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Monday, May 16, 2011

Freddie Mercury too Gay for Wasilla

Freddie Mercury
By Hrafnkell Haraldsson -

In the fairy tale kingdom that Sarah Palin built, there are no fairies.

According to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman of Wasilla, the members of Wasilla High School’s symphonic jazz choir found out on Friday they wouldn’t be singing the popular Queen hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” (from 1975′s A Night at the Opera) after all at this year’s graduation ceremony. Not because after working on it all year they couldn’t get a grip on the complex tune, but because…well, Freddie Mercury was gay.

WHS Principal Dwight Probasco, reveals the Frontiersman, “reportedly had received complaints from at least one parent that the 1975 hit written by Freddie Mercury wasn’t appropriate for the ceremony simply because Mercury was gay.”
Egads, well we can’t have that. One parent complaining. What’s next, the end of the world?
Senior Rachel Clark put it best on Monday when she said that “The whole thing was just ridiculous.”
“They’d played the song on the school intercom and we played it at prom. It’s a great song and the choir was really excited to be singing it. And the senior class felt like it defined them.”
Another choir member, Casey Hight, a junior, reached out to a gay and lesbian support organization in Anchorage and was told by them to contact an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU). Hight said,
“I felt like the school was discriminating for sexual orientation and I felt it was wrong. It’s so stupid because there’s nothing sexual in the song. There aren’t even any cuss words.”
Principal Probasco had nothing to say about all this Monday, but good news followed when Senior Class Advisor Deb Haynes said Probasco would now allow performance of an edited version of the song, one that cuts out the bit about killing a man. I mean, the idea that a song would contain something about killing a man…how horrible.

We must speculate here that most of these parents (and students) attend churches where, presumably, sections are read out of the Old Testament where entire towns and their populations and their livestock are murdered. Presumably, because this is done for God and God is not gay, killing in this context is acceptable. But not when a gay man mentions it.
The Frontersman relates that, “Hight said she believes Probasco decided to put the song back on the graduation program because he didn’t want any problems with the ACLU.”
Conservatives often forget that it isn’t only they who can complain. But the students didn’t roll over and play dead like so many liberals.
Clark said it didn’t make sense for the school district to tout tolerance for all and then turn around and allow homophobia to dictate something such as graduation music.
No, it doesn’t. And tolerance cannot be applied in a spotty fashion and still be called tolerance. It’s probably a good thing the choir didn’t want to sing Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.” What a concept in the Fabled Land of Palin.
“We were joking about singing Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind,’ instead,” Clark said. “I guess no matter what you do, someone’s feathers are going to get ruffled.”
Indeed. I mean, c’mon. Even the Muppets sang Bohemian Rhapsody. Are you kidding me?

This is what Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) himself had to say about his masterpiece:
It’s one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them… “Bohemian Rhapsody” didn’t just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera. Why not?
Sounds pretty fun and harmless to me, and nobody was complaining about the content, apparently. Just the source. It’s a good thing most of them probably don’t realize Freddie Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and that he was a Parsi born in Zanzibar.
Clark said she’s glad the choir will be able to sing the song after all, because several of the singers have solos.
“The whole attitude of the song just seems to fit our class,” she said.
We should be glad too. And that’s what’s so striking about this. It isn’t the students complaining about being forced to sing a song they are offended by, or find irrelevant to their own situations. This is a song they very much want to sing, and it seems right that the song sung by the students should also be sung for the students. Its their show, after all. If you don’t like it, don’t attend, or plug your ears, or bury your head in your Bible and read about smiting thousands of innocent men, women, and children for your loving God because God forbid you should hear a beautiful and meaningful song written by a gay man.

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