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.


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