Monday, January 2, 2012

Detroit's Latest Product

According to the Times the Lincoln Continentals which carried the body of Kim Jong-il and his portrait have engendered avid online dialogue on a car site called the Professional Car Society (“Deeply Hated, But Present: A U.S. Touch At Kim’s End,” NYT, 12/28/11). The Times quoted someone name Gregg D. Merksamer “who has written extensively about hearses, ambulances and other so-called professional cars” to the effect “that the inside of the limousine carrying Kim Jong-il’s body would not have been outfitted for a coffin, which may explain why the body was placed on bed of white flowers on the roof.” The Times also quoted Merksamer as speculating that “the full, rear fender skirts and the five heavy vertical bars separating the grille into six sections” indicate the Lincolns were produced in l975 or 6. Merksamer told theTimes that the car carrying the body of Kim Jong-il’s father, Kim Il-sung back in l994 was actually closer to the second Lincoln in the funeral procession. “The finned-style wheel covers and oval opera windows in the D-pillars…actually correlate to the sister car that carried Kim Jong-il’s oversize portrait,” he said. The fact that we have stooped to depending on car forums and hearse experts, only points to the failure of our intelligence gathering about the nature of the North Korean regime. On the other hand there is a light at the end of the tunnel. At the heart of the financial crisis Detroit was beleaguered and the US car industry was in the dumps. However, it’s important to note that certain models of one defunct make of American car now serve a vital purpose, as a source of information about the North Korean regime.

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