Thursday, 15 November 2012

Memories of Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow

This will date me rather quickly but when I was a child, I used to watch Reading Rainbow on PBS, starring Levar Burton.

I was an avid reader and the other option was CBC.  It was a good fit.

I used to feel sad for him (It's important to remember I was only about six years old at the time) because he read children's picture books.  I was reading small chapter books already and looked forward to tackling thicker tomes.  And here was this poor man who could only read picture books.  Not to mention, it took him almost half an hour to read them.

I honestly thought the poor guy had a learning disability of some type and that PBS was nice enough to give him a show where he could read the books and share the brightly coloured pictures.  He got to go on trips to explore the places mentioned and I thought: well, that's nice.  He's found something he can do.

It's a good thing I didn't know about him being the genuis engineer on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  The dichotomy probably would have made my little head explode with the contradictions. 

My misconception is something I try to keep in mind.  I thought all TV was basically documentaries when I was little because I didn't know any better.  Kids are trying to figure out the world and sometimes they have fairly significant gaps.  Those can make the world even freakier and more frightening than it already is.

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