The Colin McEnroe Show Thomas Paine said, "The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately." The Colin McEnroe Show endeavors to prove Paine correct, every weekday.
The Colin McEnroe Show

The Colin McEnroe Show

From Connecticut Public

Thomas Paine said, "The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately." The Colin McEnroe Show endeavors to prove Paine correct, every weekday.

Most Recent Episodes

Are We In The Age Of Peak Newsletter?

Many of us subscribe to a few (or many) newsletters of our favorite writers and thinkers. Newsletters have become a great way for journalists and others to dive deep into less covered topics and engage directly with their readers in ways not always possible in the mainstream media ecosystem. The platform Substack is making it easy for them. The subscription-based model offers writers more editorial control and the ability to offer free content and earn a sustainable salary at a time when public trust in media is low, local news is thinning and media content is often driven by social-media algorithms. We talk about newsletters with people who write them and critique them. GUESTS: Ben Smith is a media columnist for The New York Times and the founder and former editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed News. Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of History at Boston College. She's the author of many books including, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. She writes the newsletter, "Letters from an American." Gabe Fleisher is author of the newsletter "Wake Up To Politics." He's currently a student at Georgetown University Isaac Saul is a journalist whose work has appeared in TIME Magazine, HuffPost, and on CNN, among others. He's the author of the newsletter, "Tangle" Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Running Toward the Fire

to help. They chose to be nurses at a time when the risk to their own health was never greater. Why are some people willing to run toward the fire when others are running away from it? Most of us fall somewhere on a spectrum of altruistic behavior. We might adopt a stray pet, donate a liter of blood, or check on an older neighbor. Others pursue a career based on helping others, and, at the extreme end of the spectrum, some choose to donate their kidney to a stranger or rush into traffic to save a stranger's life. We talk to two nurses, a kidney donor, and a psychologist about nursing and the nature of altruism. GUEST: Kelly Chevalier - Interim director of emergency services at Trinity Health of New England/St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center Tracy Gordon Fox - A former journalist for the Hartford Courant; she's currently a staff nurse on the general surgery floor at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center Lauren Herschel - An anonymous kidney donor who lives in Calgary, Alberta Abigail Marsh - A professor of psychology and a neuroscientist in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at Georgetown University; she directs their Lab on Social & Affective Neuroscience, and she's the author of The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Psychopaths, Altruists, and Everyone In Between Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aaron Rodgers And The Packers; Classical Music-Loving Cows; and, Why We Should Love Wasps

Aaron Rodgers leaked his dissatisfaction with the Green Bay Packers just before last week's NFL opening round. The NFL draft drew about 2 million people and has become something of a cultural event. In essence, he made himself the story within the story. So, what's going on with Aaron Rodgers? Does he have a future with the Packers, another NFL team, or will he head to Jeopardy and date Shailene Woodley? Also this hour: a story about cows who love classical music. Lastly, an ode to the reviled wasp. It's time we learn to love the wasp. GUESTS: Ben Shpigel is a sports reporter for The New York Times, covering the NFL since 2011. (@benshpigel) Lisa Abend is a journalist based in Copenhagen and the author of The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Adria's Elbulli. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME magazine, and The Atlantic, among other publications. (@LisaAbend) Seirian Sumner is professor of Behavioral Ecology at University College London. She's the co-founder of Soapbox Science and The Big Wasp Survey. (@WaspWoman) Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aaron Rodgers And The Packers; Classical Music-Loving Cows; and, Why We Should Love Wasps

A Long Look At Losing And Lovable (And Loathsome) Losers

As we were preparing for our show on underdogs, I kept saying that we shouldn't overlook the fact that, often, to be an underdog in the first place, you have to be relatively bad at the thing you're an underdog about. The more we talked about it, the more I found myself making the case that losers and losing are fascinating. And they are. There's a whole podcast about political candidates who lost. We romanticize losers in movies and TV and songs and stories. And think just about the phrase "lovable losers." In a culture where we focus seemingly entirely on the positive half of the zero sum, where we endlessly exalt WINNING, it's kind of interesting that we love the losers too, isn't it? This hour, a long look at losers and losing. GUESTS: Jason Cherkis - Political reporter for The Huffington Post and the co-host of Candidate Confessional Josh Keefe - An investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News; in a piece for Slate's Sports Nut, he claimed that he was the worst high school quarterback ever Jonathan McNicol - Producer at Connecticut Public Radio Irene Papoulis - Teaches writing at Trinity College Brian Slattery - Arts editor for the New Haven Independent and a producer at WNHH radio Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Colin McEnroe and Betsy Kaplan contributed to this show, which originally aired August 1, 2016. Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

From The Bad Ideas Dept.: It's A Show About Towels!

Seriously: a show about towels. There's the history of towels, towels in Christianity, Terrible Towels, Towel Day. Oh, and there are actual towels too. Because when has a bad idea ever stopped us before? GUESTS: Marcel Danesi - The author of Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things: An Introduction to Semiotics John Dankosky - Host of The CT Mirror's Steady Habits podcast and news and special projects editor for Science Friday Jackie Reeve - Bed and bath writer for Wirecutter; her blog about quilting and crafting and cooking and traveling and things is The Orange Room Jem Roberts - Comedy historian and the author of The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired December 6, 2018. Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

It's The Breast Day Of The Week

We're so caught up in fetishizing (mostly) female breasts in film, literature, art, and in the anatomy-defying breasts of comic book heroines, that we overlook the breast as a vital source of food and and as a body part vulnerable to cancer, including young women under forty. How often should we get that mammogram? To breastfeed - or not? Lastly, how come men can go topless in America but women can't? Florence Williams - Author of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History and The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, which will be published in February and her Audible podcast Breasts Unbound, debuts in December Dr. Christine Rizk - Breast surgeon, director of the Comprehensive Women's Health Center at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Lina Esco - Actress, producer, activist, director of the documentary, Free the Nipple and leader of the Free the Nipple movement. You can join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show. This show originally aired on October 4, 2016. Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Our Lunchtime With André

André Gregory has directed and acted in the theater for more than 50 years. He has appeared in a number of movies, including Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, Woody Allen's Celebrity, Brian De Palma's The Bonfire of the Vanities, Peter Weir's The Mosquito Coast, and many more. He has starred in three movies about the theater with the playwright, actor, and comedian Wallace Shawn: A Master Builder, Vanya on 42nd Street, and the iconic My Dinner with Andre. Gregory's memoir is This Is Not My Memoir. He joins us for the hour. Note: I apologize for the flagrant hackiness of the "joke" of the headline here. I feel your scorn and must suffer through my shame. There are times when a work is so iconic one doesn't have a choice but to make reference to it. And so here we are. GUEST: André Gregory - An actor, writer, director, teacher, and painter; his new book, written with Todd London, is This Is Not My Memoir Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show. Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

We're Feeling Nostalgic For Quarantine Life. It Wasn't All Bad.

We're not the same people today that we were before covid upended our lives last spring. We found ways to survive a deadly and invisible virus, even as it threatened our survival. We learned to work from home, sew masks, Zoom, and create new words to describe our unique situation. And scientists developed vaccines so we could adapt faster than the virus could mutate. Now, we're realizing that we don't want to leave behind all of our new "normal" as we prepare to return to the routines of our pre-pandemic "normal." We talk about that and play some of your essays. GUESTS: Devon Powers is an associate professor at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University and the author of On Trend: The Business of Forecasting the Future. (@devjpow) Olga Khazan is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World. (@olgakhazan) Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Art Is The Idea: A Look At Sol LeWitt

Hartford native Sol LeWitt was one of the giants of conceptualist and minimalist art. As an artist, he abandoned the long histories of painting and drawing and sculpture in favor of his Wall Drawings and Structures. And as an art figure, he abandoned the conventions of celebrity and resisted ever even having his picture taken. This hour, a look at Connecticut's own Sol LeWitt. GUESTS: David Areford - Associate professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts Boston Lary Bloom - The author of Sol LeWitt: A Life of Ideas Andrea Miller-Keller - Was the Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum from 1968 to 1998 Cary Smith - An artist who makes abstract paintings Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired May 9, 2019. Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Myth Of Meritocracy

Americans like to believe we live in a meritocracy but the odds are stacked in favor of the already lucky and fortunate. We congratulate the "winners" and humiliate the "losers," who are told to better themselves or carry the burden of their failure. The 2016 election of Donald Trump was decades in the making. Like other populist leaders around the world, Trump gave voice to the resentment directed toward "elites" who devalue the hard work and dignity of workers without college degrees. Ronald Reagan was the first president to tell every American they could "go just as far as their dreams and hard work will take them." Yet, his administration's economic policies made it hard for those without college degrees to get ahead, no matter how hard they worked. Little has changed. GUEST: Michael Sandel teaches philosophy at Harvard University. His most recent book is The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? His BBC Radio 4 series "The Public Philosopher," explores the philosophical ideas behind the headlines. You can join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show. Support the show: http://www.wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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