Dateline, Wasilla: HS Principal Bans Song Because Gay Man Wrote It//UPDATE: Will they ban the movie in Wasilla, too?///UPDATE 1.1: Which One Is Gay?
















The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reports today that the principal of Wasilla High School told members of the school’s symphonic jazz choir that they would not be allowed to perform the 1975 Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody” because Freddy Mercury, who wrote it, was gay.

In the face of student protests, and fearing ACLU involvement, the principal backed down–to a point.

The choir will be allowed to perform the song, but only in a censored version, without lyrics the principal deems objectionable.

Three points about this:

1) Bravo to Wasilla High seniors for fighting back.

2) Wasilla High has a symphonic jazz choir? Humph. They never had that sort of thing in Sarah Palin’s day.

3) In Wasilla, in the Year of Our Lord 2011, there can be controversy about a song simply because the songwriter was gay.   Sarah Palin is, in every way, a daughter of Wasilla.  If this is what it’s like in 2011, imagine the ethos in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, when she grew up there.

Actually, you won’t have to imagine, because I describe the atmosphere in detail in THE ROGUE.


Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat”) will portray Freddy Mercury in a new movie being written by Peter Morgan, who wrote “The Queen” and “The Last King of Scotland.”   Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Productions is producing it.

I’m sure my friend Verne Rupright, current mayor of Wasilla, will take no action to prevent its showing in Wasilla theaters, but it might have been a different story back in the days of Sarah Palin’s mayoral regime.

Even so, the question remains:  will Wasilla High students be permitted to attend?

Two further notes about Mercury:  he was actually bisexual, not homosexual, and (here’s where it gets truly sinister) his real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was a Parsi Zoroastrian born in Zanzibar.  That alone should be enough to ban his music from Wasilla High playlists forevermore.  Can’t those kids sing songs written by Americans?  I wonder if Chuck Heath will weigh in on this.


The estimable Alaskan blogger, composer, musician and music teacher, Phil Munger, posts this photo of Wasilla High School principal Dwight Probasco, who banned Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and another non-hetero British singer and songwriter, Elton John, and poses the question: Separated at Birth?

Phil also writes:

“My feathers are ruffled. If Wasillians are going to be consistent, they’ll need to ban the following composers and their work:

Samuel Barber – No more Adagio for Strings, Dwight
Leonard Bernstein – Don’t you dare play anything from West Side Story, my friend
Aaron Copland – Watch out for those hidden messages in Fanfare for the Common Man
Noël Coward – no more Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Charles Tomlinson Griffes – careful, Dwight, a piece for flute or piano might sneak into a solo and ensemble contest
Elton John – empty the sky, Dwight. Right now!
Dave Koz – he was a hit in Anchorage, but don’t play his version ofWhite Christmas at WHS
k.d. lang – put her in Shadowland forever, Dwight
Gian Carlo Menotti – those little operas have been done at thousands of high schools, but keep away from Dwight
Cole Porter – there go about 500 really good songs, Dwight
Stephen Sondheim – Gypsy, West Side Story, A Little Night Music orCompany. Oh – wait! West Side Story’s already banned because of Lenny
Billy Strayhorn – Can’t Take the A Train if you’re a WHS Warrior
Peter Tchaikovsky – What was the secret message in The Nutcracker, Dwight?”

Oh, and by the way, Principal Probasco, Phil Munger isn’t gay, so maybe you’ll let him attend the graduation performance of the censored version of “Bohemian Rhapsody?”

88 Responses to “Dateline, Wasilla: HS Principal Bans Song Because Gay Man Wrote It//UPDATE: Will they ban the movie in Wasilla, too?///UPDATE 1.1: Which One Is Gay?”

  • Lilybart:

    Seriously, if we started to eliminate anything discovered or written by teh gays……geez, where do we start?

    Ironically, another GAY song by a GAY man is WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, played at every sporting event in straight America.

  • climber357:

    Wagons must be circled against those sinister purple Teletubbies as well.

  • Molly_WI:

    Gees, this is one of my all-time favorite songs to sing along to in the car.

    I suppose the part that says “Mama, just killed a man; put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, how he’s dead” might be a tad objectionable, although if one goes further, it can be seen that he has regrets and knows he has a devil put aside just for him……well, anyway, very cool song, and I LOVE FREDDIE MERCURY’s VOICE.

    Fie, fie upon the principal!

  • jk:

    Freddy Mercury was a rock god. It’s good to hear that yet another generation is recognizing Queen’s brilliance. It’s also good to hear that Wasilla high school isn’t filled with dumbass, ignorant Palinesque teens.

  • lilly lily:

    It must be something in the water.

    Though I think Sarah Palin suffers from a Schizoaffective disorder, and would behave like a nut no matter where she came from.

  • Gindy52:

    There go all the Cole Porter songs too. Idiots.

  • ks sunflower:

    Yet another reason I have stayed away from organized religion, specifically Christianity as it is practiced by fundamentalist zealots. I doubt they have ever read the Bible, and most certainly do not seem conversant with the New Testament. I think reading comprehension courses should be mandatory in Sunday schools because so many do not get the messages of forgiveness, tolerance, and being nonjudgmental.

    So much hate, such weak and confused vessels easily manipulated by clergy intent upon maximizing fear so as to be needed by their congregations. I think so much of this “righteous anger or indignation” is simply a ploy to retain or gain power over the simple-minded. Authoritarian religion gives them shelter from things they do not understand and protects them from the stress of thinking for themselves. Just my opinion based upon my experience from interacting with many of these folks (some of them relatives).

  • lilly lily:

    Candle in the Wind. Elton John Sung by a gay man for A. Marilyn Monroe, and then B. in honor of Princess Diana.

    Ricki Martin and whatever songs he sang, though he didn’t write them, merely make them into hits He finally came out as did George Michael..

    The entertainment field has so many multi-talented gay men that picking out or banning all the music of those who are and those who aren’t or those that are bi-sexual like Freddy Mercury would cripple the entire industry.

  • zenna:

    Only the very most narrow-minded bigots challenge the sexual orientation of those who produce works of art and music. By definition.

  • AFM:

    And to think Freddie is dead. Go lord how GAY is that? I live in TN and this teabagger is putting a bill through stating that you can’t stay the word GAY in school.

  • Sarah HalfTime:

    Too funny.
    Well I live in or near Wasilla and was here in the early 70’s as a teen, then as a adult since the late 80’s.
    Back in 70’s, we highschool students got tired of the religious nut jobs walking around the school.
    And recently, as a parent of several kids who have gone thru the school system, they too, think the “Jesus freaks” are just that, freaks.

    The song is cool and frankly, they play it very well.
    Again, very well.

    On another note. It sure has been nice since the Palins don’t show thier faces anymore around town.

    Look if teachers or parents or principles don’t want to deal with this kind of music being played by Wasilla’young, talented types… Well the can move on over to that tea bagger charter school in a Meadow Lakes strip mall.

  • Pam:

    For people who are always talking about free speech and the constitution they sure do like to tell people to sit down and shut up and Freddie mercury never really said he was gay, not that there is anything wrong with that. Willow probably didn’t want to hear no fag song.

  • Jessica:

    They would probably like that part of the song (he was just exercising his 2nd amendment rights) :-).
    Anyway, Freddy Mercury or Farrokh Bulsara has the best voice EVER!

  • lilly lily:

    Here is Sir Elton John singing Candle in the Wind. Goodby Englands Rose 1997 Yes indeed ,the principle and Elton John look like twins.

  • dmoreno:

    Hey everyone………..can’t get Immoral Minority to come up. Anybody know what is going on????????????

  • lilly lily:


    I have given up trying to comment on Politicalgates or Palingates because Disqus makes it impossible to post. I’ve wasted my last hour trying. Disquesis so idiosyncratic that it has been a waste of too many lost hours.

    IM gets screwed up on the computers I use so go there rarely now.

    I get enough of Queen Esther, here, at Malia Litmans and The Daily Dish. I think the lady is like Lady Dracula, but enough of the public have her number now so she has been defanged.

  • mocha:

    Phil pulled the post. He’s friends with this principal, did the principal cave?

  • mocha:

    Sorry ‘cave’ was a poor choice of words. I meant change his mind. Remove his objection.

  • dmoreno:


    I am VERY slow to the computer world, what is Disquesis?. I goggled it but nothing came up.

  • Punkinbugg:

    Back in 1977, our high school show choir almost ALMOST!! got our choir director to let us sing “Afternoon Delight”. We had the harmony all worked out and everything. We had no idea what it was about. Well, sorta — but back then, all songs said , “Git Down Tonight”, or “Shake Your Groove Thang”, so what was so bad about a little Sky Rockets in Flight? Right? Anyway, she nixed it & now I’m kinda glad she did. I still know the Soprano II part on that song & embarrass my children in the car. HAHA. I also am proud to say that *I* introduced the greatness of Bohemian Rhapsody to a car full of teens while driving them on a scavenger hunt. I see it listed as one of their favorite songs on FB now. Proud to be .. that 70’s girl!

  • KiteGirl:

    Me, too, Punkinbugg!
    The 70’s rock!
    Where I grew up, they banned “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver – you know, because of the evil weed.
    However, I remember Mrs. Tart in 8th grade homeroom letting us listen to The Raspberries singing “Please Go All The Way”. Mrs. Tart was also the home ec teacher. No kidding.

  • lilly lily:

    Palingates and Politicalgates use Disqus for their comments by posters. It helps them know who the troublesome trolls are. They had some nasty ones and difficulties now and then. But Disqus is an aggravation for everyone. Has all kinds of tricks and glitches. All of us complain about its idiosyncratic format.

    I’ve finally had enough. Read the lead in articles but that is that. Too many wasted hours, and Sarah Palin isn’t worth it to me. I keep current and that is that.

    I too had trouble getting into IM tonight. I don’t know what the problem is right now.

  • mocha:

    If you’re using Internet Explorer for your web browser, sometimes IM will be almost impossible to load and navigate. It works dramatically better with Firefox, so does politicalgates, IMO. It’s a good idea to have more than one web browser anyway. Easy and free to download by searching for firefox or mozilla.

  • lilly lily:

    Lets hear Freddie at Webley Stadium way back when. Now this is performing. Watch him strut his stuff after Bohemian Rhapsody..

  • lilly lily:

    O.K. that didn’t work here is another 20 minutes that changed music… Freddie was unique..

  • People with problems posting at blgspot blogs – blogger has been down for several hours for unscheduled fixes.

  • carollt:

    I live in Maine and every year at the High School spring concert, Bohemian Rhapsody is the main event of the night. I think they do it because the entire school band and the school choir can peform the entire piece together. And the song rocks to boot. When I heard the students at the high school performing this song, it caused me to get all warm and fuzzy; it felt like Freddy himself was there.

    It’s good to see the high school students in Wasilla sticking up for their rights.

  • lilly lily:

    God, I was watching all the Queen performance, with Freddy as the star.

    One of the greatest performances of all time. I still remember him. Remember passing the hospital where he died in London, and the almost reverent attitude of people who spoke of him. One of rock and rolls greatest. I’m almost glad this happened in Wasilla so I could watch this all again.

    His spirit remains. Freddy is still alive whenever people watch him. Watch it all. The audience is in the palm of his hand. Incredable stuff, and a piddly , backward HighSchool in Wasilla brings it all back to me and many more. One of his original takes of Bohemian Rhapsody has 50,822,616 hits.

  • lilly lily:

    Goodnite Freddy wherever you are.

    tip of the hat to Jimmy Durante. So many unique people long gone.

  • FrostyAK:

    Elton is SOOO much better looking, says this hetero female. Glad I am older and have no kids in this school system. These xtians are absolutely disgusting.

    I once had someone complain to a boss that I was listening to John Denver’s “Poems, Prayers and Promises” without headphones. She didn’t like the “drug allusions”. That in the meth capitol of AK, where growing and consuming pot was once legal for all. Go figure some of these whack jobs.

  • Joe:

    Phil’s post was still there last time I checked.

    I hope somebody will record these kids doing “Bohemian Rhapsody” at graduation and post it on YouTube.

    There are some impressive students at Wasilla High, and at other schools in the Valley. One of them, Waverli Rainey, now a senior at Palmer High School, wrote a magnificent op-ed piece for the Frontiersman a couple of years ago about teacher/student reaction to the election of Obama. I was so impressed by it that I’m including excerpts in THE ROGUE.


  • SondraTompkins:

    “Wasillian Rhapsody”

    Is this the real life?
    Or is it just fantasy?
    Caught in the Valley
    Not a part of reality…

    Open your eyes
    We don’t like gay guys
    You see…

    I’m just like Sarah
    I have no empathy
    I like Jesus Christ (and Prevo)
    I’m hetero, not homo

    Anyway my cash grows
    That’s what really matters to me
    To ME!

    The Paliban.
    Put a gun up to my head.
    Pulled the trigger
    But I’m not dead.

    They can’t shoot a gun.
    Or else
    They would
    Have blown my ### away.

    Mama, oooo (anyway my cash grows)
    Didn’t mean to make you cry
    If my chin implant’s not in this time tomorrow
    Carry on, carry on, cause the look is all that matters

    It’s too late.
    Bin Laden’s gone.
    Sends shivers down my spine.
    Why can’t the glory all be mine?
    Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go
    To get a nip and tuck so I can face the truth…
    Mama, ooo (anyway my cash grows)
    I don’t want to lie
    I sometimes wish I could tell the truth at all.

    (Opera Section)










    I’m just a poor girl, everybody HATES me!

    (Easy come, easy go, rolling in the dough!)

    (LET ME GO) Will not let you go (let us go) Ah
    No no no no no no no
    (Oh mama mia, Galleria) mama mia let us go!

    Thomas Muthee’s pulled a DEVIL from inside of ME!
    From ME!
    From ME!
    From ME!

    (guitar solo)

    So you think you can NOMINATE me, then spit in my eye?
    So you think Katie Couric’s the apple of your eye?
    Oh baby, Barry’s a Kenyan maybe!!!
    Just gotta get out
    Just get the white vote out of here!

    Ooh yeah ooh yeah
    Nothing really matters
    Anyone can see
    Nothing really matters
    Nothing really matters to me.

    (Anyway my cash grows)


    Read more:

  • KatieAnnieOakley:

    Lilly, it’s not just DISQUS tonight, it’s blogger too. Discussed at length on twitter between many people, not just ‘Gators. Maybe the sudden heat / humidity throughout the country? Tough to get servers cool when it’s so hot outside.

    Then again, DISQUS is a POS… please give it a few days and come back – I miss you!

  • Lynne:

    Here’s my all-time favorite Bohemian Rhapsody. Not like any other…I promise!

  • MariaT:

    My late husband and Freddie are forever linked in my mind. My husband (a caring, brilliant teacher who guided thousands of youngsters) died in March 1991, and 8 months later Freddie died. I was grief-stricken! I’d thought that I’d eased back into the routine of daily life quite well after the unexpected death of my hubby but Freddie’s death was a trigger that broke down the dam wall and I went into deep, deep mourning for a long period. Now, 20 years on, I can say with a smile,”Mr T and Freddie… my memories of you both are joyous and I’m thankful for the positive impact you had on so many people.”

  • I’ll be trying to tell Dwight Probasco’s side of this story at Progressive Alaska when blogspot is back up and running. Dwight’s story on this is compelling. I should have tried to get hold of him before writing a post, but figured that with WHS’s year winding down and his having to take other calls, he wouldn’t get back to me. I don’t agree with Dwight about everything that he did or that is going down on this from the school’s perspective, but having taught a class there for 13 years, I’m more sympathetic than many might be of what a truly challenging environment that school, and dealing with the kids’ parents, can be.

  • Ryan:

    Mr. Munger

    You say you “should have” contacted Mr. Probasco but you thought he “might be too busy.” What it looks like you really wanted to do was publish this because Mr. Probasco is retiring in one week after working for the Mat-Su School District for 29-years. Is this the kind of roast you think he deserves?

    If you know Mr.P, you know he’s a little busier now, thanks to you. If you worked with that man for 13-years, you know that right now his heart is breaking over this, and now it’s out there for the interlopers to point and laugh at. You couldn’t let this sit for a little while longer for him say what his reason behind his decision was, nor could you be bothered to get the whole story, you had to get it out there. But you said it best yourself: dealing with WHS parents is difficult. Dealing with this makes it lot more difficult.

    How does this make it any easier for Mr. P? How does this circus help Wasilla High students?

    Mr. Munger, you need to get a hold Mr. P first thing in the morning and do what you should have done before you slapped a “kick me” sign on his back. I think you owe him that. I think you need to get his side of the story as soon as you can, and indeed, post it on your blog.

  • dmoreno:

    Thanks guys and dolls for filling me in on the “blogger/Discus” issues. Had a horrible feeling that SP’s flying monkeys had some kind of special powers, other than being completely insane, and were able to pay off a hacker to destroy our little world–oh no!!!!!!!! At my age, when I hit a button, I expect things to happen just as they previously had been, and can’t be bothered with all this fan dangled techno crap, so who ever is over there at Blogger better get it figured out and pronto. Sondra Tompkins—you ROCK!

  • LisaB2595:

    Thank you. It’s always nice to get the full story.

  • You can’t make this stuff up.

    Hopefully young people around the country hear about this ridiculous story.

    Looking forward to the book. For McGinniss fans, make sure to read “The Miracle of Castel di Sangro”

  • GG:

    It’s weird that that happened at WHS. Back in the day, students were pretty accepting. But life was different then. Yes there were cliches as high school is known for that. There was also a smoking section at school as you’d expect. The most popular girl in Sarah’s class was friends with everyone and she wasn’t part of the religious fabric. That religious bs told to Dunn was a complete lie. Reading it made my jaw drop. Sarah was popular until senior year, as she was painfully shy and rarely spoke. Typically a new love opens one up to the socialization process. Those who were gay were actually more accepted by their peers back then. Society is always a different story though. Didn’t Dunn once write that he thinks Sarah’s more or less indifferent on gay rights, but like every politician,doesn’t want to offend any voters? Who wrote that because it sounds the closest to the truth.

  • SCmommy:


  • Matthew:

    Wasilla High School – less open and tolerant than Iran:
    (the story is from 2004).

  • The full story about Principal Dwight Probasco’s actions in this matter may well cast him in a different and more favorable light. However, it cannot be denied he does have a resemblance to Elton John, whose birth name is Reginald DWIGHT.

  • I_conoclast:

    Oops…there goes the King James Version.

  • Charlene H:

    Dave Koz is gay? Jeez. how did I miss that.

  • Samantha:

    Interesting perspective on Wasilla High. But really, no one was open and out back then, I’m nearly the same age as Sarah so I remember what it was like, in my state anyway. I went to school in fact with people who were gay and didn’t even know they were. (Or knew I was). It wasn’t discussed. Now, it is. And that is what makes people nervous. There are gay-straight alliances in schools now, and all sorts of openness. There’s more support, but also more hate. As far as the era itself, the 70’s, in a way there was more acceptance for everything, there was all this great rock and roll, and you drove everywhere as a teen and hung out, smoked dope or whatever. Most adults just ignored us. There wasn’t a whole lot of stress. I think kids are more stressed out now, and they want to be grownup faster, which is why the girls are all having babies I guess. Queen was a good band, but frankly, just a good band. We forget how many great 70’s band there were. Everyone knew Mercury was gay but no one cared. It wasn’t singled out. Now, it’s kinda strange because he is. Kids now grow up in an environment where they have to examine everything, twitter everything, discuss everything, and judge everything and everyone. And judging something as “good” …is still judging.

  • Reality Check:

    Just read the lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It had the unsettling effect of bringing Jeremy Morlock to mind.

  • JoJo:

    Please notify all schools in Alaska with sports programs that the biggest sports chant in the world was written by a convicted pedophile, Gary Glitter

    Just sayin’

  • mags:

    Oh, yes! This consulting psychologist agrees.

  • Rusty Wheat:

    Expect another kerfluffle when one of these ‘adults’ looks up the word ‘bismillah’ which occurs several times in Bohemian R.

  • wendy:

    If they’re banning all work-product of gay people, Alan Turing’s ghost demands they get off the internet.

  • Mark:

    Oh Sondra, that is amazing!! I sang it to myself–it’s brilliant. You should send it to Jon Stewart. You are very talented!

  • Rod Proctor:


    This MUST go viral!

  • Mark:

    Slightly off topic, but a misguided contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle is trying to rewrite history a la Joshua Green (Atlantic article):

  • Rod Proctor:

    So the principal doesn’t like the ‘Mamma, I killed a man’ reference in Bohemian Rhapsody. Wonder what he thinks of Johnny Cash singing ‘I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.’

    And I am a bit familiar with the AK culture north of Anchorage. Did a couple of years up in Delta Junction back in the ’80s. Traveled through the Mat-Su numerous times going to and from Anchorage.

  • jk:

    Well, that was truly impressive!!

  • mocha:

    What we’re going to get from Mr. Probasco is spin tailored to convince us that his censorship wasn’t censorship. I

  • zena zeller:

    I read Josh Green’s Palin article in The Atlantic, and Sullivan’s response to it [it seems they’ve had blog spats about Palin in the past. The photograph of Palin that Green selected for his article was quite wondrous and made me wonder if Mr. Green wasn’t experiencing some little ‘starbursts’. Or he knows that any story of Palin still holds some intrigue. Yes, I’m guilty.

  • lilly lily:

    I thank the parent who objected to the song because the composer and lead singer was gay. They should search deeply into the meaning of the song, though Freddy always refused to say what his songs meant, leaving it to the listener to interpret from his or her experiences.

    He died on my birthday, so I always relate to people who were born or die on that day. Great talents and gifts are handed out by the Gods. Freddy was one of the Orpheus’s of his day and times.

    We are all richer because of God given talents no matter what their sexual orientation or origans. Freddy’s parents moved from Zanzibar, and he was a Parsi and an Indian. So the words had deeper meanings for him than for some biased parent in the Wasillian school system.

    Yet many in Wasilla seem to condone and accept the killer in their midst. Jeremy Morlock?

    They condone the widespread manufacture of drugs (the Meth Capital of Alaska?)

    But the sexual orientation of the Song is pertinent to it’s being allowable music in a High School.

    A bit like Sarah trying to force the Wasilla library to ban a childs book.

  • Liz:

    Thank-you for posting that. Freddie’s Wembley performance was incredible. Thank goodness for YouTube !
    I wonder what the music censors would think if they knew that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist ?
    “The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898). Bellamy “viewed his Pledge as an ‘inoculation’ that would protect immigrants and native-born but insufficiently patriotic Americans from the ‘virus’ of radicalism and subversion.”[ …Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows:
    I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
    The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds. As a socialist, he had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided against it – knowing that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

  • lilly lily:

    I thanked the parent because I am deeply immersing myself in Queen and Led Zeppelins music over the weekend.

    A glorious return to the past. Time rushes by, and every once in a while it is good to stop, and go back into the past.

  • FrostyAK:

    Then it is an indictment of the very loud xtian base of parents in the Valley. One would think that if Probasco was about to retire, he might decide to set a precedent and decline to accede to their demands; unless of course he is a part of and agrees with said xtain base. Then your point would be moot.

  • DJ:

    No more Tom Cruise movies in Wasilla…… so sad.

  • Tservo:

    Funny! When my girl was a wee one, I took great delight in pointing out gay Twinky Winky.
    He was chubby, purple, had a triangle hat and carried a magic purse.
    For Jerry Falwell, that meant gay. To my daughter, it meant he was a cartoon, of sorts.
    Barney was way more gay, but Falwell must have figured out by then that he wasn’t a real dinosaur.

  • Tservo:

    Plus Maine is way cooler than a lot of other states.
    The current governor is the exception that proves the rule.

  • Bob Vanderet:

    Joe – Thanks for the update. Unbelievable. I guess he refuses to look at the Sistine Chapel ceiling when he visits Rome.

  • […] Wasilla: The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reports today that the principal of Wasilla High School told […]

  • If they’re banning all work product by gays, then they also have to ban the King James Version of the Bible. James I, who commissioned the English translations from Latin and Greek, was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and heir to Elizabeth I of England. He reportedly had multiple romantic relationships with men, including a much older French cousin, later the Earl of Lennox, when he was a teen, and later an affair with George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham. Yes, King James married and had children, so he was at least functionally bisexual, but he and his Bible will have to be tossed on the Wasilla bonfire, too.

  • KatieAnnieOakley:

    Needs a “v” after the question mark in the URL

  • I’ve posted a more detailed account of this, based on my talk with Dwight Probasco last night, and on an e-mail I got from the Frontiersman reporter. I’ve gotten a report that the reporter has had issues in the past with Probasco, and that she probably should have declared that in the story as some sort of disclaimer. I’ve e-mailed her, asking for a clarification on this

  • KatieAnnieOakley:

    Sondra – Bravissimo!!

  • Paul Stanley:

    Brilliant Sondra! I got here by a link from Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish (

  • themom:

    It only took one complaint by one parent????????? Really!?!?! If that is all it took then why did Chuckie Palin give the address he did while proposing to show his progeny how to skin her some of dem der dems! Many parentts objected to to his appearance. Then again, violence seems to be celebrated by some while live in any true form is denied. What anal pores!

  • Kristin:

    Walking into Mr. Probasco’s office the first thing you see is a Che Guevara poster a student gave him. Next to it is a picture of Wasilla High’s girls basketball team celebrating its recent victory in the girls state basketball tournament. His office is filled with momentos that students and staff have given to him over his 28 year career at Wasilla High. Anyone who knows Mr. P. knows he is a compassionate man that has dedicated his life to Wasilla High and to creating an enviroment where everyone feels welcomed and accepted. Did it ever occur to you that maybe Bohemian Rhapsody isn’t an appropriate graduation song solely based upon its lyrics? Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t graduations suppose to celebrate a kids achievements and transition into adulthood? It sickens me that you blindsided Mr. Probasco with posting this blog. You painted him as a homophobe. Which anyone who knows him – knows it isn’t true. I ask that you kindly remove this blog out of respect of Mr. Probasco. It’s the least you can do. You’ve done enough to slander his reputation.

  • jim in nc:

    Vergil’s Aeneid. Probably Caesar’s Gallic Wars.

  • Joe:

    Thank you for the comment. I respect and appreciate your point of view and that you write from a position of personal knowledge.
    The Frontiersman first ran a story about Mr. Probasco banning the song because of a complaint from a parent that its
    composer was gay. Nothing I’ve seen since has persuaded me that that’s not what happened. I don’t doubt that Mr. Probasco has given
    much to students over his career. Nonetheless–and notwithstanding his personal acceptance of sexual choice–it seems he gave in to
    pressure from the intolerant element of the Wasilla community, which anyone who knows Wasilla even to the extent that I do knows is–and has been for many years–a
    blight on the city.

    I’m not going to remove this blog post. It has prompted spirited debate about the question of how the sexual preference of a creator can determine the
    legitimacy of a creation, be it a song, book, painting, or any other form of artistic expression.

    The fact is that Mr. Probasco has not denied that a complaint about Mr. Mercury’s sexual orientation was what prompted him to first ban the song. Even after backing off that position, he censored the lyrics. He may well be the wonderful and caring educator whose praises you sing. But his 28-year career of doing good doesn’t relieve him of responsibility for the actions he took in this case.

    Whether or not “Bohemian Rhapsody” is an appropriate song for a high school graduation is a separate issue, but Freddy Mercury’s bisexuality should not be a factor in that debate. Mr. Probasco has made his choices. The members of the choir have quite rightly protested, expressing the view that one homophobic parent should not dictate the choices made by their high school principal.

    And so, with respect and sympathy, I have to reiterate that removing this blog post and the comment it has generated would be to support, at least passively, the homophobic pressure to which Mr. Probasco succumbed, even if he does have in his office pictures of Che Guevara and the Wasilla High girls’ basketball team.

    In a spirit of fairness, I’ll urge all who read this to also read Philip Munger’s new post at Progressive Alaska: “Dwight Probasco’s Side of the Bohemian Rhapsody Story.”

    And I thank you again for your comment.


  • pgbach:

    If Sarah had still be mayor, the jazz choir and its director would have been stoned to death because that is what the teabagger’s “bible” says. Nevertheless, this is merely another example of the GOP doing its best to turn America into a third world country. For example, the biography of Rick Santorum:

  • AKPetMom:

    Wasilla is basically a fundy christian religious hotbed so nothing that comes from here regarding squelching rights of people based on fairy tale fears amazes me any longer. Somehow, those of us of sane minds and bodies, here in this fair land of Wasilla, manage to go about our daily lives amongst these repressed and fearful individuals. In all fairness, it’s pretty difficult to engage them as one would a regular person, but if a person avoids Wal-Mart and church, the one is safely able to go about living life without having “fundy” confrontations.

  • lilly lily:

    Incredable voice. I’ve been listening again and again and the man and his life force and vibrancy is so intense that it energises anyone listening.

    Not that this is pertinent to the banning of the music.

    Sarah Palin wanted this mans kind of grip on her audience. He was an entertainer and so is she.

    Palin may have a Hitlerian hold on her audience for a limited time early in the 2008 campaign for a limited conservative audience of her avid fan base. I believe that is over. People have begun to see her for what she is. TROUBLE. I don’t think she will recover the momentum. Palin fatigue.

    Freddy wasn’t trying to ruin a country for the benefit of puppetmasters or force his views on anyone. Take him or leave him. Take the words or leave them. Freddie lived his life large, He felt he was going to die young so he grabbed life by the throat and went full throttle.

    Sarah Palin is grabbing and hoarding.

    Listen to Freddy at least one time, even if you are anti gay.. Freddy was a life enhancer. Palin is not.

    And talk about serious overbites. Freddy had one and it didn’t hold him back in any way.

  • Lidia17:

    That wasn’t a photo; it was a painted illustration commissioned by the magazine for the piece.

    Joe wrote a post about it, even:

    Except he didn’t use the fitting description that someone else did: “North Korean”.

  • honeybabe:

    we are getting closer to the time gay prejudice will be something to point and laugh about. human is human and we are ALL human.

  • themom:

    I appreciated the response you wrote to Kristin. You did not judge her, her writing, or her position. You remained factual and without embellishment. That is the very kind of dialogue that should be taking place all over this country. However, too many find it far too easy to allow any conversation to become personal, vulgar, even at times lacking merit. This is a fine lesson for all of us.

  • Georgia Eliot:

    there must be something in the ether, I’ve been on a Queen jag lately – what a profound experience to see Freddy and the band, full metal genius, nothing better. I watched an interview (love the youtubes!) Brian and Roger gave a week after his death to counter the lurid tabloid press; the love and loyalty they showed then has not wavered. For some extra weeps, check out the memorial concert held a year after Freddy died – blazing. And yes, I earned megacool mom points when my 10 year daughter and friends found my stash of Queen albums….

  • lilly lily:

    I continue on my Freddie Mercury kick. In fact the phrase”Nobody lives Forever’ and “Save Me” are my earworms right now. There are times when an entire opera like Mozarts Marriage of Figaro loops itself into my brain and plays out over and over for a week or so. This weekend it is Freddie and his voice.

    Wrote about Freddies music on another blog and someone from Turkey raved that Freddie was the Mozart of his day. I wouldn’t go that far, but his voice is intensely satisfying to listen to as are his performances to watch. on youtube. Too bad there was no youtube or video in Mozarts times.

    Evidently he had 4 extra teeth which cause his extreme overbite and he would have liked to have the protrusion fixed, but feared it might alter his voice. Also had polyps in his throat that he didn’t have removed for the same reason.

    Looking forward to Sacha Cohen playing Freddie.

  • An Outhouse:

    There are movie theaters in Wasilla? I thought they were all converted to meth labs in 1999.

  • You have some exciting thoughts! Perhaps we ought to contemplate about attempting this myself.