The Carnival of the Vanities has its 100th episode today. If you can find a link to it, check it out. Since I'm usually in it and usually link to it, I decided it was important to explain why I'm not doing so this time, even with such an important anniversary. I will say this: if I had been in it, I would have linked to it. If you want more details, read on.
I feel torn. I don't normally link to any carnivals that I'm not in, and I'm not in this one. Yet it's an anniversary week for it. Still, I'm not in it and not for complete lack of trying. I did submit an entry. It got rejected, presumably because it was an hour and 22 minutes late. I did explain to the host why it was an hour and 22 minutes late, and I think I've got a good enough reason to count as a real excuse, especially given that the host understands such circumstances. Still, it's the host's prerogative whether to see the deadline as an absolute cutoff or a mere incentive to get people to submit early enough to do a better job of completing the carnival earlier. Apparently this host takes the former view. Should someone who has taken the latter view get upset?
I worked hard to include seven late entries to today's Christian Carnival (one which wasn't even sent to the right person), though I had no obligation to include any of them, especially the ones that were 3-5 hours late. I just think each entry is worth having, even if the person submitting it made it harder for the person putting it together. My concern is the final product, not the enforcing of rules. I had to rework some of my scheme to accomodate late entries, though more entries allowed me to include more of the Kansas material for my theme, so on one level I welcomed the extra work even though it was exhausting, which is why I won't host a carnival while I'm teaching. I don't think I had an absolute obligation to the people who submitted them late, but I think it's the right thing to do for the sake of a better carnival. I also think it's the nice thing to do, since it seems mean to me to turn someone down for being an hour and a half late. It also makes friends by being nice to people, which encourages their own gratefulness. I think it's wrong to expect your post to get accepted if it violates a deadline, so I therefore shouldn't expect my own posts to get accepted when they're late, and I shouldn't therefore complain. Still, that's consistent with thinking that it's mean to abide by a deadline absolutely and thus turn down all late entries. I don't think it would be unjust even to accept some late entries and not others. It would be unfair but not unjust. It's just not something I would consider to be very nice of myself if I were to do it.
Now here's the story of my submission to this week's CotV. I was working all day yesterday into late last night on the Christian Carnival (which I still had to continue most of the day today, partly due to late entries that I insisted on including -- the very reason I set a 9pm deadline, so I wouldn't be working all day on it for two whole days). I therefore didn't remember the CotV until the deadline was about an hour past. I then submitted my entry with an explanation of why it was late, something I expected the host might sympathize with. Now as I've said, I think it's the host's prerogative whether to include late entries, even ones only an hour-and-a-half late, as mine was (I received one and included it even though it was almost five and a half hours late), and this host didn't include mine, apparently having a different view on what to do about late entries. Now I shouldn't have a problem with that, since I believe it to be the host's prerogative.
It especially hurts given that it's an anniversary week and will get lots of attention, but that's purely selfish and something I shouldn't expect the host to extend extra grace about. Is it that the host is a former host of the Christian Carnival who knows what it's like to put a lot of work into hosting a Carnival, as this is at least his second time hosting one of these things? That seems to be part of it. Someone who knows what it's like to get easily absorbed into doing this sort of thing well and forget about other things that aren't immediately urgent until they're past has not extended to me the grace that I would extend to someone else in the same circumstances (and indeed have extended to others in much less serious circumstances, at least as far as I can tell). So is it that my own conviction on how I should behave has become a general expectation on others' behavior?
I'm not sure, but that's my tentative explanation. I don't think it should be such an expectation, though. Should it lead to an evaluation? Probably not. As I said, it's the host's prerogative. He hasn't broken any obligations, but it doesn't fit with what I consider to be nice when I consider myself in the same situation, as I was at exactly the same time with a different carnival. On the other hand, it's my prerogative whether to link to a carnival that I'm not in, and I don't generally link to carnivals that I'm not in. I'm not linking to this one. A quick glance tells me he seems to have put a lot of work into it, so do check it out if you can find someone else who will link to it, and there should be plenty of them. I'm not going to give you any help with that, though. It's not so much that I'm mad and think I'm hurting the host. One little link not received that he might otherwise have received isn't a big deal. It's that I haven't been given the motivation to link to him, which I would have had with immense gratefulness if he had included my post. Being nice sometimes makes people happy and makes them nicer to you. That didn't happen in this case, and I haven't been made grateful and desirous of being nice back. I probably wouldn't have given a link anyway if I hadn't sent anything in to begin with, so it's not as if I'm doing something bad back. I'm simply not doing what I would have done had my post been in it. The only extra thing I've done that I wouldn't have done in that case is to take you through this tortured reasoning if you somehow have made it through this whole thing, in which case I feel sorry for you.