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December 17, 2004

New Year, New Appearance

Like G at "Thanks for Not Being a Zombie", I'm upgrading and changing the appearance of the blog. I'm still not quite satisfied, but you're witnessing the basic new look for the chutry experiment for 2005. I've been using the black (or chracoal) background for such a long time that I'm still adjusting to the new appearance. There are some line-spacing problems that I need to tweak, but otherwise I'm relatively happy with the new look (mostly a default template from Moveable Type). I'm finding the width of the sidebar to be a little narrow, but that could be a problem with my monitor and browser only. Let me know if anything needs to be fixed.

I'm hoping that the white background will make it easier for me to use (or at least understand) the blog as a space for working through some of my academic research and that it will simply make my blog easier to read. I've been relatively focused on wrapping up the semester and preparing for MLA interviews, so haven't had time to write as much as I would like here. Like many of us, I'm also still reeling a little from the election, and while I've attempted to write several blog entries about the election, moral values, or complaints to the FCC about the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, but the entries don't seem to be doing what I want them to. In part, I'm trying to rethink my own understanding of the relationship between politics and popular culture, and I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with the language I've been using to describe that relationship.

Posted by chuck at December 17, 2004 6:31 PM

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I like the new pallette. It's easier to read, and less pensive seeming.

Posted by: weez at December 17, 2004 7:46 PM

Thanks, weez. I had been told that readability was a problem, and I'm glad it's easier to read now. I may go with a slightly darker font for the entire blog and make the links a little darker, too.

Why do you read it as "less pensive," or why did the other seem "more pensive"?

Posted by: chuck at December 17, 2004 8:46 PM

I think it will take a while for the new look to settle in with me. Of course, it is an experiment!

Of the political situation, focus on what’s coming up: Georgia Legislative session, Social Security and numerous Bush gaffes. Forget about the election, unless you are drawing lessons from it for later use. Move on, Doc.

Posted by: Steve at December 17, 2004 9:26 PM

So, yeah, it is a rather drastic shift, but I'm still tweaking. The colors are more washed out than I would like, for sure.

In terms of politics, I'm not sure that I'm reflecting on the election itself as much as how popular culture is functioning in recent configurations of the political. Frank Rich's New York Times essay is the best recent example of what I'm talking about.

In the essay, he discusses the ways in which Christians have characterized themselves as "victims" of a small minority due to the way in which Christmas is being represented or discussed in public schools, on television, etc. It's not really about the election as much as about the intersections between the political, narrowly defined, and popular culture.

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 17, 2004 9:41 PM

Did you say white background? It's showing up as charcoal on my computer (a Mac, running Firefox). Maybe I missed something?

Posted by: New Kid on the Hallway at December 17, 2004 11:04 PM

Weird. I wonder if that's what Jonathan was talking about in his post. I don't have a Mac or Firefox (yes, I'm a bad cybercitizen), so I'll have to try to figure something out. What color is the font?

Update: Okay, apparently there is a bug that's causing my blog to show up differently in Firefox. I've been doing some digging, but these changes may take a while.

Posted by: chuck at December 17, 2004 11:08 PM

I have been hanging out at Hulaballo lately- I like itty bitty blogs better than big-uns, but usually have a favorite rotating between Hulaballo, Kos or Atrios and I read an entry about the Rich piece at Hulaballo.

I have trouble understanding the victim mentality among the high preacher Christians, seeing as how they hold enormous influence. A former friend of mine is among them. When we used to converse, he was always moaning to me about “persecution” until (towards the end of the friendship) I confronted him with the fact that his interest group was probably the most powerful in the country. He didn’t have an answer.

Posted by: Steve at December 18, 2004 5:39 AM

I know from experience that many of the fundamentalists I grew up with do have that fear of "persecution," and even someone like Falwell can turn a 10% minority (few of whom hold public office, although they might make a few movies) into persecutors.

I think my beef with the Rich piece is that he implies this claim of "victimization" is merely a part of a power grab on the part of fundamentalists, that it's not entirely sincere, but my suspicion is that it's perfectly sincere even when that "interest group" is one of the most powerful in the country (and even when someone like Falwell acknowledges that).

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 18, 2004 11:52 AM

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