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.

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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 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.