Day 4: Iain M. Banks

I went back on-track with this NaPoWriMo exercise and it was a fun one. The focus is on Iain M. Banks, a Scottish science fiction writer whose books have poetic spaceship names. There’s also a Twitter handle that creates Banks-like names for spaceships and I took one from there. I never heard of this guy until I read this prompt. Maybe it’s because I don’t read sci-fi much.

Anyway, I didn’t think that my piece would take me to the direction it took me, but it did. And I liked how it turned out. Here it is:

cultureshipname – MSV: Mass Literacy (January 27, 2012)

[This public service announcement is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Defense:]

My fellow Americans,

it has come to my attention

that there are weapons of mass literacy.

There are plenty

in different languages and adaptations:

Beloved Bombs,

F-451 Flamethrowers,

Great Gatsby Grenades,

GO-1984 Drones,

Scarlet AK-47s.

You name it, it’s out there.

You’re probably wondering if you should be scared.

Well, your worries are in the wrong place.

You see, these weapons are used for face-to-face

combat against negative literacy statistics and rates.

Out of the 205 ranked countries,

the United States is #27, true story.

“That’s not bad,” one might say,

but with this country having a low literacy level at 49.6%,

for adults,

it makes you think in a different way.

How can we prevent this from being a crisis?

I propose these actions: read your books, newspapers, e-book devices.

Raid a library with a thirst of knowledge.

Give yourself a monthly book quota for a reading challenge.

Volunteer your time to teach someone to read

so they can succeed

in life.

Stock up your bookshelves and bomb shelters.

I’m calling out to everyone,

from the children to the elders.

These weapons of mass literacy

are meant to protect you and me

from being misinformed and ignorant,

and strengthen our reading comprehension and intelligence.

Let’s take all of our strength and destroy illiteracy’s wall.

God bless the United States of America, God bless us all.

– Michelle D. Hooks

(4/4/13)

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2013

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