only perceived safety. And adults aren't immune; after all, they are usually the people telling their kids to stay inside...and as busy as they are (or have at least convinced themselves they are), they also gain something by being outside. We talk about that for a bit, and at least Christopher urges you to go check out Alastair Humphrey's blog and, ESPECIALLY, his #microadventures YouTube videos.

We wrap up this episode talking about what the future has in store for nature.

As always, we'd love to hear about your favorite places, best (and worst) experiences outside, and your favorite things about nature in the comments below.

Direct download: migs101.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT