Society & Culture

Something is going crazy in this world. Sometimes its funny and sometimes its not, especially when it feels like life is kicking you in the ass. We know how you feel.


July 27, 2021

A Contest of Will

This week your Agents took a field trip to Toronto's east end - to the patio at Murphy's Law pub where we met up with the irrepressible poet and personality, Dr. K. Syinide.

Shout-outs to: Sweet Daddy Siki, Lopes, Anvy and the late great Nash the Slash.

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July 20, 2021

Bob’s Kingdom

This week:

  • More on The American Plague and The Little Things
  • Back to the movies: Roadrunner - the Anthony Bourdain doc
  • The Basil Smash
  • We do this 'Til we Free Us
  • Dungeons and Dragons today
  • Listener mail and more....

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Thanks for listening!

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July 13, 2021


Join us for Episode 106 (never mind Eugene who tries to tell you it's 105). This week:
- Cocktails
- Outrageous poutine + butter chicken nachos
- Is music the most high thing?
- Fiddle great Byron Berline RIP
- The Friends of Eddie Coyle
- How the One-armed Sister Sweeps her House
- The American Plague
- Vaccinations and a post-COVID future
- How will COVID change the way we think about sick leave?
     .....and more.

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Thank you to our loyal listeners - we love you! And special thanks to our Patreon supporters for helping to pay the bills!


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July 7, 2021

Off The Grid

Nomadland, Berries in dessert, monster movie and other stories.

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Special thanks to Freesound and please visit...

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Special guest, Assistant Professor Cultural Studies, John Vanderheide charms the agents with his insights into pop culture.

Eugene muses about upcoming canoe trip and canoe recollections. The agents get two letters from a listener. Candy makes secret bread and is horrified not about a serial killer but about the Toronto cops failure to see through a manipulator.

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What do the movies Vertigo and Mulholland Drive have in common? How do you make Nuoc mam? Does the term “totalitarian agriculture” bother you? Or do you prefer “dominant economy”? We read a letter from a listener and we contemplate the contemplative life. All that and ice cream!


We would love to hear from you, please email us your thoughts, ideas, recommendations or complaints here:


“Totalitarian agriculture dictates that we make radically more food than what we immediately need. Quinn (1996) coined the term “in order to stress the way it subordinates all life forms to the relentless, single-minded production of human food” (p. 247). The central imperative is to expand food production, nothing else. Succeeding other, more sustainable forms of food production 10,000 years ago, totalitarian agriculture quickly became the prevailing method of feeding ourselves. It continues to displace obscure holdouts of former food production methods — Afghanistan’s Kochi nomads or the Sentinelese hunter-gatherers of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, for instance. These cultures are fading away. Totalitarian agriculture transcends political ideologies and geographic boundaries, uniformly occupying East and West, Left and Right. Human wellbeing and general social progress are sometimes happy byproducts of this system and are used to justify it. But improvement of the human condition has nothing to do with totalitarian agriculture’s animating tenet of perpetual growth. We know wellbeing is not a goal of totalitarian agriculture because perpetual food expansion also inflicts tragic human suffering on a global scale, stripping most of us of leisure time, health, social contact, and dignity.

It’s important to note that agriculture is not inherently totalitarian; tribal societies have practiced sustainable forms of agriculture for millennia. These models can yield humble stores, but they do not care about growing the population or expanding into new territory. Only the modern strain of agriculture — shaped, accelerated, and purveyed to every corner of the earth over the last ten millennia — is totalitarian (Quinn, 1996, p. 253–255).” from 'A Cosmic Tragedy' by Aaron Hedge.

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June 15, 2021

Rule #6

This week: numbers; teaching and learning in the arts (and a Benjamin Zander masterclass); The Edge of All We Know - a doc about black holes; Emergence - Chaos to Order by John H. Holland, exploring the dychotomy between arts and science; and finally, catching up on In Treatment.

Thank you for listening, and special thanks to our Patreon supporters! If you would like to get in touch with us, please email:


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Candy gives new memoir ALL THE RAGE by Canadian playwright, screen writer and cultural commentator Brad Fraser huge props. Eugene misses MARE OF EASTTOWN so watches the brilliant actor Jean Smart in a new show HACKS. The agents interview an expert on truth, logic and conspiracy theories,  blogger S.M. Elliott.

You can find her research and articles here:


Please email us and tell us what you think of our podcast, our topics...or suggest topics for us to discuss, books to read, movies to watch. Thank you for listening!


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Thank you to Freesound and Victor Natas for evil choir sounds.

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June 1, 2021

Parent Sauces

We celebrate a milestone this episode. We talk about the idea of writing a mystery novel, cooking indoors and out as well as okra, tomato juice and juniper berries. Wow we got it all. And we love MARE OF EASTTOWN! 

Thank you to our listeners, and thank you to the following for their sounds:


rbnx on Freesounds


Please email us about anything, questions, what you're reading or cooking, and has your life gone back to "normal" yet? What are you watching?


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May 25, 2021

M is for Mystery

Is it possible for two people living in different cities to write a mystery novel together? We explore this idea and much more this week. Please join us.

We would love to hear from you. Please email us:

Thank you for listening - and special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like to help The Agency pay some bills, please visit our Patreon page:

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