17 January 2009

Gwaneum One: further developments

I have received the title for Gwaneum One. This is the first time I own a brand-new car without any strings (lienholders, co-signers, etc.) attached. Sure, it's a lowly Hyundai, but it is still a luxury car with the price tag - and more importantly, content and craftsmanship - to match. Now, all I need will be the vanity plates.

Cafepress.com has also sent me the first bumper sticker for Gwaneum One. It reads: "California, what rights do you want to take away next?" I think this is the best way for me to express my strong displeasure over Proposition 8, without dwelling specifically on the measure itself (or gay marriage). Proposition 8 WAS about using religious prejudice to take away someone else's rights, and that's the one point I must make. I will continue to collect a few extra bumper stickers, probably from EvolveFish.com, which will probably be religious in character. The key will be to accentuate the positives; rather than stating what I am against, I want to state what I am for. (This also serves to decrease the likelihood of some wingnut being offended by Gwaneum One - and vandalizing her.) I need to decide if I want to specifically display Unitarian Universalist motifs, or if I want to be more mildly pan-religious.

I will wait until I have the vanity plates before I actually start putting the bumper stickers on. In any case, as Gwaneum One is a very conservatively styled car, I don't want her to be saddled with too many bumper stickers, something too many liberals (and even a few conservatives) are guilty of.

And slowly but steadily, Hyundai is putting more Genesises on SoCal freeways; today, I parked next to another silver example, which was a V6 with Premium Package. I do notice that many examples are being retrofitted with the Korean market winged logos. I refuse to do the retrofit (the full retrofit will cost me at least $500, and even then, Gwaneum One will NEVER be a Korean-market "BH380"), but it's tempting, as the winged logo does look great. On another note, I do notice that many Genesis owners are moving from an established luxury brand (including the almighty Lexus and BMW), rather than upmarket from cheaper Hyundais. Looks like I'm far from the only one who recognizes how good the car is.

In retrospect, I do have one regret over my car swap. I had made the BMW retirement the centerpiece of the swap, and that wasn't the right way to do it, as it accentuates the negatives (both of the BMW brand and of the sociopolitical developments). The correct way to have done it would've been to center the process around the purchase of the Hyundai, then do the BMW retirement as a side thing; that way, I could've honored the progress of the South Korean society in a much better way. I can't turn back the clock on the car swap, but now that I do have Gwaneum One, the car herself, her vanity plates, and her bumper stickers will have to do the job in accentuating the positives.