Tue, 1 October 2013
We're loading this week's show (all about art) a little early. The episode begins by asking the question: what is art? Is writing, photography, film, and dance art? What about video games? (Okay, so those specifics come a little later in the episode.) After establishing what art is, we discuss our earliest memories of art, including the first great works of art we ever saw.
After that, we get into actually creating art. Does one have to be creative in order to make art? Can art be taught? What's more important: creativity or ability? Then it's back to specifics: who are some of our favorite artists? What are our favorite works of art? What's the strangest art we've ever seen?
Then we stroll through the modern art gallery of the mind, asking if modern art deserves the reputation it gets from some people -- and we ask if art critics are good or bad for art? We wrap it up chatting about what we think art will be like in 100 years.
We'd love to hear who some of your favorite artists and works of art are in the comments!
Links to some of the artists and works of art mentioned in this episode:
Thu, 26 September 2013
What compels some people to never leave their hometown, while others crave a nomadic life without a home the moment they can take off on their own? That's how this episode begins; find out where the Gorilla Men fit into that spectrum. Hometowns are common things for most of us, but some people move about or travel so much, answering "Where are you from?" is difficult. We discuss that for a bit before traveling to our next point: the benefits of travel...
Are there benefits to traveling even a little bit? How about traveling a lot? Obviously, there are -- and we discuss them...but we also discuss the drawbacks. Then we get personal as we talk about other countries we've visited and the most interesting places we've seen in our travels. Of course, as writers, we take a side trip into this question: can writers believably set stories in places they have never visited...and how writers can go about doing just that. Then we hit the road!
The Great American Road Trip: we're biased when it comes to road trips -- we love them! Christopher goes as far as making the argument that there is no shame in not having seen many different countries when there is so much to see in the states. We talk about road trips' effect on our writing and reminisce for a moment about the best road trips we've ever taken.
Then it's back to the big, wide world as we discuss our dream destinations and places we'd love to visit that would make others say, "You're crazy for wanting to go there!" Finally, we wrap it all up by discussing our favorite places to travel.
We'd love to hear your dream destinations or favorite trips in the comments!
Wed, 18 September 2013
This Just In: the apes behind Men in Gorilla Suits are talking about the news this week!
Breaking Story: Men in Gorilla Suits ask, "When did the news become interesting to you?" Then those nutty monkeys talk about whether they prefer their news televised or if they'd rather find it online. They also ponder this: "Has 24-hour cable news added to the news or damaged it?" This pundit says it's all about money and is clearly right because the Gorillamen ask what influence advertisers have on the news -- and whether it's good or bad?
"LIBERALS!!!" (Calm down, Tex!) Does the word make your flesh crawl, or are you one of them? ("Serpent!") Doesn't matter; all that does: "Is there a liberal bias in the news?" And...what effect have pundits had on "news"? Also: is news from other countries better?
These days, news travels faster than ever. In a rush to be first with a story, do news stories suffer? If so, how? Then: "Social media as news — accurate or not?"Why share actual news online when you can share...MISERY!!! Interviews with grieving families, court cases that have no real effect on your life, and sensational stories you'll forget by next week -- is that news, or just a sensational grab for ratings? (Probably pretty clear where the Gorillamen stand on this one-- watch out for their hurled poo!)
But "the news" is really an easy target. Is the news to blame for the shift it’s taken, or are we the problem?
"What's that? Some people avoid the news entirely?! HERETICS!!!" The Gorillamen talk about the movement to avoid the news. (Can you imagine that, avoiding the news? It's rumored one of the Gorillamen didn't even know about the Navy yard shooting that had the nation saying, "Oh, you wacky Mondays...does 12 dead even count as a mass shooting anymore?")
Really, it all comes down to this: does the news actually affect us, or is it presented in a manner to make us believe it does?
Is the news even important anymore?
If you don't listen, clearly...you don't want to be informed. So listen to this week's episode and express your rage, thoughts, or anything else you feel in the comments below. Because these days, the news is interactive, and even the slack-jawed knuckle draggers have a say!
(Views expressed are those of an unseen narrator and do not reflect those of Men in Gorilla Suits.
Thu, 12 September 2013
This isn't a boring history lesson, or an episode chock full o' trivial things like, "Hey, did you all know the first person to kill at the Battle of Hastings -- in 1066 -- was a juggler?" (<----- That's for real, right there! Don't mess with jugglers!) This episode is about our relationships with history. What many deem to be a boring subject really isn't when you consider how much the human mind lives in the past, whether it's a head full of nostalgia or thinking about your place in the universe...that's all history!
We begin the episode with a bit of personal history, discussing the first time we remember even thinking about the topic. Also, who (or what) got us interested in history? With that beginning, we move on to our favorite periods of American history and world history. Many "man on the street" interviews make it look like Americans know very little about history...we spend some time discussing if that's true before moving on to what history even is.
History takes hold more when it's presented as a story rather than a bunch of dates and events we must commit to memory. We talk about how this affects our perception of history, and then move on to how history is covered: is history really written by the winners, or are there places one can go to find all sides of a story? What are the best sources for understanding history -- and what are the worst? Where do we go when we're in a mood to take in some history? We close it out with the best representation of history -- and the worst -- we've seen in popular media.
If you're a history buff, we'd love to hear your thoughts about history...and if you think history is just a boring subject, we just might change your mind...
Wed, 4 September 2013
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.meningorillasuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/migstitlecard31.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-670" alt="Comedy mask." src="http://www.meningorillasuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/migstitlecard31.jpg" width="475" height="275" /></a></p>
Wed, 28 August 2013
Reality TV: people seem to love it or hate it. People also seem to forget how long it's been around...and that even its critics have probably enjoyed some kind of reality programming. This week, we're all about versions of reality on television that succeed and fail, often in very strange ways.
We start out talking about early shows we recognized as "reality" programming before talking about the opposite ends of the reality TV spectrum. Is reality TV legitimate, or is it just lazy TV? We discuss the shows that have pulled us in, and those so bad, we were almost turned off to the medium entirely. We talk about the character of reality TV -- those we've loved, and those we loathed. The part that surprised us both: does reality TV have value? The answer may make you think twice about knocking reality TV and realizing it's like anything: there's good and bad and everything in between...
We'd love to hear about which reality TV shows you've loved, and even those you've hated...
Wed, 21 August 2013
In a time when smart phones and TV screens are everywhere, it can seem so hard to focus. This week, we discuss why people seem to yearn for these kinds of distractions in their lives and what they can do to regain focus on the things that matter to them. How has technology of all sorts made it easier than ever to procrastinate? Do programs and apps meant to keep people offline and away from distractions really work? If not, what can people do to keep their priorities before them?
The more we use quick and satisfying technology like social media sites, text messages, and email, the more we physically rewire our brains to crave more instant gratification. How do we wire our brains to focus on the things that matter in our hearts more than playing rounds of Words with Friends or Candy Crush?
Some people have gone as far as saying distractions have robbed us of our culture -- we address that and how it's really all a matter of priority. After discussing distractions in the workplace, we talk about ways people can focus more. As writers, we talk about how we focus on something as big as novels in an age of distractions -- and how those tips can carry over to anything people do.
We spend a bit of time talking on the power of solitude...how being alone and free of distractions for long periods of time leads to wonderful things! After that, we ask what's more important: focus or action...before finally wrapping it all up by asking if focus, priority -- or something else entirely -- is the most important thing when it comes to getting things done?
We're almost to our 30th episode. Without focusing on priorities, we'd have never gotten this far.
Wed, 14 August 2013
There's a fire burning inside some people. We see the spark turn into a blast of heat in an instant when certain topics are brought up; just like that, the most normal person can let loose with a barrage of extreme views.
This week, we're talking about extremists: what constitutes an extremist, why people become so extreme about certain things, and...what we can do about it. Whether it's an angry group in the streets or people spewing anger on Facebook, extremism comes in many forms. There are the stereotypes: Islamic terrorists and other religious zealots hellbent of destruction and hate; eco-terrorists and racists. These are the extreme of the extreme, but everyday people are not immune to extremism.
Angry Christians and angry atheists are doing battle right now, online. Same thing with political battles and so many other topics. Ask for a long discussion about classic art online and you may not get a single reply, but type "Gun control: yes or no?" and watch the floodwaters rise. (And yep, we talk about gun control in this episode!)
We ask if there's an increase in extremism, or if it only seems that way because it's now so easy to be heard online. Are the most extreme people on different sides of an issue that different, or are they united by that fire burning deep within? We ask if there's ever a good reason for extremism and even ask ourselves if we have any extreme views. We chat about extremists many don't think to be extremists before discussing what we think is the most dangerous thing about extremism. Finally, we close it all out by asking what can be done to curb extremism.
Dare we say it -- this might be the most important episode we've ever done...
Thu, 8 August 2013
This week, it's all about movies! The first movies we remember seeing, and a bit about the people who got us into movies. There's talk about drive ins and multiplexes; the times before the rise of the blockbuster and what followed after blockbuster films became common. We discuss the difference between film and movies as well as the movies that made us both want to write screenplays one day. Are movies better or worse than they used to be? Yep, we cover that! Along the way, we talk about our favorite movie characters and the worst -- and best -- movies we've ever seen.
Quick Note: We recorded this over Skype, each running our own sound. Shawn doesn't have a buffer between his desk and recorder, so there are some bumping sounds throughout the podcast. In the spirit of this week's show, just imagine it's the footsteps of the t-rex from Jurassic Park!
Wed, 31 July 2013
Defend the wicket and pile up the Atlas stones -- this week, we're talking sports! Obviously, we're talking about some more obscure sports in that opening line (to Americans, anyway), but trust us: there's plenty of talk about football, baseball, and that other sporting event Americans clamor for: lumberjacking!
Wait -- basketball...we mean basketball. (Even though hockey's probably mentioned most...because hockey is BEST!!!)
But don't think this is a talk all about games and stats and players because...well, we probably couldn't sustain sports radio-esque chatter like that for an hour. (At least Christopher couldn't.) Instead, listen to Shawn talk about striking out at T-ball and find out what Christopher once did to get much more than a red card in a soccer game. At the same time, we chat a little bit about the sports we have actually succeeded in pulling off...sometimes to levels of actual proficiency. Shawn talks about the sport that saw many broken bones for him, while Christopher talks about the sport in which he's "pretty fast, for a big guy..."
Sure, we talk about athletes and teams that have impressed us, but we also talk about some weird sports -- and things some argue are sports at all. We wrap it up talking about how sports geeks aren't much different than geek geeks; in fact, Christopher makes the argument that anyone playing in a fantasy league of some sort just might be more of a geek than someone playing Dungeons and Dragons.
It's more fun than SlamBall...and SlamBall's pretty fun, right?