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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's New New. Nu?

Don't be fooled by what they tell you-- this isn't The New Beetle.

THIS is the New Beetle:

Or, rather, it was.

That's the ding-darn trouble with calling things "New." Invariably, they aren't. At least, they aren't just about a second after you've called them "New." Especially today, when "new" is just a word you throw around unwittingly and carelessly until the next "Newer" thing comes out to replace the formerly new thing. This BlackBerry sitting on the desk in front of me: already out-moded when I purchased it.

New? Please. That's why I buy most of my clothes at thrift shops.

I strongly dislike the New (New) Beetle, unveiled Tuesday in America on "The Today Show," and in Shanghai and Belgium on whatever their versions of "The Today Show" are.

Can you, for a moment, imagine a black, Belgian Al Roker? Or a Shanghainian one?

(W. h. o. a.)

Anyway, yeah. I don't like it. They're, apparently, marketing the 2012 New Beetle at men, and they've succeeded in making it more masculine-looking. Lower. Wider. Flatter. More aggressive. Less bubble-shaped and less, well, bubbly. But, is that what the Beetle is supposed to be?

Aggressive? Manly? Even a little bit... mean?

I mean-- let's look at the original:

Look at that kisser. Don't you just wanna pinch that little punim? That baby is about as aggressive as a little girl's tea party. As mean as a sleeping Havanese. As aggressive as Joe Besser. In short: it's a well-loved velveteen rabbit: ripe for the hugging.

I suppose it's possible that the 2012 New (New) Beetle will grow on me. I can remember reading about the (first) New Beetle when it came out in 1998, and I loathed it. Capable of speeds exceeding 60mph? Engine in the front? Leather seats?


This, my friends, is no Beetle, I declared, new or otherwise.

But I grew to like, even love the New Beetle. In fact, in 2002, I bought myself one. And it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.

Even if, though, I do end up liking the 2012 New Beetle when I see one in the "flesh" at a dealership in the fall (???) I'm still not crazy about the name.

New Beetle.

We did that, Ferdinand Piech.

If VW is so obsessed, as they apparently are, with marketing this car at men, why don't they call it the "Testebeetle?"

You like that? I've got more where that came from (and, yeah, that's what she said):




The Roid-Beetle (you know, 'cuz guys like steroids)

The Masturwagon (you know, 'cuz guys like to beat off)

I mean, really? Anything's better than The New Beetle. Because, let's face it, kids: it was only "new" once, and, when it was new, it looked like this:

And maybe that's why them VW folks are so image conscious.

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