Wed, 12 March 2014
You may have noticed that the entertainment industry kind of likes remaking things. Stuck for an idea -- why not reboot an existing property? It's been going on for longer than you probably think. Hell, many of Shakespeare's works were remakes!
We start off the episode talking about the first remakes we remember seeing. From there, we move on to discussing why we think movies and TV executives are quick to reboot old shows and remake the same movie over and over. Many remakes don't make their money back...so why do they keep coming back?
Next, we discuss the gritty reboot (think Cabbage Patch Kids done by Tarantino). What do we think about this kind of reboot -- and what are the best (and worst) gritty reboots we've ever seen? Find out what existing property we could not believe was made into a movie or TV show. Listen, and find out what existing property we would like to see remade.
The Internet is full of people coming unhinged when something they cherish is remade (Where the Red Fern Grows: The Revenge of Old Dan and Little Ann, Part VII!). But for all the whining, do reboots and remakes take something away from the original? ("The Ghost of Matlock and Indiana Jones team up with Shaggy and Scoob and solve mysteries. Corey Feldman is attached!")
Note about the sound: We had to record the last two episodes through Skype, so the quality is a bit lacking, but...sometimes that's what it takes to get a show out weekly. (Who knew we'd have an ice storm the day after it was 85 degrees one Saturday?) We might have to do one more Skype show before getting back to in-person with better sound...thanks for listening!
Wed, 5 March 2014
Wall Street and big bankers...power-hungry politicians...people all but rioting for big sales items in stores during the holiday season -- it seems like greed has reached new heights, but has it? Find out in this week's episode.
We begin with two questions:
After that, we discuss scams. Movies would have us believe that a big part of a scam is the challenge, but is that the case in the real world?
Greed manifests in ways some people don't consider. Jealousy is a kind of greed; we take a few moments to make our case for this and then discuss if we're the jealous types.
Greed has destroyed lives and toppled societies, but at what point in everyday life does greed become a destructive force? Can greed ever be a good thing?
Many say America as we know it was founded on greed -- is this the case? If so, just how intertwined is America's relationship with greed? Should we actually feel pity for greedy individuals, as though it were an addiction? And is it greedy to put one's needs before others?
Each year, many people read and watch versions of that Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. Is Ebenezer Scrooge's epiphany realistic? Why has the story endured for such a long time?
We wrap up this episode discussing types of greed many might not consider greedy, before closing with this question: Is greed something that needs to be fixed...and if so, how do we fix it?
We're not greedy about letting you have your say -- feel free to share your thoughts about greed in the comments.
Wed, 26 February 2014
Think of all the things on your to-do list. Think about it in morning traffic. You're not even at work, but you're already thinking about all that waits for you. What about the things on yesterday's to-do list that you pushed to today? Then there are all the things you have to do after work, instead of doing the things you'd rather be doing. If reading this opening sounds familiar to you, this week's show is about something you're probably fighting: stress!
We kick it all off by discussing the first stress we remember experiencing. Then...
Stress sticks with humans. In the animal world, many animals stress in the moment of fighting or escaping and then go back to just existing. We don't do that; the more cognizant of the world around them and the possibilities contained in that world, the more stressed animals become. Humans top that list. So...we dedicate some time to talking about what separates us from other animals.
This isn't all about animals and other humans, though; we ask each other if we consider ourselves stressed individuals before discussing what actually stresses us out.
Then we move on to others, talking about how big we think stress of the unknown plays into a person's current stresses. Some people seem to be stress magnets, but when looking at them, they create unnecessary stress in their lives. We devote some time to why we think some people actively create unnecessary stress in their lives before moving on to this: "How much do you think lifestyle, or want for a particular lifestyle, plays into stress?"
It's not that we think stress is silly -- it's clearly a real thing for so many. If we lived in certain parts of the world, we'd definitely be more stressed. Fortunately, nobody is going to kick in our doors and execute us, so...we ask: what are valid stresses for those living in suburbia? After that, it's on to talking about how much things people can’t change affect stress. And it wouldn't be fair to close the episode out without asking how we can all defeat stress?
So settle back and breathe deeply -- it's not so bad. And...let us know what stresses you out in the comments.
Wed, 19 February 2014
The stories often seem too perfect ("...and then the doberman was choking...on the burglar's finger!"); the reassurance it's fact is shoddy at best ("I'm serious -- it's true! It happened to my cousin's best friend's boss' daughter's tuba instructor!")
The urban legend.
What is it that makes some stories endure for lifetimes, and how does the Internet play a part in their spread today? That's what we're talking about this week.
We begin the episode by discussing the most recent urban legend we've heard; in Christopher's case, it was told the night before recording this episode, proving that far-fetched stories are definitely not a thing of the past. In fact, we discuss how we live in the golden age of half-truths and bogus stories; in part, because they are so easy to share through social media. After discussing why we believe urban legends are so easy to spread, we talk about how urban legends can still endure when sites like snopes.com and other sources for answers exist.
Urban legends endure despite how ridiculous many of the stories are -- belief is more important than fact where they are concerned. We ask (and answer): "What human need do urban legends serve?" Then we step back in time and share the first urban legends we ever heard.
Some urban legends cross the line and become not just stories to share, but deep beliefs people insist are true to the end. Dispute these people's claims or present facts and it doesn't matter -- they are all in and nothing can change them. After devoting some time to that, we discuss a couple urban legends we've believed, if only for a short time. Moving on from there, we share the craziest urban legends we've ever heard.
It's clear urban legends are a big part of the human experience. Many tales, even before the age of the Internet, spread and became things people insisted were true all around the world. With Shawn and Christopher both moving about in their youth, they saw it first hand: almost every town seemed to have their own weird killers killing in the same manner as the town where they lived before, and on the outskirts of those towns there always seemed to be railroad tracks where -- if you turned your car off and sat on the tracks as a train came your way (usually at midnight) -- ghostly children who died in a bus crash would push your car to safety. We close out the episode asking each other if urban legends will ever die?
We'd love to hear the craziest urban legends you've ever heard -- share away in the comments!
Wed, 12 February 2014
Some people do things because they enjoy it; others do things because they feel entitled. Like anything, entitlement can push one to greatness...or make them one of the most annoying people you may ever meet. This week, we feel entitled to talk about entitlement!
We start off chatting about whether or not we felt entitled to anything as kids, and if that changed as teenagers. It seems many believe entitlement is a feeling reserved for the young, but after talking about the past, we talk about the most entitled people we've ever met: adults!
With social media, everyone has a platform -- and many adults spend a lot of time online pushing their opinions on others. Are those people entitled to an audience no matter what they say, or are we within our own rights to shut the ranting poxmonkeys down? (Our answers, here, are probably pretty obvious by referring to the obnoxious blowhards demanding we listen as "poxmonkeys.")
Moving on from there, we discuss unsolicited criticism and ranting in general: why do people do this, and can any good come from it? Many believe anything said online is deserving of a contradicting rebuttal. When Popular Science removed comments from their website because they grew tired of recurring arguments derailing conversation, there was outcry. We take a moment to discuss why people feel so entitled to having their say, before moving on to asking if the Internet has contributed to a sense of entitlement to any and all opinions being thrown about with no regard to others. Often, with this kind of entitlement, anger lies at the root; we discuss the relationship between anger and a sense of entitlement.
Entitlement comes in all shapes and forms. If one wins the lottery, or even makes a lot of money on their own through hard work -- some family and others feel entitled to a cut. We share our thoughts about whether or not others are entitled to the fortunes of others.
Many creative people feel they are entitled to making a living doing what they love most, and that those who work cheaply (or for free) are not entitled to anything because they've undercut the way things have been done for years. We share our thoughts as writers on this, arguing that creative people are really nothing special and that to expect earning a living simply because you really love doing something is a strange sense of entitlement in its own right.
Politicians have done a great job in recent years branding things they don't like as "entitlements." We devote some time to discussing if these programs are good or bad...and if they are entitlements at all or simply basic rights. After that, we ask if humans are entitled to anything, simply for existing. Finally, we close the week's show by sharing what one thing we would make an entitlement if we had the power.
Despite all that's said in this episode, you're entitled to your opinions; feel free to share them in the comments.
Wed, 5 February 2014
One year ago, we loaded the very first episode of the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast. Since that day, we've produced a weekly show without fail...in large part because we live by our motto: "Chill the fuck out, and make the damn thing!" We've made 53 damn things so far, and have plenty more in store for year two. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate a year's worth of episodes than by talking about the power of taking it easy and making things you love.
We kick it all off by talking about our motto and discussing the things we've made since starting the podcast. Obviously, we've made 53 weekly shows, but we prove that if you just chill out and focus, there's time to make even more things that make you happy. After that, we talk about the best things we've ever made! (It's not surprising that those things are current things that came along, in part, since we really embraced our motto.)
It's easy to tell people to take it easy and make things, but we take it a step further by devoting some time talking about how we find time with busy schedules to make things. It's also interesting to us how the motto of taking it easy and making things has permeated our own lives...how something that just happened over the course of a couple episodes has now become a mantra we live by. We spend some time talking about others areas in our lives that have benefited positively by our motto. And since this is a one-year anniversary show and a new year for the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast, we talk about some of the things we plan to make in the next 52 weeks!
Our motto is broken into two parts (1. Chill the fuck out... 2. ...And make the damn thing!). We spend time talking about the first part of the motto, asking if we've found ourselves taking it easy even more since the motto came to be. After that, we devote some time to the most important thing the motto has done for us...and what personal improvement we've made as a result of making the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast.
Thank you all so much for listening to this show, and any others you've checked out! We would do the podcast regardless of who listens, but we push ourselves even more knowing there are people out there listening and replying. Big shout out to CM Stewart, whose replies are always very appreciated, interesting, and fun. We love the discussions that come out of doing shows as much as putting shows together, so please: always feel free to join in the discussion in the comments!
Wed, 29 January 2014
"Who are you?" seems like an easy question to answer, but it's often more difficult to sum up who you are quickly. Do you talk about where you were born and raised, or do you talk about work? Your hobbies, faith (or lack of faith), and other things that define you? Favorite foods, music, movies, and other things? We kick off this episode with this very question and discover that it's not so easy to sum up one's identity in an elevator speech.
Childhood undoubtedly plays a huge part of one's identity. We spend some time discussing the one experience from early in our lives -- more than any others -- that is responsible for who we are today. Next, we talk about other influences on who we are and what effect those influences have had on how we carry ourselves today...and how we interact with others.
Some people carry physical identifiers of who they are on their bodies. We talk about the tattoos we have, what they mean to us, and if we'd like to get more. From there, we ask if individuality is a western ideal -- a bigger thing in America than in other countries? History is full of countries that attempted to stifle individuality. Is there an advantage of a society that puts more stock in everyone together for everyone, or does it take a nation of individuals to make a nation work best?
Individuality is an ever-changing thing, even if one can be -- on some level -- the same good or bad person they've been since they are young. Even into adulthood, asking "What do you want to be when you grow up?" can bring what matters most to us to the surface. We ask each other what we still aspire to be. (It's a rare moment when something we say is something we believe should be what everyone aspires to be, but it's safe to say we both believe that Shawn's answer to this question should be everybody's answer.)
We wrap it all up asking each other is we turned out how we thought we would. Find out if we became the people our childhood selves thought we'd be...
As always, we'd love to hear your answers to any of the things discussed in this episode. Let's start with "Who are you...?"
Thu, 23 January 2014
While this podcast is done as a team, most of the work the Gorilla Men do is done in solitude. This week, it's all about alone time!
We kick it all off asking is we were okay playing alone when we were young. After that, we discuss times (and the desire for times) spent alone. Obviously, not everybody is as okay with solitude as we are -- we ask if there's an inherent loneliness in solitude before discussing if there is freedom in time spent alone.
With technology, on some level, it's possible to always be connected. Social media, messaging, and other easy-to-use services can be great for those unable to venture into the world as easily as some, but there can also be a downside to always-on technology. We ask if there are benefits to disconnecting from an e-world -- before going on to talking about solitude's effect on creativity.
Solitude is not always voluntary: we spend some time discussing the negative effects of solitude. For those fortunate enough to be able to seek out solitude, they still often feel so overwhelmed by work, family, and tasks that they can't find time to themselves. In a time when leisure time seems to be waning for so many people, we ask if solitude is more important than ever. It's probably clear by now that the answer to that -- for us -- is that some degree of solitude is important. Then, Christopher asks what role solitude plays in subconscious thought, and Shawn asks if Christopher talks to himself when alone.
The general view of solitude is holing up alone in a room or cabin for a period of time, but we ask if solitude can be found with another person present...or even in a group. After that, we move on to talking about the biggest benefits of solitude before wrapping up with discussing how people can find solitude in a busy world.
We hope you'll share your views about solitude in the comments, but more than that: we hope this episode gives you some time alone in your head after listening...maybe even helping you claim some time to yourself!
Wed, 15 January 2014
The 50th podcast. That's fun to type. We're closing in on a year at Men in Gorilla Suits...and that matters to us. Not that anything comes with hitting the 50th weekly show without fail, or even crossing the one-year mark on February 6. (The first show went up Thursday, February 7.) What matters is no matter what, we've put out a weekly show longer than many podcasts last.
Whether slammed with overtime at work, sick, busy with other things, or just wanting blocks of time off where we do nothing, we've proven our motto -- that it really is as simple as chilling the fuck out...and making the damn thing!
The damn thing we've made for you this week is a podcast about...intelligence!
We start off defining what we see as intelligence, before discussing our own battle stories with IQ tests (and the results that followed taking the tests). After that, we ask the question: do we all start from different, measurable levels of intelligence? Without IQ tests, are there ways to measure intelligence?
Obviously, it's rarely a simple thing, and we address that as we talk about different kinds of intelligence (book-smarts vs. street-smarts; survival mode vs. contemporary life). Some other questions:
Then it's genius time. Were Mozart and others like him a genius? How do average people stack up to those historically deemed geniuses? Is there even such a thing as genius, or is it all hype or adoration? Flipping genius on its head, does stupidity exist -- and if it does, is it measurable? Are some people just more intelligent than others?
Finally, we wrap it all up by discussing the most intelligent person we each know (and, in the process, Gorilla Shawn settles a life-long family dispute)!
So put on your thinking caps and hit the comments to discuss your thoughts about...intelligence!
Wed, 8 January 2014
With one episode shy of our 50th show, and a handful of shows away from the one-year anniversary show on February 6, it's clear that creating the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast is now part of our routine. In fact, lately, we haven't recorded as often as usual because of the holidays -- this was the first show we did in weeks. Christopher flubs the opening (we kept it and didn't re-record), showing that falling out of routine can leave one a step off. Hell, Christopher felt off this entire show -- so much so that he set out to edit this episode the old way (routine), when we edited every pause and "uhm..." out of episodes. The good thing is, when you produce a weekly show, falling back into routines takes no time at all; Christopher's sleepy, out-it-it mode for the day had no effect on the episode, despite it feeling off for him. No editing was needed, and he was happy to hear that the show ended up better than he hoped.
But enough babbling...
We kick off this episode talking about the first routines we remember having. From there, we talk about how we form routines and habits, before discussing how important routine is in our lives. While it will become clear early on that we are not the biggest fans of routines -- going so far that we reject many routines others try to put on us -- we take a moment to discuss the importance of routines in completing the things that matter most to us. (Spoiler alert: it's pretty much, "The podcast is our biggest routine, and we really do abide by our motto of Chill the Fuck Out...and Make the Damn Thing!")
Sometimes the routines in life change. We talk about routines that have fallen to the side that we'd like to bring back into our lives...and we talk about routines we're glad are no longer part of our lives. Even for people like us, who reject most routines, one cannot have at least some routines in their lives. We take a bit of time to discuss where in our lives we see the most routine, and go as far as mentioning some routines that aren't a part of our lives that we'd like to invite in.
Writers and other people making creative things are known for strange routines (certain things on the desk, rituals before beginning their thing, and so many other quirks). We talk about if we have writing routines and, if so, what they are. Then it's on to talking about people who have routines that we've admired, before mentioning our own longest-standing routines.
Finally, we close with a quote by Amos Bronson Alcott, who said:
Find out if we'd be okay living lives with no routines, and...let us know your own thoughts about routines (or routines, rituals, and habits you have), in the comments.