Men in Gorilla Suits
Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.12: Last Seen...Being Creative

Last week we talked about the independent pursuit of creative endeavors. Before you can get there, though, you have to make something -- and that usually means dealing with some level of creativity.

For many, creativity is an ominous thing, the fickle Muse that may or may not show up and shower you with inspiration. We're here to tell you that the Muse is BS and that creativity, like anything, can be attained by simply working hard. Some highlights from this week's show:

  • Tips for people who doubt they have creative abilities.
  • Rethinking what creativity is -- The Creative Physicist and Programmer.
  • The power of breaks from creative pursuits.
  • How to take breaks from the things that distract you from finding time to create.
  • Why we're not so enamored with those labeling themselves "Creatives." (Hint: actions speak louder than...well, you know...)
  • How to deal with those wanting to exploit your creativity. (What we really mean: those who want to exploit your willingness to actually do the work!)
  • Some of our creative heroes. (Including a bit about Shawn getting email from his hero.)

It's our hope that anyone doubting they have some creative ability in themselves will see that's not the case by this episode's end. As long as you're willing to work hard, it's amazing what's possible.

Direct download: migs12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep. 11: Last Seen...Being Indie-pendent

This week, we talk about the benefits and pitfalls of independent pursuits and the benefits and pitfalls of going the traditional route. Some sides are all or nothing: extolling independence over all, or shunning anything remotely done completely on one's own. With recent leaps in technology, though, the lines are blurred -- even people who have spent decades going the traditional route with the things that matter to them are finding success blending working with established companies and doing it themselves. In many ways, there's never been a better time to do your own thing, even though it might be harder to be seen in the crowd.

We'd love to hear about (or see) the stuff you make -- feel free to share stories and links in the comments.

Direct download: migs11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.10: Last Seen...Being Positive (And Negative)

This week's podcast is all about the creative power that comes with being positive...and negative. This episode is about much more than just attitude's effect on productivity, though. We talk about the power of apathy as it can relate to happiness (or at least reducing stress from one's life). There's a bit about Pollyannas vs. Doomsayers, and how being extremely positive isn't always a good thing. We ask if one's attitude really is as simple as making a decision to be a certain way; also, how people use social media as a platform for their moods. Finally, the episode wraps up with a simple conclusion about life.

Disclaimer: We make a very clear distinction between negativity and depression in this episode. We know that negativity and depression are not synonymous, even though they sometimes move in each others' shadows. When we speak of negativity in this episode, we are talking about learned behavior or making a choice to be a certain way -- not the clinical reasons for some people's moods beyond their control. At various points in our lives, we have both struggled with depression. At various points in our lives, we were simply negative. We know the difference and do our best to make that distinction in this episode.

Direct download: migs10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.09: Last Seen...Having Hobbies

This week, it's all about hobbies! Are they inherent things we're coded to do, or something that came about in more recent times? We discuss how people look at hobbies at different times in life, and how they can enrich all we do. We also talk about the downside of hobbies: when we become too involved in them or try making them a career and see that we sometimes lose the joy when a hobby becomes a job. Shawn and Christopher share their childhood hobbies, current hobbies, and talk about what hobbies they may find themselves doing in the future.

We want to know what hobbies you love -- please take a moment and tell us in comments.

Direct download: migs09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.08: Last Seen...Being Fanboys

We've established that Shawn went to school wearing a Star Trek costume. "No problem," you say, thinking he may have worn it on Halloween. But he just wore it on a normal school day because...why not? We've also established that Christopher did everything in his power to use the Force to convince the world to call him Luke. It was a Jedi mind trick that didn't work.

These stories establish an early stroll into becoming fans of properties, which is what we're talking about today. This week, it's all about fandom!

We're not talking about past attempts at living a geeky dream (well, not entirely); we're talking about all kinds of fandom and how it's either all silly or all okay. We make the argument that the guy in the Klingon costume is no more odd than the guy wearing his favorite sports team's jersey. We talk a little bit about Rocketeer wannabe, Curtis Hart. (You may remember Curtis from an earlier entry.) All kinds of fans -- whether deemed normal or labeled extremely weird -- are the subject. About the only thing we don't get into is what's better: Star Trek or Star Wars.

We know better than that!

Warning: For those who listen to the podcast while driving...there's a section in the podcast (when we talk about Jodi Foster) that gets very loud, very fast. It's an accident Shawn had -- not a wreck or something about to hit you in traffic!

Direct download: migs08.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

MiGS Ep.07: Last Seen...Building New Worlds

This week, it's a full-blown episode all about writing; specifically, all about world building. What is world building? Simple: it's a writer taking time to craft believable settings for their stories, even if their stories are set in places that don't even exist. But it's more than just creating a world -- it's the rules of that world and how everything affects the characters. Along the way, we talk about what ails literary fiction, Star Trek, Barry Eisler's mistakes, and plenty of talk about the power of Dungeons and Dragons. It only took seven episodes to get two writers to actually spend an hour talking about writing! Thanks for listening.

Direct download: migs07.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 12:56am EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.06: Last Seen...Cavorting with Pirates

In last week's podcast, we ended up chatting quite a bit about copyright. Somewhere along the way, we mentioned it would be a good topic for a future episode.

The future is now!

This week, it's all about copyright, trademarks, and patents. Do they help the little guy as intended, or have they now become a method of coercion used by large corporations? In a world where rulings against people downloading a handful of music files illegally amount to greater penalties than a negligent doctor killing a family member, it definitely seems like corporations have the upper hand. But is that truly the case? What would a world without copyright, trademarks, or patents look like? And how do Creative Commons licenses factor into all this? Oh yeah, and we talk about piracy. Quite a bit.

It's a controversial topic, and we look forward to hearing what you think in the comments!

Note: Yes, Christopher knows he calls Disney's Steamboat Willie "Boxcar Willie." Twice! That's because he's never more than 7 minutes away from having hobos on his mind...

Direct download: migs06.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 11:22pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Ep.05: Last Seen...Democratizing Content

Remember when there were only three TV networks (no cable) and not as many spots on the radio as there are now? Remember when bookstores were smaller, and underground bands were truly underground? All that changed with the Internet.

Today we're talking about the democratization of content. What does that mean? Well...this podcast is all about the good, the bad, and many things in between that come with being able to do it yourself in ways we never dreamed of when Evel Knieval was falling into the Snake River and one of the bigger local syndicated TV shows was in the hands of a clown named Bozo!

The gatekeepers are gone; today -- whether what you do is great or...not so great -- you can get it out there and at least have a shot. And it's not just traditional entertainment that's available. Wanna see a group of guys make a living making 20,000+ calorie gut-busting culinary nightmares? It's out there right alongside the angry guy who sits at his dining room table in the dark unboxing electronics and talking about them. There are also people making their own entertainment empires with reasonably-priced gear many of us can afford.

So have a seat and listen to two people who never dreamed of a day like this talk about the ups and downs of a world where everybody has a shot -- and not even Jamie Farr's Gong Show mallet can stop the madness!

A quick note: This episode is an hour and a half long. Yep, it ran much longer than intended. We considered breaking it up into two podcasts but figured, "Just run with it." And in a way, that's the very thing we're talking about. There is still so much content forced into an allotted time or space, but now there are options to occasionally run longer than normal if necessary. We promise not to make long shows a habit.

A quick note...Part II: Check back tomorrow for a big list of links to many of the things discussed during this episode...and maybe even a bit more!

Direct download: migs05.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Episode 04: Last Seen...Abusing Buzzwords

This week, we engage with our synergistic dynamic by eating our own dogfood in the audio-podding arena to leverage some low-hanging fruit in order to fashion a new paradigm to bring convergence to multi-platform ideas and solution all that ails corporate speak. In simpler terms: we're talking about clear communication and the abuse of buzzwords. Along the way, we talk quite a bit about office attitudes in general -- going as far as revealing secrets that might allow you to work less, but appear to be doing more. But this episode is mostly about the way people talk -- and why we'd do well to consider direct communication, instead of talking above the bar in an effort to further our brand-attitude as an outlying linguistic ninja thinking outside the box where the rubber meets the road, but really...just not caring about the message.

Direct download: migs04.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 11:07pm EDT

Men in Gorilla Suits Episode 03: Last Seen...Wearing Tin Foil Hats

This week, we're all about conspiracy theories. Or...are we?!

Why did we choose conspiracy theories for episode #3? Because aliens.

Okay, enough of that...

Join us as we talk about the strange things people believe and how we all have a little conspiracy theorist in us. Listen to Christopher talk about the time he picked up Nano-Jesus in a parking lot and attempted to drive him to his ultimate destiny in North Texas. Shawn talks about his strange trip to Area 51...well, as close as one can get to Area 51 without bad things happening. We also talk about living in Dallas, where people still debate about who really killed Kennedy. Somewhere along the way, we even talk about how beneficial conspiracy theories can be to one's writing. It's the podcast the government doesn't want you to hear! (Not really, but that sounds better than, "It's an hour of conspiracy madness!")

Direct download: migs03.mp3
Category:Pop Culture -- posted at: 8:00am EDT