You may have heard that Inauguration Day was something of a mess in our nation’s capital. People with tickets who couldn’t get in to see the actual inauguration (which included everything from an all-around offend-o-rama of an “invocation” to a Supreme Court justice swallowing his tongue to an example of why people don’t like poetry to the longest goddamned rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” on record”) and other people with tickets couldn’t get into the youth ball (one of them was an actual Hollywood celebrity, I hear). There’s some argument as to whether the purple, blue or silver gate was the biggest clusterfuck (although it appears that things went well at the orange gate, at least). From all around the Web we’re hearing terms like “frustrated” and “heartbroken” and and “tunnel of doom” and “madder ‘n a bobcat in a piss storm” (okay, so I’m paraphrasing a little on that last one), and the overall verdict on Inauguration Day organization can be summed up in two very trendy words: epic fail!
(By the way, two notes for Aretha. First, you might want to revisit your phrasing of the word “country” – note the uneasy break at around the 12-second mark, if you will – and second, the laws of fashion instruct us to never wear a hat that’s bigger than our ass. Just saying.)
Some of the stories we’re hearing are truly terrible – people who drove a thousand miles only to be denied access to an event that symbolized the greatest triumph in their lifetimes, for instance.
Others (and these tend to be associated with the youth ball more than the big ceremony) have me editing and revising and censoring myself (this is the 47th time I’ve had to re-write this sentence) to avoid the gratuitous use of terms like “entitled snotrags” and “panties on fire,” which are wholly inappropriate for an objective journalist such as myself. I have no doubt that things were vexing, and if I’d been stuck in the permaqueue I’d be spitting nails, too, probably. But the best way to make sure that you’re taken about as seriously as “youth” have always been taken is to act … well, like “youth” have always acted. Here’s your chance to impress me with your maturity and poise, and so far I’m underwhelmed.
In all fairness, though, it sounds like things verily suckethed (as in “sucked so hard it could suck-start a Harley-Davidson” or “suck a bowling ball through a garden hose” or “suck the chrome off a trailer hitch”). But this is the kind of thing that happens when 75 million dirty hippie liberals descend on a city like a plague of Phishheads.
The most entertaining of the galloping hissy fits, though, was pitched by Holy Joe Lieberman’s towel boy, Dan Gerstein:
Dan Gerstein, a political consultant from New York and a purple ticket holder who never made it inside, had no sympathy for official explanations. He said he was “outraged” with security officials’ performance at such an important event. “There was total incompetence and insensitivity, and now they are compounding it by being unaccountable,” he said angrily. “At a moment of great hope, they crushed the hopes of thousands of people.” (Emphasis added.)
Wait a second. What hopes are we talking about here? Hope for America’s future? You’re telling me that thousands of people had their hopes for the future of America crushed because … they couldn’t get into a ceremony or a party? That can’t be right.
Maybe the hopes we’re talking about here were their hopes of attending the ceremony or going to a party? Could be – after all, Americans are simple, shortsighted people.
If it’s the former, then I feel your pain. But I also suspect that somebody who has hoped and worked diligently for America’s future is also somebody whose hopes are a little more resilient than Gerstein is letting on. “Bruised,” maybe, but “crushed“?
If the latter, well, that seems a little shallow to me. If your dreams were about attending an event, I’m sorry for you, but not sorry enough that it’s going to keep me awake tonight.
I’m not defending the organizers or any of the people responsible for the logistics. Clearly they didn’t get the job done (although after eight years of Bush being in charge of proceedings inside the Beltway, I think you can count anything this side of “the whole fucking city just blowed up” as at least a moral victory).
But if Dangerstein’s rant is a fair statement about the depth of America’s hope, then never mind Obama – we’re in a lot deeper hole than all the guys on Rushmore combined could dig us out of….
Then again, it’s possible that Dan has his head up his ass.