Metblogs Grinch of the Year Gets Grinched

It is with sincere regret and disappointment that I’m making the call to effectively cancel the “Metblogs Grinch of the Year” contest.

The final choice of Grinch is intended to be representative of the feelings of common Metblogs audience, which I don’t believe this year’s “contest” accurately depicted. Open web polling, the system I used to make the final pick , is open to “ballot stuffing,” manipulation, and even well intended campaigning.

In the case of the 2009 Grinch of the Year “contest,” it was the campaigning that did it in.

Technically speaking, Russell Brown received the most votes after being nominated by Kim Cooper, who used used multiple platforms, including her business mailing list and Facebook account to encourage people to vote for Mr. Brown as Grinch of the Year.

And, technically speaking, Kim Cooper was not violating any rules (of which there were few) of the Metblogs Grinch of the Year contest.

However, it didn’t seem that the average Metblogs reader was even aware, or had much concern, for Russell Brown’s involvement with the LA Downtown Art Walk. And a few of those aware, many of whom expressed a fondness for Kim Cooper, believed this was largely a business or personal issue between her and Mr. Brown.

In the future, with similar contests, I’ll need to consider other methods to award titles – perhaps allowing for open nominations, but leaving the final vote to Metblogs authors or choosing a panel of judges from among our readers or broader community.

Now, I’m tucking the Grinch award under my arm and keeping it myself until next year. If you have any issue with this, feel free to chide me in the comments where I’ll be enjoying my last can of Who-Hash.

38 Replies to “Metblogs Grinch of the Year Gets Grinched”

  1. Good move. I think we’re at the point now where we have to say no to the gadflies, whoosits, cranks and dum-dums that want to use our blogs as the battleground for their intra-mural warfare. Bigger fish to fry.

  2. Thank you, David, for providing a forum where the downtown community could speak freely, even if that meant logging in under multiple user names to throw mud and ire.

    When my husband Richard Schave and I volunteered to take over management of the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, we didn’t sign up to engage in a backroom power battle with people who told us to our faces that they valued the community, the arts and our service, while engaging in dirty tricks to discredit our work behind the scenes. But that’s what ended up happening, and over time, due to the backroom boys’ inability to keep their secrets, the truth has been filtering out.

    So many people were lied to, so many possibilities for healthy change were quashed, and here we are on the far side of it, with more truth on the table about the unfortunate things that have been inhibiting the healthy growth of culture in downtown Los Angeles than ever before. It means more than you know that you provided a place for some of those revelations to happen, because things really will get better as the truth comes out.

    I’m truly sorry if it meant extra work or aggravation to you because your Grinch competition became a tool in the effort to bring light to downtown. But as you point out, no rules were broken, and I merely used the same communication tools I have been using to share information about the Art Walk for many months to get the word out on what I thought was an important issue: the nomination (not by me, BTW, although I seconded it) of Russell Brown, a very uncivil individual, for Grinch of the Year. Sounds like he’s the unofficial “winner,” and so to me, he’ll always be the Metblogs Grinch of 2009.

    Happy New Year, David, and thanks again!

  3. Good call David. In that case, it seems that Kim Cooper is the true Grinch of the Year, for violating the Christmas spirit of your contest. It would be great if there was a voting tool that only lets users vote once. And perhaps all you can do is request that voters in next year’s contest not become voting tools themselves, by soliciting votes for their pick in any way, shape or form.

  4. I broke no rules, Matt, and David himself describes my lobbying as “well intended.” Folks could only vote once in this competition. Russell Brown was the winner in terms of actual individual votes, but David is absolutely within his rights to terminate the competition without declaring anyone Grinch. I’m sorry you feel compelled to insult me, but appreciate your having the courtesy to sign your name and attach your photo to the dig.

  5. Kim, I am not going to get into a pissing contest with you here. I didn’t say you broke a rule. Do not put words into my mouth. That only makes you more of a Grinch. There is often a difference between what one has the right to do, and what’s right to do. Unless one is a Grinch.

  6. Awww, you guys! The attack on Russell Brown was a witch hunt. It was a bit overly passionate and weird, but lets not meet one witch hunt with another, right? I think that will only add fuel to Ms. Kim Cooper’s fire. We do NOT like fires in Whoville.

  7. Subterfuge! Shenanigans!! I believe Kim Cooper is under some sort of mind control perpetrated by Michele Mowry, because clearly such Russell Brown subversion was secretly orchestrated by the LADOT Bike Condemninator to keep her from being named Grinch Of The Year.

  8. Imagine that. Somebody actually knows how to use resources effectively to accomplish a goal.

    Sounds like Kim should run for DLANC director.

    She couldn’t possibly do any more damage to downtown than Russel has.

  9. Good move David, though I hate to see it called off. Smart move and your explanation made it clear it was another hijacking similar to what happened a couple of years ago. Run it again with a poll that doesn’t allow multiple entries if possible would be my suggestion, that is if one exists.

  10. I just think it’s amazing that a relatively unknown political wanna-be can even compete with the likes of our Mayor.

    You go Russ, just imagine what you could accomplish with a little more practice!

    I didn’t even know Kim before this week and I have never been to this blog.

    I voted just once because that is ethical…

    How did that ethics training go Russ, you learn anything?

  11. ‘sup Stup’?

    Can I buy that Grinch off you for a charity bribe of your choice and mine? $100. Contact me by tomorrow.

  12. So, now that Kim has lost this battle she has chosen her next victim: Indie Printing. Bitchy Yelp reviews and nasty new downtown post; the opening salvo. Again, someone refuses to bow down to her and give her what she wants (for free, no less). Watch out then, she will make your internet life hell. Be careful what you say, or you will be the next victim of her wrath.

    Doublespeak is alive.

  13. No, what happened was that after initially offering to print the Art Walk maps for free for a few months (but with a big ad for their company on it), Indie Printing then proposed charging the Art Walk their actual cost for the print job (but they still wanted the big ad).

    This probably would have been okay, but they refused to provide a quote and stopped returning calls. They also had directed us redesign the black and white map in color to their specs before blowing us off, which was a big waste of time and really not appreciated.

    I’m always in the market for a good local printer, and would want to know these things before hiring someone to do a job, so it seems appropriate to tell the true story of how Indie Printing failed to provide the service they promised or to respond to repeated inquiries. Of course if you have had good experiences with them, fake, you can write your own review.

  14. Really. So rather than just dropping it, you wait 5 weeks, and then go after them in public on new downtown. Why? Can you really not just admit what we all can plainly see about you? You are a controlling bitch, and the true grinch. Get a friggin clue.

  15. I’ve been busy, but reviewing Indie Printing on Yelp was on my to-do list, and I finally got around to it in mid-December. The newdowntown post was in direct response to Frankie from Indie Printing commenting today on my Yelp review, mis-characterizing a black and white one-sheet request as “a very high priced print job” and saying that while he hadn’t wanted to work with the Art Walk under Richard’s direction, he was happily working with the NEW Art Walk now. There is no difference in the needs of the Art Walk in terms of map printing under Richard Schave’s directorship or Frankie’s pal Jay Lopez, and it’s disingenuous for him to make that claim on my Yelp review and expect it to go unchallenged.

  16. Um, maybe they did not want to work with you and Richard because of your behavior? Ever think of that? Of course, if everything is a conspiracy against you, there’s no pressure to treat people fairly. Then life is just so much simpler and everyone you don’t like gets to be the grinch. How convenient.

  17. Nope, I don’t think that was it.

    We were nothing but cordial to Frankie, and I recall laughing with him the day we went to his shop to talk about the Art Walk and how, if Indie Printing could help out for a while while funds were being raised, we’d look forward to using them as the permanent, paid printer for the event. That’s why we were so confused and disappointed when Frankie stopped returning calls and wouldn’t give us a quote.

    It’s funny, but there are only a very few people centered around 5th & Main who ever seemed to find fault in our behavior, and even then, they had to lie about what we’ve done in order to be convincing. See for example my day-by-day account of how Russell Brown (remember him?) lied for months about our work on the Art Walk in order to discredit us to the Art Walk board and gallery owners, as previously posted here at Metblogs.

    http://la.metblogs.com/2009/12/23/polls-open-vote-now-for-l-a-metblogs-grinch-of-the-year/

  18. So you say. I’ve heard both sides of the story. I believe you are lying, or at best you really believe that you are some poor victim. But there is a reason that nobody is debating you. You’re not making rational sense. And you really have no idea where the commenters are. Always the consipracy. People downtown have brains, they are not slaves to your nemesis. It’s much too easy to play the conspiracy game.

  19. Pretty much everything I have written about the Art Walk can be backed up with emails, board minutes and phone logs, and confirmed by at least two other people. It was very rare that we didn’t write things down as they happened. We began keeping copious notes due to Russell Brown’s repeatedly making false claims about our work, and that’s proven helpful in replicating the time line for the sake of the historic record. So, thanks, Russ–you are good for something after all.

  20. Yawn. This is not a court of law. You are the one who chose a chickenshit public airing of this. Your targets have not stated their case, so why should anyone believe your side of the story? Rather than deal with this privately and with maturity, we are all subjected to your angry pronouncements about how bad everyone downtown is. Well guess what? It’s boring and just makes you out to be the fool. I am done with this. No more from me.

  21. This guy Russell Brown may be a jerk, I don’t know nor do I care but this Kim Cooper is a certifiable nutcase and narcissist. She tried to peddle her story to our blog but this is nothing any of our readers would care about. I think it’s very self serving of Cooper to take a survey about PUBLIC FIGURES that anyone who reads in LA could opine on and turn it into her own personal tool to blast her enemies, of whom both they and her no one knows. Quite arrogant and indeed the height of narcissism. She should be ashamed of herself for being so selfish.

  22. Thanks for your feedback and armchair diagnoses, Michael. There are 1,830 hits for the term “neighborhood council” on your blog and five for “Russell Brown,” but if you don’t think your readers (which include me) would be interested in the story of how the President of DLANC abuses his power, you know them better than I do, and I defer to your opinion.

  23. Kim, do things seem a bit murky right now? Let me give you a little Monday morning quarterbacking. This may clear your troubled mind.

    After the dismissal you started a campaign of revenge by attacking Russ Brown. That was a good move. Nobody really likes Russ. He’s only tolerated because he gets things done and someone has to do them. You scored points by going after him.

    Then you were distracted by an email and went after Bert Green. That was a mistake. You shifted your focus from a more favorable strategy to attacking the actual founder of Art Walk. Plus, people who know him really like Bert.

    You then tried to regroup by coming to this blog and nominating Russ Brown for Grinch of the Year. Alas, your letter in support of the award was wordy and made you look sullen, inept and confused. People began looking at you in a different light.

    Then your two biggest-name supporters–Julie Rico and Don Noyes-More–were examined along with you and a whole can of worms was unleashed. Adding to this personally was Don Noyes-More, who dropped a distracting drama bombshell on newdowntown. Suddenly Russ was forgotten and no one cared who received the Grinch award.

    Newcomer to Downtown called it a mud fight. Well, duh! It became a slug fest with you vs. fake names and me. No person received the award (partly because of that unseemly brawl) and your strategy here then failed.

    Now you’re trying to make up lost yardage by going after a printing company. A printing company? Kim, you’re backed up to the goal post. No one cares about that and no one cares about you anymore either. Downtown has a limited attention span and you’re no longer flavor of the month.

    Your game plan lost its focus; you lost the revenge game. That–along with many other things–makes you a loser, Kim, a sad and sorry loser.

    Please take this advice: dig a hole and crawl into it. Your reputation, dignity and game plan are in shreds. Dig a hole and hide away in the dirt for a long, long time. Maybe then you’ll sprout back up as something new and better.

    Bottle Rocket<<

  24. Nope, anonymous person on the internet who cares way too much about what I say, that’s not the way this happened, and it’s not the way anyone but you and your anonymous pals will spin it. I also don’t agree with your literary criticism, which is more about your dislike of my message than any actual content of my writing. But thanks for your insight.

    I do think it’s fascinating that of the dozens of well known downtown gallery owners, business owners, bloggers and tweeters, how few people have felt compelled to enter this discussion under their own name to comment, defend or critique anyone at all.

    That speaks both to the culture of fear and intimidation in the community, and to the fact that very few people really understand or care about what’s happening on DLANC, its Arts Committee and on the Art Walk board.

    But all those entities are actively contributing to making the downtown and the Art Walk that we all will have to live with in the coming months, and I believe that more people should be empowered to speak, participate and simply to understand what these bodies do.

    And the anonymous commenters obviously don’t believe that. So we’ll have to agree to disagree about where this community is going and that it will be a better downtown when more people feel safe to log into community blogs under their real names and say what they think about the actions and policies of their self-styled leaders.

    As of this last day of the two-thousand-oughts, when they do, they can look forward to the lovely treatment that you and your anonymous friends have given me and others who have stood up behind their real names to say what they think.

    Until the community refuses to accept the anonymous smears and backroom bullying, this is the downtown we get to live in. It’s not such a hospitable place at the moment, but I think we all know that it could be incredible.

    Let’s all work together to make it so in 2010.

    A good start for dealing with this online identity crisis is here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_metric

  25. Yes, it’s a true account, Kim. For you it’s sad but true. You had a fatal flaw and tumbled because of it.

    You really seem to want to have the last word this year, so you’d best stay close to your computer. Fake names and I will challenge you on this.

    Let’s not work together, Kim. You just go away and we’ll figure things out without you.

  26. Not only is Bottle’s description accurate, Kim’s idea that the other gallery owners are keeping quiet is wrong. They have been speaking up, just not here, because they are afraid to become your next public target. The only one chilling debate is you (as Don Noyes-More has been doing for years downtown). Now, Indie Printing is being persecuted — proof! Who needs this crap? Most people are too busy with their own lives.

  27. Here’s further proof of my theory about Kim’s fatal flaw—the reply to Kim from Frankie of Indie Press:

    “Not only did you choose to bash us on
    Yelp rather than call or e-mail me directly to inform me that you had a
    problem. You chose to do so after your affiliation with Artwalk had run
    out, and seem to purposely pick public forums to bring attention to you
    and your “conspiracy theory.”

    I assure you that there was no intention to sabotage any relationships you
    had, or were a part of with the Downtown Artwalk. In fact, I had no idea
    there was any problems with you or anyone else until YOU publicly made it
    know on this New Downtown Yahoo forum.”

    Poor Kim just can’t keep her eye on the ball and she just can’t shut up. It’s her fatal flaw and it will continue to do her in.

  28. I’m tired of the unproductive vitriol here. Comment sections are for adult discussion, not mudslinging. These comments will be closed. And Will, watch that cat: he’s hell-bent on trouble.

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