Take the What Train?

Some folks in Montreal want to name a busy subway station for the late great jazz pianist Oscar Peterson in the Montreal nabe where he was born and raised, The Globe and Mail reports.

But zehr eez a leetle problem: The station is already named for Lionel-Adolphe Groulx, a locally famous Quebec priest notable for his xenophobic racism (a k a “nationalistic” beliefs).

Not to worry. A McGill University professor suggests that the station name be shared. He favors “paying homage to both men” (you read that right) with the hyphenated name Station Oscar Peterson-Lionel Groulx.

“Yes, there is a disagreeable underside to the man — the anti-Semitism, the fascist sympathies,” the prof concedes, referring to Groulx of course. But he tells the paper, “I feel uncomfortable about erasing his impact from Quebec history.” (If only.) And the prof adds, “We could enjoy the pleasure of an interesting meeting of two important historical figures.” (You read that right, too.)

“Yeah,” says a friend of mine, a Montreal native who fled the city long ago. “For an allegedly enlightened society, a great number of hardcore fascist bastids is still well entrenched there. I theenk, senor, Kweebek could be considered der Österreich of N. America.”

Postscript: Rename the station? Forget it.

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