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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Tell me, what attracted you to the famous multi-millionaire?

A.A. Gill was on the radio just now talking about how modern men should guard against gold-digging women. The Today Programme's attitude was "does that kind of thing still go on?" which just how naive we've become. You only have to look around you to see the thing still going very strong indeed. Find a rich man and, quite often, you'll note that he is accompanied by a woman who is younger and more physically attractive than he is. What's surprising is how surprising we seem to find it. Chaucer would have taken it for granted. Darwin wouldn't have batted an eyelid. Jane Austen would have said "Durrr?"

Randy Newman, who deals with all the subjects too obvious for most songwriters to notice, touched on this recently in a song called "The World Isn't Fair", which is supposed to be addressed to Karl Marx. Here he describes going with his second wife to the parents meeting at his young children's new school:
I went to the orientation
All the young mommies were there
Karl, you never have seen such a glorious sight
as these beautiful women arrayed for the night
just like countesses, empresses, movie stars and
queens
And they'd come there with men much like me
Froggish men, unpleasant to see
Were you to kiss one, Karl
Nary a prince would there be