Colin McEnroe | Connecticut Public Radio
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Colin McEnroe

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Colin McEnroe hosts the daily WNPR show, The Colin McEnroe Show. He is a weekly columnist and blogger for The Hartford Courant and a contributing editor at Men's Health. He has recently concluded a series of columns for Bicycling magazine.

He is the author of three books and one play; and his work has appeared on the New York Times Op-Ed Page and in Mirabella, Best Life, Cosmopolitan, Forbes FYI and Mademoiselle. It is not his fault that only one of those magazines still exists. He frequently moderates the Connecticut Forum and teaches media studies at Trinity College. His books, columns, magazine articles and radio shows have won numerous awards, all of which are in boxes somewhere.

There are times when he still can’t believe it’s not butter. 

Ways to Connect

Abeeeer photo via Flickr Creative Commons

It started with a flub by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.  It wasn't a big deal. As one of his spokespeple suggested, even the substitution of the word "era" for "days" would have helped his cause quite a bit. Most other politicians would not have been called on this, but, for Blumenthal, it fits kind of a narrative some people have about him.

The 2000 election illustrated the weirdness of our presidential voting system in several different dimensions. 

Singularity 101

Feb 8, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, davedehetre

It could be all the coffee I drank this morning, but I think I have an observation that combines the concept of singularity -- the moment at which artificial intelligence or scientifically modified human intelligence becomes smarter than anything that has ever lived on earth -- with the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory.  

Foxtongue photo via Flickr Creative Commons

What's the impact on the state pension fund when a low-paid legislator moves to a high-paid administration job? We like this piece on "pension spikes" from a policy blog

But maybe it doesn't matter, because we're not really making any serious attempt to fund that whole system.

Flickr Creative Commons, phrenzee

Today we'll be analyzing the commercials from last night's Super Bowl. Why? Because, as one writer for Salon.com put it, "We all accept the Super Bowl as less of a game than a pop culture nexus point -- a place where the American self-image asserts itself with familiar rituals ... while cautiously acknowledging the present and looking to the future. The Super Bowl's expansive and awkward mix of performers, images, products and messages is a spectacle of its own."

Flickr Creative Commons, Lancashire County Council

Movies are usually beautiful lies. If you want to learn about history, read a history book. The most a movie can do is kind of light you up, in a vague way, about its historical subject. You watch "Gandhi," maybe you get why Gandhi was such a big deal.

Flickr Creative Commons, dickuhne

There's a kind of madness overtaking us.

Flickr Creative Commons, daveynin

I've been a Packer's fan since I was about 14 years old.

Flickr Creative Commons, p_a_H

Until theatrical autobiographical monologue develops a large roster of superstars, everybody will be compared to Spalding Gray, whether or not that makes sense on a case-by-case basis.

The monologue is, I suppose, as old as human speech, but Gray refined it and married it to performance art around 1980.

Chion Wolf

"Well, my book is written--let it go. But if it were only to write over again there wouldn't be so many things left out. They burn in me; and they keep multiplying; but now they can't ever be said. And besides, they would require a library--and a pen warmed up in hell." So wrote Mark Twain in an 1889 letter to William Dean Howells.

Flickr Creative Commons, stevendepolo

Twenty or 30 years ago there was a Doonesbury strip featuring the president of Walden College and a rich uncle pennybags donor who wanted to give the college a new gym or fieldhouse. And the president tried, gently and awkwardly, to nudge the rich man toward the idea of a new African American Studies Center which the college actually needed. The last frame was the rich guy in full tantrum mode, fists clenched, screaming "I WANNA DONATE A GYM!"

Flickr Creative Commons, ky_olsen

You could argue that one of the big breaks in the history of knowledge is happening right now, as we move from being storers of knowledge to being adept searchers for what is stored.

There's a basic shift in the notion of what education is. Most of us moved through an education pipeline in which existed some vague notion that you were better off loading a lot of stuff into your head. It would help you think. It would give you points of reference. You should know a lot of things.

Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

I heard two New York congressmen on NPR this morning talking about last night's co-called Date Night in which Republicans and Democrats had to find people from the opposite party to sit with.

Animal rights activists have named this cat William Curry, after Connecticut's beloved former comptroller and gubernatorial candidate.

Here is what we know about it, via Julie Lewin of the National Institute For Animal Advocacy:

Flickr Creative Commons, psd

Steve Rushin is fearful of robots. First they replaced his father's pin-setting job. Now they're coming for him.

Flickr Creative Commons, Alberta Buzz

Finally, Colin and David Edelstein agree on something - Winter's Bone for Best Picture!

America's Greatest Living Film Critic knows his movies. We talked with him about the surprises in the 2010 Oscar nominations and which awards he thinks are a lock. 

Edelstein also dropped some references to a few really interesting movies, a few of which you can find on the sidebar.

Jill Steinberg

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has named Carolyn Kuan its new music director.

Kuan visited our studios last year when she was touring Hartford as a candidate. She's the 10th music director for the HSO and the first woman to hold the position.

She sat down with us again to talk about her vision for the HSO's future. Kuan gave her thoughts on music, Mozart, symphonic performance and how she plans to make the HSO more accessible to patrons increasingly distracted by digital white noise.

Flickr Creative Commons, El Bibliomata

I grew up in an environment where it was difficult for me to be a snob even if I wanted to.

OakleyOriginals

The Town of Enfield seems intent on teaching a living class in First Amendment issues.

Last spring the town wound up in federal court over its plan to hold graduation exercises in a mega-church.

Now Enfield is back in the headlines after the town council majority threatened the town library director with defunding if he went forward with a scheduled showing of the Michael Moore movie "Sicko."

Salute To Narcissism

Jan 21, 2011
iwona_kellie, creative commons

We planning our shows and then having to adjust them based on sudden political developments. Today, however, our planned show is about narcissism, and it's pretty easy to incorporate politics into that.

While he was working on a book called "The Narcisism Epidemic," researcher Keith Campbell, one our guests today, started getting calls from friends and relatives who had, essentially, new narcissist  sightings.

My favorite was an SUV, parked in a no parking zone, facing the wrong way, blocking a stop sign, and wearing a bumper sticker that said "I heart Me."

Zugaldia photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Tony Bagels and Vinnie Carwash.

Why is Enfield constantly the battleground for First Amendment issues? (Remember this was the town that gave us the graduation-in-a-church case.)

Flickr Creative Commons, shawncampbell

This weekend, anybody famous who isn't on the Mall with John Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be in Connecticut instead. Or maybe both places at once. Glenn Beck will be in West Hartford. Barack Obama will go through Bridgeport. And Bill Clinton will visit the University of Hartford.

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