Visiting him at his Toronto studio, Paul talks to well-known and accomplished tattoo artist, Scoot Mason, about his humble beginnings, as well as what keeps him going in the competitive world of tattooing. Known for his impressive monotone creations, not to mention being a tattooist to numerous celebrities (including Johnny Depp who requested a private session with him), Scoot views his work as much more than a service.
Similar to recent podcast guest, London Slade, tattooing for Scoot is a genuine sharing of the artist’s soul, never simply what is pleasing to the eye. His work represents what both he and the person tattooed believes in, on a personal and perhaps even spiritual level. In Scoot’s studio, there might be the pain of the needle–but there is no selling out.
Is racism dead? Can we advocate for the oppressed whose experiences are different from our own?
In the first of The Dark Room‘s “Field Recordings,” Paul sits down with renowned moral philosopher and race theorist, Cornel West, at this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, held at Ryerson University, to explore these questions. In candid fashion, the two–moments before Cornel’s keynote lecture–discuss how a surging number of individuals are rejecting the legacy of racism, yet remain in tension with many who uphold it out of fear and even greed.
Drawing from The Dark Room’s recent discussion with Rachel Dolezal, who controversially identifies as black while biologically white, Cornel also sheds important light on how wanting todefend or participate in the culture of a marginalized group does not require claiming membership among them. Rather, one can do so as an authentic outsider, mindful of, and sensitive to, the unfair differences, such as class or racial privilege, that sets him or her apart from the group.