Rich Men

When I first heard the title of this song Rich Men North of Richmond, I was expecting it to be a diatribe against the real fatcats. The politicians; the oligarchs who are holding the power; the greedy landlords; the exploitive employers.

People who have four and five and six houses that sit empty, while so many are struggling to just have one roof over their heads.

Are the types of people/behaviors I expected to hear called out.

Instead, the song takes a swipe at people who are members of our same general class. We all have more in common with each other than we have with the real fat cats at the top.

Regarding the fat shaming — that is so loaded with wrongness. Let’s start with how people are in a constant scramble just to earn a living, so they don’t necessarily have the time & money, don’t end up eating right.

Or, how about the fact that our standard of what constitutes a healthy body is very Anglocentric and frankly skinny.

And then there’s also the fact that snack foods are designed to be addictive.

Not that this lets any of us off the hook from trying our best to eat right & exercise for our health, but the addictive nature of snack foods combined with the fact that they are one of the few affordable pleasures … is a thing.

Plus yeah – what if it’s plain and simply a treat for the kids?

Whether housed or unhoused, earning just below the poverty line or just above it, we all need to stick together in solidarity and not take potshots at each other. The upper echelons, ruling classes, owner classes, count on us fighting with each other, shaming people one economic rung below us, and always striving to move up to the next economic rung. They like that because it keeps us working for them on the treadmill.