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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 performers 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, or email us anytime at colin@wnpr.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 digital editor is Heather Brandon. The technical producer is Chion Wolf.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Many Americans were surprised by the results of the presidential election last month. During the early morning hours of November 9, half of America celebrated the ascension of the man (and not the first woman) that championed the needs of Americans who felt betrayed by those in power. The other half feared the election of a man with no experience in government and a stated desire to dismantle much of President Obama’s legacy.

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's documentary O. J.: Made in America a masterpiece, and now it's nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary -- Feature category. The Nose watched all seven hours and 45 minutes of it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

The Snip

Feb 16, 2017
Ciro / flickr creative commons

Whether you're a man or a woman, if you're of reproductive age, vasectomies matter to you.

Are you a man who can't wait to get your vasectomy? Or does the very thought make you cringe? Are you a woman urging your man to get one?

Takahiro Kyono. / Wikimedia Commons

Brian Wilson is, in many regards, the perfect musical artist for this moment. We need, for a dozen different reasons, the sweetness and sun of his best-known music. But what makes him more relevant is that undercurrent of melancholy which grew more and more prominent as his music grew less commercial. Who in 2017 does not identify with "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times," a song he wrote and recorded 51 years ago?

Lifelikeapps / Creative Commons

This is a rebroadcast of our February 17, 2016 show on hearts. February is heart awareness month.

Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the United States, even though fewer people die from from heart attack and cardiac arrest than ever before.

Mike Maguire / Creative Commons

Democracy is so deeply rooted in American life that it’s hard to imagine another way of governing. But we may be living through through one of the most dangerous challenges to our democracy in a very long time.

The challenge won’t be obvious. We may not even know it’s happening because little will change...The economy will still grow, unemployment will stay low, we’ll still speak freely and hold elections.

JD Hancock / flickr creative commons

  At 8:30 pm on Thursday, September 8, 1966, NBC aired the premiere of a new series called "Star Trek". The episode was "The Man Trap." The star date was 1513.1, in case you're interested in that kind of thing.

I am not interested in that kind of thing.

Peabody Awards / Creative Commons

Ira Glass -- host of This American Life, creator of Serial, professional dancer -- used our show as his prime example in "a principled defense of fun on public radio." And then he called the kind of failure that we aim for many days of each week "where you'll find the future."

We want to know more about all that stuff.

existentist / flickr creative commons

We've been told to keep our mouths shut. We're not gonna do that.

But where it gets complicated is that The Colin McEnroe Show... has a point of view. Colin has a point of view, and the show has a point of view, in a way that the public radio universe around us maybe isn't used to.

And in a world where objectively bad things happen side-by-side with subjectively bad things seemingly every day, our job just got a whole bunch more complicated.

Anjan Chatterjee

I find great joy in walking in the dead of winter along the river trail near my house. Everything leaves my mind as I watch the Canadian geese take flight, their wings flapping together as they lift and swoop over my head. I'm in awe of their beauty.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

On Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart ordered a nationwide stay on President Trump's week-old executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven countries from entering the U.S.  His ruling was broad and did not rule on whether the order was constitutional.

Amazon

"Sneaky Pete" is a new show on Amazon Prime created by Bryan Cranston and David Shore (who created "House M.D."). Giovanni Ribisi plays a con man (whose name is not Pete, you see) who gets out of jail and moves to Trumbull, Conn., to live with Pete's grandparents (who are not his own grandparents, you see -- even though they don't know that). And then it gets more complicated from there.

Old Rollei / Creative Commons

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night, looked at the clock, and noticed that it's the same time you woke up the night before - and the night before that? How does your body know what time it is?  You're not sure but the passage of minutes makes you worry that if you don't get back to sleep, you'll be too tired in the morning to get your work done on time. You can't get back to sleep. The minutes are ticking. You feel the pressure of the clock bearing down on you. 

Beverly & Pack, Creative Commons / Flickr Creative Commons

It's cold, snowy winter times like this that make us question why we choose to live in a place where snow, sleet, and wind define one-third of the year.  It's a great excuse to complain, but does it also make us stronger and better people?

Frank Grace / Flickr

The eugenics movement of the early twentieth century is a dark chapter in our nation's history. And while we may think of it as a practice we've long since abandoned, the truth is a bit more complicated.

Mike MaGuire / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States. He also suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen - from entering the country for 90 days. Chaos ensued, lawsuits were filed, and people protested nationwide against Trump for the second time since his Inauguration. 

HBO

HBO's new limited series "The Young Pope" gives us Jude Law as the Pope. A young one, you see. On the face of it, and in its previews and trailers and such, the show seems... ridiculous? Is maybe the right word? Or maybe it just seems sort of Twin Peaksian, but set at the Vatican. Of course, ridiculous vs. Twin Peaksian is kind of a fine -- and super important -- distinction.

Wikimedia Commons

There has been a surge of interest in the writings of Ayn Rand in the last decade, including from Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, President Donald Trump and several of his cabinet picks.

Emily Epstein / Flickr

The narrative goes like this: For decades, white America has increasingly been left behind. The nation's culture and politics have steadily shifted to favor minorities and immigrants over the hard working white folk struggling to stay afloat.

Derek Σωκράτης Finch / flickr creative commons

So, it turns out the world didn't end last week.

And while it might seem like the events of the last year or so are the disease, maybe they're really just the symptoms; maybe they're really just signs of the dystopia around us.

But, then: Which dystopia?

Wendy Harmon / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump made clear on the first day of his presidency that he intends to undermine the press. He sent Press Secretary Sean Spicer to use the power of his pulpit to deliberately deceive the public about the size of the crowd at Friday's Inauguration. 

Mike Burns / Flickr Creative Commons

Jerks. Jackasses. A-holes. Some people are just... the worst. Aren't they? But so: Why? And what do we do about it?

Alan Levine / flickr creative commons

"Accessibility" is a word that we maybe too quickly file away as having something to do with the disabled or something like that. But it's really about "designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life."

It's about seeing the world around us as for everyone, all at once.

Kaz Vorpal / Creative Commons

Inauguration Day is here. In a few short days, President Obama will transfer what remains of his power to Donald Trump. Some are elated, others afraid.

Travis Wise / Creative Commons

The plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 was likely headed for the U.S. Capitol. Had it hit its intended target and disabled - not killed -  multiple members of Congress, we wouldn't be able to look to the Constitution for answers on how to prevent the resulting chaos. It simply doesn't address it.

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