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.