Is Gabriel Boric a Swiftie?
A short investigation
The people of Chile have elected 35-year-old leftist Gabriel Boric Font as president in a landslide victory after years of street protest and political organizing to smash the fascist legacy of Augusto Pinochet in their country.
This is tremendous news, a reminder that another world is possible even in the face of ecological collapse and renewed anticommunist mania. Boric delivered a specific rebuke yesterday to the Friedman School economists who used Chile as their laboratory, declaring, "If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave … Do not be afraid of the youth changing this country."
Anyway one question has been bouncing around in my mind and in the boys’ group chat today:
Is Boric a Swiftie?
Among leftist Taylor Swift fans (we exist), speculation has been brewing all year, and a few screenshots started circulating online shortly after Boric declared victory. This was the first one I saw:
Boric, who will oversee a rewriting of the Chilean constitution after a wave of popular uprisings in 2019 and a plebiscite vote in 2020, seems to have a musical taste that trends toward the “edgy millennial” end of the spectrum. He’s on the record as the world’s most powerful Tool fan (or “At least the Tool part of that sentence”), and he’s been photographed in merchandise for the bands Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Deftones.
It wouldn’t be that shocking to hear he’s a Swiftie too, but it would be a slight shift in genre and subject matter.
I can’t find an original source for the above photo. It is unfortunately just the sort of image that could easily be exploited with a basic knowledge of Photoshop or Pixlr. That sheet of paper he’s holding is begging for manipulation.
What I have found is this undated video from the fan account Taylor Swift World (@TSWorld), which appears to show two fans putting him on the spot:
“¿Eres Swiftie?” one asks — “Are you a Swiftie?”
“¿O no eres Swiftie?” the other chimes in.
By way of answering, Boric pulls a photograph of Swift out of his breast pocket.
It’s hard to make out what he says next over the screaming, but it’s something to the effect of, “Does that answer your question?”
Adding to the evidence file, I submit this tweet Boric posted in response to a photo of himself pondering a laptop screen:
“I feel #Swiftie”
I’m hardly the first person scouring the internet for confirmation. Back in July, Chilean pop radio station Los 40 posted a short investigation after Boric was spotted in a cable-knit cardigan that looked an awful lot like Taylor’s.
Here’s the photographic evidence, via Twitter user @rena_paredess:
The stripes, the star patches on the elbows — that’s got to be the limited-edition folklore cardigan, sans the folklore patch. For comparison:
I’ve seen enough. I’m ready to call it: Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric is a verified Swiftie.
Viva Allende, and all hail Taylor’s Version. For more hard-hitting political analysis, sign up for the free Brutal South newsletter and podcast, which I publish every Wednesday. To support my work and get some bonus content, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for $5/month.
If you liked today’s breaking edition, you might appreciate this podcast episode I recorded last December with my friends Michael Majchrowicz and Ari Pérez-Mejía after the release of evermore.
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