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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.


I'm sorry merry, but I have to disagree with you, I don't think that deb was implying a semitic conspiracy or even prejudice to the degree you're talking about. I think at most deb is implying a lack of concern and awareness and possibly knowledge and experience all around. If you're not an observant Jew it's hard to know what those weeks are like You come out behind and exhausted and running to catch up on the million things you missed.

And honestly it's pretty easy to miss a "we are open!" post or even a "we are going to be open!" post prior to and during the weeks of the holidays. It's not a small period here, it's four long weeks or so.

If I could think of a *reason* -- which is what she asked for, a *reason* -- for the yuletide admins to deliberately arrange for signups to open on a Jewish holiday, that did not involve purposely excluding observant Jews? Maybe then I could say, okay, fair enough, a misunderstanding. As it stands, it's a blatant suggestion that the date was deliberately chosen because it's a Jewish holiday. And there's only one reason I can think of that anyone would do something like that.

And if I could think of anything that the maintainers could do, short of picking up the phone and notifying her in person, that would trump the many, MANY posts that have been made and will be made throughout the two weeks of sign-ups, I'd be all for it. elynross and astolat are doing everything they can to give people more time for signing up AND for writing; aside from moving the whole thing to July, I can't see what more they could do.

Deb's post made it sound like two people who have been knocking themselves out every day this month to do something good and fun for fandom -- and sacrificing their own real-life time for work and family to do it, for no personal gain -- have deliberately chosen to make the challenge operate when observant Jews can't.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, because that is rude at its very best and offensive at its worst.

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

I think we're reading reason the in different ways.

You said: for the yuletide admins to deliberately arrange for signups to open on a Jewish holiday,

I don't think either of us mean deliberate actions at all. I see the reason as easily being "Simply not having thought to check". To me that's as good a reason as any for the signups to end up on a jewish holiday. No one thought to check.

To me, Deb's post made it sound like two people who are very busy with this big thing forgot. And that's a perfectly valid reason, if wearying one after a while. There's a difference between carelessness and purposeful offense and Deb does describe (in one of her comments)dealing with a history of carelessness in fandom.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, because that is rude at its very best and offensive at its worst.

And some people might think it's rude not to check the calendar more carefully or try and make alternate arrangements. Or lots of other things that may or may not have happened. It's all in the POV you look at it.

I understand how you might feel like it's an attack on the mods given how much work goes into yuletide and how much criticism most things like this get, but a complaint that affects good number of people in fandom shouldn't be taken lightly. Carelessness sucks, no matter how it happens or with what intentions were behind it but nothing gets better unless people talk about it.

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.

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.

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

Look, now we're even! =)

I was trying to imply carelessness. I clearly failed in your case.

And I am aware about how much work they're doing, which is why I didn't want to take up their time for a fruitless discussion.