Saturday, December 26, 2009

The 2009 Dookie Awards

As we wind up another year in the local blogosphere it is time once again to toss tomatoes and accolades at the best and the worst of the local blog scene in 2009. This tradition began back in December of 2006 by HoCo Hayduke and was picked up by Tales of Two Cities last year when Hayduke retired from blogging. In honor of the founder, they shall henceforth be known as the Dookies.

There are no rules here. Anyone can nominate and all are encouraged to do so.

To get things started the following are the Tales of Two Cities nominees for the 2009 Dookies:

The China Syndrome Award goes to Jack Cole and the Columbia Blog Project. “The Gonzo Journalist last posted in July saying he was off to Shanghai for 16 days and that he’d post again upon his return. “I’ll be back,” he wrote.

He hasn’t been heard of since.

The Smoothie Queen Award goes to JessieX. Who knew that you could make a smoothie out of sweet potatoes and apple puree or beets and beef?

The hands on favorite for the What’s for Dinner Award is HowChow. From 186 posts in 2008 to almost 400 so far this year, Brent has chronicled the local eating scene from Afghan to West African cuisine.

The Urban Art award goes out to Free Market for his posts about the Centennial Park Skate Spot. FM was all over this story a good two months before it was picked up by Explore Howard.

There are two nominees for the Blog of Few Words Award., a newcomer to the local blogosphere, rarely posts more than a sentence or two, and sometimes not even that. County Councilperson Jen Terrasa, started a blog back in June. She’s posted ten times since. Are things that slow in District 3?

The “What’s He Smoking Award” goes to Columbia Maryland’s Future. I’m not sure whether Spence wants to be taken seriously or if this is some attempt at real estate satire. For his sake I’m hoping it’s the latter.

And no blog awards would be complete without an award for the blog commenter’s. Tales of Two Cities is fortunate to have a healthy band of regular commenter’s such as Bob O, HH, Young at Heart, PZGURU and of course Anonymous. Still, we pale in comparison to the number of commenter’s on the Hedgehog Report.

And finally, I fully expect that this blog will once again receive a nomination for the Pompous A$$ Award. While I am honored I also think y’all can do better than that.

And with that, I now turn the program for the 2009 Dookie Awards over to you….

Let er rip!


Anonymous said...

Annual Blogger Roast

A new award for Howard bloggers is presented this year and termed the Farmer award for evoking images of mucking out a stall. The awardee wants the poop, the whole poop, and nothing but the poop. That is, if poop is equal to scoop (rather than muck raking). This year’s recipient is not only a pseudo-farming actual attorney but he’s a patriot who rejects party nonsense thereby and heretofore putting his country above party, whereas and hitherfrom. Needs to post more often but don’t miss this true conservative and our own local blogger: Hocorising. Hocorising link

The second blogger gets the annual award for pomposiousness combined with exhaustive predictability as if shadow boxing with an illusory opponent believed to be real. No opponents exist for this elitist, so well connected to the inner circle of string pullers in Howard County is he. One can only hope that inner circle correlates to The Inferno definition. Settle down, guy. No one is going to make you rub elbows with the commoners (thank God this will preclude you from ever running for office). Takes a hit for na├»ve interpretation of unique site hits, but hey, denial can be quite useful for one’s confidence, apparently. Tale[s] of Two Cities. (Sniff.)

The third blogger gets the annual award for swallowing an elephant and choking on a flea. As the resident Libertarian, he repeatedly decries the threat to obscure tanning bed rights for teenagers but barely scratches the surface of controversy ranging from corporate bailouts upending Capitalism to county offices bought and sold to the highest bidder which is the actual basis for rights infractions expected to drive a true Libertarian mad. Might be too short a trip for Hocofreemarket. HocoFreeMarket link

The fourth blogger is not a member of the inner circle and as such is clearly a blog to read. He’s the most innocuous because the noisy bloggers pretend to ignore his existence, even while the boisterous bloggers proclaim embracing brotherhood and sisterhood of the blogosphere (what an ugly word, blogosphere) with much back slapping evoking images of animated hyenas. His existence points out the hypocrisy of bloggers, excepting this one. Columbiafuture.blogspot. ColumbiaFuture’s link

Sock in the Pants is still among us, magically boosting hits while posting semi-monthly. And though he cannot be named due to fear of retaliatory lawsuits, in Johnsonesque manner it might be interesting to hear him deny he has a sock in the pants.

On the more consistently liberal side, we have Howard County Blogger at blogspot. He started out a civil mild mannered sort but after his election to Columbia Assn (that’s association, not assassin), he has become a tad reactionary when faced with opposition. One wonders what happened to the oft cited liberal notion of free speech. Open dialogue and dissention were once the cornerstones of a working democracy supported by liberals, but now these same ideals are viewed with distain as Columbia-ites seek to silence conservative voices (which are, admittedly, quite loud on the internet) and go so far as to make front page news for attempts to remove Fox News from CA Gym televisions. Yike. Howard Blog Link

Anonymous said...

The most disappointing are the youngsters who showed promise initially and then burned out too quickly after some dissention in the Howard Internet Community (HIC includes readerships). Expect to lose younger bloggers to parenthood, county offices, and kindergarten. Need skin grafts for thickening: Choose Hostility (had substance), and Columbia Blog Project (goofing). Choose Hostility link , Columbia Blog Project link

Homeland Columbia, er, that may be Hometown Columbia gets the award for the most self-aggrandizing and anti-anonymous crusade by a blogger. She started off as a self proclaimed “Goddess” and actually moved upward to Universal Knows Every-stinking-thing. She holds nothing back regarding the stupid people over age 47 and ¾ as she is 47 and ½. Woman, you’re old enough to be a grandmother, for goodness sake. This blogger has all the democratic and constitutional bent and vision of a totalitarian regime wherein no opinion that varies from hers is worth voicing much less reading. As a result of her position there’s no deliberation, no dissention (by design), and no interest. Grudgingly she gets the tiniest gold star for pointing recluses to Gnarles Barkley (but that may have been 2008 anyway).

The Howard County Blog Roast would not be complete without the mention of our most mature and most committed blog. Though it’s the blogger’s readers who should be committed, he remains and maintains after having gone national. This year he takes his annual hit not only on his environmental blinders, but also for placing party above country. Just the same, respected for his contribution and read by tens of thousands of truly unique visitors, (thankfully, there’s only one of each). Hedgehog Report. Hedgehog Report link

Please have your own thick skin and backbone.

Anonymous said...

After this disastrous year where a populist wave of tsunami proportions threatens to teeter the towering incumbencies, readers grasp the value of a longer memory and are chomping at the bit for meaningful, rich, uncensored discussion, aka free speech:

1) Our entire county council signed a poison pen anti-citizen and pro-developer letter in support of the same developer who hid carcinogenic chemical contamination in Turf Valley. The letter was proudly posted during 2009 on the developer’s website. Looks like the voters were poisoned twice; first by the developer and then by the council letter. Kinda like shooting a dead horse. Stop already.
2) Kings and Queens at the County Board of Elections unilaterally determined that only particular folks are held to the letter of the law, and others enjoy a different spirit of the law (influenced possibly by overindulgence in spirits of an ethanol nature while making this inexplicable decision). To the surprise of no one, a pro-certain-business judge upheld the anti-voter decision. Lesson: Don’t underestimate the selectivity of enforcing law meted out by the unaccountable.
3) Fundraising at wild proportions promises to bring a flurry of back slapping if elections are once again bought. Some council members will only release information on the list of purchasers, er, contributors when legally forced to do so, known as playing ‘Ball’. Decisions are linked to money; anyone on the ‘Ball’ realizes this. Ball, Ulman, whatever.
4) GGP went bankrupt and yet doled out $47 million in pay bonuses to the people who performed. What they performed is in question. When they performed it is also in question. And what they were wearing is in question. Now county taxpayers will bail out GGP by providing the vast infrastructure that GGP increase in land value requires, thanks again to our incumbent Howard council.
5) Local government continued to empty out the village centers, neutralizing the concept of getting cars off the streets by approving all sorts of mega stores including Walgreens. Hey, that’s ok! Except, when it comes to empty village centers just stop acting surprised. It looks dishonest.
6) Several more dogs were shot while running away from police officers, crushing family members who will never erase those images from memory, defining the life of a loyal pet by an untimely and violent demise. We stand arrogantly, contemptuously, and ominously damned in the face of Ghandi’s statement, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
7) Our local departments continue to malfunction at epic proportions. Social Services should be gutted, or renamed Social Disservice. Lawyers with close ties to hyper litigious land developers are elevated to judgeships. Our Ombudsman fights with county residents. A small but recognized activist organization announces that the reigning crown of the Howard Dept of Planning and Zoning has a more important voice than citizens, prompting some to research the viability of a referendum on the activist.
8) Howard County purportedly overflowed raw sewage into upstream bay waterways – that’s right – in 2009, not 1969. Yet our elected officials rubber stamp every major residential development that buys another 4 years of highly odorous campaign propaganda.
9) Far removed from the stench of rotting infrastructure, it was a great year for the Chamber of Commerce who celebrated (pimped?) with incumbents (working gals?) in grand style (no johns allowed, insiders only). Take note of attendees, shots and meds may be required following this annual comingling.
10) And last but not least, a panel of fellow citizens voted a pay increase for county officials in the face of abject corruption, uneven disbursal of rights, and favoritism at 1975 Soviet levels. Hell, let’s just fire all county workers and divide the money between the county elected people, kiss their feet and pray for mercy from the celebrities on high. Isn’t that what the compensation panel had in mind?

Anonymous said...

Brace for impact; 2010 is a local elections year. The forecast is in favor of interesting posts for those who open up to dissention and dialogue in the interest of boosting readership and expanding reach, and just maybe, getting to truth. You remember truth, the common reality we all share and has nothing to do with perception. Most likely to succeed in 2010:

PZGuru (if this guy ever starts his own daily blog, it would be a phenomenal success in every sense)
Rising Star Blogs (new blogs on the right, left, and center of issues who allow/encourage discussion including anonymous posting)
Hedgehog Report
Hocorising (if he increases posts)
Tale[s] of Two Cities
Howard County at blogspot (if he increases posts)
Alan Klein (this guy makes tremendous sense, would be a shame if he didn’t communicate daily or weekly with the electorate)
Barbara Russell and Mary Pivar (for the same reason that Klein should start a blog)

There you have it, good people of County Howard. A toasty Cheer to unto you.

Bob O said...

Hey, I just wrote about my experiences with Apple computers and phones at the Columbia Mall Apple Store. Does not that get me in the running? (Naked shot at publicity follows....)

Wordbones, great job for the year! Inspirational, in that I think I have to start my own Howard County blog for 2010. And I'm open to podcasts. Great reaction to this post...but, hey, who is this guy (gal?) Anonymous, anyway?

He (she) is EVERYWHERE on the internet! It's almost like they're not a person at all!

Bob O said...

OBTW, any chance we can get together with Anonymous for pizza?

I'm just askin'.

wordbones said...

Bob O,

I can't speak for anon but I'm up for pizza again...


Freemarket said...

Thanks, WB. I'll nominate myself for best prank. I can't believe that someone fell for this. Anon probably agrees!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, FM. Next thing you know we'll all be guessing the screen names.

Anonymous said...

How about the blow-hard award for the craziest community loud-mouth who is frequently wrong?

Bob O said...

So, am I really the only person who's pissed at The Apple Store?

C'mon, there must be a few more out there.

PZGURU said...

ANON 6:06 p.m. - thank you for vote of confindence. I have previously blogged on HoCoMd, and I've pondered the thought of going out on my own, but it truly takes a lot of time to find the "news/stories" and think about it and then blog about it. Not to mention responding to commenters. All that on top of a normal job, family duties, and other committments to various organizations is a lot to take on. In some ways, I find it less demanding of my time to browse the various blogs and jump into the fray depending on the subject involved and how much bias/distortion/hypocrisy I'm sensing from the poster or the commenters. Hehehe......

Not a PeeCee said...

Sorry Bob O. I <3 Apple. Must be a decade of Dells that have me blinded.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:31, I'll start by nominating you.

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