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| 7/17/2009 12:00:00 AM

On music: The She Wolf bites

Jul 17--Shakira's howling alter ego is properly, wonderfully strange, going back to the old rules of pop star alternate personas.

This year marks the attempted summer conquest of the charts by Shakira, Colombia's very own pop-belting colossus. In the summer of 2001, she informed us her breasts were small and humble, so we didn't confuse them with mountains in Whenever, Wherever. In 2006, she told us her Hips Don't Lie. This year, however, she bares her teeth, with her most powerful song yet: the mammoth Balearic-flavoured pop song She Wolf, in which she tells us she is the student of the moon, a lupine being trapped in the closet, before howling - yes, howling - in the fabulous chorus.

This howl isn't just unbridled sexuality. It shows us how pop stars gain so much of their power over our imaginations by persuading us they are actually more than human.

We think of pop stars as very different animals, anyway: at worst as monsters created by svengali Frankensteins, at best as a much luckier species than us plebeians. Still, pop stars are flesh and bone, too. They have mums and dads they argue with, bills to pay, and toilet habits to attend to - and not just the ones involving white powder on the cistern lid. Admittedly, suitors and stylists may pamper their egos as well as their bodies, but they still need fancy videos and stage shows to make them look - and, crucially, feel - larger than life.
 
Read more here.
 
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EDICIÓN 1838

PORTADA

Maduro: ¡Atrincherado!

Con 100 muertos en la calle y la comunidad internacional en contra, Maduro desafía al mundo con la constituyente. Su futuro depende de los militares y de sus propias disidencias.