WNPR

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. 

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My Batman story begins with a crime. I was in third grade. I went to the barber shop in West Hartford Center where there were comic books to read while you waited.

I had never seen any superhero comic before and I started reading a Batman story. It was great but I didn't have enough time to finish it. So, when my haircut was done, I took it home with me. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's Monday. Remember last Monday when we had a somewhat long and somewhat anguished conversation about Donald Trump? Well, we're planning to have another one toward the end of today's show. 

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Vin Baker was an Olympic basketball player and four-time NBA All Star. The journey from University of Hartford to professional basketball got him rich quick, but it was a lifestyle he couldn't keep up with.

Baker's struggle with alcoholism is well-documented, as is the fact he blew through $100 million. He lost his home and restaurant.

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Jules Feiffer wrote that in the early days the fans of either Superman and Batman could be separated out in terms of how neurotic or secure they felt. If you felt downtrodden and insecure, you liked Superman, the realization of all your hopes and dreams.  If you were a little more sure of your place in the world, you'd root for Batman, who took his lumps but typically bounced back.

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If there is a through line to this week's Nose, I would have to call it trespass.

In the remarkable third episode of Louis C.K.'s from-out-of-nowhere filmed theater web series thing "Horace and Pete," the two characters (and there are very nearly only two) played by Laurie Metcalf and C.K. are working out the nature of trespass, as it appears in the Lord's Prayer. As adulterers, they are each trespassers. (But then, we are all trespassers.) And they are both aware that, in trespassing in order to seek pleasure, they create their own hells.

Phil Konstantin. / Wikimedia Commons

Paula Poundstone and I started out with a plan for a short chat about her upcoming appearance in Connecticut, and then the conversation sprawled all over the place: from the comedy records of our nerdy youths, to the time she lived in Timothy Leary's guest room.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Ficre Ghebreyesus and Elizabeth Alexander were born two months apart in 1962, he in Eritrea, she in Harlem. They didn’t meet until 1996. He was an artist and a chef at a New Haven Eritrean restaurant he owned with his brothers. She was a poet and professor. She had been teaching at the University of Chicago, where she had also met a senior lecturer named Barack Obama. She married Ghebreyesus. She delivered Obama’s 2009 inaugural poem. In 2012, a few days after her husband’s 50th birthday, he died abruptly. Her new book, “The Light of The World,” tells that story.

The White House / flickr

While basketball didn’t take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did, according to Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff, author of The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Recently, a group of us gathered on stage at Watkinson School for a conversation about humor and comedy.

The conversation had two fields on inquiry. The first was the very strange business of trying to be funny as a way of putting food on the table. It's a weird job. It's not so much a matter of trying to be funny as it is of trying to figure out what's funny about the thing sitting in front of you. 

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We once did a show about beer jingles, which is a great example of how a product becomes a culture. Cereal as a culture, is off the charts. There's the box, there's the prize, there's the character, there's the jingles, there's the commercials. Most of us can probably sing some jingles and discuss favorite cereal personae from our childhoods, which makes it kind of weird when marketing experts tell us that cereal consumption is in decline.

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Warning to listeners: the audio contains some information about "The Revenant" that slipped out of one of the guests during the discussion. It could be considered "a spoiler." 

It seems only natural that Sarah Palin and Donald Trump would find one another. 

Better Than Bacon / WNPR

Quick! Name a living philosopher. Chances are if you can do it at all, you're going to say Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Shelly Kagan, or Daniel Dennett. 

Dennett is probably the best bet because he plays the game at several different levels. He was known until the death of Christopher Hitchins as one of the four horseman of the atheist apocalypse. But his work on free will and consciousness have conferred a kind of celebrity on him.

Health Matters Conference / Creative Commons

One thing we can all agree on regarding Barbra Streisand; she provokes strong reactions. Or, she used to. I don't think Millennials or Generation X and Y completely understand what Streisand was like when she was a central part of the American cultural conversation. 

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This all started with a scratchy phone message from a guy named Bobby Duley. He had been making regular visits to his mother convalescing at a rehab facility in Old Saybrook. Down the hall in one of the public rooms, he discovered a woman who was intimately involved in the civil rights marches that began in 1966 in the south.

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How disgraceful was last weekend's Cincinnati Bengals/Pittsburgh Steelers game? Well, Boomer Esiason, a former Bengals quarterback, used that word - disgraceful - to describe his old team and its fans. Rush Limbaugh, not a noted opponent of violence, used the word "disgrace" twice to describe the flagrant thuggery on the field.

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