These rich men north of Richmond
Lord knows they all just wanna have total control
* * *
Last week Oliver Anthony’s song “Rich Men North of Richmond” soared to number one on the charts. It broke multiple records. I read about it in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic.
Meanwhile I was south of Richmond lounging with rich men (and women) on a spacious beach lined with five-story, air-conditioned McMansions sporting elevators, swimming pools, wet bars, hot tubs, and billiard rooms—the kind of houses I once castigated fat-cat Republicans for inhabiting.
And now I was in one. At least I felt (a little) guilty. Fat-cat Republicans don’t. I believe their word is entitled.
According to Anthony, rich men north of Richmond are ruining our country by neglecting “hard-working poor people like me and you who got nothing to eat. I’ve been sellin’ my soul, workin’ all day, overtime hours for bullshit pay.”
I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to you and me. But still, amen, brother, for standing up for the working man. After all, CEOs make 400 times the average wage of workers. You’re standing in a noble tradition.
You load 16 tons, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.
Anthony, as it turns out, is the sudden darling of the right. Kari Lake, Majorie Taylor Greene, and The Donald love his song. THE GREATEST EVER.
How can that be?
It must be this sentiment: Rich men north of Richmond are using our tax dollars to provide fudge rounds to five-foot-three, 300-pound obese welfare recipients.
(Oh, come on, Oliver, that’s just plain mean!)
As it turns out, this is yet another white man’s grievance anthem. Poor, poor, pitiful me. Sure, many politicians can be cold-hearted, unscrupulous, unprincipled, dishonest, bought, and corrupt.
But there’s also this: Myopic men and women north, south, east, and west of Richmond vote for such people.
By the way, Oliver, if you look south of Richmond, say down to 1100 South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, Florida, there is a rich man who adores you and given another chance will be happy to get this country under total control. His total control.
You think it’s bad now?
It could be a whole lot worse.
* * *