Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reading Rainbow Cancelled

The show's run is ending, Grant explains, because no one — not the station, not PBS, not the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — will put up the several hundred thousand dollars needed to renew the show's broadcast rights.

Grant says the funding crunch is partially to blame, but the decision to end Reading Rainbow can also be traced to a shift in the philosophy of educational television programming. The change started with the Department of Education under the Bush administration, he explains, which wanted to see a much heavier focus on the basic tools of reading — like phonics and spelling.

Showing once again the folly of the Bush Administration. Kids who learn to love reading, focus on their own to pick up phonics and spelling and vocabulary because they want to understand the story.

It's like something out of the summary for the plot of Truancy to focus on the letter of education while doing everything to erase the pleasure of learning.

I just - I guess it goes to show my priorities. The US sanctioning and continuing to hedge around torture and repercussions for those who engaged in it has been disappointing as all hell. But this? Torture of soldiers is philosophical to me. I know personally that pain never gets you correct answers - people will say anything to get abuse to stop. But water boarding and people being hung by the arms and put into cramped areas with insects is all theory.

Reading is not philosophical. It's not a moral question. It's not intellectual theory with which one should try and connect some aspect of empathy (though not torturing has several logical aspects as well).

My love of animation was likely fostered in part by those clips (in RR) where the story was drawn out in parts (often in charcoal). I can hum 'Butterfly In The Sky' while I'm in the library trying to choose a book.

On seemingly little thing, and 2009 has managed to be the crappiest. year. ever.

I. am. done. with. the. world.

Maybe 2010 will show the US be less asinine and cowardly. But I'm beginning to doubt it. Yes, it was amazing to see the power of voting as part of the concept for democracy being about bloodless revolution and I will never forget that feeling and moment of awareness. But one moment cannot last forever. It needs bolstering.

No more Reading Rainbow. No more intriguing children to worlds of magic and wonder and learning about responsibility and feelings and anxieties and how to calm them and that somewhere is a writer who knows about bad dreams, divorces, being forced to eat broccoli - that somewhere there is a writer who knows about daydreams of being a princess or prince, a warrior and champion, smart enough to outfox the mean adult...

[ imagine many words in this spot equal to me bashing the Department of Education about with a crow bar ]