Sunday, October 23, 2011

John Paul Getty III's Ear Pasta

I have to just paste the whole paragraph from Wikipedia, because it's too good to paraphrase:
In early 1971, he [JPG3] was expelled from St. George's English School (later St. George's British International School), in Rome, Italy. His father moved back to England, and at 3am on 10 July 1973, Getty was kidnapped in the Piazza Farnese in Rome. A ransom note was received, demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that ransom message arrived, some family members suspected the kidnapping was merely a ploy by the rebellious youngster as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his frugal grandfather. He was blindfolded and imprisoned in a mountain hideout. A second demand was received, but had been delayed by an Italian postal strike. Jean Paul Getty II asked his father for the money, but was refused. Getty Sr. argued that were he to pay the ransom, then his 14 other grandchildren could likely be kidnapped as well. In November 1973, an envelope containing a lock of hair and a human ear was delivered to a daily newspaper with a threat of further mutilation of Paul, unless $3.2 million was paid: "This is Paul's ear. If we don't get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits."
The best part is that the postal strike also caused the ear to be delayed. It was cut off on October 22 and took 17 days to arrive at the newspaper office. The story continues:
At this point Getty Sr. agreed to pay a ransom, although he would only pay $2.2 million because that was the maximum amount that was tax deductible. He loaned the remainder to his son who was responsible for repaying the sum at 4% interest. The reluctant Getty Sr. negotiated a deal and got his grandson back for about $2.9 million. Getty III was found alive in southern Italy on 15 December 1973, shortly after the ransom was paid.
I feel bad for JPG3, don't get me wrong, because his grandfather was obviously a fucking asshole, but the saga only really gets dark in its conclusion:
Nine of the kidnappers were apprehended: a carpenter, a hospital orderly, an ex-con and an olive-oil dealer from Calabria, as well as high-ranking members of the 'Ndrangheta – a Mafia-type organization in Calabria – such as Girolamo Piromalli and Saverio Mammoliti. Two were convicted and sent to prison; the others, including the 'Ndrangheta bosses, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Most of the ransom money was never recovered.
I wonder which two kidnappers were convicted? (My guess is the carpenter and hospital orderly.) Letting the mafiosos off the hook for stealing $3 million is nothing as bad as letting US financial corporations off the hook for stealing billions. The US government has fully adopted the dictum "money makes right." Truth is assigned to whatever propositions serve the people with the strongest interests (i.e., the most money, in a capitalist system). I'm partially to the converse, expressed by Louis Althusser thus: "In principle, true ideas always serve the people; false ideas always serve the enemies of the people." Eat the rich, because as long as they're wealthy they'll never affirm such a socialistic, compassionate principle.

But first, eat pasta! Simple.

servings: 2
prep. time: approx. 20 mins.

1/2 lb. spiral flax pasta, or something
2 portobello mushrooms, halved and sliced
portion of a head of cauliflower, chopped
several handfuls spinach
2 cloves garlic, sliced
red wine vinegar
olive oil
nutritional yeast

1. In a pan over medium-high heat, saute the cauliflower and mushrooms for several minutes. Toss in the spinach and garlic and season.
2. Boil pasta for 11 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and put back in pot. Drizzle olive oil and toss with a dozen shakes of nutritional yeast. Mix in the contents of the pan.

Turns out I published a twitter-fic story on March 22 and never saw it. I've never even read PicFic...

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