Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spaces and Exchanges : Outsourcing and Offshoring: Two Cartoons

In this cartoon, we see a man, who looks like of the grandfather of the two children seated on the edge of a boat, giving them a lecture on the difference between Outsourcing and Off shoring. The kids seem amazed by their grandpa's talk and even push him into becoming a president, and if the hint of his name was not enough already, we quickly understand by looking at the man's face that the political figure humored in this cartoon is Mitt Romney, a republican candidate for the presidential in the United States back in 2012. Mitt Romney is standing on the Cayman Islands and we can see how he is trying to dig his money on haven islands in order to gain more benefits, and it does sound like a low blow because all these acts help him to not pay his taxes. In the background of the cartoon we can also see Switzerland and the Bermuda island, two places also known for their off shoring and outsourcing history.
Finally, the boat on the far left of the cartoon is obviously American because "belivin' in America" is writing on its side. All this little hints show us how much of a satirical critic this cartoon really is about off shoring and especially, on Mitt Romney. Sarcasm is really present in the message the artist tried to give us. We can relate this cartoon to Spaces and Exchanges because of how money can travel from different places and affect the world that surrounds it.

In this cartoon, we see two men having a conversation, and judging by what they are saying, we can assume that both of them are business men. The cartoon was made by Geek and Poke and these two men are talking about how they want to relocate their companies because of some issues going on in the country they are already settled in. The man wearing a tie tells him the reason behind his action : apparently his workers wanted to get paid and that's why they need to relocate so they can deal with more reasonable persons. Usually businessmen place their companies in less fortunate countries so they can earn less expensive workers than the ones in their home countries, but in this cartoon, they sound outraged and amazed by how their workers want to get paid for their hard work. Finally, the relation this document got with the notion Spaces and Exchanges is the idea of how people are ready to relocate their companies from a country to the other just for the sake of saving up more money and paying less.

Monday, February 3, 2014

REVIEW : R.E.M : Every Day is Yours to Win

.: R.E.M :. 

R.E.M : "Who are they ?" - Biography : 
  • Formed in : 1980
  • Disbanded in : 2011
  • Members : Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Bill Berry.

"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."

(Source : rateyourmusic )

R.E.M : Every Day is Yours to Win : Album Review :

Righting themselves via their long-awaited return to rock Accelerate, R.E.M. regrouped and rediscovered their core strengths as a band, strengths they build upon on its 2011 sequel, Collapse into Now. Cautiously moving forward from Accelerate’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 Stipe spending 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. Every Day is Yours to Win is the 6th track of this album.

(By : Stephen Thomas Erlewine ; Source : allmusic )

Personal Review by Me :

I'm no specialist regarding music reviews or this particular song, but from what I've heard so far, this song by R.E.M actually deals about self-esteem and how we should trust ourselves no matter what. It is a physiological song and even the chorus and title say "Every Day is Yours to win". I think that the global meaning is that life has its ups and downs but even when we mess up and we're positive that we can't do something, we should always look on the bright side and continue to do the things that we love because we have the potential to achieve whatever we want if we put enough efforts. 
The other message that this song provides is also about how there's always someone who got your back during tough times, that you're not alone even if you think you are. This is definitely the type of songs you would like to listen to when you're feeling down and hopeless... and talking about hope, this song eventually tries to give hope to the lost souls out there, so they'd cheer up and stand up for what they love. They have a "bridge" ahead of them, and they just have to cross it to make their dreams come true.

Personal interpretation : The Music Video :

The music video was obviously homemade thanks to the webcams used. At first I was wondering if this was a fanmade video but apparently R.E.M did it for a reason. These clips of different people, show us some individuals doing really weird things by themselves in their rooms or living rooms and if we look at this video from an external point of view (without the song) we'd be seriously confused and we'd wonder "what did I just watch ?" but actually, behind all these weird people, there's a deep meaning to it all. 
These people we see are actually doing things they like. One of them likes to dress like a drag queen and have fun in his living room while another one finds contentment by doing magic tricks with some carts. 

The whole thing is that the people showed in this video are regular persons, just like you and me, but we can see the personal and more intimate side of their lives. We all have something that we enjoy doing, and this songs wants us to do the things we love with the best of our abilities so we can "win". In this video, no one is judging these people because they're doing it alone in their houses, and that's how we should all react : no matter what you like doing, you should do it with the best of your abilities and no one should judge you. And you shouldn't think of how others would react : That's how heroes are made.