Going overboard.

Dictionary.com tells us that rococo is:
as a noun: A style of art, especially architecture and decorative art, that originated in France in the early 18th century and is marked by elaborate ornamentation, as with a profusion of scrolls, foliage, and animal forms.

and as an adjective: Immoderately elaborate or complicated.
Today's usage is, without a doubt, along those lines. It basically denotes a situation in which the decoration dominates the cake, in which it's hard to find the clothing underneath the overly elaborate frill. That may not be a fully legitimate usage. Wikipedia tells us that:
in contrast to the heavier themes and darker colors of the Baroque, the Rococo was characterized by an opulence, grace, playfulness, and lightness
suggesting that the over-the-top connotations in today's usage aren't necessarily an integral part of its original meaning. But in today's terms, the 1959 Cadillac is certainly a good representative of rococo design. As are, sometimes at least, these columns. I've often referred to this as the cherry on the topping of the cake style of embellishing a column (referred to, in various different contexts, and with differing degrees of commitment, here, here and here, for instance).

This isn't exactly the same as what might be called the forest for the trees problem, a similar, but not identical sort of corner into which I sometimes paint myself. In this particular predicament, a plethora of links prevents me from remembering just what the main text originally sought to convey. That danger is, for me at least, much more real that the rather banal problem of not being able to find one's way back to the main text. What's more, getting lost is often an art form unto itself that one has to learn to do right. As I wrote over six years ago,
Today, links are used primarily as road signs: click here if you want to know about..., and here if you need.... They keep you found, when what I really love most is getting lost.
And almost six years ago I noted that:
one of the most enjoyable internet based activities I can think of is getting lost while searching for something, discovering at some point along the line that I've found something much more interesting that wasn't at all what I was originally looking for.
True, sometimes all we're getting to is that proverbial cherry on top of the whipped cream that sits on the cake. Not some earth shattering observation, but instead simply a frivolous decoration. But sometimes, when observed in the right light, when it gets its own fifteen minutes of fame, there's something to be said for that cherry.

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