What Exactly Is New?

Posted by: David Kiley on November 9, 2007

queen_latifah.jpg

I heard someone the other day say that “Curvy is the new thin.” This was said in the context of how Queen Latifah has become an icon for many women who would rather be healthy than painfully thin. the idea was also chatted up in the aftermath of designer Karl Lagerfeld sending some emaciated looking models home after they showed up to wear some of his wares.

Redefining what is “new” has become pretty trendy. I have also heard:

“Small is the new big” when it comes to houses.
“Green is the new black,” talking about how being environmentally conscious is not only responsible, but fashionable.
“60 is the new 40,” espoused by baby boomer everywhere.

I have a suggestion of my own.

“Thoughtful is the new bloviation” when it comes to political discourse. I’m not hopeful. The level of debate on, say, Hannity & Colmes” “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hardball” will still wallow around the level of a Middle School debate over school lunches well after the election.

Also, how about…”The car is the new SUV.” I just returned from the U.K. where the M4 between London and Cardiff was a showcase for what I’d like to see U.S. highways look like; a sea of small cars and diesel powered sedans getting over 40 miles per gallon with only an occasional Land Rover, BMW X5 or Toyota Landcruiser breaking up the trend. And I didn’t find anyone who was complaining about it.

Readers of this blog…..I ask you to susggest your own “New” ideas, and we will post them in the comment section. After a weekk, I’ll showcase the best ten we get in the blog.

Reader Comments

Crawford

November 12, 2007 12:20 PM

Tolerance is the new Passion

random

November 12, 2007 4:38 PM

Opinion is the new Fact
(news media habits of many people today)

Loud is the new Knowledgeable
(backing up on your Hannity, O'Reilly and Matthews example)

Showing is the new Caring
(aka why do something when you can just put a ribbon on your car and look supportive?)

Holly Garfield

November 13, 2007 2:05 PM

There is a reason why the smaller car dirvers in the UK don't complain about car size that much. The UK is much smaller than the US. We in the US like bigger cars because we have to stay in them much longer to get around the country. The entire UK is about the size of Florida, US. Florida isn't a very big state out of 50 states. Try driving those small cars around Texas our western plains states or over a few states on our Interstate system and you'll get a different perspective. It's also why Europe has trains and the US has airplanes. A 747 flying across France wouldn't get to cruising altitude, but in the US coast to coast is 6 hours by plane and 3 days by train.

Anom.

November 14, 2007 5:14 PM

Holly, I disagree with your comments. The trends in the US population point towards urbanization and suburbization. Why do suburbanites in the UK get on fine with trucking thier kids in cars to soccer practice and not SUVs? Are Americans really traveling much further on a daily basis?

The US is much bigger but that doesn't mean you need a bigger car. If anything, a smaller car is needed so you use less fuel. there's a reason airports use small planes for short flights....they use less gas.

Subarus and Audis have four-wheel drive if you need it but size shouldn't matter to the average American.

random

November 16, 2007 10:01 AM

Sorry for the somewhat off-topic addition, but I felt the need to jump in and make a few points that may be of interest to you, Holly and Anom.

1. A 747 flying across France would easily get to cruising altitude since the airplane's climb over a major city is done in spirals as the plane locks on to its heading. Flying across France takes several hours. Sure, the US is much larger then any country in Europe (not counting Russia as it is 80% in Asia), but European countries are not miniature save for Luxembourg.

2. The second biggest reason why Europeans love small cars after cramped roads is price per gallon. Even with $3.25 per gallon gas, Americans have it much easier then European motorists who have to spend upwards of $6 or $7 per gallon. When you're filling up your Hummer H3 at $6 per gallon or $126 per tank, I'm pretty sure you're going to wonder if you really need a car this huge, this expensive and this inefficient. Factor in the average 20 to 30 mile commute to work every day and a few errands and you're filling up five times a month for a grand total of $630 a month or $7,560 per year to keep your car running. With those oil prices, hybrids become a bargain.

3. I've driven on the US interstate system quite a bit and I've seen Texas, the South-West and the East Coast highways. I don't see how a big car would be such a major advantage. A smaller vehicle with good cargo space would get much better mileage and by judging the fine condition of most interstate highways, there would be no problems handling a small car there. By contrast, a huge sailboat of an SUV would have to make more stops to fill up and would be difficult to handle in high winds or storms since its center of gravity is so high.

4. Americans are not traveling further then Europeans on their daily commutes but once in a great while, they'll make a marathon 8 to 10 hour drive through numerous states. But guess what, such a trek is something Europeans do if they live in an EU state. Instead of other states, they just drive through other countries for trips or just fun. Their small, fuel sipping diesels take them further for less cash and instead of packing everything they will ever need in a giant SUV, they just bring the essentials and buy or rent what they need along the way.

5. Smaller planes are used for shorter flights not because they use less gas, but because they decrease airport congestion. If there are hundreds of people every day in need of making short flights, it would make sense to just use airliners to decrease the number of planes one should fly since overall, you would be using less gas then a few short flights on smaller planes. But the fact of the matter is that smaller planes can go to small, regional airports where they won't get in the way of major air routes.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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