The Colin McEnroe Show

The Colin McEnroe Show, hosted by Colin McEnroe, is looking for your phone calls and comments. Got an idea for a show? Know someone you'd love to hear Colin talk to? You can stream us live. While we are live, call us at (860) 275-7266, or email us at colin@wnpr.org. We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin

Contact producers Chion Wolf and Betsy Kaplan.

The executive producer is Catie Talarski.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:57 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

All Tech (Problems) Considered

Flickr Creative Commons, Kr. B.

I have a problem.

The computer that was the home base for my iTunes has died, so the only place my iTunes exist is on my iPod.

If you tell me I should have backed up my iTunes, I will hit you. I googled this whole problem and learned that solutions do exist. I tried one of them and was too stupid to be able to make it work.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:35 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Holiday Advertising

Lucky Strike

It's the holiday season! Christmas, Hanukah, Christmakuh, Kwanza, or as advertisers like to think of it, the season when they separate you from your money.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:54 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

The Nose: Perry's Ad, The War On Christmas, & The Word Of The Year

mtcarlson, jamiesrabbits, Flickr Creative Commons

Last year, while filing in to a holiday party, I overheard a woman grumbling about how much she dislikes having people in stores greet her with something neutral like "Happy Holidays." 

"I let'em know!" she snarled. "It's Merry Christmas."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:10 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Fonts & Typefaces

Chion Wolf

Matthew Carter is the Oprah of fonts. He has created Georgia, Tahoma, Bell Centennial and Verdana. Everything he touches turns to gold. For his troubles, Carter recently received a Mcarthur Genius Grant. We're thrilled to have him on he show today, but even more thrilled by the topic of fonts and typography. We'll be talking today about how fonts sell movies, tip elections, and convey stability, austerity or prosperity.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:11 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Occupy Updates, Botched Butlers, & Listener Letters

Chion Wolf, digital art.

From the size of the police presence that descended on Occupy Hartford's Turning Point Park yesterday afternoon, you would have guessed that General Zod and his super powered confederates had burst out of the phantom zone. Instead, the enormous caravan of cruisers, horses and police equipment was deployed to evict about ten scruffy, tired tent-dwellers.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:12 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Sea Tea Improv and "Funny Times"

Flickr Creative Commons, makelessnoise

Have you noticed that nothing is ever quite funny enough?

Last night I was reading a story in the New Yorker and glancing at the cartoons and kind of gasping at how not funny they were. Hey, this is the New Yorker! It's not like there's some place else for all the better cartoons to go.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:53 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

The Life & Legacy Of David Foster Wallace

Flickr Creative Commons, Steve Rhodes

Why are we doing a show about David Foster Wallace?

It's the kind of question Wallace himself would have enjoyed asking.  He might have even made it a central issue in the show, returning to it over and over again, palpating it.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:29 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

The Pledge, Powerball, Political Drama, Siri, & Horse Meat

Chion Wolf, respres, smiely, mike licht, wikimedia

The Pledge of Allegiance is a 20th century creature. It was written at the end of the 19th century by a Christian socialist minister as part of a general push toward American nationalism, with special regard for the flag. I find people all the time who think  it dates back to the founding of the United States. The phrase "under God" was added in the 1950s. There are all kinds of stores about how and why that happened. I think it's fair to sum it up as kind of a Cold War thing. The Soviets were godless. We weren't.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:42 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Being Santa Claus

Tucker Ives

Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century Greek bishop from an area that is now Turkey, so it is my position that he was a dark-skinned man, as opposed to the chubby rosy-cheeked walking cardiac time bomb of modern depictions and also as opposed to any kind of Norse, Gandalfian adaptations.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:30 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Catching Up With Juan Williams

Nick Step, Flickr Creative Commons

Where to begin? Juan Williams is on the show today and will join me for a conversation at the Mark Twain House Friday night.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:43 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

The Risks And Rituals Of Tailgating

Courtesy of Joe Cahn

I was in the parking area next to Yale Bowl two Saturdays ago as word spread around the clumps of tailgaters that there had been a fatality in one of the lots. Details were sketchy, but everyone seemed to know that people had been hit by a motor vehicle. And for a lot of us, the shadow of that tragedy hung over the whole day. My son was with me, and he has a knack for summing things up. "Imagine dying because you decided to go to a football game," he said sadly.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:55 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

A Toast To Toast!

Ren & Stimpy

On "Battlestar Galactica" the Cylons were a much-despised race of human-like machines made by man, and the ethnic slur for them was "toaster." I think that's because a toaster is such a humdrum and servile machine. Not much of an inner life. Just sitting there, at our disposal, waiting to serve us in a pretty simplistic way.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:46 pm
Wed November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, Without The Food

Flickr Creative Commons, katietower

In 2006, readers of the New York Times were treated to photographs of Canto and Owen

Canto had been following a version of the supposedly life extending calorie-restricting diet. He looked youthful and alert and healthy. Owen had been eating a reasonably healthy, traditional diet. He looked fat and run-down.

Canto and Owen were the same age. They were also monkeys.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:27 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Cold War Connecticut & JFK: 'Elusive Hero'

Flickr Creative Commons, PhotoDu.de

When I was a kid, my parents fell into the practice of dropping me off at churches they themselves had no intention of attending.

So for a while, in the 1960's, I joined the Universalist Church on Fern Street in West Hartford. I went to services and Sunday school and, somewhere around sixth grade, I joined a Youth Fellowship there.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:10 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Brian Dennehy & Samuel Beckett's Legacy

Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Beckett's plays are the little black dress of modernist literature. They go with anything.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:32 am
Fri November 18, 2011

The Nose: Fall Guys, Women Comics & How Yoga Clothes Can't Shrug 'Atlas'

Flickr Creative Commons, :mrMark:

What will big business head honchos learn from the fall of CL&P's Jeff Butler? Maybe they'll learn not to be the face of the company during a big disaster.

Somebody talked Butler into handling CL&P's press briefings personally, even though the company has a whole staff of mouthpieces on call to do just that.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:39 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Philippe Petit & Paul Winter Discuss Creativity

Flickr Creative Commons, Kasia!!!

Is creativity an act or an attitude? In Man on Wire, Philippe Petit, the high wire artist who walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, says, “To me it’s so simple that life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion, to refuse to taper yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a challenge.”

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:29 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Paul Marcarelli & "The Green"

Table Ten Productions

Reality is composed of the public and the private. Paul Marcarelli was the Test Man, the "Can You Hear Me Now" guy for nine years of iconic commercials. During that time, he believed he could not identify himself as a gay man without affecting his income stream. The Test Man had to be Everyman, not part of a sub-group.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:57 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Alexandra Styron On 'Reading My Father'

Jill Krementz

Few novelists of the past 50 years have enjoyed the huge success and lengthy renown of William Styron. With Sophie’s Choice, Lie Down in Darkness, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Confessions of Nat Turner, Styron established himself as a masterful chronicler of the American experience. But his gift for fiction came at a heavy price. The last twenty-five years of Styron’s life were marked by episodes of devastating depression, the first of which he documented with stunning candor in Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:34 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Occupy Hartford Discusses Future; While Protesters Are Forced From Zuccotti Park

Flickr Creative Commons, david_shankbone

New York did not cover itself in glory last night as it used the wee small hours of the morning to play rough with the press and Occupy Wall Street.

Reports are jumbled, but there doesn't seem much doubt that reporters doing their jobs were shoved around and in some cases arrested.

These are not the tactics of a free society.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:25 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

The Nose: Garrison Keillor, Penn State Drama, Andy Rooney, And... Oops!

Trishhhh, Flickr Creative Commons

Newsflash -- on this show Garrison Keillor threw cold water on his much-publicized earlier statements that he would retire from PHC in 2013.

You can hear him say, on the audio here: :"I’m starting to doubt that myself. I’ve been thinking about it, thinking: what else would I do? And I can’t come up with anything….If I didn’t do it I would wind up in a tiny walk-up apartment with a couple of cats."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:23 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Stories From Connecticut Mayors

Chion Wolf

During the Arborgeddon storm, mayors became unusually important and unusually petulant. To an unprecedented degree, the towns seemed cut loose from their moorings. The state couldn't deliver much help and the utility -- well, why even go there.

Toward the end of the cycle, there were, of all things, elections -- which seemed especially critical, given the new significance of the mayors, and strangely beside the point, given the way people's energies and attentions went elsewhere.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:25 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

On Being A Punk

Flickr Creative Commons, Robbie1

It was Good Friday, 1982, and I was up in the balcony at the Lit Club in Hartford, a punk rock epicenter housed in the Lithuanian American Club in Hartford.

National acts like Black Flag, Killing Time and the Circle Jerks played the Lit in its heyday, but its local heroes were Jack Tragic and the Unfortunates. Jack was a West Hartford Hall High dropout, and the group had a punk hit called "I Kill Hippies." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:36 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Human & Animal: An Ever-Changing Coexistence

Flickr Creative Commons, Chi King

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."

So said Ralph Waldo Emerson who saw, even in the 19th century, the way civilization puts artificial spaces in the natural order of things. Nature is wild. Wild animals are savage. The livestock business is brutal. Pigs are sentient. All of these things are true, but we prefer to have them orbit around, flung as far into space as possible.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:44 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Would Town-Controlled Power Grids Get the Lights On Faster?

Flickr Creative Commons, Steve Snodgrass

Jewett City, a community of 2.5 square miles in southeastern Connecticut, has its own power company, owned by the town. There are seven non-profit companies like this in the state. They're small, which means they can coordinate closely with other branches of government. Heck, they can coordinate with branches on trees.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:19 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Q & A With NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson

Flickr Creative Commons, tomasdev

In September, Jill Abramson became The New York Times' first female executive editor. She replaced Bill Keller. We talk to Abramson about her vision for the newspaper and the future of online media.

On Friday, Nov. 4, Abramson will be honored by the International Festival of Arts and Ideas at Yale.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

After The Storm, Connecticut Slowest To Restore Power

Chion Wolf

The Christian Science Monitor has this tale of the tape:

"Power outages in Connecticut hit 831,000 customers. As of Wednesday morning, power had been restored to about 284,000 of those customers – one-third of the peak."

In Massachusetts, 450,000 customers – almost two-thirds of the peak – had their power back Wednesday.

New Hampshire had 72 percent of outages fixed Wednesday.

What does all this mean? For the second straight major storm, Connecticut is the worst performing Northeast state at restoring power.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:49 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Walking With Wallace Stevens

Chion Wolf

Yesterday, Wolfie and I walked the Wallace Stevens route with our friend the Hartford film-maker Helder Mira and intern Andrew Kufta. We started at the first marker.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:43 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

As Frustration Mounts, Will October's Storm Change State Policy?

Chion Wolf

In the audio embedded here, you'll hear Wednesday afternoon interviews with Gov. Danel P. Malloy, energy and environment commissioner Dan Esty, a vice-president for CL&P, an electrical workers' union official, a key state legislator and a consultant on how utilities can change their infrastructure to make it more storm-resistant.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:47 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

The Currency Show

totalAldo, Flickr Creative Commons

We're still a long way from becoming a "cashless" society, and maybe we never will be one, because the phrase freaks some people out. Cashless society means, to them, some kind of mark or implant on your hand or head and a surrendering of freedom and control to a shadowy blobby new world order. But there are changes in the world of currency and tender, legal and otherwise. Several online worlds have spawned their own currencies which can, in turn, be spent in the physical world under certain circumstances. 

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