Wednesday, 7 May 2014


            Both these cartoons are very satirical and denounce offshoring and outsourcing, mostly in the U.S.A. The first cartoon shows Mitt Romney, who ran for president in 2012 elections in the Unites States of America,standing as the Republican candidate, but lost against Barack Obama. In this cartoon we see Romney standing on theCayman Islands, burying his treasure. This is a easily understandable metaphor of the all the offshoring he was doing to avoid tax laws. Loopholes were revealed that would allow the very rich to avoid tax laws, Romney has got 30 million dollars in Bain Capital fund in the Cayman Islands alone, which may seem a bit suspicious for a presidential candidate. I did a bit of research, and it turns out that in 2010 and 2011, Mitt Romney paid 6.2 million dollars in federal tax on 42.5 million dollars in income, which makes an average tax rate a little less than 15%, which a lot less that what most middle-income Americans pay...
      In the cartoon, we see in the backround miniature versions of Bermuda and Switzerland, two other known places for offshoring and outsourcing. Romney manages to avoid these taxes by taking his payments from Bain Capital as investment income, which is taxed at a maximum of 15%, instead of the 35% that he would and should pay normally. 
      We can also see in the cartoon, two very naive American citizens sitting on a big boat called "Believin' in America". They're congratulating him for how smart he is, and that he would make a great president. The sarcasm is more than obvious. I believe this behaviour outrageous, how can someone presenting himself for president is avoiding paying taxes for his own country! Our entire society is so corrupt that we can believe anyone anymore...

         The second cartoon also deals with offshoring, basically what most big companies are doing, is delocating their factories in under-developed countries. Even China is now delocating its factories to other South Asian countries. They do so because its way cheaper because the labour costs bearly anything. The cartoon presents two characters, one saying that they must move to another country because the one they're in actually wants to get paid, meaning that the actual workers are getting so little money, it's as if they aren't getting anything. Would I go as far as calling this our modern version of slavery? This is a total abuse of power, yet everyone does it. The character in the cartoon can't believe that they would want to get paid, that it's completely normal to force people to work for unimaginable hours, for barely anything, whilst the people at the head of the company are overflowing with money. We can relate this cartoon, and the first cartoon to the notion of "Spaces and Exchanges" with this idea of delocating factories into emerging, poor, developing countries, to pay less taxes, and pay less for the labour. The world in general is full of social inequalities, that no one is really trying to fix, but more like take advantage of.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014




January 1980, Athens, GA, United States


September 21, 2011


Michael Stipe (vocals), 

Peter Buck (guitar), 
Mike Mills (bass, keyboards, vocals),
Bill Berry (drums, 1980-97)

"The name R.E.M. would imply music that is dreamy (or sleepy), but during the Bill Berry era this band's music was always vibrant and alive, even at its most self-consciously mysterious. During the early years it was the jangle of Peter Buck's guitar and the alleged non-enunciation of Michael Stipe that got most of the attention. As the years passed, critics started noticing Berry's propulsive drumming and Mike Mills' instrumental versatility (not to mention distinctively nasal backing vocals). More than anything else, though, it was their willingness to explore new sounds that turned them from cult darlings to superstars. They've gone from Murmur's murkiness to Document's crystal clarity, from the orchestral pop of Out of Time and Automatic for the People to the hard rocking glam of Monster and the grunginess of New Adventure in Hi-Fi. Through all of these changes, the thing that stayed constant was their unerring ear for good old fashioned pop hooks, developed during adolescences spent listening to the Velvet Underground, the Beach Boys, the Monkees and various 60s garage bands (and, at least in Stipe's case, 70s bubblegum). They've definitely lost a certain spirit since Berry retired, but any new R.E.M. offering is at least worth a listen or two. They are, after all, one of the very best bands that America has ever produced."

Review of the whole album "Collapse Into Now"


Righting themselves via their long-awaited return to rock AccelerateR.E.M. regrouped and rediscovered their corestrengths as a band, strengths they build upon on its 2011 sequel, Collapse into Now. Cautiously moving forward fromAccelerate’s Life's Rich Pageant blueprint, R.E.M. steer themselves toward the pastoral, acoustic moments of Out of Time and Automatic for the People without quite leaving behind the tight, punchy rockers that fueled Accelerate’s race to the end zone. This broadening of the palette is as deliberate as Accelerate’s reduction of R.E.M. to ringing Rickenbackers, and while it occasionally feels as if the bandmembers sifted through their past to find appropriate blueprints for new songs, there is merit to their madness. R.E.M. embrace their past to the extent that they disdain the modern, reveling in their comfortable middle age even if they sometimes slip into geezerhood, with Michael Stipespending more than one song wondering about kids these days. He’s not griping; he’s merely accepting his age, which is kind of what R.E.M. do as a band here, too. Over a tight 41 minutes, they touch upon all the hallmarks from when Bill Berry still anchored the band, perhaps easing up on the jangle but devoting plenty of space to rough-hewn acoustics and mandolin, rushing rock & roll, and wide-open, eerie mood pieces that sound like rewrites of “E-Bow the Letter.” Any slight element of recycling is offset by craft so skilled it almost seems casual. This may impart a lack of urgency to Collapse into Now but it also means that it delivers R.E.M. sounding like R.E.M., something that has been in short supply since the departure of Berry.

    Although I have never really reviewed a song before, I shall do my best. This song is very easy to listen to, and has a great meaning behind it. I am a fan of the band R.E.M., and particularly enjoy their songs Everybody Hurts and Losing My Religion. They are two of their most famous songs, and my favourite. The song Every Day Is Yours To Win is very positive and inspiring. It gives you the feeling of being part of the world, it makes you realise we-re all human, we make mistakes, and that life is hard sometimes. But, no matter how hard life gets, you have to keep pushing, reach for your goals, do the best you can, be a hero. The video clip is a series of webcam videos of random people, which shows us how we-re surrounded by people, who feel the same as we do, who have faced things that we have, that we-re all in the same boat. This song is for me a very relaxing, pleasing song, that also makes you want to do great things, to be part of the world, to leave your mark in the sand of time, be remembered, and loved...All in all, it's a song that may not make you get up and dance, but it makes you think and look at the world with a positive point of vue.


In my opinion, although the lyrics are quite abstract, I think this song is about the world being a hard place, and that ne must be strong, true to oneself, and do what makes you happy. That although the river may look hard to cross, there will always be a bridge to help you.
The video clip is a series of short webcam videos of all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. This is a very humble video, showing something of people's everyday lives, and showing a collection of people doing what seems to be what like love doing. It fits perfectly with the song because it enhances the feeling of being part of the world and being a person who can do anything they like and that no one can stop them.
In general, this song is very "human" and encouraging, it feels like the band R.E.M. are warning us that life isn't "all cherry pie", and that we can all be heroes by being true to ourselves.