Who, as we all know from cleolinda
's immortal prose
, gives zero fucks.
I admit that the last few months of general doom and gloom posts about the state of the OTW from various quarters have generally left me non-plussed. From my vantage point on Internationalization and Outreach, I have been, and remain, cautiously optimistic for most of this term. (On the other hand, I think every single one of my friends and family members has heard me rant about the OTW at some point by now, usually with alcohol involved. I prefer to rant rather than stew.) So the "everything is terrible!" posts have often put me into a loop of silent panic that goes something like this: what don't I know that other people do? Am I just that out of touch and isolated? IS THIS A SIGN?
Having just completed something of an ad-hoc second quarter review with my committee members, though, and having found it to be fairly successful (reach, grasp, etc, but I don't need heaven anyway, I would just like a few specific features and changes, yesterday
), tonight I am thinking that regardless of whether the fact that my phlegmatic perspective is a sign of I&O's isolation, my perspective is still valid.
So, yeah, these thoughts have been inspired by this post
, and while I highly doubt I have any readers who would do this, let me say: please don't go over there and bother the OP, who is entitled to her thoughts. I'm curious, though, by way of the Board expansion, how not
doing anything to solve a purported "much deeper and more fundamental problem" will solve said alleged problem. I would also like to say, in response to this paragraph:
I'll admit flat-out that the only part of the OTW I personally interact with / use is the AO3. Apparently this makes me a horrible person in the eyes of the OTW. But we have so many other projects! Great. Still rarely giving any shits. I wish I could! I really try to give shits about their other stuff. It sounds really cool! I think it's awesome that they have these big other projects underneath their umbrella! I just don't have as much of a use for the other ones, personally. To me, the AO3 is the most important and the most valuable. Sorry guys.
As a committee chair, no, only using the AO3 does not make you a horrible person as far as I'm concerned. I don't care if people only use the AO3. No one should feel guilty for only using the AO3. I care whether people a) know about the OTW's projects besides the AO3 and b) whether the OTW itself values its other projects besides the AO3. As for the rest, be like Loki and do what you want!
I am beginning to have a weird perspective on the OTW's staffing issues too. To make it clear: in the past five weeks I have met a whole slew of OTW people on two continents including current Chairs, former Board members, workgroup leaders, and blog writers, and I have treasured all of those opportunities. The OTW has a lot of awesome people working for it, let me tell you. On the other hand, I have so many current friends and former colleagues whose involvement with the OTW ended immensely painfully for them, and as much as I am glad they did what they had to do I am angry that the Org could not preserve them, for its own sake and for theirs.
But you know, it's okay to not be an OTW volunteer. Being a volunteer or a staffer is a lot of work, and to be frank, I suspect it always will be a lot of work. Nor do I resent people who don't want to take that on in the first place, or who find, for whatever reason, that it's become too much. I am not trying to guilt you for either of those responses! Your guilt does nothing productive for anyone. Self-preservation should come first, and you are the best judge of that for yourself, not me or anyone else. And yes, I have spent all of my time on I&O (except for my initial forays on Translation and my recently concluded stint as a tag wrangler), and there are committees you could not pay me to serve on or chair, even if hell freezes over, the Eagles win the Super Bowl, and everything about them were changed to match exactly my own personal thoughts on how they should be run. And no, I"m not telling.
One common response I get to my aforementioned in-person rants is "Why do you put up with this?" or "Why are you still involved?" The only answer I have is that, by whatever quirk of brain chemistry, personality, or fate, I haven't hit the bottom of my capacity to deal with crap and keep working, at least not yet. And I believe in the OTW. I believe in the OTW despite everything, despite the fact that I don't think the OTW can or should try to be all things to all parts of fandom (NB: I don't find that statement to be in conflict with the basic mission of I&O).
I am invested in the OTW, and that's me, and I could give you a whole list of reasons why but they would all boil down to a sob story seasoned with my own cussedness and the fact that I am good at what I do and I know it and also I love us and what we have done like burning and finally despite everything I still find the bargain I make with my commitment to be, personally, worthwhile. I am better placed on the inside than on the outside, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
We can be better, and we should, but that is as much for our own sake as for anyone else's.