Category - Agonist Exclusives

Agonist: The Book

   For over a decade of ups and downs, chaos and dedication, arguments and agreements, The Agonist has earned a place in the blogging community. We have had some marvelous writing, outstanding posts and spirited (to say the least) conversations.

   We are contemplating compiling a Best Of Agonist ebook, to be made available free of charge.

   We are investigating several distribution methods and will pick whatever provides the widest availabilty.

   To that end, we hereby invite all members to submit their favorite posts/writers and let us know via the site Contact Page, since relying on comments here might result in overloading the comment system and emails are easier for me to keep track of.

   Once we have assembled a reasonable list of posts, I will copy/paste/edit them by hand, since all the software I’ve seen to automate this process creates a very ugly and nearly-unreadable product. It will therefore take some time to put together.

   If there are those who specifically do not want their own posts to be included, we will certainly respect their wishes.
Furthermore, we will only publish comments on an Opt-In basis.
Your comments will NOT be included unless you specifically give us permission.

Nota Bene: There may be posts whose names you recall and which show up in a search but turn up missing when clicked on. (We have an issue in the site database). I may be able to retrieve some of these posts from the clone site, as the export/import seemed to have resolved the issue on the clone site. If your favorite post doesn’t display, note it anyway and I’ll try to track it down.

   In addition to providing the posts/comments, we may also ‘blurb’ the writers if requested, so that those who blog or write elsewhere may get a little ‘boost’ in visibility for their non-Agonist world. If that category includes you, feel free to provide us any bio or links you would like us to include.

Agonist Top Posts – All Time

Here is a list of top posts from the Agonist in terms of hits/views.  There are some posts from the Drupal (old Agonist) platform (we long for that!) and some from the WorePress platform.  In any event, here they are. Posts in italics are original writing and the others are either functions like Newswire or some of the excellent finds the Newswire editors and others       re-posted.

Enjoy…    Read More

Sandy Is Last Straw for One-of-a-Kind Ice Cream Shop

New York City’s East Village is the kind of place where you might not be surprised to find a vegan ice cream shop. And until today there was one — Stogo’s on Second Avenue.

This New York Times article by Maggie Astor (who just happens to be my daughter) tells us why today was the last day of operation for this much-loved neighborhood tradition:

Stogo, which makes organic, vegan, gluten-free ice cream, will close on Sunday, a few days shy of its fourth anniversary. It has struggled to pay rent for some time, but Hurricane Sandy made recovery impossible, said Junie Ishimori, one of the owners who helped start the business in December 2008.

“This is way more important than Twinkies,” one customer declared in reference to the bankruptcy of Hostess brands.

Benjamin Norman for The New York Times
Some customers said Stogo’s closing was like losing a friend.

The store’s name is short for “soy to go,” though Stogo also uses coconut and hemp. The store’s owners were all vegan or lactose intolerant, Ms. Ishimori said, and Stogo stopped using gluten and peanuts about three years ago.

Irena Azovsky, 22, one of Stogo’s nine employees, said that the staff knew regular customers’ names and dietary restrictions, and that people went to the store “just to say hello.”

“It has a not-city vibe,” said Leah Evans, 24, another employee.

Ms. Ishimori would not say how much the store’s rent was, but it is hardly the only small business that has struggled to stay afloat in high-priced Manhattan neighborhoods.

Stogo, which is on Second Avenue, couldn’t pay October’s rent when it came due, but the month brought higher-than-expected sales. “We were starting to say, ‘O.K., we can probably pay this and that,’” Ms. Ishimori said. “Then Sandy hit.”

Stogo lost power for days. Its ice cream spoiled, and even when power returned, it couldn’t reopen until it had replenished its stock. Ms. Ishimori estimated the store lost $6,000 in inventory and $6,000 in sales. “That’s a make-it-or-break-it number,” she said.

Did I mention that the reporter who wrote this article is my daughter?

Why we are fixated with the USA downunder

I got a message on Facebook yesterday “Graham, I just want to ask you why you get so interested in American politics. It seems crazy to us, so I wonder why do you care so much?”

A while later I was told that a co-worker arrived at a clients yesterday 11/6 USA time and was greeted with a hug and a “YESSS OBAMA won”, then shown the champagne corks! They had friends come over and had pizza and champagne celebration… these people are anthropologists and international film makers.

So YES we care a lot down under. As the election results became obvious my Facebook feed became frenetic with friends from around the globe celebrating in the main, but a few unhappy with the news. Two minutes earlier I had posted on Facebook “4 mOre years!” I had four computer screens open and two tablets updating various news feeds and although the majority were giving an 82-88% prob to Obama, Fox New was holding hard to a 92% win for Romney. Having read Nate Silver earlier , I was sure that it was Obama. Sure enough within a minute of my posting “4 mOre years”, the networks were claiming an Obama win. One USA Facebook friend, an Obama supporter, though remained unsure posting the newspaper picture from yesteryear of Dewey defeats Truman. Read More

‘My Picture Is A Sum Of Destructions’ – Picasso

The reality of many works of art have been irrevocably changed due to Sandy. Dealers, curators and artlovers are reeling. Apart from gallery and dealer losses, much art has also been lost in private collections.

Today MOMA conservators and speakers from the American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT), will provide suggestions and answer questions on how to safely handle and dry wet materials such as paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, and other artistic and cultural works. The presentation is designed to be of special help to the many artists and galleries whose works were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Read More

Austerity Australian Style and why the elderly are increasingly stressed.

Today the Australian government, announced via a Tweet from the Australian Treasurer a forecast surplus of $1.1 billion. Howls of outrage from the mainstream media who had been in lockdown and unable to publish the details until an hour later.

An hour later Australia discovered that the surplus would come, inter alia, from a cut in the baby bonus from $5000 to $3000. A bonus famously begun by the Liberal government in 2007, when the then Treasurer Peter Costello exhorted Australians to have one child for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country. And the birth rate soared. As did purchases of huge LCD Televisions, one for the lounge room, one for the bedroom and often one in each childs’ bedroom. Easy credit offering 24-36 months interest free payments, ensured a consume now pay later mentality.

Additional cuts include reducing the level of rebate the government will provide for private health insurance. And to maintain surpluses over future years, corporations will have to pay company tax monthly, rather than quarterly.

Yet, Charities are reminding Australians that they suffer first world poverty. One in eight Australians “live” in poverty. I visit these folk and they have more electronic gear than I, and I am a tech addict.
Read More

Candidate Obama: Can He be Trusted Yet?

The massive crowds that followed Barack Obama four years ago in his run for the presidency are nowhere to be seen this time around.  Obama’s campaign managers haven’t even bothered to stage such events.  Instead, they have Candidate Obama appearing on television – David Letterman, The View, and probably before this is all over, he’ll have a nice chat with Jon Stewart.  When the president does show up in person at a rally, it’s in a few states like Florida, Ohio, Iowa, and Colorado, where people aren’t sure they like him well enough.

When he is out in public, the president gets big enough and enthusiastic enough crowds to create some good television, and in a way, his campaign managers have to be saying to themselves – So What?  What does it matter if 50,000 to 70,000 people aren’t interested this time around in lining up for tickets at some sports arena to see a political superstar?  His opponent is self-detonating every time he opens his mouth.  Mitt Romney’s slide in the polls has been devastating for his hopes for the White House, and all because Mitt Romney is caught in a vise – he can’t stray too far from his “base”, since the radical Tea Party (grumpy old white men) and evangelical Christians who constitute what’s left of the Republican Party never trusted Mitt Romney in the first place.  Yet he has to soft-peddle the views of his base if he has any hope of appealing to independents.  He winds up being Everyman, appeasing everyone at the cost of appearing devoid altogether of political principles.

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