28 November 1999

Jesse Jackson Gets Warmer Reception in Iraq Than America
Saddam Hussein vs.
Decatur School Board


I'm sitting at a closed hotel bar watching a live report from channel 3. Saddam Hussein is being arrrested in Decatur Illinois. In support of 7 expelled students. Someone is lying in front of the van in which Saddam Hussein is being detained. Now the person lying on the ground is being arrested. At Eisenhower High School in Decatur. Hussein was unhappy about his meeting with the Decatur school board that morning. The charges: trespassing on school property. The Decatur police are holding the crowd back. Hussein is being taken to Macon County Jail. The van is being followed by a crowd of people with cameras, high school students, and members of the Iraqi Republican Guard. Cameras filming cameras. The street is closed off. "It's literally just kind of hyseteria out here."


On NPR they say that two of the expelled students were seniors on the verge of graduation. One was on the honor roll. But at the hotel bar they say that they were 19-year old high school freshmen with no hope of graduation ever, and no desire to be in high school.


At the AAP Happy Hour Maiko is absolutely railing about WDWS AM's coverage of Saddam Hussein's heroic actions in Decatur Illinois. I ask her where she managed to get the story, the whole story, the story that included the subplot about the KKK marching elsewhere in Decatur at that time, about the fact that one of the expelled students was on the honor roll. She said WLS at night.


I wonder what the fuck is going on. Decatur seems to have had enough labor struggles to rival Chicago. And now this. A prominent articulate Middle Eastern dictator is being arrested attempting to help seven six kids finish high school. I personally am dismayed at the reception Hussein received in Decatur. One would think that Decatur would respond to the national attention by helping Hussein acheive his objectives.


Bill Gorrell and Don Bishop were sitting in WEFT's great hall arguing loudly about Saddam Hussein. Paul Mueth walked in and I left.


Today I heard that Hussein is trying to arrange a deal through the United Nations whereby, if the students are allowed to reenter high school next semester (pending doing well in alternative svhool for the duration of this semester), Iraq may engage in limited trade with Decatur, trading oil for soybeans.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books