STATE OF THE POD: WHAT THE PHUQ IS GOING ON

Hello all,

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-teaserespect: 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!

Barry.

EPISODE 14: SAM WHITE & THE YEAR IN REVIEW

467370_10151362469241486_1494608251_o-1Sam 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.

IT’S A GOOD TIME FOR THANKS

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 fornot the big things like being alivethe 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.

Love,

Barry.

EPISODE 13: PHILOSOPHER MARK KINGWELL

markMark 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.

EPISODE 12: ACTIVIST AND WRITER DESMOND COLE

me and jerry on white privilege2Desmond 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.

EPISODE 11: JOURNALIST JOHN LORINC

photo(1)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.

EPISODE 10: MAYORAL CANDIDATE MORGAN BASKIN

MorganBaskin-6671 (1)Morgan Baskin is a Corktown resident who ran for mayor of Toronto when she was 18 years old. Morgan’s 19 now, and though she didn’t win the election, she’s still committed to making Hogtown a better place. Morgan spoke with us about protesting Mike Harris as a toddler, overnight fame, and how being a public servant is anything but private. She also talked about how she hates issue-based campaigns, debating Doug and Olivia, and what she plans on doing now that the circus has left town.

EPISODE 9: AUTHOR STEPHEN MARCHE

about_portraitStephen Marche is a columnist at Esquire, novelist, and doctor of Early Modern Drama. He’s written about sex, hockey, and Megan Fox, among many things. Stephen spoke with us about his lifelong obsession with the novel, being labelled a misogynist and idiot, and why writing is not for whiners. He also talked about how Americans could give two shits about the CBC, why writing fiction takes courage, and Toronto’s future. (It won’t be boring.)

EPISODE 8: WRITER JOHN SEMLEY

shreksJohn Semley is a freelance writer living in West Queen West. The former city editor of the A.V. Club Toronto, his writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and The Walrus. John and Barry also share the same barber. John spoke with us about why he hates self-identifying as a writer, reading for pain and pleasure, and The Onion‘s failure in Hogtown. He also talked about the fine line between being an asshole and a contrarian, NOW Magazine’s knack for survival, and why you don’t have to leave Toronto to be successful.

EPISODE 7: ACTRESS BRITTANY ALLEN

britt cropBrittany Allen is an actress, singer, and entertainer. She’s starred in All My Children, and appeared in numerous films and TV shows. And she graduated from Barry’s favourite circus, the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Brittany spoke with us about growing up in Scarborough, acting as therapy, and how Mirvish Productions can break hearts. She also talked about winning an Emmy, the ordeal of auditions, and the joy of rediscovering her hometown.