The Meaning of ‘Despacito’ in the Age of Trump

Repeating Islands

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I just came across this compelling opinion piece by Moises Velasquez-Manoff (author of “An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Disease) for The New York Times. He analyzes the popular song “Despacito” in the context of the permeability of borders. He says, “Yes, nations exist. Yes, they have borders. Yes, distinct cultures and languages arise. There are bedrock ideas that we can perhaps call Western. But when you look closely at the boundaries demarcating these supposedly discrete entities, you find them to be remarkably porous.” Velasquez-Manoff writes:

On Friday, “Despacito,” the hit song by the Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, became the most watched video on YouTube ever, with nearly three billion views. And it got there faster than any music video in history. Just over two weeks ago Universal Music announced it was also the most streamed song in history…

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