In Oswego, we don’t name things after ideals. There is no Peace Street, no Social Justice Drive, no Equality Way. No, we name things after mediocrities who perform some service for the power structure. Case in point: John Canale Drive.
Now, somebody said recently he misses the gossip. Well I have it from many informed sources that the only lobbyist for naming a stretch of road after John Canale was John Canale himself. Talk about megalomania! I’ve been criticized recently for not signing my real name … but that’s exactly the point. The minute I publish my real name, that’s the minute discussion of the content stops and the ad hominem attacks begin. For people like John Canale, it’s all about the Person, the cult of personality. It’s a feature usually associated with totalitarian societies.
So OswegoCountyToday publishes a typical fawning article complete with Canale’s enigmatic quote, "It’s not Sullivan’s Folly, it’s Sullivan’s Dolly as far as I’m concerned." At least Sullivan’s Folly makes sense, replacing a picturesque green area with the monstrosity we endure today. But Sullivan’s Dolly? Sullivan’s small doll? Sullivan’s portable anvil? Sullivan’s hand truck? What the hell is Mr. Canale talking about?
As if this cringeworthy spectacle wasn’t bad enough, we’re also told the defenders of power and privilege burst into an impromptu recitation of "God Bless America," reenacting the final scene from The Deer Hunter for all those unlucky enough to have been present. [and proving once again how much more patriotic our heroic leaders are than the mere mortals comprising the rest of society!]
And isn’t it fitting symbolically that John Canale Drive exists between a bank (representing financial power) and the City Hall (political power)? Would not Corruption Way or Plutocracy Avenue be a more fitting appellation?
As one citizen concerned that 91-year-old Canale is still frequently "teaching" the students here (and apparently filling their heads with "you can be the War Criminal in Chief" too malarkey) let me say in all sincerity, "Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!"