A big thanks to Hogtown Talks listener Alexander Arvelo Mcquaig for designing us an alternate logo! Doesn’t it pop? Alexander is a designer and general polymath and you can check out his work here.
In the first episode of Hogtown Talks‘ new podcast on movies, we meet filmmaker Bronson Allen, a Toronto mensch and one of Barry’s best friends. Barry and Bronson talk about bonding over Goodfellas, Scarborough douchebags, and the problem with TIFF. They also talk about Cumberland Cinema (R.I.P.), Toronto’s most cinematic location, and Sarah Polley’s journey into Young Adult filmmaking.
Robin Dann is a singer and songwriter and founder of Toronto band, Bernice. She grew up on the Danforth, attended Barry’s insane alma mater the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and now lives in one of Hogtown’s best neighbourhoods (we said it), Brockton Village. We spoke with Robin about growing up in a musical family, the trials of high school, and finding her musical voice. Robin also talked about her writing process, working with people she loves, and what’s keeping her in Toronto.
Thanks for showing up.
Breaking: There won’t be another episode for a couple more weeks. Thanks to the holidays, my proletariat poverty, and some batshit wedding I must attend in Edmonton, in the middle of winter, the podcast has stalled. Rollie Pemberton rolls in his grave, no doubt.
I have guests lined up. Great ones, I promise. But I don’t reveal them until a few days before their episode drops. I’m aware that this is a coit-tease—respect: gender neutrality—but it’s for your own good! Hopefully, my catalog of previous guests shows that I am not full of shit.
Thanks to Twitter and all that other social media, I’ve discovered that people other than my Mom and Bronson listen to the show. And I’m grateful. I respond to every person that reaches out, even the hate mail. I’m not famous enough to shit on these people yet, so until then, I say this: Thanks for the input!
Oh! We have a YouTube channel now. And I’m reaching out to new people and networks to Glengarry Glen Ross this joint. Until you hear me on Howard Stern, please tell someone about the show.
I love you all!
Sam White is a writer living in Brockton Village. As one of Barry’s best friends and lover of podcasts, we could think of no better human to talk about Hogtown in 2014. We spoke with Sam about growing up in Roncesvalles Village, meeting Barry at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and why Lansdowne’s ugliness makes it good. Sam also argued with Barry about gentrification, the Election, and he unveiled his three favourite Toronto restaurants.
Celebrity therapist Dr. Phil Stutz has a magnificent exercise to calm down anxious people: Shut the fuck up for a second, and think about all of the things that you’re thankful for—not the big things like being alive—the little things like having clean laundry or seeing a traffic light turn Green. And it works. Eventually you reach a place of calm where you’re not the Last Man On Earth and reason prevails.
So, as I enter the most sentimental time of the year, I know that I am thankful for little things. I’m thankful that people who are not my Mom listen to the show; that my guests have been so kind and candid; that I can record this podcast in my apartment and drink beer while doing it.
And I’m thankful to people who made this show possible just because I asked them to. The brilliant artist Shannon Jager designed my site. My friend since we were fucking fourteen years old Chris MacDonald drew our logo. Sam White and Bronson Allen provided moral support and alcoholism.
We’ve got a lot of great episodes coming up. Non-white male guests included. I’m not getting tired of this, so you better stick around, too.
So, Happy Holidays, to you, the people that care! I love you all.
In short, as Seth (please come on the show) has said: “It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.”
It really is.
Mark Kingwell is a philosopher at the University of Toronto. His work in political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and criticism has made him one of Canada’s most renowned public intellectuals. And he’s the reason Barry became a philosophy major. (We’ll see how that turns out.) We spoke with Mark about his childhood obsession with Trudeau-era nationalism, living in Kensington Market as an undergrad, and the intersection of philosophy and pop culture. Mark also spoke about the tension of working within elitist institutions, civility’s relationship with political violence, and how it’s kind of hard to beat what we got going on in Hogtown.
Desmond Cole is project coordinator at City Vote and a staff writer for Torontoist. Most notably, Desmond covered the Ferguson protests following a grand jury’s choice not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of black youth Michael Brown. We spoke with Desmond about the resolve of Ferguson’s protestors, whether it’s possible to be an objective reporter in the face of tragedy, and how many people can’t seem to admit that they’re scared of black people. Desmond also talked about how blogging led to his career in journalism, Toronto’s denial of its own systemic racism, and still, why Hogtown is an amazing place.
John Lorinc is a lifelong Torontonian and current midtowner. John’s words have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and The Walrus, and he’s a senior editor at Spacing. John spoke with us about his Hungarian Jewish roots, how he became a Hogtown expert by accident, and what it was like to
suffer cover four years of the Fords. He also talked about being independent in a Left and Right world, whether some version of John Tory will rule Toronto for eternity, and why, despite all of our faults, he still loves Toronto.