LK Abitur 2008 II, Composition Topic 4 (Von Neal Conway, LK)
Comment on the cartoon.
In my opinion, the cartoon is supposed to illustrate the ruthlessness and overly offensive tactics with which US corporate giants take control of foreign markets in the era of globalisation.
By showing an army conquering a tropical island (as well as its population) while flying the flags of global firms such as McDonalds and Microsoft, the cartoonist makes the viewer think of colonisation and imperialism. He thus juxtaposes economic dealings with colonial warfare. This impression is reinforced by the diversity of brands (such as Nike on the upper right ship and Motorola on the upper left plane) as well as the soldiers’ hurry to seize the land by hoisting their flag, in this case equipped with the Microsoft logo, which might represent a worldwide monopoly. As colonisation is today largely seen as unjust and illegitimate, US economic policy is criticized as a lethal invasion, where people even die (cf. the dead man beneath the “Iwojima” group).
All soldiers are actually comic-book characters by Walt Disney, which is yet another US enterprise which has a long-standing monopoly on the junior entertainment market. Not only do they all represent the same film studios, but the majority of soldiers are even identical replications of the Goofy” character. These soldiers, together with the inappropriate grin of Mickey Mouse in the foreground, can be seen as representing the people already “brainwashed” by the media, particularly the big companies’ advertisement. They are displayed in stark contrast to the native population, who, thus far unaffected by foreign firms and the culture they represent, are depicted with human and individual features. (262 words)
But the cartoon can also be associated with the war in Iraq, as Texaco and Shell are among the invading corporations. The USA has often been accused of abusing its position as the world’s dominant power to take control of that country’s oil reserves. So the fact that the cartoonist has placed the two brands in the foreground, thus making it look as if they are leading the way, is in all likelihood not a coincidence. By creating this allusion, the cartoon indirectly accuses American companies such as Halliburton of irresponsibly promoting a devastating war, just for the sake of higher profits. (362 words)