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Arts and Culture

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The celebrity profile is dead. Or dying, at least, according to The New York Times. Case in point: the Times's own terrible profile of the great Maya Rudolph. Counterpoint: The Washington Post's fascinating, and self-eviscerating, profile of the formerly great Chevy Chase.

And: Nicole Holofcener's new movie is a Netflix adaptation of Ted Thompson's novel of the same name, The Land of Steady Habits. You'll never guess where it's set. (Actually, you might not. I'm pretty sure it's never said in the movie, and they shot it in Tarrytown, New York. But it's meant to be Westport, Conn., which is why The Nose is covering it.)

We were going to produce a show today on loneliness with British writer Olivia Laing. We still want to do that show with Olivia - but not today.

Instead, we decided to switch gears and talk with Olivia and other artists about the themes in Olivia's new novel because they mirror our own concerns: how to live life in this fast-moving world where the present is history in the blink of an eye and world leaders can end our world with one wrong tweet? How can we exist, create art, raise children, commit to a future in a world that could be ending?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Actress Cynthia Nixon lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary in New York yesterday. Did she lose because of the kind of bagel she eats? Probably not. But from the Nose's point of view, what could really matter more than that?

And Vulture, last week -- "as the discourse rages on about whether or not political correctness is destroying comedy (spoiler alert: it isn't)" -- ran a piece on the jokes comedians regret. But here's the real question: Do we want comedians regretting their jokes, tasteless or not?

Domenic Esposito

One morning last June, a giant sculpture of a heroin spoon was dropped on the campus of Purdue Pharma in Stamford. It was a piece of protest art meant to hold the pharmaceutical company responsible for its role in the opioid epidemic.

ArtDaily / Wikimedia Commons

Color doesn't exist on its own.

A red rose will look different to me than it does to you. It will also look different to a pigeon, who can see way more shades and tints than most humans can see. Remember the 2015 debate over the dress? Gold & white,  blue & black or yes, some saw brown & light purple. 

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

You may have heard that Bob Woodward has a new book out.

It was number one on Amazon... before it came out. It was into its seventh printing -- a million copies... before it came out. The president Twittered about it at least a dozen times... before it came out.

Well, now it's out.

This hour: a look at the phenomenon of Fear.

J Stimp / Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

Mike Mozart / flickr creative commons

Here's the money quote from a recent Washington Post story on entertainment in the Trump era: "People look at politics when deciding how they feel about a host or actor. Pop culture has now become one more thing that divides us, just like cable news and social media." The Nose couldn't pass that up, and this not-quite-The-Nose show can't pass it up either.

Ray Hardman / Connecticut Public Radio

A new exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art celebrates the history of the Farmington arts scene, a little known but influential chapter in American art.

hobvias sudoneighm / flickr creative commons

Semiotics is the study of sign process, which is to say: it's the science of the search for meaning.

And then, part of the underlying premise of semiotics -- which just happens to be part of the underlying premise of The Colin McEnroe Show, itself -- is that there's meaning... everywhere.

Books DAMSELFLY and THE DIALOGUES
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Check out some of the titles recommended during this episode here.

Now that it’s summer, it’s time to head to the beach with a good book! For many of us, vacation is one of the few times we get to read for fun. Don’t know what book to pick up? Where We Live has got you covered.

Rogelio A. Galaviz C. / Flickr

It’s difficult to imagine children’s programming without the impact of Fred Rogers. For nearly 50 years, Rogers pioneered a model for how children can learn, discover themselves and grow by watching tailor-made programs. Now, 15 years after his death, his legacy continues thanks to a documentary, an upcoming film, and now a new biography that chronicles his life.

Eleanor Roosevelt (second from left) and Lorena Hickok (far right)
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library / Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman with a huge historical footprint -- First Lady, first U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. She was dubbed “The First Lady of the World” by Harry Truman. 

But how much is known about Eleanor’s personal life beyond the politics and activism? This hour, we sit down with Connecticut author Amy Bloom. Her new book, White Houses, is a fictional novel that explores Roosevelt’s real-life romantic relationship with female journalist Lorena Hickok.

RMI Records, a division of Resonant Motion, Inc.

The Noah Baerman Resonance Ensemble's The Rock & the Redemption is a jazz concept album of sorts that recasts the Sisyphus myth around the heroism of perseverance and persistence.

Keyboardist and composer Noah Baerman joins us for the hour.

Aretha Franklin returned to her hometown church today.

The Queen of Soul died on August 16 from pancreatic cancer. For the past few days, fans gathered to pay their respects at Detroit's Charles H. Wright's Museum of African-American History. But today, long lines gathered outside New Bethel Baptist Church where Franklin's late father was the pastor for many years and where she sang in the choir. Franklin, dressed in a pink dress and gold studded heels, lay in repose in the church sanctuary.

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