The Colin McEnroe Show | Connecticut Public Radio
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The Colin McEnroe Show

Weekdays at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm

We’re asking the people who listen to describe what it sounds like to them. Josh Dobbin, our unofficial ombudsman and possibly most prolific commenter, is taking the first crack.

“The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately.”
Thomas Paine

The Colin McEnroe Show endeavors to prove Paine correct, every weekday. While the topics are unpredictable from one day to the next (previous show topics include whistling, placebos, politics, the nature of divinity, Barbra Streisand, bedbugs, human hydration, dinosaurs, unreliable narrators, ugliness, and raccoons), what is always assured is that a thoughtful, smart, and interesting exploration and conversation with amazing guests will take place about something.

Colin McEnroe is an author, playwright, professor, columnist, and blogger, who is allergic to penicillin and enjoys photographing his dog wearing hats and publishing those photos to the internet. He heads up a team that includes three inquisitive producers (see below) plus the comedy performer Chion Wolf, who doubles as the show's technical producer.

You can stream us live or subscribe on most podcasting platforms. While we are live, call us at (860) 275-7266. When we're live in our New Haven studios call us at 203-776-9677, or email us anytime at colin@ctpublic.org. We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin. To reach us in the newsroom when we're not on air, call (860) 275-7272.

Contact producers:

The executive producer is Catie Talarski. The technical producer is Chion Wolf. The digital producer is Carlos Mejia.

Are you looking for our Radio for the Deaf broadcasts? Those are all collected under our very special, and if you don't mind us saying very nice looking RFTD site.

Joseph Francis / Flickr

In case you haven't heard, our planet is as flat as a pancake. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But around the globe (disc?) a flat Earth movement is steadily on the rise. More and more people, educated and not, from all walks of life, are posting videos, attending conferences, and publishing books embracing this seemingly radical notion.

 

Healing From Cancer

Mar 19, 2019

Colin was diagnosed with melanoma last year. He had a few scary weeks between diagnosis and removal of the cancer. He's told he's clean but, what happens next? 

Fewer Americans diagnosed with cancer this year will die from their disease than at any other time in the last two decades. Medical advances in detection and treatment and a population more aware of the habits that can lead to cancer are helping more people live with cancer.

Pascal Walschots / Creative Commons

We're outraged that wealthy parents illegally paid to get their kids into elite colleges they would otherwise not qualify to enter. Despite evidence to the contrary, we still want to believe that America is a meritocracy. It's not. And believing that it is might be bad for you.

This week, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp suffered major worldwide outages, and Twitter previewed some possible new changes. And people took to (what else?) social media to (what else?) complain.

And: The Ringer asks the age-old question, if a TV show falls in the woods, and no one talks about it, can it be certified fresh? Or something like that.

And finally: Captain Marvel is the 21st feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the ninth movie in the MCU's Phase Three. It is, chronologically, a sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and a prequel to 2008's Iron Man. I didn't follow much of that, but I get this part: After 11 years and all those previous movies, it's the first one with a female lead.

jessicaharper.com

Jessica Harper has starred in movies like Suspiria, Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise, Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. And now she's publishing a memoir as a podcast.

Winnetka tells the story of growing up in a big family -- six kids, including two sets of twins -- in the 1950s and '60s in the midwest -- in Winnetka, Ill., you see -- and later in Connecticut.

Plus: An update on the podcast industry more generally. The "Netflix of podcasts" is here. A big new study on podcasting has just come out. And... is "podcaster burnout" becoming a thing?

Surprise Truck / Creative Commons

Are you one of the millions inspired by Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method to get rid of your clutter? Kondo's books, such as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, have sparked an intense and prolonged fervor where other self-help gurus have failed. 

AMC

You know all the reasons Trump won, right?

Economic anxiety. Racial anxiety. The forgotten working class. The forgotten rustbelt...

But what if the real cause were something much simpler and much more pervasive: our popular culture.

Sunday morning news shows were abuzz about the Democratic National Committee's decision to deselect Fox News as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates. 

But you may have missed it if you didn't reset your clocks to Daylight Saving Time, or like a lot of us, spent your weekend fixated on that hour of lost sleep.

On this week's Scramble, we take on the weary rants over both topics.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been rough going here for the famous for a little while. This week, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced his stage four cancer diagnosis. Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver retired from public life because of his dementia diagnosis. And then there are the deaths: Actor Luke Perry at 52. The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint at 49. Actress Katherine Helmond at 89.

Also this hour: a look at Netflix's new not-exactly-the-X-Men, but-still-adapted-from-a-comic-book series, The Umbrella Academy.

The Truth About Lies

Mar 7, 2019
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

EwS / flickr creative commons

For the past few months, Nose regular Jacques Lamarre has been posting debate-starting, head-to-head style Facebook posts.

Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry. Ketchup vs. mustard vs. mayonnaise. When Harry Met Sally vs. Sleepless in Seattle. That kind of thing.

And so now, we've decided to try to turn the concept into a radio show. This hour, YOU MUST CHOOSE.

Catherine Sebastian

Joyce Maynard has been writing for over 45 years about the kind of human experiences we're often taught to keep hidden - stories  about envy, anger, vanity, self-pity, pride.  

We read her stories because they offer a chance to first confront and then forgive ourselves for how those emotions can shape us into people we don't like. 

Alan Light / Creative Commons

It was hard to watch the first part of Leaving Neverland, the documentary which aired on HBO aired on March 3. The poignancy of the mixed emotions expressed by two men and their mothers who fell under the spell of Michael Jackson and later, his predation, left me feeling like a fly on the wall of a particularly difficult visit to a therapist. I was forced to consider my own complicity in how we collectively create and reward a celebrity culture that allows us to suspend reality against our own better judgment.

David Siu / Creative Commons

Nobody likes the termite. They get into the wood in our homes that can lead to infuriating and expensive repairs. What's to like.

It turns out, there's a lot to like about the termite; scientists study how termites build their "mounds" for clues to solving some of the world's most pressing problems, like mitigating the effects of drought, building colonies on Mars, and the creation of biofuels. 

Shall We Dance?

Feb 28, 2019
Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Why do we dance? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Dancing has served a multitude of functions for various cultures throughout history, and there is even evidence to suggest we, as a species, are biologically hard-wired to dance.

Alex Guerrero / Creative Commons

You have pain that wakes you up at night and distracts you during the day. You go to the doctor, who asks you to grade your pain on a scale of 1-10. The doctor can't find anything wrong with you; it may be stress or anxiety or that you need more exercise or sleep. You're confused. You feel pain but nothing seems to be wrong. Does this sound familiar?

Antonio Castagna / Flickr Creative Commons

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

Today, we remember Peter Tork of The Monkees. This show originally aired April 25, 2013.

John Lennon said they were the greatest comedy team since the Marx Brothers.

Gene Roddenberry based the look of the character Chekov on them. The Jimi Hendrix Experience got its first U.S. concert work as their opening act.  Their TV show generated the money that launched the movie career of Jack Nicholson.

John Eckman / flickr creative commons

It's been a year of aborted missteps for the Academy Awards. There was going to be a new Best Popular Picture category. But now there won't be. Kevin Hart was going to host. But now there's nobody. They were going to present four awards -- including Film Editing and Cinematography -- during the commercial breaks. But now they aren't.

Oh and there're the actual movies. Roma and The Favourite lead the field with 10 nominations each. A Star Is Born was once the favorite (no "u") to win in a bunch of categories. But now bettors' odds seem to favor Roma. Or maybe Green Book? And A Star Is Born? Its Best Picture hopes have fallen all the way to 40-1 against.

Erich Ferdinand / Creative Commons

Religious scholar Elaine Pagels, trusted the Gospel of Thomas to get her through the almost unbearably painful years after the death of her six-year-old son -- born with a congenital heart defect -- followed one year later by the unexpected death of her husband. 

Erich Ferdinand / Creative Commons

Religious scholar Elaine Pagels, trusted the Gospel of Thomas to get her through the almost unbearably painful years after the death of her six-year-old son -- born with a congenital heart defect -- followed one year later by the unexpected death of her husband. 

Joanthan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Elvis left two legacies. Musically, he pulled several American musical traditions out of the shadows, braided them together, and made them mainstream. Personally, he created a far darker template for the way a musical celebrity could be devoured by the very fame he avidly sought.

Recorded live in front of an audience -- and with a band! -- as part of Colin's Freshly Squeezed series at Watkinson School, an hour about the artist who defined the birth of rock and roll and was the genre's first superstar.

Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio

To do a show about local stand-up comedy, we figured we should probably do a show of local stand-up comedy.

So we went to a comedy club, put on a comedy show, and then did a talk show about the comedy show we'd just done.

This hour: some of said comedy show plus most of said talk show -- and we're fairly confident it'll make more sense when you hear it than it probably just did reading about it.

Loren Javier / flickr creative commons

Without even really realizing it, The Nose has been covering the 91st Oscars field since early last year, and we still don't know that much of what to expect.

We do know that, for the first time since 1989, the Oscar ceremony won't have a host. And we also know that, for literally the 91st consecutive time, there won't be a Best Popular Picture award awarded.

But of the actual awards that will actually be awarded, who'll win what? That's much harder to tell even though The Nose, and its cousin that we clumsily call "Not Necessarily the Nose," has covered 14 nominated films encompassing 64 Oscar nominations.

These're them and those conversations neatly embedded in fancy Soundcloud format or hyperlinked for your browsing convenience.

Mercy Quaye

Colin's away this week, but The Nose must go on! Or maybe "must" isn't quite right, but in this particular case, The Nose is going on -- with excellent guest hosts: The Arts Paper's Lucy Gellman and the New Haven Independent's Tom Breen.

Jan Lewandowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Mimes have been gesticulating their way into our hearts (or nightmares) for a lot longer than you may think. While it may have been the legendary Marcel Marceau who popularized the mime, people have been communicating through movement since the very beginning.

Dean Hochman / flickr.com/photos/deanhochman/

We're doing a show on supermarkets today - from a supermarket!

Most Americans still buy most of their food from a supermarket. While farmer's markets and specialty stores offer organic and local alternatives, large-scale supermarkets still offer more convenience, the lowest prices and a seemingly endless variety of choices. Their big wide aisles with neatly stacked and eye-catching packaged products are hard to resist. 

Lets Eat Grandma!

Feb 11, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a book on grammar would be #5 on Amazon's best-seller list? (Should that be "whom" would have thought? Should I write out the number five? Should it be "bestseller?" Ugh. I can't remember if the exclamation goes inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence I just asked myself.)

Terri D'Arcangelo

How do you make a 100-meter telescope that folds down to three meters so you can tuck it inside a space vehicle? How do you make a heart stent that folds out inside the human body? In each case, researchers have turned to masters of origami, the thousand-year-old art of paper folding.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

For eight years, Darko Tresnjak has served as the artistic director at Hartford Stage. This June, the Tony-Award winning director will take his final bow in Hartford and be succeeded by Melia Bensussen. During his stint, the Serbian-born director oversaw Hamlet, The Tempest, Rear Window (with Kevin Bacon), Kiss Me Kate and many other productions, two of which made their way to Broadway: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Anastasia.

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