This week begins like the curtain rising on the second act of a play. The stage has been set with the tension building in the first act, and the anticipation is high for what is to come. With breath held, we await the outcome of three very different stories...
For drama, we have the Supreme Court. Months ago, the arguments were made for and against the Prop 8 bill in California, and DOMA nationwide. Pundits have been trying to second-guess the mindset of the individual judges, based on the questions asked during the court proceedings. Today is expected to be the day
As the term draws to a close at the end of this week, the nine justices still have not released decisions in two highly anticipated gay marriage cases—Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. United States—as well as two key cases involving race, Shelby County v. Holder and Fisher v. University of Texas.
In the Perry case, the court is expected decide whether California voters discriminated against gay people when they voted to ban same-sex marriage. In Windsor, the court is weighing whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act—which limits all federal marriage benefits to opposite sex couples--violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.
They are also deciding two voting-related cases, which are also highly anticipated.
For pathos, we have former South African president Nelson Mandela hanging onto life by his nails
. At 94, the prospect of recovery seems dim. His condition is worsening. The person responsible for rebuilding S. Africa from the Constitution up, seems to be running out of time. It will be a day of mourning when he passes, but no one can say that his life was anything less than extraordinary. From repressed majority, to prisoner, to party leader, to president, to elder statesman, he is a man who will live forever in our history books.
And finally, for the theatre of the absurd, we have the ongoing Edward Snowden circus. Over the past several days, he has been formally charged, was waived extradition by Hong Kong, and fled to Moscow. From Moscow, he was scheduled to go to Venezuela or Ecuador via Cuba. However, he never boarded the flight
, much to the chagrin of the reporters who booked the same flight:
The plane pictured above just left Moscow on its way to Havana, but without it's most famous passenger. Instead, the plane is filled with reporters who were hoping to catch a ride with the world's most wanted fugitive, Edward Snowden, who was checked into the flight and had purchased two tickets. However, the plane left without Snowden ever boarding, and those journalists will be sending the next few days in Cuba without a story to cover.
It's the typical Sudden Personality Syndrome of reporting arc that we see so often. We've been through the initial splash, the family story/background research, and are into the 24 hr press hounding phase. We all await the climax and the denouement so he can fade into obscurity once more, damaged goods and ruined life.
So today is the day to keep your ears and eyes on the news, as these stories take their stages and play out to a public hungry for their diversions.