Wednesday, December 30, 2020

In The Belly Of My Brother


Hey here is this week's episode of THE AGENCY podcast. Thank you so much for listening!!!!

This week's gumbo includes: frittatas, serviceberries, life after death, neo-noir and an uncle named Frank in New York.

#unclefrank #neonoir #juliahart #imyourwoman #frittatas #cookingfrittats #eugeneknapik #candyminx #theagencypodcast

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Tinker Tailor Podcaster

Thanks for listening...hope you like this episode!!!!

Tinker Tailor Podcaster

Monday, December 28, 2020

Eugene Teaches Me To Make Frittata

 We love talking about food and cooking on our podcast. This week Eugene taught me how to make a frittata and I filmed him. Check out our podcast here...The Agency

Monday, December 21, 2020

Spies, Betrayal and Murder


Eugene and I think our podcast episodes have improved in the past three months...even if we do say so for ourselves LOL This week we talk about Donald Sutherland, John Le /carre and the Zodiac Killer. Among other things.
Enjoy The Agency Podcast here.

Check out this weeks episode of The Agency Called "Undoing Middle Beach"

#alecguinness #donaldsutherland #spies #tinkertailorsoldierspy #theagencypodcast #theagentcypodcastinstagram #zodiackiller #zodiackillercodesolved#murderonmiddlebeach #theundoing #johnlecarre

Upheavals Of Thought


One of my favourite authours, thinkers, is philosopher Martha Nussbaum. "Uheavals of Thought" is such an amazing book. I hope visitors here will consider reading really well support your life.

/What is it to grieve for the death of a parent? More literary and experiential than other philosopical works on emotion, Upheavals of Thought will engage the reader who has ever stopped to ask that question. Emotions such as grief, fear, anger and love seem to be alien forces that disturb our thoughts and plans. Yet they also embody some of our deepest thoughts--about the importance of the people we love, about the vulnerability of our bodies and our plans to events beyond our control. In this wide-ranging book, based on her Gifford Lectures, philosopher Martha Nussbaum draws on philosophy, psychology, anthropology, music and literature to illuminate the role emotions play in our thoughts about important goals. 

Starting with an account of her own mother's death, she argues that emotions are intelligent appraisals of a world that we do not control, in the light of our own most significant goals and plans. She then investigates the implications of this idea for normative issues, analyzing the role of compassion in private and public reasoning and the attempts of authors both philosophical and literary to purify or reform the emotion of erotic love. Ultimately, she illuminates the structure of emotions and argues that once we understand the complex intelligence of emotions we will also have new reasons to value works of literature as sources of ethical education. ' jacket blurb

From her summary on Emotions: "Emotions, I shall argue, involve judgments about important things, judgments in which, appraising an external object as salient for our own well-being, we acknowledge our own neediness and incompleteness before parts of the world that we do not fully control. I therefore begin with a story of such evaluations, a story involving fear, and hope, and grief, and anger, and love."

Another fantastic book by Nussbaum.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Stranger Than We Can Imagine

Eugene and I both read this book about six months ago. I can not recommend it enough. We both enjoyed it, a podcast favourite, if you will.

"The British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawn has highlighted the striking difference between the myths of American and Canadian frontiers: ‘One is a myth of a Hobbesian state of nature mitigated only by individual and collective self-help: licensed gunmen, posses of vigilantes and occasional calvary charges. The other is the myth of the imposition of the government and public order as symbolized by the uniforms of the Canadian version of the horseman-hero, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.’

The logical end point of the idealized individualism of the Westerns genre was The Man With No Name, a character portrayed by Clint Eastwood in three films directed by Sergio Leone in the 1960s. This character was admired by the audience because he was so isolated and unattached to the community that he didn’t even require a name. Like so many twentieth-century icons, his isolation was the cornerstone of his appeal." John Higgs 

"When people lose faith in their ideals, they are beaten before they begin to fight. That's what happened to France in 1940, and it happened to Rick Blaine." Aeneas MacKenzie co-writer Casablanca.
Rick tells the Cheif of Police, "I stick my neck out for nobody" The head of the black market cartel says "My dear Rick, when will you realize, that in this world, isolationism is no longer a practical policy?"

A very good review of this book is following...

"The thesis of the book is that the two biggest defining movements of the past century were individualism and relativism. Those two broke apart long-established social institutions and mores. But the networked world is joining us back together, informed by the concept of the individual and better than we were before.

From this blog by Peter Gasson 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Some Things I'm Watching


Eugene and I  talk about some HBO shows we watched this week on new episode called Undoing Middle Beach

I am about to watch the Alec Guness version of TINKER TAILOR this week

Monday, December 14, 2020

Spymaster, R.I.P


I am sorry to hear of John Le Carre passing....I've been reading him lately. Both Eugene and I read Le /carre's memoir THE PIGEON TUNNEL.

A review of Le Carre's memoir in The Guardian

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Graphic Novel By Eugene Knapik

New issue of SQUEEZEBOX MAN!!!

 Email Eugene for a copy of this issue or other issues...

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Uncle Spy

 Thank you for listening to THE AGENCY podcast. We are so glad you join our community and we would love to hear what you are up to. What are you reading or watching? Are you learning anything new? Email us at

Check out this weeks' episode. Eugene tells us a little more about his family...which all seemed to be very accomplished curious-seeking people.

This weeks episode we have called Uncle Spy as Eugene's uncle worked for the CIA. You can read a little about chef and spy Harold Knapik in this New Yorker article

'Burns paused for dramatic effect and said, “The Knapiks are dead now, so it’s all right for me to say this: they were C.I.A. agents. Harold’s cover—he was a musician—was that he was working on a book on counterpoint; Virginia worked at the American Embassy.” My idea of Knapik remained intact. Of course he was a C.I.A. agent.

Burns went on, “The Knapiks told me that they knew of Alice’s involvement in the escape but said that a certain Mme. Azam was the person I should talk to, because she knew most about it. Mme. Azam, née Cohen, was a rich, cultivated elderly Frenchwoman who lived in Paris. She was a Jewish convert to Catholicism and a good friend of Faÿ’s and, eventually, of Alice’s. She said that Faÿ walked with her on the street in Paris when she had to wear a yellow star. When I interviewed Mme. Azam, she said, ‘Alice and I were influential in arranging for Bernard’s escape. We helped with the money.’ She told me that the people who got him out were dressed as nuns. Then she gave me an introduction to Faÿ and I went to see him.”'

#eugeneknapik #theagencypodcast #haroldknapik #ciaspy @spies @gertrudestein #alicebtoklas #ciaspyingonartists #bohemians #thenewyorker #gertrudesteinswar

Friday, December 11, 2020

Handmade Postcards


Stagg and I brought materials to make small paintings or sketch book art while in quarantine in Canada. I made about 50 postcards and here are some. I have been making these for about 12 years...about the time I started blogging actually. I repurpose magazine subscription cards.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

In Toronto


Stagg and I are now in Toronto and staying with Eugene and Sheila while visiting our family. The city is closed down for everything except essential services. It's very strange and real to move from the pandemic in Chicago to pandemic in Toronto. It really hits hme for me to be restricted also in Toronto. But we are so glad to see our family nd our "bubble." We brought Eugene Bob Dylan's whiskey called "Heaven's Door". We checked out his catio too.

Some Noteworthy Episodes

 Eugene and I have been podcasting for over a year. I try to highlight our podcasts here but sometimes I have been overwhelmed duuring the pandemic and not blogging regularly. Here are some episodes I think visitors will enjoy. Back in the time machine...

When I attended the Southwest Conference for American and Popular Culture we did a couple of interviews with presenters. I saw a presentation by Abigail Roush and we interviewed her during this episode called Fashion Activism

Here is a fun episode we recorded late at night while enjoyung whiskey I had just watched The Go Go's documentary..Whiskey A Go Go

Money Is Dirty we talk about the business of art, auctions and the documentary...THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING

Here is trailer for 

Relaed Links

A review of The Price of Everything and New York Times

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Mail Art Our Podcast Listeners Have Sent


We love mail at THE AGENCY podcast. We have recieved some mail art and often send out misives to mail artists, galleries and such. We get a lot of fun stuff. We recieved two different efforts to share addresses and art amongst artists. Tese each requested a small drawing or pice. So I wanted to make a small painting with cut up. That pic above is a close up of what I submitted. So fun

This pic above is the overall effect of the effort to combine different artists on one mail sheet. You can see mine in the upper left side corner.

If you want to write us movie recommendations, or tell us how youare getting through the pandemic, or what some of your favourite concerts have been...or anything at all please email us at

or snail mail us to:

The Agency

c/o Anthony Stagg

P.O. Box 89101

1859 South Ashland Avenue

Chicago, Il. 60608 USA

Find THE AGENCY podcast on iTunes, Podbean or Spotify.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Podcast Merch


Eugene holding one of our new swag items.

Engraved hip flasks. Email us at

If yo want to order one for $25 in Canada. I have asome sets of engraved flasks with stainless steel shot glasses too for US orders at $33.

Our View During International Travel Quarantine


As mentioned earlier we have had a death in the family. We drove to Canada and had to do a two week quarantine without shopping or seeing anyone. We were hosted in a wonderful house in small town Canada for the two weeks and here are our views. The deer are so camoflauged you can not see them sleeping. I circled them so you could sort of see them.

Gin Tasting

We did a gin tasting with our hosts during our international travel isolation. Two weeks in a small Canadiian our own separate kitchenette and living space. More photos to follow. We did the gin tasting through glass doors between tow sections of their house.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Proposals And Precis

It's that time of year again and this time I submitted a proposal for a paper...AND a panel!!!

At the Southwest Conference for Popular/American Culture Association.

And that brings me to a classic episode of THE AGENCY  where we interview and chat with George Sieg, a professor in Albuquerque and an expert on ESOTERICA. I hope to host a panel this year at the conference in his department.

If you would like to read my proposals...I will post them on my PATREON artist site.


 I intend to create an inventory of navigational motifs in the films THE COUNSELOR, No COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and the novel BLOOD MERIDIAN. I’m approaching this accounting two ways, first using Robert Fludd’s stage design based on Elizabethan Occult Philosophy and second, by extracting the ways that gestures, memory and direction by way of Evelyn Tribble’swork on Distributed Cognition in theatre. I will demonstrate that number, clothing, and location in McCarthy offer an opportunity to use the works as time-keeping devices and navigational resources.

The appeal of occult philosophy by artists for elite patrons during the Renaissance held the ideal of a unified framework of natural philosophy by uncovering work from Antiquity combined with their conception of magic.  The Elizabethan Occult school of thought believed they would attain a higher form of knowledge and that mathematics had a kind of magic. They believed reconciling Antiquity with their own contemporary knowledge would offer unimaginable power. (Roseen Giles)

I will continue by finding and explicating McCarthy’s celestial content and arguing such content   connects his work to an older tradition by preserving navigational tools within artworks. 

I plan on exploring the jewelry and wardrobe choices of Yanty Yates  in the movie THE COUNSELOR  and  Mary Zophres  dozens of plaid shirts in NCFOM. Mapping the locations in each of these stories I view the locations  in the same way an FBI profiler might look at the crime  sites of a serial killer to find a pattern, there by demonstrating Robert Fludd’s concept of “As Above, So Below.” The Renaissance had a practice of hiding valuable content in decorative or atmospheric aesthetics. The hidden layers of content I find in McCarthys writing  is a structure found across cultures reflecting the concept of mind and knowledge and functions like a library for the memory.

Approaching Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem’s character) as a personification of the sun  demonstrates the gnostic principle of “as above so below” that captivated Renaissance thinkers. Anton Chigurh becomes cast as  a myths-poetic metaphor for the sun’s journey in the summer of 1980, Texas when a “killer heat wave” unrelented for weeks until…”Earth turning on its axis was enough to do the trick.” (The Dallas Morning News, Aug 5, 2010)

In a similar manner I propose that Malkina (Cameron Diaz’s character) in THE COUNSELOR is the personification of Venus while utilizing Jeff Cooley’s analysis of a Sumerian astro-myth. Malkina’s movements in the movie allow us to explore her as being a keeper of maths, navigation and astronomy.  These two character’s as well as Blood Meridian’s the kid and Judge, portray the concept of mind embedded in a unitary tradition throughout many art genres. The kids birth in BLOOD MERIDIAN occurs during a meteor shower, aligning his arrival with other literary heroes Krishna, Jesus and Hamlet also associated with celestial bodies at birth.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Crown Continued


We chat about THE CROWN on this weeks episode. I think this is the best season of THE CROWN and I have endless curiousity about the writers and their thoughts on power, greed and what creates character. By character I mean how humans build character and ethics. THE CROWN season 4 seems to put a heavy blame on family. The responsibility of building chracter lies in what we teach our children in our communities. The many roles in the season cold work as personifications for approach to society. The Queen represents Liberalism. Liberalism seems to credit itself with all the good of the life yet they don't do the hard work at making ggodness and ethics for all of the society.The liberal dependance on good manners and customs creates compassion is an illusion. (thats not why we practice good manners, we practice them so when life presents us with heightened emotions we don't run rough-shod over each other) Prince Philip seems to represent Libertarianism with it's vitality for the individual working around freedom in a control system. He can get away with his betrayals as he is a freshman thinker in an oppressed society. Prrince Charles is the personification of conservatism which feels it is doing good by holding on to tradition therefore it's paid its dues and should be able to find love. But there is no freedom for love in a Conservative framework. Thatcher is postmodernism. And she is the predessessor to Trump. They think there is no meaning in life therefore they can reject the good works of labor, mock the military as if it is there for their own granduer, and the elite population is decadent and follows mindless customs. The dysfunction of the royal family mirrors the dysfunction of all communities who do not do the work of teaching community and social justice either through caring and support for the less fortunate, or assuring that all of a citizenry have food, meaningful work, and health care and shelter. And that shelter also means warmness, kindness and company. Princess Diana was the manifestion of the Shakespearean concept that a corrupt country can only be healed by rebirth. Adeath by violence then rebirth (se HAMLET and A WINTERS TALE as examples) . Although the stag hunt in this season was a play on the mythology of Diana and evading a hunter, capturing is really that a vrgin princess was captured and eventually killed in order to reboot the UK. I can only imagine that the palaces must become public property and museums or tourist sites like Vesailles. The profit of turism going straight back to the citizenry and infrastucture of the country. I think the same thing must eveolve in te USA. Route 66, the museums in DC, the great cities and economy of the fallen USA transformed into a tourist economy to support the people. This transformaton occured in France, Italy where robust democracies have tempered extremists like Thatcher, Bushes, Regans and Trumps.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Kiss The Ground

 I love the movie KISS THE GROUND. It's on Netflix.

Here is another documentary that is related here on Youtube....

The Story Of Stuff

 I'm warching lots of environmental documentaries. Inspired by MY OCTOPUS TACHER. Here is a 2009 independant doc...

The Crown Twice

I'm so into this season of THE CROWN. I,m watching it twice for sure. I plan on talking about it this week on our podcast on androids or if you prefer for iPhones.


Thursday, November 05, 2020

The Aristocrats: Art VS Fundamentalism


I recently rewatched the fascinating documentary about the worlds dirtiest joke. The joke is part of an oral tradition since vaudeville era. It's part storytelling device and spectacle of Grotesque. The joke is vulgar, an improv tale developed by the teller. In 2005 the documentary THE ARISTOCRATS interviews over a 100 comedians who deconstruct, analyse and perform the joke. This isn't for everyone. It's so vulgar it often includes incest, bizare sexual acts, bestiality, scat and any number of repulsive activities that transgress our customes and decorum. Everyone has done this joke. There is a clip of The Smothers Brothers discussing the joke and it brought tears to my eyes. George Carlin and Phylis Diller are so beautifully welcome sights for sore eyes. There is every disgusting act you couldn't even imagine. And the punchline is always the same. Women and men will have different ways of finding shock value. And most audiences know the joke so the mystery is in the build up before the punch line. Evryone knows the punchline. The joke has three sections. The set up: a man goes to his agent and pitches a stage show. Then the client describes the act. Sex with one's whole family, golden showers, the family dog, sliding in shit, etc. Then the agent asks..."whats the name of the act?" "The Aristocrats." It's It's stories built out of other stories...which is what art is....and is an opportunity to think about what is art? What is originality? What do we learn about our society from such stories and release? The joke is an opportunity for storytellers to render an insane scenario showing off their storytelling skills and imagination. This documentary is a 10/10 and is brilliant including Christopher Walken telling the joke. 

Sometimes I have laughed at the punchline because of the delivery by the comic. What I couldn't help but notice this viewing is that what I thought about was...Quanon. This joke has taken a dark turn to literal application. The definition of fundamentalism is a literal appication of a sacred text. Or the strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline. What Quanon as a generator of an urban legend has the idea that there is a a terrible sexual transgression in our society. They describe the incest, pedophilia, and vulgar acts and the punch line is Tom Hanks. This conspiracy theory has co-opted an oral tradition in literally apply it to society today as if its truth. And that my friends is a good example of fundamentalism and fascism.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Our Amy Rigby Episode

 Thank you for visiting and thank you for listening to our podcast!

We are so excited to announce that our episode with Amy Rigby is up. Amy Rigby is a singer, songwriter and authour. Amy was born in Pittsburgh and had a career in bands in New York City in the 1980's before beginning a solo career with the critically acclaimed album "The Diary Of A Mod Housewife in 1996." She is the authour of a memoir "Girl To City" which both Eugene and I read and loved. Her and her husband Wreckless Eric have a protest song on Youtube. I hope you check it out and click "like" and share it on your social media. 

Please find the interview here....The Amy Rigby Episode

Visit Amy's website to order her music, book or podcast reading her book with her music embedded.

#punkrock #punkmusic #diypunk #altcountry #singersongwriter #amyrigby #girltocitymemoir #nycmusicscene 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Vote That Fucker Out 2

 We air a conversation with Amy Rigby...singer songwriter extrodinare on Tuesday. Please visit this Youtube page and click "like." Please share and thanks for listening to THE AGENCY

Check out this episode....and maybe Paul Alexander Rhys Jones will find this blog...

#amyrigby #wrecklesseric #paulalexanderrhysjones #girltocity #nyc1980s #nyc1990s #votethatfuckerout #memoirs #rockmemoirs #punkrock #theshams #stiffrecords #lastroundup

Friday, October 23, 2020

Protest Songs And Amy Rigby Interview

Eugene and I both read Amy Rigby's excellent memoir this year. We spent some time talking to Amy for our next episode of THE AGENCY
Amy lived in New York City during one of its most exciting and culturally rich time periods...

We are super excited to announce our special guest next week on our podcast We interview singer songwriter Amy Rigby. 

Here is the protest song Amy recorded with her husband Wreckless Eric VOTE THAT FUCKER OUT

Related links:

Amy Rigby Website

Another rprotest song written by Amy Rigby The President Can't Read

Amy's memoir in podcast format GIRL TO CITY with music interspeced with Amy reading her book. So cool!

Amy Rigby photographed by Ted Barron

Married power couple of songwriting Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


Seriously thank you for listening to our podcast THE AGENCY. On an episode a couple weeks ago Eugene and I discussed how we don't keep many of our sketchbooks. A couple listwners were really surpised by this and emailed us some more about it. A friend of mine in UK found a sketchbook I had given him many years ago and sent me a couple pics from it. I thought it was fun to see the sketch for a mural next to the finished mural. Here:


Friday, October 09, 2020

Way Back Machine


I spent some time a couple of podcast episodes ago...saying how I don't keep my sketchbooks. However a friend and listener found a sketch book I gifted way way back when. What's hilarious to me is how decentralized my watercoulours were then...and how I still paint that way compositionally. The bottm photo is in my kitchen with a sketch of "nitroglycerine" which I painted on my kitchne wall once. I think I posted a pic of that here some where too. Hope you are listening to our podcast...THE AGENCY on iTunes, Podbean or Spotify. Thank you!
I got the Keith Haring from Keith Haring and an opneing I attended in New York City. I wish I still had that poster! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Shell Game, Part Of The Illuminati Series

Finally finished this one. Oil on canvas. 66" x 77". $1.000. Pandemic sale prices! LOL


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Some Movies This Week


On recent podcast Eugene and I talked about a few movies we watched this week. PORTRAIT OF WALLY is about Nazi-looted Egon Scheile painting and it's eventual "return" to original owner. It is so good and an excellent way to view art history. Belwo is a photo of a lousy man who took advantage of the appropriation of art by Hitler and kept the stolen art for himself. I'm so repulsed by him I can't believe I'm sharing that photo here. I highly recommend. Please check out our podcast THE AGENCY

I loved everything about KING OF STEN ISLAND. 10/10

We also chat about Montana, and Kelly Reichart movie CERTAIN WOMEN. Thank you for listening!

generated by