Debate: “THB that the developed world is responsible for the poverty of the developing world”

Chairperson, timekeeper, members of the proposition, fellow members of the opposition, members of the house. Good evening, my name is María Paredes and I am the ____ of the opposition team. Today, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be talking about and explaining two points to strongly oppose the motion that the developed world is responsible for the poverty of the developing world.

First of all I am going to talk about colonization and derivaded responsibility. Developed countries which ruled other developing or underdeveloped countries may not have contributed to the progress of these during the limited time they controlled them, however those developing countries are owners of their own destiny and their first and main duty is self help. Ladies and gentlemen, why do we have to keep being blamed for things that happened so long ago? For example how some South American countries are still blaming us Spaniards for a colonization which ended over two hundred years ago.

An example, recent though sad, is Haiti. Haiti is, unbelievably for some, one of the very first American countries to gain its independence 207 years ago – almost the same year as The United States – and it is one of the poorest countries in the world. In fact, 80% of its population lives in poverty; it is the poorest country in the American continent. Also, there are some countries in South America such as Chile and Argentina which have progresses while Honduras and El Salvador still have lots of poverty.

Basically, the secret of developed countries is the increased levels of freedom they have experienced over the years. The productivity of labor grows in pluralistic societies, and where individual initiative and the division of the work – which is cooperation – rules leads us to economical efficiency therefore to the accumulation of wealth.

My second point is that even though collaboration between some occidental governments and multinational companies with corrupt systems is given sometimes, the investments in these countries has always some benefit for population and has led some towards prosperity. There are cases of success like those of Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and some which are emerging nowadays such as Vietnam.

This brings me to globalization. In general, this phenomenon, so criticized by some, is bringing benefit to these underdeveloped or developing countries. Examples of this are the cases of China and India, the two most populated countries in the world. There, little by little, over two thousand million inhabitants are coming out of the most absolute poverty and seeing – in the case of China – some , though humble, progress in freedom. I should also point out that China will become in the next decade the no. 1 economical power in the world; this was officially confirmed by the International Monetary Fund a few months ago.

More and more companies are broadening their borders and opening factories in countries which really need help, such as Apple, Nike and many multinational companies are doing in South America. By taking their factories to those countries they create employment, formation of its workers and the creation of economic activity.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I have talked to you about two main points: colonization and derivaded responsibility and globalization. I apologize for any language mistakes. Thank you for listening and I beg you to oppose.

[Sadly, child labor is still seen these days, but that is why Fairtrade and such other organizations exist, to prevent this from happening and make sure there is justice.]

[And the virtue of helping the poor must not be confused or mistaken with the defense of the poverty of these, in which there is absolutely no virtue. A community who is in need does not necessarily need to have a virtue, even if helping a community in need is a virtue]

(Tribalism and superstition heavily installed in these communities doesn’t stimulate progress at all either).

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Untitled essay.

I had to write this short essay for English while I was on my mid-term (back home, yee!) and I actually finished it just now. The options of on what to write it weren’t really complicated but I really am awful at writing short essays (or at least essays that make sense). This one is short, boring and stupid. Enjoy!

Rain pounded powerfully the windows of the train, which moved fast through beautiful landscapes of England: green, brown and yellowish fields, deep forests, tiny villages, etc. Many reasons could make a person get on a train. Some search for other people; try to close open wounds from the past, mend mistakes… Others want to escape from someone they have left behind. Who knows, maybe that person is themselves. Two seats away from the young girl there is a woman travelling to see her mother to tell her she loves her before she exhales her last breath. Not far from her there is a young man who looks at the ground with a nostalgic look, he wants the train to bring her closer to the woman he loves.

At last, but not least, we find a girl. Her name is Alexandra, she’s twenty-three. Squeezed in her old skinny jeans and wearing a light blue jersey too thin for the British weather she looks through the window, not knowing how to feel. Her hair falls freely over her left shoulder like a golden waterfall of curls. Her skin is pale but fair, lacking any imperfection. She bites her lip, slightly purplish because of the cold, and closes her emerald-green eyes.

Her chest slowly rises, then descends gracefully with every breath she takes. She fumbles with the hem of her jersey, still biting her lip. The girl tries not to press too much or else she’ll end up bleeding like the last time she was this nervous. She opens her eyes and tilts her head to the side, softly resting it against the nearly-frozen window.

Soon the train approaches a stop, Alexandra doesn’t pay much attention to the name of the city, and she doesn’t care where to get off. That’s one of the main advantages of running away. The train finally stops in a small station. She watches a kid run laughing to the exit, followed by a short ginger woman holding the hand of a little girl, also ginger. The little girl smiles glowingly, just as if it was Christmas morning. The doors open and the three of them hop off, Alexandra watches amused as a tall dark-haired man hugs the two kids and then kisses the woman.

Alexandra wonders if that could have been her in some years. Of course, her children would probably have had bright blonde hair, but that’s not the point. Who knows, maybe there’s a chance she could have had two beautiful children like she always dreamed of when she was seven. The girl sighs because of this. She was so naïve back then. Thinking that her life would turn out the way it did in those fairy-like Disney movies.

It is actually funny because when she turned 15 she went through this feminist I-don’t-need-men-in-my-life phase. She used to go around preaching that women were free, which of course they were, and that they were better off with men. Oh the irony, eight years later she finds herself in a train with an unknown destination because of a man.

“I wish I had listened” she tells herself as the train speeds up. If she had listened then she wouldn’t be seating in that damned train. If she had listened she would probably be studying in college to have a successful career. If only, if only. But now it’s too late, she can’t go back, even if she wishes she could. So many times has she wished to time-travel to mend mistakes.

The train now quickly moves through a beautiful deciduous forest. If there is one thing Alexandra truly loves it is autumn. Nothing can be compared to the beauty of seeing those green leaves perfectly blending with the autumn-y ones that have turned brown or yellow. Since she was a little kid she’s loved to stomp on leaves and hear them crack and break beneath her feet. The girl opens the window a bit to let some air come in; she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. It smells like it has just rained and it reminds her of home. Or what she used to call ‘home’. A shiver runs through her spine as she is filled with nostalgia.

After a few seconds she slowly opens her eyes, closes the window and rubs her upper arms, England might be gorgeous but it sure is chilly. She glances for a second at a man a few seats away from her. He looks about 30, with hazel short hair and carrying a small bag with him. But Alexandra is not interested in what he looks like, she reads a sticker stuck to his bag “Home is where the heart is”. The girl can’t avoid grinning. Then where is her heart if she doesn’t have a place to call home? She lightly chuckles as she answers herself “Oh yeah, I have been assured I don’t have a heart several times earlier today”.

The moment when he told her she didn’t have a heart felt unreal. She thought of how all the most beautiful things can be broken so easily. Especially when it comes to feelings and relationships. There is no use in kissing toads, blue princess don’t exist. Only foolish people oblivious of the consequences some actions have.

Alexandra looked down at her hands, thinking of that same morning. She remembered well the moment when he yelled those two words, “It’s over”. It felt nothing but horrible. She had created this glass ball around herself and her world. Then it shattered in a billion pieces that cut her like a knife tears a piece of fabric. It was then when she realized it was true that she didn’t have a heart, because if had crashed down like her glass ball.

The girl blinked several times to try and avoid the tears from filling her already watered eyes. Then she realized the train had stopped at a station and there was no one in it anymore. A man dressed in a dark uniform and wearing a bright yellow waistcoat came in and told her it was the last station and she had to get off.

Alexandra did as she was told, she quickly grabbed the only bag she had brought with her and hopped off the train. As it left the station with a loud noise of its engine the girl heard a tiny noise. Then she looked down and saw the diamond ring. He had insisted she should keep it as “a reminder of what a heartless failure she was”. That had been really considerate of him, she thought, obviously being sarcastic.

She lifted her head from the ground after picking the ring and looked around. A huge white sign on a tall post read “Yorkshire”.  She walked towards the exit of the station, no one was ever going to find her hear. Well, she guessed no one would really look for her. For one second she questioned if after everything that had happened she would find the start of a new life here of a way to end her wrecked one. It didn’t take her long to decide.

MEMORY JAR!

Today this post is not going to be a review or some shameless self-promotion of my videos on YouTube. It is actually just a small entry to let you beautiful non-existent readers know about a little ‘project’ that has recently been quite popular around the Internet World. It is, as you have probably guessed, the Memory Jar!

This sort of ‘project’ is really simple and easy. The “instructions” of how to ‘play’ this ‘project’ are usually these:

“Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. On New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year.”

I actually don’t do it that way, and I basically just wanted to tell you how I do it. Right know I don’t  dispose of a jar (plus, a jar would look really weird and/or creepy in my room) so I use a little envelope instead. Maybe in the future I will have to switch to a bigger enevelope but, for now, I’m okay. I also don’t put notes about “good things that happen”. I just put messages to myself about whatever I want that may cheer me up when I’m feeling down.

I also try to be organized (for some things only, you should really see some of my desk’s drawers… absolute chaos) and so I write the date on the notes, I simply think it’s better and, who knows, if I keep these the date may even make me remember that day/moment.

The good thing about this is that it is something you’re doing for yourself, there’s no one there to tell you to write notes. You don’t have to write one everyday and at the same time you can write as many as you want in just one day. It doesn’t matter where you write them, whether it’s a piece of paper or a grocery store receipt. You also don’t have to start at the beginning of the year (I have personally started just yesterday) and you can read through your notes whenever you want. Don’t like writing? Then take pictures and put them in there! Just be creative.

If there’s one thing Tumblr has taught me is that there are loads of creative, well-organised people everywhere… and I’m not one of them. I constantly see pictures of lyrics perfectly written and decorated or beautiful paintings and drawings and feel frustrated. Not to mention envious. However, with time I have come to realise and admit that I don’t have to be perfect. With ‘perfect’ I don’t mean looks or personality (well, that too) but meaning that what I do doesn’t have to look flawless. It’s okay to be messy. And so, I usually just take a small piece of paper and carelessly write notes to put on the envelope. Nobody’s going to read them anyway.

My last…point? is that not only do I do this to remember good things that have happened to me but also cheer me up. Everyone feels down sometimes, bliss isn’t forever. From time to time we need someone to tell us we look pretty or we are funny and who better to let us know than ourselves? Finding self-hatred is easy, our minds are fragile. So, we have to try and reming us sometimes that we should love ourselves.

Don’t Panic!

Title: Don’t Panic

Artist: All Time Low (100% recommendable)

Release date: 9th October, 2012

 Label: Hopeless Records

Genre: Pop-punk

 Rating: 5/5

Review:

Don’t Panic is the 5th and newest studio album by American band All Time Low, it is so far it’s most energetic and, in my opinion, best record. After the slight fiasco and disappointment to some fans (not me) that was their previous album Dirty Work, in which the songs were just attempts to be on the radio, the band has returned to its original style. Their starting style is not the only thing they’ve come back to, but also to their home label, Hopeless Records, after leaving major label Interscope. This, in my humble opinion, was just the right thing to do, All Time Low aren’t one of those bands that write commercial songs to be played on the radio and work with such huge label as Interscope is.

‘The Reckless and The Brave’ is the first song of the album and also the first single, released as a free download on the 1st of June. The best word to describe this song is anthem, it’s the anthem of, well, the reckless and the brave (well done, captain obvious). It’s energetic as the rest of the album and although it is punk rock it is not difficult to catch glimpses of electronic sounds, which means that even if ATL’s style is from the 90’s they can easily add new sounds to their music without making it sound too pop-ish.

Backseat Serenade‘ is the second song off the album, featuring Cassade flawless Pope, also known as the former singer of pop-punk band Hey Monday, now on hiatus due to her pursue of a successful solo career. The collaboration of Cassadee makes this song perfect, I really like how her and Alex’s voice blend together in the vibrant and catchy chorus.

The third song of the album is titled ‘If These Sheets Were States’, it is basically a long-distance relationship love song. Although thank God it is not  too corny. I like it when bands are able to talk about love and sweet things (i.e.: “Collisions of a finer love, I’d kill for one more way / To tell you how you make me better every day”) and not make me puke. You can really tell how uncommercial they are, most popular artists’ love songs sound all the same.

‘Somewhere in Neverland’ is the fourth song of the album and also the third single of this album, released on the 18th of September, 2012. The song, as you have probably guessed is Peter Pan-themed. It talks about how everything changes when you grow up, “Say goodbye to the halls and the classes / Say hello to a job and the taxes / The weekends with old friends, spilling into 9 to 5 routine”. It’s also another love song that isn’t about love (I can’t really explain myself, sorry). “Wendy” is now added to the list of names on ATL songs (Maria, Jasey Rae, Holly, etc.). The fact that this song is related to Peter Pan clearly shows that Alex Gaskarth is mentally 10 years old still a kid inside.

‘So Long Soldier’, fifth song, is probably my favourite song in the album that isn’t a single. Not only does the rhythm sound extremely good but the lyrics are amazing. Anyone that knows a bit about the band will know that this song tells the story of lead singer Alex Gaskarth, who moved to the USA when he was young (“Back in ’95 / A little boy from just outside of London / Took a fated trip across the ocean”), then it talks about how the young members of the band dreamed of becoming famous and went on their first tour (Late 2005 / The boy’s got plans as crazy as his friends / They take their chances driving West alone / Give ’em six more years, and see what time will do for hopeless dreamers / Singing wishes to their broken stereo). The best line of this whole song is, in my opinion, “And come down to voice a generation” because ATL has come so far and they’ve achieved so many things that anyone would be proud to call themselves a fan.

There is a curious fact about the sixth song, titled ‘The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver’ and it is that Alex once nicknamed his weenie “lifesaver” in an interview. I see what you did there, Mr. Gaskarth. Anyway, this is one of my favourite songs off the album. It has this energetic vibe and its lyrics are simply amazing. I really like how it directly starts with “stop f***ing around with my emotions” and then the music kicks in again. Also, I like “you’re the snake hidden in my daffodils when I’m picking flowers” even though I can’t quite picture All Time Low in a field just like “Aw picking flowers so nice yiss nice ◕‿◕”.

The seventh song is titled ‘To Live and Let Go’, it is a song full of rhythm changes as well as timing changes, it’s almost as if it was small pieces of songs all put together with the same lyrics.

‘Outlines’ is the eighth song on the album, before writing this I wasn’t planning on talking too much about this song but I realised I should point out the fact that it wasn’t entirely written by Alex Gaskarth (singer of the band and major ovary-destroyer). Outlines was co-written by Patrick Stump (ex-singer of Fall Out Boy and no longer chubby), it made me so happy to know that Patrick and All Time Low have worked together and at least know each other – they probably get along well and are friends. *fangirls* Jason Vena, from the band Acceptance also sings on this track.

‘For Baltimore’ is the tenth song off the album and also the first single, released the 28th of August. The song is sort of a tribute to the city where Rian Dawson (also known as ‘ray’, ‘brian’ and ‘rain’) and Zack Merrick (bassist and official t-shirt hater) are from. Jack Barakat (guitaris) is from Lebanon, as well as babies; and Alex is, as mentioned before, from “outside London” (Essex, to be precise).

I’m pretty much too lazy to talk about the rest of the album (“Thanks To You”“Paint You Wings” and “So Long, and Thanks For All The Booze”) all songs are more or less alike: energetic pop-punk songs with catchy choruses and nice riffs.

New videos!

I’ve made four new videos between yesterday and today. I’ll put them below this, you can find the rest in my Youtube channel. Also, I take suggestions for lyric videos as long as they’re not already made. :–)

On another note, I still haven’t finished writing my review for Don’t Panic (All Time Low’s latest album). Not sure when I’ll post that.

Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

I had to do an activity for school and look for a song that described a verse of a poem which talks about someone watching another person die because of a gas bomb. I couldn’t find an appropiate song but I found the story behind this symphony rahter interesting.

Henryk Górecki heard something about an inscription written onto a wall of a Gestapo prison during World War Two. The sentence was written by a 18-year-old Jewish girl named Helena Wanda Błażusiakówna, imprisoned on the 25th of September of 1944 and destined to die by cremation.

It read O Mamo nie płacz nie—Niebios Przeczysta Królowo Ty zawsze wspieraj mnie (Oh Mamma do not cry—Immaculate Queen of Heaven support me always).

Any piece of music that sounds as this one would make me feel sad, but it makes me feel even worse to think of a girl writing those words onto a wall when she knows there is no hope for her and she is going to die for who she is. Stories related to World War Two always sadden me, even if I find them interesting. I can’t ignore what happened, of course, but I try not to think a lot about stories like this one.

I’ll put the video below this and incase you want to know more about this piece of music here is its wikipedia page.

xx

p.s.: I actually haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing because it is more than 50 minutes long, but I eventually will.

Youtube!

Alohaaaaa.

I pretty much have fun making lyric videos on Youtube, often translated to Spanish, and I thought maybe some of you my dear non-existent reader would like to watch them. My YouTube channel is heeeeeere and below this you have some of my most viewed videos. Enjoy!

xx