WNPR

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.

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.

The Flap Over Flags

May 22, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

Flags have been in the news a lot lately. South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its Statehouse and one Missouri county threatened to lower the flags at their courthouse for one full year to mourn the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

I'm in awe of the emotions a simple flag can evoke. On the surface, it's a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs.

Mary Ellen Mark

It's just a dance, right?

Actually, maybe that's the last thing the prom is. Maybe the photo is even more important, because it freezes you. It's your chance, as high school trickles away, to say "This is who I am. This will be who I was."

We've been looking at prom photos by Mary Ellen Mark, who will be on our show today, and they're striking in the range of emotional states they convey. We see joy, hesitation, confidence, detachment and some flat-out haunted looks.

YouTube Red Originals

You remember the dress, right? In case you don't: Three years ago, a poorly-lit photograph of a dress pretty much tore the internet to pieces. Some people saw a black-and-blue dress; some people saw a white-and-gold dress. The black-and-blue-dress people couldn't understand how the white-and-gold-dress people were living their lives; the white-and-gold-dress people called the black-and-blue-dress people "fake news" (no they didn't).

Well, this week there's a new the dress. Except it's a the dress for your ears, not your eyes. It's an audio file. Some people hear the word "laurel." Some people hear the non-word "yanny." And the dispute over which word is right and which word is wrong is very important (no it isn't).

Sarah Kendzior

Sarah Kendzior predicted that the conditions she witnessed in 2013 from her home in America's overlooked heartland would lead to the rise of a candidate like Donald Trump. She was one of the few that saw it coming.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule is back in our Hartford studios to sing and play and talk and who knows what else!

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

If there's one thing that unites us all (literally, ALL of us) it's gravity. Gravity attracts every bit of matter in the universe to every other bit of matter in the universe, no exceptions! But for something (a warping of space-time, to be precise) so universally present, it remains one of the least understood forces in physics.

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

Connecticut's political parties are in the midst of choosing who they will endorse in this November's elections. How much do you trust that they've endorsed the candidate most likely to represent your interests? On the other hand, how much do you want or need to know to cast your vote? 

Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio

Donald Glover can do anything. He's an actor and a comedian, he's a singer and a songwriter, he's a rapper and a DJ. Mainstream audiences know him from Community and maybe the FX series he created, Atlanta. Nerdy audiences know him as the voice of Spider-Man, and they're about to know him as a young Lando Calrissian.

But Glover's music -- he sings and raps as Childish Gambino and DJs as mcDJ -- has never quite punched through into the wider popular consciousness, despite some chart success. Until this week, maybe. The new Childish Gambino video, "This Is America," which dropped last Saturday in concert with Glover's hosting Saturday Night Live, has just about 75 million views on YouTube. It is "a milestone" and "a media phenomenon," and it has finally made Glover "a superstar."

Adam Tiner / flickr creative commons

Lauren Bacall probably does have the most famous line about smoking in all of cinema. But there are other good ones too. "What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?" "Smoke if ya got 'em." And many more.

Cigarettes have been such an integral part of movies for so long that one big concern in the lead up to Disney and Fox's planned merger is -- seriously -- all the smoking in Fox movies.

Tripp / Creative Commons

 

Comedy forces us to confront uncomfortable realities that we prefer to ignore. It also makes us laugh. Laughter is a powerful force. It can release chemicals in our body that make us feel good and help us better cope with the daily stress of living in a world that can lately seem to be spiraling out of control. 

Nelo Hotsuma / Flickr

From its humble, South Korean origins in the early 2000s to its current place as an international, cultural phenomenon, esports is certainly on the rise. Huge venues including Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center and others are routinely selling out to diehard fans of these competitive video gaming tournaments

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Creative Commons

We live in a big world and we're focused on one small speck in it named Donald Trump. 

Phil Guest / flickr creative commons

The bands Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Rush, Asia, and Styx have sold, literally, hundreds of millions of albums.

And that's despite the fact that This Is Spinal Tap is a devastatingly accurate spoofing of, ya know... all those bands.

This hour: a look at the rise and fall of progressive rock.

Evan Kalish / Postlandia

When Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in the early 1830's to gather observations that he would later put on the pages of Democracy in America, he was impressed with the efficiency of our American Postal Service.

Chelsea Southard / Creative Commons

Old asylums give us the creeps. The reality of asylums may pale in comparison to the horrors we conjure in our minds. Yet, they were awful. They were dark and dirty and overcrowded. Diseases were rampant and deadly. Staff was abusive. Food was scarce and inedible. Death and suicide were common.

So, why does President Trump want to bring them back? 

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