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.

While we are live, call us at 1-888-720-WNPR. That's 1-888-720-9677. 

You can email us anytime at colinshow@ctpublic.org. To reach us in the newsroom when we're not on air, call 860-275-7272.

Contact CMS Producers:

The Senior Director 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.

Joerg Neuner / CreativeCommons.org

Though country music is considered the most popular genre of music in America, its influence is profoundly regional. The style is known for appealing to the white working class, and is largely sequestered in southern and midwestern pockets of the country.

Meanwhile, coastal elites tend to regard the genre with disdain. "I like everything but country" is a popular refrain.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

What if you just don't really enjoy food very much? What if you're totally fine eating the same thing every single day? What if you think food is an inefficient way to get what you need to survive?

What if, rather than eating "food," you just mixed a white powder (that is definitely not made of people because it's made of soy protein isolate instead) with water and drank that in food's place?

This hour: a look at what you might call the non-foodie movement and the "powdered food" meal replacement product that is Soylent.

Tom Hines

Ocean Vuong emigrated to Hartford from Vietnam when he was two-years-old. His family brought with them the trauma of an American-led war that ravaged their people and their culture. How do they retain their culture and assimilate into one that doesn't want them? 

Terry Gross / Wikimedia Commons

Fear of sharks spiked last summer after a great white fatally bit a 26-year-old surfer off the coast of Cape Cod. The fever still runs high as reports of great white sightings coincide with people heading to the beach.

Columbia Pictures

Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, John Belushi, John Candy, Rick Moranis.

Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Beverly Hills Cop, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, ¡Three Amigos!, Funny Farm, Spaceballs, Stripes.

We maybe didn't properly appreciate it at the time, but the 1980s were one of the most fertile periods ever for screen comedies and screen comedians.

This hour, a look at the mavericks who shaped a whole comedy aesthetic and at some of the most popular movie comedies ever made.

Dying For A Photo

Sep 12, 2019
Sam Hawley / CreativeCommons.org

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos.

Wes Washington / Creative Commons

You're shopping for groceries. Out of the blue your heart starts to race, your knees feel week, you feel like you can't breathe, like you might be having a heart attack. You wonder if you're losing your mind -- but you're not. You're having a panic attack. 

Jessse Yuen / Flickr Creative Commons

In early 2017, The New York Times uncovered a program at the Defense Department which investigated unidentified flying objects. Then, at the end of May, the reporters published another article, getting navy pilots to talk on the record about their encounters with unidentified flying objects. 

Sarah / Flickr

It's your turn to speak. You're called to the front of the room. Your heart starts racing, you're sweating, your mouth has gone dry, your hands are shaking. Your chest feels heavy. You feel like you're having a heart attack! But, you're not. 

Have you ever had a panic attack? If so, you're not alone. About 1 in 4 people have experienced a panic attack at some point in their life. About 1 in 100 people have repeated attacks that can feel like they come out of nowhere. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Creative Commons

We want to hear your thoughts on what it's like to be "living in a Trump salad," on this all-call Monday. (Colin coined the term.)

First, there's #sharpiegate. Last week, President Trump unleashed on the media for reporting his error tweeting  a warning about Hurricane Dorian that included the state of Alabama. To prevent mass evacuation, the National Weather Service corrected his error. Alabama was not in danger. 

Warner Bros

It's hard to believe, but The Matrix is 20 years old this year. And its influence is all over the culture with bullet time and red pills and the "woah" meme and so much more.

CucombreLibre / flickr creative commons

This week, we've started our second decade on the air.

Over the first ten years, we did some number north of 2,000 shows. And every one of those shows was intended, more or less, to be about some... thing. Towels or Trump or toast or television or whatever.

This hour we do the opposite thing: a show not about a specific something -- tapirs.

Allen Allen / CreativeCommons.org

The American criminal justice system has become less 'just' over recent decades and prosecutors bear much of the responsibility.

Liana_Kyle / Creative Commons

We've got no guests today. It's you and Colin and whatever is on your mind.

There's a lot we could talk about. There's the 2020 election, why President Trump isn't sure what a Category 5 hurricane is, whether gun control measures beyond the introduction of the death penalty will come from this weekend's shootings in Texas, both top seeds are out of the US Open, and why a Tennessee school wants to ban Harry Potter books. 

But we're interested in what you want to talk about. It could be very different. To some degree, this is an experiment to see if we're focusing on what's really important to you. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sticks & Stones is Dave Chappelle's fifth standup comedy special for Netflix in three years. All four previous specials won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, and one of them won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special. The critical response to this latest special, though, has been a bit more muted.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (out this week on DVD/Blu-ray/iTunes/Amazon/etc.) tells the semi-autobiographical story of Jimmie Fails, a man just trying to get his grandfather's house back. It's Joe Talbot's directorial debut, and it's been called the best film of the first half of 2019.

Also this hour: an AccuFrankie dispatch live from Nedstock.

Stephanie & Sean Ware / Creative Commons

Chuck Klosterman is a man for all seasons. He's a pop culture icon. He's a sports geek. He's interviewed Jimmy Page. He appears as himself in other people's movies. He was part of a rock band. He's an author of fiction, nonfiction, and fictional nonfiction. Top that!

Today, an hour with someone at least one person would call, the smartest man on earth. 

Oyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons

As Barbie Millicent Roberts -- yes, that's her name -- turns 60 we, as a plastic loving nation, celebrate! For six decades the impossibly proportioned fashion doll has been delighting children and adults around the world.

Louis Weisberg / Creative Commons

You responded so enthusiastically to our all-call show last Monday, we decided to try it again this week.

What's on your mind? The world is you oyster, at least from 1-2 pm this afternoon.

Province of British Columbia Follow / FLICKR

George Takei has lived long and prospered as an American actor, activist, and author. Although he’s best known for playing Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek television series, Takei has spent much of the last 20 years retelling his time spent living in U.S.-run internment camps during World War II.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Nose has this odd habit of covering basically every new Taylor Swift single/video. And so there's a new Taylor Swift single/video. And so The Nose is covering it.

And: As this is the way the world works now, a Facebook post has started a backlash against Frank Pepe Pizzeria over... politics. Sigh.

And finally: In the great tradition of A Bug's Life/Antz, Deep Impact/Armageddon, and The Prestige/The Illusionist, this year gives us Yesterday/Blinded by the Light. This week's Nose has seen the latter, a coming-of-age story about the music of Bruce Springsteen and a British-Pakistani teenager whose life is forever changed by it.

KA Sports Photos / flickr creative commons

If there's one thing we know about the public radio audience, it's that you love... sports. You crave sports coverage. You live for sportstalk radio. And so this hour, we talk sports... on the radio. And there's plenty to talk about:

TOM HINES

Ocean Vuong grew up in a Hartford that many of us don’t pay attention to. His family emigrated from Vietnam when he was two years old, and he came to know the area through the nail salons and tobacco fields where he and his mother worked. All the while, they struggled to create joy for themselves in the context of xenophobia, racism, and trauma from an American-led war that still weaves itself into our ways of knowing and living. 

His first novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, documents an American story that’s often erased — that of immigrant, war-torn, non-white, working-class life. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Today we speak with actor and human-rights activist George Takei, not about his role as Lieutenant Sulu on the original Star Trek, but about a far more troubling chapter in his life. In his new graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, George writes in detail about his childhood spent in an internment camp for Japanese-American citizens.

VHS Will Not Die

Aug 20, 2019
Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio

Tracking, rewinding, ejecting, collecting - VHS broke ground in home entertainment like never before. The culture of VHS and its enormous best friend, the VCR, were kings of consumer media for decades. Despite the last VCR and VHS being manufactured just three years ago, videotapes are still consumed, collected, and in some cases, sold(!) across the country. But why?

Frédéric BISSON / flickr creative commons

We've got no guests today. So much of the burden of making today's show any good at all rests with, well: you.

We can talk about pretty much whatever you want. The economy. Plastic bags. Greenland. The Little League Classic. 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020.

Amazon Studios

Everything's canceled, more or less. The movie The Hunt was canceled before anybody got to see it. People talked about canceling the movie Adam before anybody got to see it. Sarah Silverman was canceled, from a movie anyway, for something she did -- on television -- 12 years ago. The OA was canceled, but people maybe don't believe that it was canceled? And we're apparently on a path toward canceling... the Dewey decimal system?

And: Amazon Prime's new superhero series, The Boys, imagines a world where something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is real... and something like the Marvel corporation exists too.

dom fellowes / flickr creative commons

Shakespeare in the Park starts tonight in New Haven. Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires has a new workshop production of Coriolanus opening next week. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens didn't think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's works. The BBC has a multi-camera, filmed-in-front-of-a-live-studio-audience Shakespeare sitcom.

This hour: lots of little looks at this summer's best Shakespeare stuff.

L'Observateur Russe / Wikimedia Commons

The 18th century Parisian cafe was an incubator for the liberal tradition as it was before liberalism became a politically-loaded and dirty word. The cafe brought people together to exchange ideas, talk, connect, argue, debate, and learn about humanity, empathy, and humility outside the control of the state; a place where civil society trumped tribal impulse. 

Is Democracy Dying?

Aug 13, 2019
Fort Meade Public Affairs Office / Flickr Creative Commons

Populism is on the rise from Europe to India to the United States.

Americans elected Donald Trump on his promise to "Drain the swamp" of a political elite no longer responsive to their needs. Populists almost took control of Germany, France, and the Netherlands in 2017. Former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi regained power seven short years after being ousted from office for corruption. 

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