Several stories I followed in the past have come around again for another layer of spectacle, opinion, justice, or resolution regardless of justice. One is the Amanda Knox case, which I wrote about in An American in Perugia in 2009, two years after the American exchange student from Seattle was imprisoned in Italy for murdering her roommate. This story hit extra close to home since Daughter had studied in Perugia only five years before Ms. Knox, and we spent the most wonderful week visiting her in the exquisite medieval mountaintop village that hosted her. After following the original trial in which Amanda and her Italian boyfriend were railroaded by a frenzied Italian media and corrupt judicial system, I was delighted to hear that her appeal would be ruled on this month. Having been sentenced on tainted and manufactured evidence to 26 years for the murder, Amanda will soon find out if she’s to be set free or re-sentenced to life in prison. That’s the crap shoot on the table. Either freedom or something much worse than what she already has. Lifeboat or anchor.
Another case in the news reignites the 2009 circus that was The Death of Michael Jackson, an event I first wrote about here in The Full Marilyn. Testimony is now being heard for the jury to determine if the pop idol’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, should be held responsible for the drug-related death of the superstar. New “never before heard!” recordings of an incoherent Jackson babbling in a frightening manner weeks before his death have been released to flood across the media and social network sites like a punctured artery. The charge the doctor faces is involuntary manslaughter and it carries a sentence of four years. According to news sources both here and in the UK, it will come down to whether the jury believes that Murray negligently administered a lethal dose and then failed to apprise paramedics trying to save the star, or that Jackson took other sedatives without Murray’s knowledge, thus rendering the combination of drugs a “perfect storm.” When you consider what’s going on in Italy at the Knox trial, it’s hard to ignore the fact that convicted or acquitted, Dr. Conrad Murray should feel downright joyous to be an American.
The fresh story is that a New York inventor has patented a device that he promises will bring snowman building out of the ice age. You probably didn’t realize that making a snowman the old fashioned way was, well, old fashioned. This new invention, approved for a patent only weeks ago, is a plastic sphere that holds an electric charge that enables snow to cling to the surface. The result is a hollow, symmetrical snowman light enough to be maneuvered anywhere on your lawn. A snowman even a child can lift. Possibly even throw, if a new terror alert needs to be added to the list. Somewhere in the world of inventions, someone must have already built that better mousetrap we’re always hearing about so the attention of brilliant minds sought focus elsewhere. Calling his creation the coolest thing no one ever thought to make before, the inventor is searching for a manufacturer to handle the orders he feels are bound to roll in. Perfect storms, perfect justice, now perfect snowmen. Type A personalities rejoice.
Daughter’s Featured Fotos plumb the Depths of Irony