I've been mucking about with my template a bit of late, trying to tidy up and add some new content. You probably noticed the new masthead last week, as well as the new avatar for myself. Today I added two new sections on the right hand column: "Art and Media" and "Quicklinks." Quicklinks isn't actually new, although it's got different stuff in it and a higher profile now. It's stuff I like that doesn't fit anywhere else. Art and Media is for sites that have, or are about... well, Art and Media. That means film, photography and artistic images. I've always tried to incorporate visuals into NWW and I'm hoping maybe now I'll have more at my fingertips to choose from. The image above is from Flickr and I think it's terrific. Kudos to the photographer, Yolise. While I'm giving credits, I should also mention that the masthead uses wallpaper from Vladstudio, where you can get some neat wallpaper for your computer. The avatar is from Giornale Nuovo, a blog that is always worth a visit if you like odd, old European art. The motivation for some of these changes lies in the fact that my blogroll has gotten larger than I'd like. Despite pruning away from time to time, it just grew, and I'm no longer sure how to approach it. Maybe I should just let it grow. If I go that route, the new categories I've made might allow me to keep a few things in easy reach. This issue was also the catalyst for collapsing the NWW blogroll and hard coding approximately ten blogs that I do visit with some regularity, which I did a little while back. I added a new blog to that section today, Althouse. I really like Ann's blog. She's smart, she updates regularly, and the subject matter has a lot of variation even if the blog as a whole centers on the law. If I could be around my computer during my workday, NWW might read more like that. As it is, I only have evenings and since I don't know the law that well, philosophy will have to do for my area of "expertise."
Speaking of bloggers that I like, Francis turned out a hum dinger yesterday. You have to give him credit for being able to say what is on his mind. I asked my wife to have a look at it after I read it, just to see if she thought it was fair. I thought it was, with the proviso that the phenomenon Francis describes is not limited to women. Witness all the slather over the "metrosexual" and now there's some new junk called an "ubersexual". Certain media and fashion companies have been dying to find a way to get mainstream men under their spell in the same way that they have (regrettably) too many women. They've had less success with men, I think, because men often are less afraid to go their own way and / or men sometimes don't clue into the disapproval that is supposed to propel them into being good little identity consumers. On the whole, though, we thought Francis was onto something.
I'm curious to know what others think so if you have an opinion, let's hear it. Do you think we are being pulled in many contradictory directions today, women more so than men? If yes, why is this happening now? Why is it hard for the victim to see this happening and how do we reach them? Has Francis overstated the case?
The post is a bit long but I assure you it's not dull.