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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Maybe I'm paranoid?

Was there a reason that the sign-ups for Yuletide were announced on a Jewish holiday?

Seriously - it was hree days ago. If someone on my flist hadn't said something this morning, I'd never have known. Add to that the fact that nominations were done during the week of Yom Kippur and Sukkot, so I had NO time to do it.

A girl could get a complex.


Leaving out different interpretations of Deb's post, which I don't think we're going to change each other's minds about, what exactly are the Yuletide maintainers supposed to change?

Wikipedia and Google tell me there are no Jewish holidays between October 5 and December 5 this year.

Signups began on October 5, and will run for two weeks during which there don't seem to be any conflicting holidays.

Frequent reminders and updates about sign-ups will be posted throughout those two weeks, just in case anybody missed the opening announcement.

In what way have they been careless or insensitive or rude? How will this time-frame negatively impact anyone? There is absolutely no gain in signing up for Yuletide on the first day, or even the day after. Or at any point before sign-ups close.

So where's the carelessness and rudeness?

On they surface yeah, it seems like nothing but a minor inconvenience, but years of minor inconvenience can certainly add up. I can also see how it might seem odd that someone might seriously start to feel like they're getting a complex. It's really more like the straw that broke the camel's back. I can see a bit of overreaction, but contextually it makes sense. Deb complained about how it made her feel more than anything else. Someone made a decision that made her (and probably others) feel left out. Again. Justified? Reasonable? Well. It's hard to tell.

I think it's the nature of the holiday that it landed on, we're talking about a day on which observant jews won't turn on their computer (No computer no writing, no electricity no driving, etc), it's hard to time and again have things start during a time when you can't choose to be a part of them or not. It doesn't matter that signing up on that day or another makes no difference, what matters is the choice was removed. Beyond that, it's the end of a period of four weeks where observant jews might be struggling to do a lot of things, such as remain in contact and up to date with everything they wish to.

Personally, there's also a sense of "Well if they just barely missed the holidays this time, god knows when it could land next time." Even as much as two days earlier could have cut as much as 3 or 4 days out of the signup period. A week earlier and it'd be more like 6 or 7. I don't think anything major needs to be done, maybe a quick perusal of the jewish calendar would cover it. I know back when I was more observant things that simply started/happened on Saturdays started to bug me. It happens a lot, Merry. I know I used to COUNT on the major secular events in my life hitting at least one jewish holiday, especially in the fall. Let's face it, if the original picked date had turned out to be a major convention weekend, there would have been talk of shifting the dates.

On they surface yeah, it seems like nothing but a minor inconvenience

It doesn't seem like a minor inconvenience, though. It doesn't seem like any inconvenience at all. It isn't any inconvenience. There are fourteen days in which to sign up, and on one of them, if you're an observant Jew, you can't. That leaves thirteen days.

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. I can understand if it were somehow actually preventing observant Jews from signing up, or if it were somehow "cool" to sign up on the first day, but people have been posting about signing up every day since it started. I didn't sign up till Sunday. Fifty new people sign up every day.

Nobody has been disenfranchised. Certainly not intentionally, and as far as I can see not even unintentionally. No one - NO one - has been prevented from signing up. That's the bottom line. Stipulating that the maintainers have a responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of people of faith, they have fulfilled that responsibility by making sign-ups a two-week window with many, many, many days that do not fall on any holy day at all.

And that is the only responsibility they have. They're not responsible for people worrying about what might happen next year. They're not responsible for how anyone has been treated by other people in the past. They're only responsible for treating people fairly, which by any measure they have clearly done with the two-week window.

And they're certainly not responsible for making sure that sign-ups don't fall on non-holy-days when people might be tired or busy.

I mean - everybody makes choices. On non-holy days people can sleep, or recover, or visit people -- or read LJ and sign up for Yuletide. If that's not one of their priorities, that's on them -- not the Yuletide admins or anybody else. On days when God isn't running people's lives, they have to set their own priorities and live with them.

There's a line between respectful accommodation and catering, and when you say "this day isn't holy, but I'll probably be busy and/or tired from the holidays so don't do anything on this day either" you're asking them to cater to your wishes rather than accommodate your needs. And I think that's too much to ask, no matter what the reason.

Ami, if you want to continue this conversation, I'm happy to do it, but I'd rather take it to email. I feel weird going on endlessly in a journal that doesn't belong to either of us. (And I didn't take your snooty Rodney icon personally! =)

Merryish, you want to be tolerant of other religions. Doesn't that start with educating yourself about the other religions?

They are not minor things - a big dinner and maybe gifts. They're marathon sessions in synagogue (normal Shabbat sevices are three hours. Holiday services can be two or three times that, and that's because my synagogue tends to do things on the short side.) They're two big meals a day, preferably made in advance, and preferably with company. (Fortunately, that also means we had our share of being company, so I didn't have to cook all the meals. Instead, I just had to be a good guest.) They're building and unbuilding a small shack. And, in my case, the most joyous day of the year is also the anniversary of my father's death, so they're also an emotional rollercoaster.

I love them. I love the spiritual closeness and the community feeling I get. I love my sukkah, I love watching the dancing on Simchat Torah, even if I rarely feel like joining in. I wouldn't give them up for anything at all, let alone a ficathon.

But you don't care about this. You only care that I expressed anger and frustration that something that could have been truly announced in advance or moved *two days* was not.

You only care that I expressed anger and frustration that something that could have been truly announced in advance or moved *two days* was not.

No, I care that your anger and frustration were expressed via implying that two people I know and care about chose the date for sign-ups to start because it's a Jewish holiday. I hear you saying that wasn't your intention, but that's how it came across.

They are not minor things - a big dinner and maybe gifts.

Wow. I'm just gonna pass that right on by.

I think it's great that you're so involved in your faith and that this is such a great time for you; I do. I also think it's great that the yuletide admins have made sign-ups cover a two week period during which there are 13 holiday-free days so everyone who wants to sign up can. I think it's great that there will be reminders and announcements throughout the sign-up period just so nobody misses it.

I don't get why 13 holiday-free sign-up days are not enough for you. I don't get why you'd prefer that everybody have two fewer writing days just so you can have 14 days during which to sign up instead of 13.

And I don't think I'm ever going to. So, I apologize for disturbing the peace in your LJ; I'll bow out now, and save us both further time and effort. I hope the rest of your holidays this year are hassle-free.

I'm sorry, I just don't see that in MamaDeb's post. She asked "is there a reason" that the signup announcement coincided with the Jewish holidays". She did not actually accuse, explicitly or implicitly, that anyone deliberately scheduled these things to conflict with the Jewish holidays. She simply expressed frustration that they DID conflict.

I think it was perhaps more frustrating that the nominations period was a) very short, and b) coincided entirely with the Jewish holidays (the signups period runs for a further two weeks beyond the end of the holiday period, so it shouldn't be such a problem).

Some have stated that the opening of the narrow nominations window (one week) was adequately announced. I checked back in bothe the yuletide and yuletide_admin communities. In yuletide, there was a notice on 11 September that the nominations wouldn't open for "a while yet", making it sound like they were a long time off. They opened on 19 September, with no advance warning, and ran for seven days.

It seems to me that the schedule for these things should be worked out farther in advance, particularly since so many people are involved. There was one announcement of the opening of the one-week window, then an announcement that it was closed. If someone goes away, for work, or for family, or for illness, and missed the announcement of the opening, that's it - they do not get to participate in the nominations process.

For something with such a narrow window of opportunity, there should be better notification. It should be announced, on a website, or a faq, or some such permanent location (rather than a post which disappears off your friends page in a day or so), that the nominations will begin on such and such a day, and run for so long, *several weeks in advance*, so that everyone can see the date and know when to participate.

At the very least, to keep the process known, each day of the brief nominations period, a notice should be posted in yuletide that "the nominations are continuing until next Tuesday, get your cards and letters in early" or some such.

I realize it's too late for this year, but perhaps the organizers can implement some better notification scheme next year.

I was taken by surprise when the Nominatons period ended, since I never could find a big enough block during that week to make them, but that was not it. (I wouldn't have minded an acknowledgment that this is a busy time of year for some people, but that's when they believed was best to schedule it, but that's about it.)

No, it really was that I'd found out about this important item because someone happened to mention it.

And I think I know why I was bothered. It's because one of my holidays, one of the most joyous times of the year, was not only treated as trivial and ignorable, but also done so in service to a holiday not in my religion.

For something with such a narrow window of opportunity, there should be better notification.

For folks who suspect that they will be away from their ever-scrolling flists during the autumn who want to keep aware of notifications for any holiday fic exchanges, LJ's features allow you to set up special email notifications of posts made in certain communities, or with certain subject lines or tags in certain communities.

If you think you might miss something because your flist has scrolled more than you can keep up with because you're away from the internet for any reason, a bit of prior planning to set up those email notifications can ensure that when you do get back online, you find them in your inbox.


Personally, I have a subscription set up so that any time a post is made in the yuletide_admin community, I get an email.

There are no excuses. I'm very sorry for implying what I did about religious Christmas observance, and I will do my best to not do so again.

And they're certainly not responsible for making sure that sign-ups don't fall on non-holy-days when people might be tired or busy.

So... would you post announcements like this on Easter? Or, to be a little more accurate, anytime between Christmas and New Years?

Absolutely I would. Or rather, I'm not one of the maintainers, but I wouldn't mind if they did.

I mean, think about it - the actual stories go live around midnight on Christmas Eve, when 95% of all observant Christians are engaged in one or more of the following:

a) visiting or being visited by multitudes of relatives
b) Attending church
c) Just finishing their single most important holiday celebration
d) Sleeping in preparation for phase 2 of their single most important holiday celebration

Do you think none of them wish they had the time/energy/opportunity to be waiting online for the stories to go live? During the period from Christmas to Yuletide, people are leaving feedback and getting feedback and posting anonymous recs and getting anonymous recs -- the most fun part of the whole process! And people who really throw themselves into the holiday, who visit family during that time or host family for the holidays, don't get to participate in that as much as other people.

Nobody gets to be happy and accomodated 100% of the time. It's just not feasible.

Unfortunately, you've hit upon one of the differences between the two religions, and why I hesitated about using that as an example -- most Christian holidays do not have a prohibition about doing anything 'work' related, or a fairly strict idea about what ‘resting’ should consist of.

Observant Jews do not use a computer when they are being observant. It's one of the ways they are observant. So your assertion that there are family and friends to deal with, and Mass to attend, it doesn't have quite the same kind of ... weightiness? I guess? that the High Holy days have for Jews.

That puts it, to me, in a slightly different category. This isn't just dealing with a few hours away, or a family that wants attention. It is much more than that.

Nobody gets to be happy and accommodated 100% of the time. It's just not feasible.

Nobody is saying they should. But there's deciding that certain compromises are not feasible, due to other realities, and then there's just not caring when someone points out a problem to you.

I mean, think about it - the actual stories go live around midnight on Christmas Eve, when 95% of all observant Christians are engaged in one or more of the following:

Frankly? That's irrelevant -- it is the nature of the ficathon that it be done on Yuletide. Therefore, everybody knows what they're getting into when they sign up for it. They'll make accommodations or not, based on their own lives.

My suggestion of the time between Christmas and New Years was because that's traditionally when people are sporadic about reading LJ, as they are busy with family and holidays and vacations. If you were to post only two reminders of an upcoming ficathon say, December 25th and then Jan 1st I bet a lot of people would be understandably surprised and a little annoyed when sign ups for something they know nothing about are suddenly announced.

But, fine. You claim that the realities of holidays don't bother you. Fine. I completely disagree with you, but that's okay. I can disagree with you.

I will, however, ask that next time you disagree with someone, can you please not manage to belittle her religion at the same time? I get that you probably didn't mean to. No, seriously, I do. You were angry and reacted that way. But I, as an observer who frankly doesn't give a damn about Yuletide, found your post to be as close as antisemitic as I ever want to see in someone I like and respect.

And I never use that word lightly.

Can you point out to me the part where I was belittling her religion? Because if I did, I want to apologize, but also if I did, I'm unaware of it.


You didn't. When all else fails, shutting up the person you disagree with cries of "You're mean and antisemitic, wahhhh!" is obviously the last card in her hand.

As a Jew, I know there are people in my community... hell, in my family... who can pull that very act off flawlessly. It pisses me off to no end, because it's essentially crying wolf when there's no need. It makes legitimate accusations of antisemitism look more suspect to the public at large, and thus, more likely to be ignored.

Shame on the people who do this. You're doing us no fucking favours.

Hi, nonymouse! I explain why I think that -- and nobody has to agree, as I'm not trying to make Merry defend herself, just explain why I was so uncomfortable with her comments (the way I wasn't with (almost) anybody else's response) -- you can check out my journal.

And I don't think she's antisemitic. I think some of her rhetoric got pretty close, that's all.

ladycat777 used the word "most", so she's not ignoring your existence, although I can understand how it can feel that way.

And you're still missing the point. It's not the length of time given for the sign-ups - if it hadn't been the holiday season, I still would have had Shabbat. And I wouldn't have cared, anymore than members of your church would have cared. I was bothered because a major announcement was made far enough back that I wouldn't have found out except that it was mentioned on my flist, and since there was almost no warning beforehand, I wouldn't have thought to check.

You're right -- I did. That wasn't my intent, but that's sure as hell what came out, and I'm sorry for it.

Hi, I find this description of your holiday celebrations fascinating. My knowledge of Christian denominations is also limited, unfortunately. What denomination are you?

eta - bah. I put the wrong emphasis on this line: I completely disagree with you. Was supposed to be taken out completely, because I really honestly have no problem disagreeing with you :)

It didn't seem like you did. =)

OMG random icon generator! I did not pick Rodney's snooty face for that comment!

Look, now we're even! =)