I found out today that I am now older than Reading Rainbow. Reading Rainbow first aired on June 6, 1983 and continued airing new episodes until November 10, 2006. Reruns were aired until August 28, 2009 when PBS pulled the plug on Reading Rainbow completely. This means that as of September 8, 2009 I have actively existed for longer than Reading Rainbow (I was born ten days after the first show aired).
Initially I was surprised to find out that Reading Rainbow had continued to exist long after my childhood, but then I became nostalgic. I remember watching Reading Rainbow quite often. I am not completely sure why I watched this show; in fact, I am pretty sure I never read a single book LeVar Burton talked about. We didn’t have cable and my parents could plop us kids in front of the television with this on, secure that there would be no boobs or cussing (most people would add violence to that list but as most of my childhood games were competitions/battles with my brother involving fire, falling or pushing each other from heights, burying one another, or other forms of violence and we would only get in trouble if one of us had to go to the hospital or damaged somebody’s property, I figure that my parents weren’t all too worried about exposing us to violence as we were pretty good at being creatively violent all on our own).
I also remember watching it often on my own, even before I learned to read at age seven (Yeah I started late, I blame my mother who “home-schooled” me until 2nd grade which allowed me to discover fire and all the aforementioned games, but never allowed me to learn to read). I had the theme song memorized and anticipated the ironic one liner that ended each book review because I definitely did trust Mr. Burton’s word but if he insisted, I guess I could try to force myself to doubt him. How could you not trust the helmsman of the star ship Enterprise? If the operator of a fucking spaceship tells you that a book is good, you better believe him. And if said operator is Geordi La Forge, a blind guy who can see with the aid of a kick ass mechanical visor, pretty much making him a cyborg, and this guy shows up and tells you that reading is cool, then you know without a doubt that reading is totally fucking awesome.
Whew, got carried away for a second there, but Reading Rainbow is a great show. Several tattoo shops I know of have a couple of free tattoos they are willing to give people. Usually it is a crappy drawing of a stinky beaver or some such nonsense but I have always dreamed of finding a tattoo shop that has the Reading Rainbow logo as a free tattoo. I would take that deal in a heartbeat.
I am currently reading the unabridged version of Les Miserables; a monstrous tome and a fantastic literary work. I feel that I have come a long way since I learned how to read as I am pretty sure that I just remembered the first book I ever bought (I have absolutely no idea what the first book I ever read was). It was a school book order and since I attended a Christian school we had to order from some shitty Christian publishing company. The first book I ever bought was the initial installment in the nearly unremembered, Christian, science fiction series, Zaanan. I remember thinking that these books were cool because instead of being rectangle they were square. That seemed totally futuristic to me for some strange reason. I believe that Zaanan was some sort of galactic police officer or detective or something like that because I remember mysteries being solved. The best thing about Zaanan, however, was that he got to wear these bad ass bracers that could shoot laser beams. I throw around words like “best thing” and “bad ass” but really, the only good thing about these books was the idea of these books. I am pretty sure that even in second grade I realize that the Zaanan series was pretty lame. . . But don’t take my word for it.