Thu, 19 May 2016
When we aren't recording podcasts, writing, or doing the other things we do on our own, we're busy working corporate jobs. Corporate America gets a bad rap by many, but it affords us enough security to approach episode 175 of a weekly podcast without an end in sight (or ever missing a week). It has provided us with a higher income than we made at more menial jobs. Some places we've worked have even offered some great perks we'd never have imagined when we first started working in offices.
But we've also seen more than our fair share of layoffs. We've worked long hours to cover the mismanagement of tasks and other things. We've had to hear people complain and gossip about jobs that -- for us -- are a far cry from the days in corn fields, on warehouse floors, and in restaurants being yelled at as an entire team by irate managers. We've seen work/life balance blur in an always-connected society.
We've lived the life for years, so it seemed time to devote an episode to corporations.
* * *
We begin by talking about when we first became aware of these things called corporations (and the jobs that came with them). We then move on to our first corporate jobs; as well as our best -- and worst -- corporate day gigs.
Many people view corporations as inherently evil things, but...is that true? Are they better, worse, or the same as "Mom and Pop Shops"?
There is no denying the reach of corporate interest into politics and the power big companies wield over nations. We discuss Citizen's United (i.e. the corporation as person), and move on to whether or not corporate tax havens and loopholes should be stopped.
Whew...got serious there for a moment! After that, we chat about a movie that seems like a documentary: Office Space. Hear some of our funniest and saddest corporate stories.
We did an entire episode about buzzwords and buss phrases early on; we revisit that when we talk about "corporate speak" leading to a potential problem with communication as a whole...and then we ask if corporate America is getting worse?
And we wrap it all up by discussing the future of corporations.
Fill out your TPS Report and drop it in the comments to have your say!
Thu, 12 May 2016
Marketers do what they can to get you to buy, while others tell us all to be appalled by consumerism.
This week, we chat about buying stuff!
* * *
We begin by talking about the first things we bought on a regular basis -- and what we spend the most on today.
We make it clear from the start that yes, we consume stuff; in fact, we chat about how often we go into stores for one thing and come our with a dozen things...and what we do if a store is out of the thing we are there to buy. What then? (And where do we go to buy our stuff?)
If you ever lost sleep thinking, "I wonder how often Shawn and Christopher shop for groceries, clothes, and other things?" then this is your lucky day! We also discuss whether or not we've gone out to purchase something in a major metropolitan area like the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and failed at the task. (i.e. Is the Metroplex full of all one can hope to buy?)
We chat about people who stockpile purchased items -- and whether or not there's ever a reason to stockpile goods. Are we members of warehouse clubs, or do we feel there's simply no need for them? Find out!
We come right out and answer this question: Do we consider ourselves consumers? (And then we talk about what we consume most.)
Find out what brands we would gladly promote...before we wrap it all up with this question: What is the future of consumerism?
It costs nothing to leave a comment, and the joy you will receive in doing so far exceeds that of buying a gold-plated pony! (So have at it!)
Wed, 4 May 2016
Nothing happens to us if we don't get this show out weekly, but we told ourselves from the start that we would get episodes online by Thursday of every week. 170 episodes in, we've never missed a deadline; in fact, it's not uncommon to post episodes early.
We usually record episodes on Sundays. If recording in person, it's an 11:00 a.m. start time. If we don't meet in person, it's 9:00 p.m. Sunday night on Skype.
While one could argues these are deadlines more than schedules, we both schedule things to various degrees (erring quite heavily toward the side of no real schedules -- just hitting deadlines and remembering the bodies of work we have created to drive us to create even more). Others schedule things down to the seconds (which helps if, say...you're launching a rocket into space -- but it's probably not necessary for daily life).
This week we are on schedule and...talking all about schedules.
* * *
We kick off this week's show talking about the first schedules we remember. Oh, wait...Christopher had his runsheet out of order, so we really begin in the middle, talking about whether or not we prefer schedule things by time or by necessity to complete the thing. After that, we leap to how important schedules are to completing our creative endeavors -- and how important schedules are in our lives.
We devote some time to discussing how we schedule things in our lives (if we use any apps, planners, or other things), and what kinds of schedules work best for us.
Many people swear by books like Getting Things Done and productivity blogs. Find out if any of those things have ever helped us with scheduling; then we chat about whether or not people can go too overboard with their schedules. And sticking to that topic, we talk about whether or not people generally give their kids too much to do.
We've all had to deal with someone not only heavily into scheduling, but also wanting others to follow their methods for scheduling things. We discuss how we deal with those people, and then move on to some commonly scheduled things that could use a revamp. (Okay, so we mostly hammer on the 40-hour work week.)
Finally, we wrap it all up by talking about what advice we'd give people where scheduling is involved.
And right on schedule...we ask that you leave a comment if you are so inclined to discuss this topic further.
Tue, 26 April 2016
By Christopher's own admission, loading this episode will be one of the most boring tasks he completes this week. (Right up there with speaking of himself in third person!) From day jobs, to the times following them, people look to myriad things to alleviate boredom, succeeding to various degrees.
You could say boredom is our shadow, but is there a way to fight it?
Ho hum...this week, we talk about boredom...
* * *
We kick it off talking about the first time we remember experiencing boredom -- as well as our most recent moments of boredom.
Find out what we did to alleviate boredom when young...and today.
We chat about how often we're bored today -- and whether or not it's more (or less) than when we were younger.
We also discuss whether or not one can be bored when they have a lot going on -- and also what always bores us...and what we find boring right now.
We know many bored people. Find out what advice we have for the bored masses in an effort to combat those feelings, as well as the most -- and least -- boring things we do in our lives.
We wrap it all up with this: does boredom ever lead to any good in people's lives?
If you're bored, we have a remedy for that: leave a comment and chat with us!
Thu, 21 April 2016
Or does it take something more, like a mentor constantly checking on your progress?
Maybe you hate someone and are like, "I'll be damned if that son of a bitch is successful before me!"
Or perhaps you simply enjoy doing something, so you do it.
There are many reasons people seek out motivation; probably as many as there are to be motivated. That's our topic for this week's episode...
* * *
We begin back in the past, talking about the things that naturally motivated us as children -- and the things for which we needed motivation in order to do.
Find out what motivates us today -- and what we need motivation in order to do even as adults.
After that, we discuss how we feel about motivation as an industry, and why we think many people will pay good money to be motivated by another person.
Clearly, some people are naturally motivated, while others need assistance to do their things. We chat about why that might be before we move on to whether or not people have ever come to us to be motivated.
We talk about groups that are meant to motivate each other (writers groups, meetups, etc.), and then discuss how we stay motivated while working from home.
Is using anger a good or bad way to motivate oneself? (e.g. "That guy will not make it before me, and I will succeed before him if it's the last thing I do!")
And we wrap it all up with this: is there a point at which motivation can be bad?
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Wed, 13 April 2016
The OTHER side...
The truth is out there...and...it's not what they want you to believe.
This is the episode in which you will hear Christopher almost come unhinged. This is the episode you will see (and hear) the Gorillamen fly the "No Ghosts" banner -- but they are not Ghostbusters...
And yet...they have experienced "paranormal things."
That's the topic of this week's episode.
(You might even walk away from it being like, "Okay, I do NOT want to push that Christopher button...holy hell - I can't believe he said that about one of his favorite people of all time!)
* * *
We kick it all off by talking about the first time we were introduced to...THE PARANORMAL!!!
Find out if we believed in ghosts when we were kids, and what -- if we believed -- those ghosts were (are).
Déjà vu. We've all experienced it, but does it mean we're psychic? What is that feeling that we've not only been here before, but that we can predict...the FUUUUUUUUTURE (at least for 5-15 seconds -- but rarely longer)?
Find out if we have ever experienced precognition...and also: if we believe any psychic powers exist (and if so, which ones).
If you know us, you know this is not a favorable episode if you believe in paranormal things. Find out what we think are the silliest paranormal things to us (this is where Christopher may have crossed a line and angered someone very dear to him), and also: if we know of any paranormal claims that defy explanation.
We wrap it all up with what we'd need in order to actually believe a paranormal claim.
Feel free to leave a comment...while it's probably clear we lean toward the side of skepticism -- as long as you don't insist our experiences are "something more," we won't bite...
And in honor of this episode, the best "ghost" thing Christopher has ever seen...posted by Shawn on social media...
Oh yeah...that sound in the background near the end of the episode? Not ghosts -- but a snoring Boston terrier!
Wed, 6 April 2016
Oi, ya c@unts -- we f&cking did it! We went an entire f@cking episode of our sh$tty podcast without any G!d-d%mned swearing! That's cooler than sh*t -- especially because the motherf%cking episode is about f#cking SWEARING!!!
And it wasn't easy because our f#cking signoff is "Chill the f*ck out, and make the d@mn thing!" No s%it -- look at that motherf@cking image up top!
We're badass b%stards for not dropping so much as a b%tch, @ss, or other sh%tty word that's okay of f!cking television...let alone f&ck and c@nt and other words that make people cringe like sh$t-monkeys!
So open your f@cking earholes and listen to our only "clean" f&cking episode to date!
* * *
We kick it all off with our first memory of swearing -- and then talk about the first time we swore (and if we got in trouble).
After that, it's on to places we don't swear (if they even exist) -- or people around whom we refuse to swear.
This whole episode came to be after reading that Adam Carolla is doing a couple "clean" shows to attract big advertisers. Some podcasters say swearing limits audience size. We discuss our thoughts on that, and then chat about whether we have (or would) not swear in order to get a specific deal.
We discuss if certain words cross the line (fuck and cunt vs. shit and damn) -- and whether or not that makes any sense to us.
By the time we get to it, we've established things, but we talk about when we were "allowed" to swear at home...and if we dare swear around our parents today.
Some say that swearing is a sign of low intelligence...but is that shit fucking true? Hell, there are even advantages to swearing -- and we talk about that shit!
Is a corporate environment elevated to the point that swearing is wrong, there, or is it as okay to speak in an office as though you're on a factory floor?
Bleeping words we all know or writing F#ck instead of Fuck. Is that shit goofy, or does it make sense -- even though we know what's being written or said?
We close out this episode by talking about how violence is far more accepted by many people who will storm out of a movie in which someone says fuck. Is there a certain hypocrisy to that, or is watching a hero put down 30 bad guys more acceptable than someone stubbing their toe and saying shit?
Leave a fucking comment if you want. Or don't if you're like, "Screw those @ssholes and their f&cking potty mouths!"
Wed, 30 March 2016
It seems one can't watch the news without hearing that ISIS, their neighbors, or even the weather is out to get them. While we're at work, criminals are stealing our stuff. No one has money; we're all facing a Mad Max future...and it's all the fault of politicians and the people who follow them.
There's a lot of money in making people secure (or feeling secure after you've scared them). This week, we're all about security.
* * *
We kick it off talking about if we feel more or less secure than we once did, and then step back to the first thing that made us feel secure...and the thing that shattered our sense of security.
After that, we discuss the least secure times in our lives -- as well as the most secure time.
Security and stability are the most important things in some people's lives. Find out how important it is to us -- as well as the thing we're most worried about upsetting our security. We chat about what we feel would make us more secure, and whether or not there's too much emphasis today on safety and security.
Find out our plan for an active-shooter scenario at work...or if we even have one. We also devote some time to whether or not closing the borders would make America more secure.
And we wrap it all up with what we think security will look like in the future.
Feel free to leave a comment, or gaze below at the horror that is Shawn with Nick Jonas's fake nipples over Shawn's eyes. (It makes sense if you listen to the episode. Okay, not really...)
Wed, 23 March 2016
Ah, prog rock, you wacky thing. The musical equivalent of an awkward night of Dungeons and Dragons with a table full of mouth-breathing cretins; the music of "nice guys" and straight up assholes who thought the best way to win over the opposite sex was by telling them how wrong they were in their musical choices -- and to prove it, put on Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans or Relayer (or worse for the unsuspecting woman: both albums back to back!).
We are not beyond seeing the weakness and ridiculousness in the things we held [or still hold] dear to us. But come on...entire albums dedicated to a concept was going to win over only a handful of people, regardless of gender. But for those of us who "got it" new worlds opened to us. Prog rock -- largely -- was the realm of desperate men who thought, "If I can't beat the crap out of the jocks, I can at least show off how intellectually superior I am to EVERYONE by my choices in music." (Or maybe you just liked the music -- it's possible.)
If it sounds like we're going to dedicate the next hour to slamming on prog rock and its fans, you're wrong. Cut us, and we bleed musical synthesizer backing layers in weird time signatures, wrapped in fantasy lyrics (and so much more).
We will defend how hokey what we love was [IS!!!] until our last breath.
Yes (<--- see what we did there?)...this is our tribute to the very music that kept us alive through our teen years and into adulthood (and hell, a blood that still flows through us today): prog rock!
* * *
We kick off this episode Living in the Past, when we talk about the very first bit of prog rock we remember listening to. Then we move on to how we define prog rock...and even show our hand and reveal whether or not we find prog rock just a bit hokey or not (and why).
MUTHAFUCKIN' SYNTHESIZERS, Y'ALL!!!
Can prog rock exist without synthesizers? Or, at the very least, we discuss just how important synthesizers are to progressive rock. Closely on the heels of the synthesizer is the concept album in its importance. We discuss not just the appeal of the concept album, but share what we feel is the ultimate concept album. (We match up on this one!)
Prog rock existed in a very tight time in popular culture -- and we'd be remiss to not address the link between prog rock and the many other things that came to light during that time. So we devote time to that.
And while we define what we feel makes up prog rock, there are bands that many don't put on their lists of progressive rock bands. We chat about those bands before coming out and telling you all what are our favorite progressive rock bands.
Face it: prog rock is trippy. We talk about the importance of drug use on the music, and then jump to whether progressive rock is largely the domain of guys -- or if it crosses genders. (But come on...largely, at least, it's a sausage fest!)
In the homestretch we discuss what we deem the ultimate prog rock album -- and wrap it all up with the influence of prog rock on modern music...and even music in the future. (Because we must have waited our whole lives for this moment (X6!).)
Feel free to share your favorite prog rock moments, bands, or anything else in the comments (because if you like prog rock, we know there are few things in life more important than establishing who you are by the bands you still love...and should you feel that's a poke at you, prog rocker-man (face it: odds are, you probably have a penis -- with an exception or two of female regulars to the show!), the person writing this is listening the Jethro Tull's "Jack in the Green" while typing this...and while [Christopher] will admit that there is a bigtime hokey factor on Songs from the Wood, he will stab you in the eye with a holly branch as he draws his last breath in defense that the album is one of the best homage's to nature ever written..)
So yeah, pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder...and let your hair blow in the breeze!
* * *
One more thing: in the episode, we tease a fellow podcaster named Mitch Todd about a prog rock tune he was once part of. We say "tease," but if you replace "tease" with "secretly admire," it's probably more accurate. So we give you the best thing to EVER come out of the God-forsaken state, Oklahoma: Zyrian doing "Winds of BAAG." (Down to the featured Wendy's cup, everything about this is GLORIOUS!!!)
And if you want to hear an interview with Shawn on Mitch's podcast, go here.
And to hear Christopher and Mitch come up with a monster on the fly, go here.
Wed, 16 March 2016
Christopher just read a Facebook post about a podcast that just hit 163 episodes. They have 1 millions downloads (and good for them). To put that in perspective, this is our 163rd episode, and we’re at 8,815 total downloads.
Here’s the thing: we could look at our biggest episodes ever and be like, “All we should talk about are movies, TV, music, the 80s, and…poop! (Oh, and religion.) Seriously, those are the topics of our big episodes. But…if that’s all we talked about, the people who love that we talk about such a wide range of things would be like, “Uhm…if I wanted movie talk every week, there are better sources.”
This much we know: people appreciate that we’re just us. Granted, we could pretend to be what we’re not (and probably get more downloads), but this is the show we want to do.
It goes against everything people say in conferences and meetups, but the show exists for us, and if you like it, cool. If you don’t, well…that’s also cool.
We can only be what we are, and if we are nothing else, we are…authentic. And that matters to some, as we chat about this week on Men in Gorilla Suits.
* * *
We kick it all off talking about the first time we heard something was “authentic.” Then we move on to right now and people’s obsession with things having to be “authentic.”
It’s probably clear just by reading this that we believe “authentic” is up for debate. So we devote some time to whether or not we have a preference between authentic and less-than-authentic (manufactured, modified, etc) experiences.
If you listen to us, you know we believe wars could be stopped if people gathered at a table and shared a good meal. Food is a great way to learn about others. We discuss the most authentic Mexican food weve ever had — as well as the least!
But we’re not down on unauthentic stuff; in fact, we chat about whether or not there’s something to be said for inauthentic stuff (cuisines, experiences, music, entertainment, etc.). And then we get political.
Find out if we believe “authenticity” is part of the appeal of candidates like Trump and Sanders — and if we believe either are truly authentic.
Also find out if there are things we feel are important to be authentic…as well as what we let slide.
We close out this week’s episode with the least — and most — authentic experiences we’ve ever had.
Feel free to leave an authentic reply in the comments. We’ll even give you an authentic reply.