Wed, 2 July 2014
We travel back in time to find out the first things we remember really wanting…and what made us want them? Sticking to youth, we spend some time talking about how driving materialism is in kids -- and whether or not it's a problem. Then we leap back to more modern times and discuss the most frivolous thing we've ever purchased and, if money were no object, the most frivolous thing we'd buy today.
There are people who say materialism is destroying the world -- find out if we think that's true.
There’s a line in the Fugazi song, “Merchandise,” that goes: “You are not what you own!” We discuss whether or not we think that's true before moving on to asking if the things we own can own us. Is it hypocritical for a person living in a mansion to revere historical figures who were not about materialism (e.g. Gandhi)? And find out how we feel about holidays where giving material things is the norm.
Next week's show is all about religion: find out this week if we think the leaders of mega churches is a contradiction to a pious life? Also, find out where we stand on those who are part of the anti-materialism movement.
We close this week's show out with this question: "Could you live without material things?"
We'd love to hear your view on this (especially the most frivolous thing you've purchased (or would purchase if money were no object)).
[A quick note: We know a few listeners are distracted during recordings with the snoring Boston terrier, Ziva, in the background. Shawn and his wife rescued Ziva (and another dog) and she's now settled enough that she doesn't need to be right alongside us for future episodes. Thanks for understanding. The two new MiGs dogs are badass. For more information about the MiGSPod wolf pack, check out our About page.]
Wed, 25 June 2014
Everything in its right place. Sitting in one place for hours, toiling away at the thing you can't not do. The urge to not just know a little bit about something, but instead: turning your life into the pursuit of learning all you can about the interesting new things that come your way. Obsession has driven some to create work that has withstood the test of time. It has also driven some mad. That's what we're talking about this week.
We begin by asking each other if we consider ourselves to be obsessive people. Find out if we have any obsessive tendencies. Also find out the first thing we had more than just a passing interest in...before moving on to discussing the first time we can remember a person showing obsessive behavior.
It's become a pretty popular thing to say "I'm OCD about things"...when that's rarely the case. Find out if we've ever met people truly diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder?
After that, we move on to talking about if we've ever become obsessed with a book, a film, or TV series.
If you want to know what one thing has to be done in our lives "just so," listen in. You'll also find out the most insanely obsessive we've ever been about anything.
Obsession can be a strange thing: what one finds normal, others may find strange. We talk about obsessions we've seen in others that we just don't understand.
No matter how much a person might like to believe they are exceptional -- that their quirks and actual obsessive tendencies are theirs and theirs only -- people are rarely so different. Find out if we believe everyone is a little obsessive in their own ways.
We wrap up the episode wondering if a little bit of obsession is healthy...and how much is too much.
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about this week's topic in the comments below...
Wed, 18 June 2014
The government is reading this. They can hear your thoughts; they have hidden microphones in all American homes. They track your every move. They've been doing this for decades...
Some people actually believe this, even though the closest thing to truth in these lines is that all Internet traffic passes through government systems. That's a lot of data, and the vast majority of it is not even actually read. Google and Facebook know more about you than the government, and many find that unsettling. (Especially when companies are so willing to turn data over to the government.) It's not as bad as those in tinfoil hats make it sound. Still, we do not have as much privacy as we once did, and that's the topic this week.
We begin the episode with two simple questions:
The need for privacy, or even a feeling of privacy, differs from person to person. Find out how much privacy we feel like we need in the physical world. What things do we need absolute privacy to do? (The episode kind of degrades into poop talk, here.)
But back to privacy. With the rise of the Internet, is privacy eroding or going away entirely? Is that a good or bad thing? Is anything one puts online fair game for the general public? Many people go to great lengths maintaining a physical persona and an online persona. Find out if there's a big difference in what we share in real life vs. what we're comfortable sharing online.
Conspiracy theorist or not, the NSA monitors phone calls, text messages, and email. Find out if it bothers us that the government is invading our privacy. Find out if Google, Apple, and Facebook tracking as much as they can about people bothers us.
After that, we move on to where the line is crossed when it comes to the government or companies going too far in needing to know our personal information. Have we crossed that line yet?
We wrap the episode up with this question: What's the future of privacy -- both online and in the real world?
As always, feel free to chime in about privacy in the comments below. The government and Google already know your thoughts -- there's nothing to hide...
Wed, 11 June 2014
Ah, money. It's probably safe to say everyone reading this, or who listens to the podcast, wouldn't mind a bit more money than they have. Some say money -- or the love of money -- is the root of all evil today. While we don't believe that, we examine the good, bad, and the ugly when it comes to cash in this episode.
We begin by talking about our first memories of money and then jump right to answering this question: "If money were no object and you could buy one extravagant thing, what would you buy?"
Some people seek financial gurus for money advice, some people listen to podcasts, but books have always been a big place where people turned for financial advice. We discuss if there are any financial books that changed the way we looked at money -- and if so, what the books are.
Some people instantly think if someone has money that they are worthy of respect. Find out how we feel about that -- and if a large pile of money impresses us.
You're online right now, or at least listening to something you grabbed from the Internet. There's a big trend online among some to monetize everything one does: blogs, podcasts, ebooks, and other things. Find out if we're fans of that mentality -- before finding out how important money is in our lives.
Then it's back to a "what if" talking point; this time, if we had Bill Gates levels of money, how we think we'd act.
Stress about [the lack of] money has led to more than a heart attack or two in the course of history...it's been known to break up marriages. Find out if we've ever been stressed about money. Then we spin it: can having a lot of money lead to stress?
Some people put making money before most things in life. How much money is "enough?" -- find out what we think.
We close the episode out with two questions:
So hold on to your wallets and let us know how you feel about money in the comments below.
Thu, 5 June 2014
Little green men from the red planet. For years, b-movies shaped our view of alien life. But where did the stories come from? Could there really be life on other planets? Has life from other planets already visited us? This week, we're talking all about aliens: from ridiculous tales of anal probes to the probability of life on other planets...
We begin the episode talking about what introduced us to the concept of alien life, and then...we waste no time discussing whether or not we believe aliens exist. After establishing that (spoiler alert) we believe we are not alone in the universe, we answer this question: Is there intelligent life in our own galaxy? Then we move on to those trying to find alien life and our thoughts about the more respectable searches.
But what show about aliens wouldn't delve into the more outrageous aspects of UFOs and little green men? Next topic: find out if we think aliens have ever visited Earth at some point in history. Hell, find out if we think Roswell was an alien crash site or if aliens have visited us even more recently! Have we ever seen something in the sky we could not explain?
But what you really want to hear us talk about is alien abduction, right? Find out if we think alien abductions are real, a cry for attention, or a very specific mental disorder.
We wrap up the episode talking about whether or not we think we'll see first contact with intelligent life in our lifetimes...and if we'd want to be around to see it.
Whether you look at the night sky and think of bigger things or are wearing a tinfoil hat at this very moment, there's something for you in this episode! And, as always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about aliens in the comments.
Wed, 28 May 2014
This week, we sit down with a pack of hounds and talk about one of our favorite things in the world: books!
We kick it off talking about the first book we remember and then jump to the first books we ever read. Staying in the past, we then leap to discussing how important libraries were to us as children.
Stepping into the present, we talk about what we read more: fiction or non-fiction. Listen in and we'll tell you if a book has ever changed our lives.
Want to know what books have made us laugh...and find out the worst books we've ever read? We cover that before moving on to the book that has seen success that we just don't understand. Similarly, we talk about the most overrated books ever published.
It would be a travesty to do a show like this and not talk about our all-time favorite books. Find out what we're currently reading (well, at least at the time of this recording).
We wrap it up talking about authors we'd recommend before closing it out with not only mentioning the book we'd recommend for the audience, but why we recommend our particular choices over all others.
We'd like to hear what books you love (and even hate)...hit the comments and let us know!
Wed, 21 May 2014
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.
Wed, 14 May 2014
Gorilla Christopher's sister lived to be 38 years old. She would have been 50 yesterday (May 13). It's one of many losses in Christopher's life. Shawn and Christopher have lost a lot in their time: serious losses and...pretty damn humorous losses! That's what we are talking about his week!
Mon, 5 May 2014
America gets a bad rap that's sometimes deserved. At the same time, there's no other country quite like the United States of America: for all its faults, it's a great place in so many ways. We kick off this episode with this question: America used to be called "the melting pot" -- do we think that's still true? After that, we discuss our first experience dealing with another culture and then discuss the most culturally diverse place we've ever lived.
"American culture" can be a hard thing to pin down...we devote some time talking about what we think American culture even is. Some countries try to keep other cultures from "infringing" on established culture. Do more cultures in one place strengthen a population, or have the opposite effect? And how has the Internet been helpful in people recognizing and embracing other cultures? After answering these questions, we discuss our favorite foreign cultures.
Some people are terrified of uniculturalism: so many cultures in one place that an area or country gravitates toward a new, single culture. We discuss examples of uniculturalism we've seen and talk about whether or not we feel it's a bad thing.
One of the earmarks of culture is language. We talk about how language has changed in America...and all over the world.
We wrap up this episode talking about what we consider our cultural identities to be and sharing what we believe (and hope) is the future of world culture. (Looking at the image chosen for this week's episode, it's probably pretty clear that we think the world, with all its different people, is a mighty cool thing!)
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about this week's topic in the comments.
Wed, 30 April 2014
If Christopher had his way, this episode would have been called "ALL HAIL GOAT SIMULATOR!!!" But that would be a bit limited in scope -- especially when the world of video games practically knows no bounds.
We live in a time when many who complain about how much time their children play Call of Duty spend just as much time on their phones playing Candy Crush and other mobile games. Lines have been blurred from the days of the Atari 2600 and arcades full of cigarette smoke and stand-up cabinet games. Today, almost everybody in America plays digital games of some sort.
We start out in the 70s and 80s, discussing the first video games we remember seeing...and asking if they were actually the first game we ever played. Then it's a hop to the future, asking what the last game we've played is. (Hint for Christopher's last game played: "BAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!")
Video games have come a long way, crushing movie box office totals and pushing well beyond what we could imagine in their infancy. We dedicate some time to discussing whether or not video games can be art.
Since we both write, we take a side road into the writing of video games, which is often secondary...but have some games hit on great writing? What's the future of writing in games? In this section we talk about:
Putting writing aside, video games get a bad rap for being the same old things. Is there truth to that, or are there original games? After that, we talk about how mobile devices have changed the way we look at video games.
We close this episode out listing some of our all-time favorite video games and discussing what we think the future of video games looks like.
So grab a handful of quarters and listen. If you're so inclined, share some of your thoughts about video games in the comments.