Non_ticked.jpgBy Kailani Koenig-Muenster
–1/20/09

If you’re an average Joe, you’re probably stuck
with the mob this week.

It’s
deemed “the most public inauguration ever.” The Presidential Inaugural
Committee’s website states that it “will organize an inclusive and
accessible inauguration that reflects the new Administration’s
commitment to leadership that sets aside partisanship and unites the
nation around our shared values and ideals.

But in reality
only those with considerable connections or a lot of money could truly
participate in the
full inauguration festivities.

Congressmen
and Senators gave out many tickets to the inauguration, but the best
seats were provided to people who either knew big names or people who
were willing to pay up to $8,000 a piece for a ticket.

While the
public was allowed access to the National Mall during the inauguration,
and while JumboTrons were set up to give an up-close look to
spectators, many people were miles (literally) away. The sound from
many of the screens was either minutes out-of-sync with the video or
completely nonexistent. Tens of thousands more were unable to even get
to the mall due to outrageously massive crowds surrounding the security
checkpoints.

All of the official inaugural balls were also each
“invite-only” and still most cost $150 to attend. The only ball that
was open to a somewhat general public was the “Neighborhood Ball,”
which allowed some local residents of Washington, D.C.

While
tickets to some of the other unofficial balls (a.k.a the ones the
Obamas did not attend) were open to the public, prices ran from
hundreds to thousands of dollars per person.

For
a week that is supposed to abound with the theme equality, the whole
scene in Washington has not changed and is still pretty unequal.