The Spigot: The follies of the wealthy, the death of Gore Vidal
Rich people are so crazy! Take Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the Tetrapak fortune, who hid his wife’s decomposing body for two months in a filthy private room on the second floor of the couple’s mansion in Chelsea, London.
Rausing was sentenced to 10 months in prison this morning after the court heard details of the couple’s descent into drug hell, and wife Eva’s demise from a heart attack. "I did not feel able to confront the reality of her death …I tried to carry on as if her death had not happened,” Rausing explained in a statement to police, who arrested him for driving under the influence last month.
They found a crack pipe in his wheel well, and Eva’s body “in an advanced state of decomposition” in their bedroom, although she’d been sprinkled with deodorising powder.
Even nuttier though certainly less sad is Clive Palmer, the Aussie billionaire who also commissioned the construction of a new Titanic a few months ago.
Palmer’s latest act of flamboyant lunacy is also film-based; he wants to clone a dinosaur and let it wander Jurassic Park-style around a resort for the mega-rich he owns on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. According to the Sunshine Coast Daily, Palmer’s been talking to “the people who successfully cloned Dolly the sheep” about it.
Naturally, commentators all over the web are asking whether Palmer remembers what happened at the end of Spielberg’s 1993 dino-epic, but I’m not sure what having a huge fight with your girlfriend outside the Granville 7 has to do with anything.
He came from old wealth, but was anything but daffy: Gore Vidal’s death yesterday at the age of 86 robs the world of one of its sharpest wits, but also an incisive and courageous critic of Empire.
If the contrarian pose of Christopher Hitchens, said to be his heir, was undone by the ugly and morally bankrupt agenda that blighted the last 10 years of his life, Vidal’s crusades always remained true. Taking some time to read this ferocious and clear-eyed critique of the collusion of government, military, and private sector interests that led to both 9/11 and Afghanistan might be a worthy way of honoring him.
And let’s not forget that Vidal had the cojones to call William F. Buckley Jr. a “crypto-fascist” right to has face.