Our pilot episode!


My best friend’s younger sister (who is going through a phase where she wants to be named after a vegetable, and I can’t help but feel this is a very perverted Dirty Dancing “don’t call me baby” reference :P) posted this video up on Facebook, and I instantly took to it. On Facebook, or at least on mine, it’s standard fare to find polarised political views. In fact, sometimes they are so polarised that they enter hyperpartisanship. And as a person who identifies herself to be slightly left of centre, and who still needs to learn a great deal about the intricacies of American thinking in politics, I found this video to be greatly informative.

So to you all, I present Wonkistan as they discuss about the Chick-Fil-A/Gay Rights issue, and what it means for a corporation to endorse certain beliefs.

I’d love to hear your opinions on this,

Blurty Girl

While we're scrambling to get our respective selves back together...

Might we suggest some alternatives to keeping yourself busy while you wait for the next chapter of Pride Week and Prejudice?

Wonkistan: Amanda and Ivan are two sexy intellectuals taking on the world’s news, culture and politics with facts, understanding, straightforwardness and a little bit of sass. Watch, read, engage, better yourself. I swear, I’ve become 10% better looking since talking to Amanda:wonkistan.com/

Emilieofnewgloom and the making of The Water’s Fine: I’ve met Emily once over a crowded g+ chat, but she was incredibly friendly and sweet. You’ve probably seen the buzz surrounding her independent short film The Water’s Fine and its successful fundraising campaign! The film isn’t out yet, but Emily’s youtube shows her first attempts at videovlogging and behind the scenes looks at how she built an epic. Her videos on production were more helpful than I can really say and I borrowed a lot from Emily. Despite the fact that the two are incomplete and have little in common, I consider The Water’s Fine and Pride Week and Prejudice second cousins, creatively speaking. http://www.youtube.com/user/emilieofnewgloom

Sadie: Can we talk about http://www.youtube.com/user/defense360? For like a hot second? Sadie is quite possibly the cutest thing on two legs. Who remembers high school? Yeah, Sadie just started and I wish I’d had half the poise and creativity that she’s carrying right now. Check her out and if you’re not a tiny bit inspired when you leave. Well. You’re a dirty liar.

Video Blogs of the Cast and Crew:

PJ (Elijah): http://www.youtube.com/user/SonofaStitch
Jazmine (June): http://www.youtube.com/user/sugarandstuds
Hayley (Kitty): http://www.youtube.com/user/hayleyghoover
Cate (Caroline: http://www.youtube.com/user/cateematthews
Marlena (Producer): http://www.youtube.com/user/stateofwishing
Jordan (Composer): http://www.youtube.com/user/E11EVEN72


Today in wonderful news to wake up to, Wonkistan won the Gold medal in the Fizzylimpics Collab Competition! The eight other entries are creative and wonderful, so we are especially surprised and humbled by the nod.

Thank you to all of those who watched, commented, and voted for our pilot episode, and to Steve for his enthusiasm about the project =)  

Now we have to make more episodes, right?

-Amanda & Ivan

PS: The final award in the competition is Best In Show. Watch through the dozens of entries, and if you can bear to choose just one favorite, cast your vote!

Have we mentioned GetReligion to you yet, and how much we love it? It’s a blog that analyzes media coverage of religion — often showing how mediocre even the best journalistic outlets can be at providing good, unbiased, and factually informative stories about religious issues.

Take this piece from last week (“Endangered species: abstinent New Yorkers,” August 23). At the top, Bobby Ross, Jr. writes:

On this week’s episode of Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom,” we’ll take you inside the world of an endangered species: young humans “living the abstinent lifestyle in New York.”

I kid. I kid.

But a New York Times feature on conservative religious types waiting on sex until marriage (a la Tim Tebow) has a safari-type feel — as if the newspaper is introducing readers to zoo animals. The largely clinical portrayal of “chaste Christians” lacks any real spiritual or religious depth.

And so on.

If you think your religious literacy isn’t up-to-speed, or you like finding room for improvement in journalistic writing, GetReligion is the blog for you.


Friend of the show Steve (Fizzylimon) discusses his (spoiler-free) ambivalence about Doctor Who. Dual citizens of Tumblr and Wonkistan, we know you’ll like this one.

Team Ambivalence!


PBS Frontline’s latest documentary is entitled “The Battle for Syria,” wherein a journalist is embedded with a division of the Free Syrian Army fighting street-to-street in Aleppo. Watch it here.

The second half, “The Regime Responds,” is a more zoomed-out view of the civil war. It includes an interview with the late, great Anthony Shadid (which is sort of heartbreaking). It also provides careful but honest descriptions of the violence committed on both sides. It made Ivan’s stomach turn to see Russian flags in abundance at the pro-Asad rally in Sahat al-Shuhada.

You should watch it anyway.

(Photos via Wikimedia Commons: 1, 2.)


Wonkistanis! Episode Two has arrived! Enjoy “C is for Crunchy,” and be sure to click through to comment with your thoughts.

PLUS, find episode extras here!

Your likes, shares and reblogs are much appreciated.

During our block party I was allowed to pet my neighbor’s chickens. She held one and I PETTED it. It felt NICE. I will never convince LT that we have room in the tiny yard for chickens, and to be honest I am not sure I would want all the work of chickens unless I could outsource some of it (chicken nanny?), but there must be some sort of chicken-share I can join where I get to see chickens several times a week. Or the neighbors need to let me come over and cuddle chickens as much as I need to.
—  One of Wonkistan’s favorite bloggers, Mimi Smartypants, has discovered chickens. Welcome to the club.

Noted madman Benny Lewis (@irishpolyglot, which is pleasantly symmetrical to @slavicpolymath) is going to Brazil in order to learn Egyptian Arabic through French. You officially have zero excuses for delaying work on your target language.

You can read much more about his rationale and his fearlessness on his blog.


Sometimes Ivan visits Amanda, and we make a video.

Episode extras from the last episode (“No one notices but we like it – #wonkistan”) are at here.

Greetings, Wonkistanis!

We just wanted to thank you for all the incredible support you’ve shown our little pilot project so far. It means a lot to see your insightful comments, and to know that people who value our work are sharing it with their friends. Please keep the conversation going on Twitter and Tumblr, where we’re both keeping an eye on the #wonkistan tag.

If you like what you see, please consider voting for us in the Fizzylimpics Collab round. Links to the playlist and voting are in the description of Steve’s latest video.

And if you haven’t seen our debut, effort, you can watch it here!

– Ivan

ICYMI: Wonkistan This Week

It’s been a wide-ranging week for our coverage here at Wonkistan. Here are some great posts you may have missed:

Have a great weekend, Wonkistan, and keep us updated about what you’d like to see from us next week.

Episode Extras: Food Thoughts

Hello, Wonkistan! Long time no see! We’ve just published a new episode, “Food Thoughts,” featuring guest host Cate Matthews.

In it we start to address food politics, including urban farming, hipster foodieism, and privilege. Here are some bonus readings! If one really interests you, please let us know–we’ll feature it in an upcoming episode.


Social Issues: