September 13, 2016
True crime stories have long fascinated the public imagination, allowing audiences a relative degree of familiarity with violent and horrific acts from a distance. These stories become all the more curious to audiences when offenders escape detection by the authorities and eventually become part of "cold cases." Paul and Jordan talk to criminologist, Michael Arntfield, about his own unorthodox method to solving such cases and why it is, important for law enforcement to employ a multidisciplinary approach to effectively investigate violent, unsolved crimes.
Learn more about Michael at michaelarntfield.com
September 12, 2016
Convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2009, Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 26 years in Italian prison, along with his former girlfriend and co-accused, Amanda Knox, for the same crime. The case received widespread media coverage, in large part because of the supposedly sexual and bizarre nature of the murder--a “satanic orgy,” gone wrong. Acquitted in 2011 for the murder, Rafaelle speaks with Paul and Jordan about the new DNA evidence that ultimately led to his release and the toll prison will have on the rest of his life.
Learn about Raffaele's memoir, Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, here.
September 11, 2016
Could you defend an accused murderer?
As the former lawyer of Jodi Arias, the high profile defendant who would be convicted of first degree murder of her boyfriend Travis Alexander, Kirk Nurmi is no stranger to big publicity.
Looking at the bigger picture, Paul and Jordan talk to Kirk about what it takes to be a defense attorney, not only to protect the legal rights of vilified clients like Arias, but others accused of serious crimes.
Learn more about Kirk at nurmilaw.com and his recent book on the Arias trial, Trapped with Ms. Arias, here.
September 9, 2016
Often thought of as criminal investigators, coroners play a much more fundamental role when it comes to an unexpected or suspicious death. Unlike law enforcement, coroners are primarily concerned with the physical causes behind someone's death, rather than a motive.
Paul and Jordan talk to seasoned Canadian coroner, Dr. Susan Aitken, about the challenges and demands of her profession, as well as her appreciation for the dignity of the deceased, for whom Dr. Susan attempts to "speak"--to uncover the mystery of their death and provide closure to bereaved loved ones. What is more, coroners, as advocates, also use their findings to make recommendations on how to improve the safety of society.
Read Dr. Susan's personal essay on her profession, here.
August 30, 2016
Paul and Jordan talk to Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, practitioner and advocate of "reparative therapy,” which he believes is an effective method of "fixing" a gay person. Nicolosi is of the view that those like Jallen actually struggle with same-sex desires on account of poor parenting or family dynamics. Unlike the majority of contemporary psychiatrists, Nicolosi remains committed to the view that being gay is a medical illness, leading one down the path of self-destruction and harmful behaviours.
Learn more about Dr. Nicolosi at josephnicolosi.com
August 30, 2016
In this episode, Paul and Jordan talk to founder of "Beyond Ex-Gay", Jallen Rix, about how he came to embrace being gay, after his experience at a camp that sought to teach him his sexual orientation is morally wrong. Using religion to justify its position, the camp attempted to instill that being gay is a sin, against God's laws of nature according to which men can only be attracted to women. Today, as an "ex-gay" survivor, Jallen is raising awareness of the damage of such miseducation while helping those "cured" of being gay become comfortable with their same-sex attraction.
Learn more about Jallen at beyondexgay.com/who.html
August 23, 2016
Often dismissed as deviant or perverse, BDSM remains shrouded in misconceptions. It is no surprise, then, that one of its subsets, namely "Daddy Dom/Little Girl" (DDLG), is regarded by many with moral disgust, thought to be a disguised version of virtual incest or pedophilia.
Paul and Jordan talk to adult couple, Daddy Vinnie and Lolita Hayes, about why their relationship centres on a DDLG dynamic, whereby Vinnie plays the role of romantic "caregiver" to Lolita. Contrary to the idea of a child, however, Lolita feels empowered in choosing to be looked after this way.
Check out Vinnie's (NSFW) website here, and Lolita's here.
August 15, 2016
They are arguably the most stigmatized group in our midst: pedophiles. The mere mention of them often evokes apprehension and even disgust, thought at once to be violators of the young and destroyers of innocence.
Paul and Jordan talk to pedophile, Todd Nickerson, about what life has been like since publicly admitting his troubling proclivity for children and why, as someone committed to never acting on his sexual desires, he rejects being called a "monster." Despite intense societal opposition, Todd, through writing and advocacy, is intent on dispelling the myth that all pedophiles are criminals.
Find out more about Todd on his personal blog, https://notamonsterblog.wordpress.com/
August 8, 2016
It is a violation of the full person, defying the power of words to express the trauma it inflicts: sexual assault. The memory of it remains long after its occurrence, forcing victims to grapple with its tragic effects over time.
Paul and Jordan talk to survivor, James Simpson, who courageously shares his harrowing story of childhood sexual assault. James' strength to keep moving forward and refusal to give up on what he describes as a challenge to form meaningful, human relationships, is an inspiration to all.
To learn more about male adult survivors of sexual abuse, including helpful resources, visit the Canadian Centre for Male Survivors of Sexual abuse at cc4ms.ca
August 2, 2016
Further uncovering his grievance with the "6 God" of their city, Drake, Paul and Jordan talk to Mr. Vegas about making a video statement critical of the rapper for not showing reggae the respect it deserves, as well Mr. Vegas' longstanding outspokenness against the appropriation of reggae music by popular culture, as when it is turned into what has come to be known as "tropical pop."
Learn more about Mr. Vegas at mrvegasmusic.com
July 29, 2016
It is Caribana weekend in Toronto! To celebrate The Dark Room presents a pair of exclusive interviews with two of Jamaica's most well-known artists: Marion Hall (formerly known as Lady Saw) and Mr. Vegas.
Paul and Jordan talk to Marion about her recent decision to leave the "slackness" or lewd world of dancehall music behind and become a devoted Christian minister. Speaking on her beginnings in the genre, Marion reveals the intimate details of her life--from the tragic to heroic--that gave birth to the sexually daring Lady Saw and the extent to which that persona was more performance than reality.
Learn more about Marion at facebook.com/LadySawDancehall
July 26, 2016
Even the most liberal of societies prohibit certain sexual or "obscene" behaviours. Among them is zoophilia, or the sexual fixation on non-human animals. It is a taboo that remains against the law throughout many democratic countries.
Paul and Jordan talk with two zoophiles, from the German organization ZETA (Zoophiles Engagement für Toleranz und Aufklärung), about their strongly-held reasons for maintaining erotic relationships with fauna and why they are attempting to decriminalize such relationships throughout the world.
Provoking serious questions about the possibility (or impossibility) of consensual sex between humans and other animals, the episode challenges listeners to think about the extent to which the two groups can communicate with one another and when lawmakers should speak on behalf of animals.
July 19, 2016
Since antiquity, unicorns have been regarded with fascination and wonder, often depicted as gentle, horse-like creatures in art and fantasy. Uncommon, however, is their manifestation as human.
Paul and Jordan speak with member of this rare category, Shaft, head of a polyamorous, unicorn family, about his mission to promote peace and love, through a rave party lifestyle.
Similar to the 60s movement of "free love,” the family represents an alternative to the daily grind and competition of modern day capitalism, partaking in a life of constant fun and spiritual union.
Learn more about Shaft and his family, "The Fabulus of Unicorns," at facebook.com/FabulusOfUnicornsUnicon
July 11, 2016
Uncertain about her well-being, Paul and Jordan call former podcast guest, Lilla Bertalan. The three explore at greater length her fascination with self-harm, including her preferred or "favourite execution", and why she is inspired by some of the most violent (and deplored) criminals in recent memory.
July 4, 2016
Without words, photography has the power to reveal to us the essence of an individual. Paul and Jordan talk to world-renowned photographer, Estevan Oriol, about his passion to capture this in his work, through his compelling "street" or ethnographic photography of East Los Angeles, including the difficult realities faced by many Mexican-Americans where he grew up, and the formidable influence his father had in him picking-up a camera in the first place.
No stranger to the music world, Estevan also discusses the rewards and challenges of being a tour manager for Cypress Hill and other culturally-defining musical acts to have emerged from California, as well as how the tough lessons he learned in that capacity might be a useful guide for today's younger generations.
Learn more about and view Estevan's work at estevanoriol.com
June 28, 2016
It is regarded as both a crime and art: Graffiti. Exploring the issue, Paul and Jordan talk with Toronto-based artist, Kizmet, about his reasons for doing graffiti himself--from signing or "tagging" his name to creating elaborate murals, in various (and sometimes legally questionable) places--and how graffiti actually beautifies, rather than takes away from, the life of a city. The three discuss how graffiti has been embraced by mainstream culture, including corporations wanting to appear "hip," and the challenge this poses to the graffiti artist to not give in to lucrative offers, at the expense of artistic integrity.
See Kizmet's work and follow him on Instagram: @kizmet32
June 21, 2016
The magic of an actor's performance compels us to feel, think, and remember what it is to be human, and even inspires some to become full-fledged actors themselves.
Paul Salvatori and Jordan Randall speak with aspiring actors René Escobar Jr., Christopher Mendes Sanchez, and Rick Cordeiro about the courage necessary to realize this dream, involving the willingness to take on diverse and unfamiliar roles without fear of failure, while maintaining a positive attitude in the face of heartless competition of the entertainment industry.
Learn more about René, Christopher, and Rick’s new drama series, The Stepson, at www.facebook.com/thestepsonseries
June 19, 2016
Classically trained yet defying being labeled according to any one genre, Sielle is an alternative gospel singer and songwriter, whose melodic vocal style ranges from opera to reggae.
Having recently released her new dancehall single, Easy Mistake, featuring Sean Paul, she sits with Paul and Jordan to talk about growing up in a musically rich atmosphere, moving to Toronto from Montreal to break into the music industry, and the magic of creative collaborations with those on the same wavelength.
Check out Sielle on the web: http://www.sielle.ca/
June 18, 2016
Cassia Crawl, a "living mermaid," is a true anomaly.
Paul and Jordan talk to Cassia about how closely her mermaid aesthetic intertwines with her ambient, trip-hop infused compositions, inspired by adventures into the realm of fantasy and imagination. As a professional make-up artist, Cassia also draws interesting parallels between the creative process of music and good cosmetology, illuminating how art is guided by universal principles that transcend different media.
Follow Cassia on Facebook, listen to her music on Bandcamp, and check out her make-up work at www.crawlmakeupart.com
June 17, 2016
Organized noise? Dark orchestrations? Or simply good music?
Exploring these questions, Paul and Jordan talk to Verum’s Kyle Clyma and Chris Hawco about melodic black metal, the band's "sinister" genre. At the same time, the four unpack stereotypes surrounding the often demonized music and how the foreboding sound of the band hardly reflects a mean or disturbed audience, including Verum's own.
Check out Verum on the web: Facebook, Soundcloud, and ReverbNation