Fri, 23 December 2016
In the year 2000, flying cars will take us to work and robots will babysit our children and walk our dogs. We will vacation on the moon and Mars; all our needs will be taken care of. Our only fear is an attack from Galagaxian-7...or maybe a portal opening from a fantasy realm and dragons loose in the streets. Lines blur between Macondo, City of Mirrors and our world; somewhere in northern Wisconsin, an English bulldog controls the forces of gravity.
Speculative fiction is often viewed as the genre of pulps, but so many classics we're used to are speculative works -- even though we do not see them as such.
This week, we devote an episode to speculative fiction...
* * *
We begin by defining what speculative fiction is to us, and then talk about the first speculative work we fell in love with. After that, it's on to why people love speculative fiction so much...while others hate it.
Find out if we have ever written speculative fiction...and if we think there's room for speculating in literary novels (or if here are already speculative literary novels out there).
Next, we discuss the differences (or similarities) of speculative fiction and magical realism...and whether or not we should consider all fiction speculative fiction.
We run through some of our favorite works of speculative fiction before chatting about what speculative fiction does that other forms of fiction can't.
Finally, after devoting a bit of time to things we've not seen done with speculative fiction that we'd like to see, we speculate about what the future of speculative fiction looks like.
Feel free to speculate all you want in the comments below...
Thu, 15 December 2016
"Where you headed?"
"Gonna get me an Orange Julius and then wander Spencer's Gifts..."
"Awesome. I'll catch up with you after I pick up the new Van Halen album at Camelot Music..."
This week, we're talking about malls!
* * *
We kick it off with our first trips to mall and our impression of the places as kids. After that, we talk about our main memories of 80s mall culture.
Find out if we were those kids who hung out at the mall (spoiler: we were!) and which malls we considered our home bases for rampant consumerism.
We chat about the best places to hang out in malls...as well as some of the more ridiculous mall stores we've encountered.
Malls come and go; in honor of that, we devote a little time to chatting about dying malls and what it's like to be inside an abandoned mall. After that, we talk about some of the reasons why malls shut down.
But there are places where malls are still a thing. We discuss why that is before moving on to out favorite malls ever.
If you listen to the show regularly, you know that Shawn volunteers quite a bit this time of year...and sometimes, his volunteering takes him to malls. We chat about how often we find ourselves in malls before wrapping it all up with the future of the shopping mall.
Wed, 7 December 2016
We live in hurried times. Text messages, email, and many other things vie for our attention. At work, managers ask, "How's that coming along?" sometimes just hours after you've given them an update about a task.
It would seem to many that patience is a thing of the past. But is it really?
People still wait for things. Granted, in many instances, we've figured out ways to make those waits shorter, but if you are human, you've probably waited for something this week. And even if you turned to your smartphone or some other distraction...really, that's another form of patience. (You've still accepted the wait.)
But then there are those weird people like Christopher, who still take pleasure in simply sitting and waiting. He'd argue, though, that there's not much difference between the thoughts in his head and someone going to their phone to pass the time. Some might say, "Well, he's patiently waiting and thinking about story ideas, instead of wasting time on his phone," but Shawn has written multiple novels on his phone.
This is all getting a bit off topic...
This week, we talk about patience (and the need for immediacy).
* * *
We begin by talking about the first thing we remember "needing" right away...and whether or not we were patient kids. Also, we discuss whether or not we are patient adults.
Has the Internet affected patience and people's need for immediacy? We chat about that before moving on to how patience and immediacy have affected trends in productivity.
Next, we talk about how patience and immediacy factor into the work most people do. After that, find out if we prefer a slower or faster pace of life.
We often talk about Millennials on the show. Many older people say Millennials lack patience, but is that lack of patience truly real; and if so, is it truly the domain of that generation...or has the urge for immediacy affected other generations as well?
We discuss whether or not patience and immediacy are mutually exclusive ideas, and whether immediacy ever has its place and if patience isn't always such a virtue.
And we wrap it all up in the future: will we find more ways to do all the things right now, or will we become more patient for some reason?
Tue, 29 November 2016
About acting grown up.
It is the one event in history more impressive than putting an American flag on the moon.
Two hundred episodes later, the Men in Gorilla Suits are still going strong...
* * *
Instead of the usual single topic being the focus of the episode, we take a look back, seeing how our feelings have changed regarding older topics...
From Episode 3, we discuss how conspiracy theories have not only gone more mainstream than ever...but how they are, at least in part, responsible for the current President-Elect of the United States of America.
Then it's a step back to the first episode, in which we not only discuss how our perceptions about being adult geeks have changed...but whether or not we are happier with our adult lives.
Episode 89 found us chatting about patriotism, which ended up being largely about nationalism. We look back and see how much has changed in that regard in just two years. (Hell, even in the last two weeks!)
In episode 54, we talked about entitlement. Find out if we think it's a bigger (or smaller) problem than it used to be. (Really, we didn't mean for this episode to be largely about the 2016 US Presidential Election!)
We discussed podcasting in episode 105, and we do so again today by devoting a bit of time to how much podcasting has changed in the past couple years.
Episode 108 was [largely] a celebration of apathy. Find out if we've been able to continue practicing focused apathy to better our lives since recording the episode.
We devoted Episode 168 to motivation. We chat about whether or not our drive for things has changed much since then...and if we've seen others more or less motivated to do the things they want to do in life.
Episode 153 was all about being American (and what it means to be American). We talk about what that means to us -- and the world -- has changed recently.
What we didn't tell you is that this entire episode was recorded 200 years in the future. Which is convenient because we also like to talk about Star Trek. According to the Trek timeline, last year (2215) saw the Drema Quadrant mapped for the first time...and we're just years away from making first contact with the Klingon Empire. Find out how accurate Star Trek was in predicting the universe in which we now live, in 2216.
Also: we hate to break it to you all, but Earth is long gone. We wrap up Episode 200 discussing whether or not we're better off without that little rock and leaving the solar system in which we were born long behind us.
* * *
Last week was Thanksgiving in the United States. Whether you've listened to just part of one episode of Men in Gorilla Suits or allowed us to steal away roughly 235 hours of your life (almost 10 entire days!), thank you so much!
(We probably shouldn't have put it in that way...now that you know how much time you've lost listening to us babble, we'd fully understand if you never listened again...)
Wed, 23 November 2016
The frantic nature of the Harlem Shake may have given us the Mannequin Challenge. Others choose to express themselves by trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon without choking...or they throw it in Mom's face and jump off bridges because all their friends are:
Humans love doing stupid things because others are doing them. And sometimes those things aren't so stupid and catch on. We incorporate them into life so they become trends.
Fads and trends is the topic this week on Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We kick it off with the first fad we remember seeing...and then the first fad we took part in. After that, we establish the difference between a fad and a trend.
Find out if we ever kept up with trends -- and if we do so now (and why). After that, we talk about the last time we considered ourselves trendy.
Shawn once started a fad in his school. (Trust us, you'll want to find out what it was!)
We devote some time to the dumbest -- and coolest -- fads we've ever seen. After that, we talk about what we'd like to see become a fad or trend.
And we wrap it all up with the future of fads and trends.
Wed, 16 November 2016
So...that election. You know, the one that said, "Hey, you might not claim to be a bigot or racist, but if you voted for the doughy orange one, you're at least okay with bigotry of sorts." At the very least, in the words of Hasan Minhaj:
Because the Gorillamen are disappointed that people voted -- at least in part -- for these things, disappointment seemed like a fitting topic this week.
# # #
We kick off the week's talk with the first time we remember being disappointed, and then jump to whether or not we were often disappointed as children...and even today, as adults.
Find out our biggest disappointments in life and the most recent thing to disappoint us.
After that, we talk about how we deal with disappointment -- and why some people seem to deal well with disappointment, while it destroys the lives of others.
We chat about how expectations and reality factor into disappointment before discussing whether or not we agree with quotes about disappointment like, "Disappointment just means something better is around the corner."
Is it possible to do everything right in one's approach to an endeavor and still see nothing come from it? We devote some time to that thought, and then talk about how often we're disappointed in other people.
And we wrap it all up with advice we'd give someone who is often disappointed.
Feel free to share any of your thoughts about this week's topic in the comments below.
Wed, 9 November 2016
It's funny that this week's show is about time. Shawn's recently been busy, so we didn't record on our usual night. Then Christopher had an early day in the office on Tuesday, so Monday night recording was a no-go. Tuesday night in America was election night. (You might have heard a thing or two about that...)
So, it's funny that we're talking about time when this is the third week in a row with little commentary and Christopher just cutting and pasting our talking points for the episode below.
# # #
Thu, 3 November 2016
We recorded way later than usual this week, and to top that off, game seven of the World Series went into extra innings...so Christopher didn't get to put the episode together after recording. But here it is, all shiny and chrome the morning after the Chicago Fuckin' Cubs won the Motherfuckin' World Fuckin' Series!
# # #
Just the list, again, since the show is going up a bit later and there's a bit of a rush this week with other things...
Wed, 26 October 2016
Wed, 19 October 2016
This week, we dedicate an hour and change to the great outdoors...
* * *
We begin as we often do: back in the past. We talk about the first kind of outdoor recreation we remember doing, and then leap to our favorite things to do outside as kids...and now, as adults.
Find out if we think outdoor activities are important to the development of kids...and our favorite things to do outside today. Also, we discuss whether or not we feel being outside is important beyond levels of simple personal satisfaction...and then we share some of our favorite outdoor memories.
We chat about outdoor activities and trips we'd love to do, including what we'd do if money and time were no object.
We live in a fast-paced world where we hear some people even listen to podcasts at 2X speed to take more in. Find out if we think we lose anything by living such hurried lives often away from nature. Sticking to that idea, also listen to us talk about the role the Internet and technology play in how we interact with the natural world.
And, as always, we wrap it up in the future; this time, chatting about what the future holds for outdoor recreation.