Chion Wolf | Connecticut Public Radio
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Chion Wolf

Host/Producer

Chion Wolf is the host of Audacious and Us in the Time of Coronavirus on Connecticut Public Broadcasting.

She produces and hosts The Mouth-Off - a live storytelling event at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, and a live advice show at Sea Tea Improv's underground comedy theater, called Asking for a Friend with Chion Wolf.

She also hosts a weekly Facebook live show, It's Chopped Salad Time! (with Chion Wolf).  Previously, in conjunction with Connecticut Voice Magazine, she was the host and producer of Connecticut Voice Podcast, highlighting the stories of people on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum in Connecticut.

Chion is a an animator, and a stop-motion enthusiast. She is also on the Board of Directors for Night Fall, Inc., a yearly Hartford-based public performance with Anne Cubberly's giant puppets, dancers, and music, and she is the founder of Pedal to the Medal, an annual bike ride that benefits Hartford's non-profit, educational bicycle store, BiCi Co.

Wolf is a founding member of the Hartford-based marching band, the Hartford Hot Several, where she plays the trash can bass drum. Chion is also a certified judge with the International Chili Society, and is unapologetic about her love for onions.

Click here for a collection of Colin McEnroe Show intros.

Click here for the Chion Wolf YouTube page.

Click here for the WNPR Flickr page.

Hurricane: NASA Goddard - Flickr Creative Commons / Tornado: Justin1569 - Wikipedia / Wildfire: U.S. Dept of Agriculture - Wikipedia

I’ve had a recurring dream ever since I was a little kid: I’m playing in the front yard of the house I grew up in, and suddenly, the atmosphere around me changes. I feel an ominous breeze on my face. I look up, and barreling down the street, is a tornado headed straight for me. I turn to run… and the dream ends. 

I think my compulsion to run away from dangerous weather - in my dreams and in real life - is probably shared by a lot of people. But today? The folks you’re gonna meet go towards the danger to stop it, or to document it so we can understand it better.

Image courtesy of Laina Morris

This hour, we’re talking with people who have become memes. Like, “Hide the Pain Harold”, who is actually András Arató - a stock photo model who  is smiling wide but his eyes, well, there’s a real sadness there.

And “Overly Attached Girlfriend”, who is Laina Morris. She entered a Justin Beiber song parody competition and just a few moments of her wide-eyed face from the video launched her into supermemedom.

And we’ll talk with two Karens - one who is Black and one who’s white - about what it’s like having their name become a meme that means “white woman who calls 911 on Black and brown people who aren’t doing anything illegal.”

Plus, hear from Zach Sweat from KnowYourMeme.com about how memes infiltrate every little corner of our lives - for better and worse.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

***This show originally aired on June 20, 2020***

Speech disfluencies are mysterious. They are defined as breaks or disruptions that occur in the flow of speech.

TOONMAN_blchin / Wikipedia

The art of tattooing has been traced back 7,000 years. While the significance or reason behind the oldest-known tattoos are total speculation, we do know that often, they were applied as sacred rites, and awarded as a signifier of adulthood. In Ancient Egypt, it’s likely they were used as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth. And in the ancient Greco-Roman world, they were applied on enslaved people who got caught trying to escape.

But today, the reasons for getting a tattoo are as distinct as the person getting them. Sometimes, it’s a memorial to a person or an experience or an idea. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than something that just looks really cool!

Now and then, though, the meaning changes, and the artwork needs to be covered up. So today, you’ll hear stories about how people have used tattoos to allow their skin to, shall we say, evolve.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

What do the 2020 Doomsday Clock - you know, the calculation that tells us which technologies and conditions may annihilate us all - and the 2020 presidential election have in common?

Your vote impacts the outcome.

For eight years, I hosted a storytelling show at the Mark Twain House, called The Mouth-Off. Five times a year, storytellers would take the stage with their true story on that night’s theme. Now that the pandemic has cancelled the remainder of this year’s season, I wanted to take the opportunity to play you some of my favorites.

You’ll hear all sorts of stories in this episode, but the one thing they all have in common? They all deal with relationships with authority figures - like parents, employers… or police.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

When you were growing up, you probably heard about famous inventors. Maybe you thought they were brilliant. Rigorously trained. Confident. Capable. And that their inventions advanced humankind through and through.

But Dr. Ainissa Ramirez spent the last 5 years writing a book that strips away those presumptions. In The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, she paints portraits not of how inventors settled questions of the limits of technology - but of how much further we still have to go.

Today, you’re gonna hear from three people who had close encounters with wild animals - and have the scars to prove it.

You’ll hear how - and if - any of these people felt defined by their experiences, and what sense they’ve made out of their encounters. Plus, you’ll hear from a wildlife expert about what animals you should be careful to keep away from here in New England.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

Colin McEnroe Show alum Chion Wolf has a new show: Audacious. Hear this guest episode from her series!

Last year, a 28-year-old guy in Mumbai tried to sue his parents -- who are both lawyers -- for having brought him into the world. He claims his parents didn’t get his consent to live. In addition to being a very bold person, he is an anti-natalist. That is, he believes that it is morally wrong to bring sentient life into this world -- no matter how charmed or how troubled that life is -- and that humanity should stop reproducing, full stop.

Claire Winter / Flickr Creative Commons

From ancient Egypt to Greek mythology, through Abrahamic religions, in ancient African and Native American spiritual traditions, in medieval Europe, and 16th century France (remember that Nostradamus guy?), humans have reliably attempted to predict the future, read minds, and communicate with the dead.

And at this moment in our history, with a pandemic, protests, an upcoming election, climate change... On top of the innate chaos of being a human being, it would surely be more psychologically manageable if we could somehow see into the future.

National Human Genome Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons

Right now the world population is 7.8 billion, and growing fast. We have doubled our population over just the past 50 years!

Even though the population is growing, fertility rates, overall, are dropping. So, more people are here, but we’re having fewer babies. There’s a lot of reasons for that, and one of them is infertility. The CDC estimates that nearly one out of eight couples struggles to conceive, but because of assisted reproductive technology, we’re upping the population numbers in the United States. The CDC reports that almost 2 percent of all U.S. births annually - or about 4 million babies - are here as a result of things like in-vitro-fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and egg donation.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

Last year, a 28 year-old guy in Mumbai tried to sue his parents - who are both lawyers - for having brought him into the world. He claims his parents didn’t get his consent to live. In addition to being a very bold person, he is an anti-natalist. That is, he believes that it is morally wrong to bring sentient life into this world - no matter how charmed or how troubled that life is - and that humanity should stop reproducing, full stop.

We’re all naked under our clothes. It’s when we take them off that things could get complicated.

I didn't want to be clothesminded, so in 2012 I did something that I had never done before. I took off all my clothes and spent time at Solair, a nudist resort in Woodstock, Connecticut, all in the name of radio. Then, I revisited the resort a few years later to go skinnydipping with four members of one family to find out what the nudist lifestyle means to their hearts, minds, and of course, bodies.

Décolleté Dekoltee / Pixabay

Imagine you’ve got breasts. It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine, because most every human being has’ em! And that means that most of us are candidates for breast cancer.

This hour, we hear very intimate conversations with two women who go through the process of getting a double mastectomy - the removal of all the breast tissue. One decides to get reconstruction, and one does not.

Speech disfluencies are mysterious. They are defined as breaks or disruptions that occur in the flow of speech.

For over 10 years, I was the midday host at Connecticut Public Radio, telling you the weather, the time, what show was coming up next — And at the top of every hour, the call letters.

Jumana Dakkur / Pexels.com

This hour, we talk about the role white people play in anti-racist work, and how we can all talk with young people about anti-racism.

You’ll hear from John Biewen, audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He’s also the host and producer of Scene On Radio, a podcast that tells stories exploring human experience and American society. The second season of that series is called “Seeing White”. Through 14 episodes, it explores America’s deep history of white supremacy. Biewen, who is white, and his co-host and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University’s Department of Journalism and Media Studies, who is Black, talk about the manufacturing of the concept of race and the purpose of whiteness.

Gilad Raphaelli / Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we’re starting at the end: Death.

Knowledge of our mortality affects almost everything about us. And lately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, death is on our phones, in the headlines, and in the air.

This is the ninth and final episode of US in the Time of Coronavirus.

We’ve surpassed 100,000 deaths in our country, and more than 3,826 deaths here in Connecticut as of Friday, May 20th. These numbers aren’t just numbers. They’re mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, brothers and sons; Grandmas and grandpas, and best friends.

Illustrative amendment by Chion Wolf
John William Waterhouse (1902) / Wikipedia

May 20th was the long-awaited date in Connecticut when the first phase of reopening began after the Coronavirus caused life as we know it to be put on hold. Offices and malls were allowerd to open with precautions; restaurants, museums and zoos could open outdoor areas as well.

A few weeks ago on this show, you heard how Gaylord Health is using the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” every time they celebrate the release of a Covid-19 patient. This hour, you'll meet one of them. After being hospitalized for 7 weeks, 42 year-old West Haven resident Anthony Spina came home last week.

Cottonbro / Pexels.com

Branimir Balogović / Pexels.com

You remember what the mother of Mr. Rogers said: Always look for the helpers.

Turns out, they're everywhere. Sometimes they're livestreaming themselves doing great work on social media, sometimes they're in a photo, smiling behind a mask as part of a group of volunteers (spaced six feet apart, of course), and sometimes you never even know they're there.

Dallas / Flickr Creative Commons

Aah-Yeah / Flickr Creative Commons

Grief is everywhere. Whether a loved one has died, you lost your job, your wedding is cancelled... It’s all grief. There are things people say that are meant to help, but can really hurt, so Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, has some ideas about how we can all be better grievers.

Joey Zanotti / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s Holy Week for many Americans, a heightened time of prayer and meditation and looking inward. But it doesn’t matter what your religion is, or if you don’t feel compelled to engage with religion at all. It seems like every one of us has been looking inward in the past month or so.

This hour, Rev. Dr. Shelley Best on how she, as a faith leader, is making sense of all this. What does this pain and death mean - if anything at all? How is she reconnecting with her communities, and how is she finding comfort for herself?

Lars Klintwall Malmqvist / Wikipedia

I’ve been a producer here at Connecticut Public since 2007, and since then, our team that’s reported on some really difficult times. And now? We’re all trying to make sense of this unprecedented era of Covid-19.

After we all started working from home, I kept seeing these painful stories of layoffs and panic. But there were also stories about the Helpers who are trying to make sense of all this, who are trying to ease the pain.

That’s who you’ll hear from on this show. Every week, you’ll hear from people who are struggling in the chaos of this virus, people who are helping get us through each day, and, because they have a much needed perspective, you’ll hear from children.

Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Spring is here, and with it the growing season for Connecticut farms. As a part of the essential supply chain, they’re subject to far fewer restrictions than many other businesses, but life on the farm during coronavirus is still complicated and uncertain.

Hanging Hills Brewery
Adam Hushin/Connecticut Public

One industry that’s positively flourished in Connecticut in the last decade or so is small craft breweries. As of January, more than 100 were open up and down the state.

But with many so dependent on now-shuttered taprooms, and on their partnerships with restaurants, they’re in the eye of the economic storm, as coronavirus takes its toll.

South Park Inn
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

As state and local governments grapple with how to keep people safe, the threat of coronavirus looms larger for people in vulnerable situations.

Perhaps none more so than people who are experiencing homelessness, who -- by definition -- cannot “stay safe; stay home,” as Gov. Ned Lamont’s new slogan has it.

cleaning service
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

While some businesses have asked their staff to work from home, other jobs can’t be done remotely. Among the most important as the nation faces a pandemic infection -- cleaning.

But many people who clean for a living say they don’t feel safe carrying out their jobs right now.

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