EDITOR’S NOTE: This isn’t really written by LeVar Burton. But seeing as how so many of the people commenting are wondering, or are calling it defamatory, let us make it clear: LeVar Burton did NOT write this piece. It was meant to be a joke. Because the real LeVar Burton would never in his right f**king mind write something like this. If Mr. Burton doesn’t like this piece, then we apologize. He has not contacted us requesting that we remove it. If he does request we do so, then we will out of respect. We love LeVar Burton. We also like reading, and hope that the "literary arts" stay strong for all time.
By LeVar Burton
So, by now you probably know that "Reading Rainbow" has been pulled from the air after twenty-six years. I’ve kept quiet about it, but since Friday’s final show, I’ve received about a thousand tweets from fans asking me about it. "LeVar," they say, "what are you gonna do now that ‘Reading Rainbow’ is off the air?" Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to do the same shit I’ve been doing for the last three years, since I haven’t taped a show since 2006.
But there’s a much bigger point in this that needs to be made. After 20+ years of "Reading Rainbow," I’ve finally come to accept this fact:
Reading is dead.
Think about it. Try to tell me one good reason to love reading. You can’t. Because it’s boring as f*ck. And for those of you who are surprised to hear me say this… man, you don’t even know me! Maybe you haven’t noticed that I have my own blog and I make an audio recording in which I read each and every entry. You think it’s to let blind people enjoy LeVar Burton? Hell no. I think I did enough to empower them back on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," thank you.
I record audio because when people can listen to me instead of reading me, they can also go do some other shit. Like f*cking. Or playing Jenga. It doesn’t matter. Try sticking your nose in a book while f*cking. It doesn’t work, and your partner just gets mad. Believe me, I tried it for research on an adult-oriented show I had in development called, "You Want to F*ck. I Want to Read."
And I get it. Back in the day, when they decided to create "Reading Rainbow" to make kids passionate about reading, it worked. It reminded them to turn off the TV (real good idea, PBS; and you wonder why you have to do pledge drives every other Tuesday). Well guess what? Back then the alternative was to watch a f*cking soap opera with their grandmother, or go play with a stick or some shit. And then lo and behold, people got real good at making TV and movies look great. And PBS spent all their money making doze fest miniseries about Abraham Lincoln playing baseball or whatever. In the meantime everybody else spent their money on CGI and making shit look like the motherf*cking Matrix.
So not only did "Reading Rainbow" look like amateur hour at Uncle Broke-Ass’s house, but everything else made reading about as fun as the thought of your grandmother having to watch her favorite character from "Guiding Light" die off while getting the beat down of her life from Santa Claus.
Let me put shit in perspective. Why would I spend seven years reading the f*cking Harry Potter books when I can watch them over a weekend, see a bunch of colorful magic and explosions, and watch Alan Rickman do work. Cause that motherf*cker does WORK.
"Oh, but LeVar," you’ll say, "What about how the show encouraged kids to go out and pursue learning on their own? What about the part in the show’s theme song that says, ‘I can go anywhere?’" You know where I want to go? To the f*cking multiplex to watc DISTRICT 9 tear shit up. That’s where I want to go. You get to see South Africa, you get to learn a little something about apartheid, and you get motherf*cking shrimp aliens blowing shit the f*ck up. And it’s all over in time to go back and play PS3 for another seven hours.
Look, people. There comes a time in a children’s TV show host’s life where he just has to give up on the youth. Fred Rogers did it in about ’87 when that mind f*ck "Zoobilee Zoo" was cleaning up in the Nielsen ratings. This is my time.
And listen, the government pulled the funding on the show because it couldn’t justify spending it on make kids love to read when they couldn’t read in the first place. Face it: kids today are retards. I’d be retarded too if my favorite musician spelled his name "L-U-D-A-C-R-I-S" and LOL Cats were invented. Those are funny as hell. Plus, man… DISTRICT 9. F*ck. You gotta see that shit.
And for all you people who are all wistful and shit specifically about "Reading Rainbow" going off the air, know this: the show jumped the shark back when we featured If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Timmy said it was his favorite. You know what Timmy’s favorite book really is? The sports book he was running in between every g*d damn take. The one he supported with payola from the book publishers. Needless to say, I got the f*ck out.
And let me tell you, there ain’t no pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow, my friend. Just a shitty gold-plated watch from PBS, which gets about the same amount of money on the street as one of my five Daytime Emmys. Ask Susan Lucci. She finally won, called me up and I told her, "I don’t know why you’re all excited. You’re lucky if you can trade that in for a Cuisinart on Craigslist. Of course, I’m still getting a f*ck ton of cash from Star Trek and all I had to do was wear a barrette over my eyes for seven years, so what do I care?
So where was I… Oh yeah. All of y’all who think that that the end of the Rainbow is the end of the world need to chill the f*ck out.
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