The Ultimate “Put Up or Shut Up” Challenge

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The Ultimate “Put Up or Shut Up” Challenge

Over the scant five years I have been involved in bonsai, I have posted many of my efforts as well as contributed to the community in many ways, including writing many articles for the major bonsai magazines, creating on-line magazines, and creating contests that outshine any that came before.

Yet, a few individuals ignore all this and periodically post innuendos, suggestions, and other such backhanded comments suggesting that, since I do all these other things, I can not or do not actually ”do bonsai.”

Never mind the fact that I always have posted bonsai on many forums, going as far back as posting a ficus to Walter Pall’s “Ask the Master” section at BT, when it existed, to a recent series of posts at Bsite asking the members if their vision matched my vision for a few of my own bonsai.

It was not quite a year ago that I once again answered the same baseless remarks by posting a progression of a semi-cascade ficus and a mugo pine right here on this forum. Never the less, these comments still surface whenever a few people can not debate a subject and attempt to “win” by implying that since I do not actually do bonsai, the information I put forth is not correct. This is commonly called “Attacking the person” and actually proves nothing...I don’t have to be a drunk to tell someone that drinking and driving is dangerous.

Before I get to the challenge, let’s look at some of the most recent comments of this nature to see where they come from and to prove I am not just knocking over straw men here.


Hey, Mr. Kettle! Show me some of your trees, then I will know for sure who is faking it. How about it, no more bullsaht man, put up or shut up! You want everyone to think that you are an authority. Put up now, or forever hold your tongue.


By the way the subject I chose was for you to post some pregression shots of your trees. You hvestill failed to do so. You told me to do it. I just may. I think it's time we see just what you can do compliments of Keppler bullcrap. Just because you can scream louder doesn't make you right and the proof is in the trees.

Having 500 trees in the ground means nothing, anyone can do that. Its what you do with them that counts. So far no one has seen anything. Just like the trees you post, they are nothing either, I have seen a few descent trees but nothing great or even good. Every article you have written that I am aware of is the same stuff that has been said before.....
So, carry on with the articles, and please do me a favor and learn from some of the pros that come through... people like Marco, Walter, etc.. those guys that travel the world teaching bonsai. You can really benefit from what they have to offer, then you can apply what you learned to your trees. They will thank you for that.

Put up or shut up.

well you know what they say..."those who can, do and those can't, teach"

I would like to see some of Will's trees also. The only ones I've seen have been initial stylings. I've seen lots of Al's trees, and I like them a lot. I would like to see Will's trees, so I know whom I should ignore and whom I shouldn't. I don't really care about articles. I can recite maxims all day, but that doesn't put world class trees on my benches.

Congratulations on repeating all of your accomplishments verbatim from every other thread on here. I just want to say this. everything you mentioned boils down to being decent with computers and being able to parrot what you've read. I never see you offer advice from initial styling. You offer refinement but never do you take the challenge to step up and tell someone what to do with raw stock.

All this talk is exhausting. How bout just showing what you really know when it comes to plants and pruners.


Now the challenge......

I challenge the people quoted above, as well as any others who wish to jump in, to compete head to head with me designing a bonsai. This is your chance to prove that I can’t actually do bonsai and to finally shut me up. However, it is also my chance to shut you up forever. ;)

Here are the conditions and rules.

All participants will purchase a piece of bonsai material blindly. Meaning that we will respectfully ask Brent, who has material and is well known for his impartiality, fairness, and level-headiness, to select material for us. This material will all be the same species, be of the same overall quality, and offer the same options. The participants will not know what species, size, or quality of material they are receiving until it arrives at their doorstep. The only advantage they will have is their own ability and talent.

Participants will pay for the material they will be sent.

Once we receive the material, we will post four pictures, one of each side, right here at Bnut.

We will have 1 month to style the material, we will not be re-potting, and at that time, we will post four pictures, one of each side, right here at Bnut again.

All work must be the participants own, no help, advice, suggestions, or direction can be given by anyone, this is about what we can do ourselfs.

At that time all entries will be auctioned off here at Bnut, every entry will be in this auction because.....the bonsai receiving the highest winning bid, which is paid, will be determined the winner. Any winning tree that is not paid for will be disqualified.

Lastly, all proceeds will go to the William Valavanis benefit to help him rebuild.

This eliminates having to find impartial judges and the foolish popularity vote.

I can hear them already, so don’t waste your time giving us excuses that won’t cut it. Here’s your chance to prove your own words or to run, lest you be exposed. Don’t waste our time telling us about the labor pains, show us the baby!

This should be the last “put up or shut up” thread we will ever see from these people because it is all here, all laid out, all ready for them to, well....put up or shut up. ;)

So do you have the courage to put you money where your mouth is, to put your words up to the test? I’m talking to you, Chris Johnston, Al Keppler, Irene_b, King Kong, TheSteve, JasonG, cquinn, mojosan, buddamonk, others? Do you have what you claim I need?



Will
 
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davetree

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Great idea, but I am not sure bidding is a good way to determine the winner. How about a panel of esteemed impartial judges ?
 
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Great idea, but I am not sure bidding is a good way to determine the winner. How about a panel of esteemed impartial judges ?


These are the rules, the bonsai that sells for the most wins, all proceeds go to a great cause.

Experienced artists can comment all they want, the best trees will stand out, but the one that sells for the highest price, wins.

Come on guys, you with the big mouths, you know who you are....you want a piece of me? Well here is your chance.......



Will
 
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Linked to from AoB, KoB, Bsite, and more to come.

Just post your agreement to be in this challenge right here in this thread.....



....or forever hold your tongue. ;)



Will
 
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ghues

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Linked to from AoB, KoB, Bsite, and more to come.

Just post your agreement to be in this challenge right here in this thread.....



....or forever hold your tongue. ;)



Will

Too bad you can't ship the material north............kidding aside I look forward to the Results.
Cheers Gman
 

Pine Barron

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I am very amused by this. I doubt you will have any takers, but I will take part in the "bidding to judge."
 

Rick Moquin

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the ultimate “put up or shut up” challenge

over the scant five years i have been involved in bonsai, i have posted many of my efforts as well as contributed to the community in many ways, including writing many articles for the major bonsai magazines, creating on-line magazines, and creating contests that outshine any that came before.

Yet, a few individuals ignore all this and periodically post innuendos, suggestions, and other such backhanded comments suggesting that, since i do all these other things, i can not or do not actually ”do bonsai.”

never mind the fact that i always have posted bonsai on many forums, going as far back as posting a ficus to walter pall’s “ask the master” section at bt, when it existed, to a recent series of posts at bsite asking the members if their vision matched my vision for a few of my own bonsai.

It was not quite a year ago that i once again answered the same baseless remarks by posting a progression of a semi-cascade ficus and a mugo pine right here on this forum. Never the less, these comments still surface whenever a few people can not debate a subject and attempt to “win” by implying that since i do not actually do bonsai, the information i put forth is not correct. This is commonly called “attacking the person” and actually proves nothing...i don’t have to be a drunk to tell someone that drinking and driving is dangerous.

Before i get to the challenge, let’s look at some of the most recent comments of this nature to see where they come from and to prove i am not just knocking over straw men here.


















Now the challenge......

I challenge the people quoted above, as well as any others who wish to jump in, to compete head to head with me designing a bonsai. This is your chance to prove that i can’t actually do bonsai and to finally shut me up. However, it is also my chance to shut you up forever. ;)

here are the conditions and rules.

All participants will purchase a piece of bonsai material blindly. Meaning that we will respectfully ask brent, who has material and is well known for his impartiality, fairness, and level-headiness, to select material for us. This material will all be the same species, be of the same overall quality, and offer the same options. The participants will not know what species, size, or quality of material they are receiving until it arrives at their doorstep. The only advantage they will have is their own ability and talent.

Participants will pay for the material they will be sent.

Once we receive the material, we will post four pictures, one of each side, right here at bnut.

We will have 1 month to style the material, we will not be re-potting, and at that time, we will post four pictures, one of each side, right here at bnut again.

All work must be the participants own, no help, advice, suggestions, or direction can be given by anyone, this is about what we can do ourselfs.

At that time all entries will be auctioned off here at bnut, every entry will be in this auction because.....the bonsai receiving the highest winning bid, which is paid, will be determined the winner. Any winning tree that is not paid for will be disqualified.

Lastly, all proceeds will go to the william valavanis benefit to help him rebuild.

This eliminates having to find impartial judges and the foolish popularity vote.

I can hear them already, so don’t waste your time giving us excuses that won’t cut it. Here’s your chance to prove your own words or to run, lest you be exposed. Don’t waste our time telling us about the labor pains, show us the baby!

This should be the last “put up or shut up” thread we will ever see from these people because it is all here, all laid out, all ready for them to, well....put up or shut up. ;)

so do you have the courage to put you money where your mouth is, to put your words up to the test? I’m talking to you, chris johnston, al keppler, irene_b, king kong, thesteve, jasong, cquinn, mojosan, buddamonk, others? Do you have what you claim i need?



Will

yawn! Give it up
 

johng

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This is Great!!

Ok Will, I promised myself I wouldn't play any more of your games...Hell, I didn't even make your list:( but an opportunity to kick your arse just might be to good to pass up:D

First of all, what exactly is your definition of "Shut Up"? I don't suspect there will really have to be any real shutting up??? (I'd be happy with just telling you to shut up whenever I pleased for the next five years:D...but I know you could never take not being able to respond to that;))

However, I really think there needs to be a judge. Otherwise this contest is not really about the trees is it? Instead it becomes a bidding war. For a very meaningful cause mind you, but nonetheless not about the individuals "ability and talent" as you suggest. And, besides I know how important the opinions of experts are to you!;)

Don't get me wrong, I am all for auctioning the trees with the proceeds going to help Bill. But, in terms of the contest, an open auction is not really a very valid way to resolve the kind of "put up or shut up" contest you seem to be suggesting. This is your idea so please don't let your skewd logic on how to judge this contest or the fact that its for a worthy cause get in the way of making it really about the trees and the talent.

I am not sure if it would be appropriate, but perhaps Bill would consider being a/the judge??? Otherwise, I would guess that a non-partial judge could be located reasonably easy.

Although I am sure this "contest" will ulitmately end up as just another entry on the magnanimous bonsai resume of Will Heath, which we will be forced to read time and time again on bonsai boards far and wide as you continue to try and convince people that you are a legend in your own mind
(oops, I might have been off topic there for a second, nope, I was mistaken, this thread is all about will) it is for a good cause. So...Convince a judge or panel to determine the results and I will gladly play your game...otherwise its a worthy cause but not really a contest about skill and talent. In which case, thank you, but I am not willing to be manipulated by you;).
John
 
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yawn! Give it up
Do us a favor Rick, delete your post and please don't comment if you are not participating, all in all this is for a good cause, let's not start the crap.

...but an opportunity to kick your arse just might be to good to pass up:D
Yep, I figured a few would get in line for this opportunity, thanks for speaking up. There is little doubt as to your ability, at least you'll add some competition!

...First of all, what exactly is your definition of "Shut Up"? I don't suspect there will really have to be any real shutting up??? (I'd be happy with just telling you to shut up whenever I pleased for the next five years:D...but I know you could never take not being able to respond to that;))
For this challenge, the definition of shutting up is to cease with the endless put up or shut up statements and the false assumptions that because I do other things, that I couldn't possibly also actually practice bonsai. I do realize that these statements are "clutching at straws" ramblings meant to somehow devalue the subject matter by devaluing the person, but they are tiring, just the same.

...However, I really think there needs to be a judge. Otherwise this contest is not really about the trees is it? Instead it becomes a bidding war. For a very meaningful cause mind you, but nonetheless not about the individuals "ability and talent" as you suggest. And, besides I know how important the opinions of experts are to you!;)

Well...

a) Bonsai professionals should be well acquainted with the practice of styling raw stock into something that will sell, preferably at a good price.

b) Participants would not be allowed to bid on their own trees, leaving it up to actual buyers to set the price.

c) A bidding war would help the cause.

d) At AoB and KoB we select professional judges with vast experience and average their scores to avoid anyone from claiming the judging was biased. The last thing I want here is for someone to claim that the judge was biased and start all over again with the crap.

e) Many of the people named here have made the statement that a tree is only worth what someone will pay for it, so let's judge the worth of the tree, commercially anyhow. As I mentioned before, the successful bonsai will stand out and anyone with enough experience to properly water will be able to judge for themselves.

...Don't get me wrong, I am all for auctioning the trees with the proceeds going to help Bill. But, in terms of the contest, an open auction is not really a very valid way to resolve the kind of "put up or shut up" contest you seem to be suggesting. This is your idea so please don't let your skewd logic on how to judge this contest or the fact that its for a worthy cause get in the way of making it really about the trees and the talent.
We could just agree to enter the upcoming KoB progressive styling contest, but the loudest mouths often do not enter these contests, too much to lose, maybe?

As to the other remarks, I'll ignore the slightly veiled attempts to incite.

The best trees will stand out, regardless. This chance at me is for a good cause, take it, or post your excuses ;)




Will
 
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Rick Moquin

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No Will I will not remove my post.

There's an old saying:

You can sit in the corner and look like an ass or open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Yes I am inciting you. Yes I am stalking you (before you start your rebuttal with the aforementioned previous sentences). But give it a goddamn break!! We are sick and tired of your charades and resume.

One would think you are the only f......r that does bonsai,

Is there A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?? You're sick man get help.
 

johng

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For this challenge, the definition of shutting up is to cease with the endless put up or shut up statements and the false assumptions that because I do other things, that I couldn't possibly also actually practice bonsai. I do realize that these statements are "clutching at straws" ramblings meant to somehow devalue the subject matter by devaluing the person, but they are tiring, just the same. Your rules assume you will win...what if you don't:)...since you are the poor bastard that has taken brunt of all the "clutching at straws" statements what is it that you would no longer be able do? Maybe quote research???? How about for a year you can only post about your experiences...no myths...no citing research...no experts...just what YOU have learned in working with trees.



Well...

a) Bonsai professionals should be well acquainted with the practice of styling raw stock into something that will sell, preferably at a good price. This is really has nothing to do with the issue I raised...try to stay on task here

b) Participants would not be allowed to bid on their own trees, leaving it up to actual buyers to set the price....and I am quite sure that you would be above any possible tampering or influencing of the bids... I am not sure I can trust you or sugar daddy Vance:p

c) A bidding war would help the cause. I addressed this already but since you brought it up again and just to avoid any potential complications in the bidding process why don't all the entrants just make say a minimum $250 donation in their own names to Mr. Valavanis for the opportunity to participate in this contest...then we can still pay for the trees compete in a judged competition and auction the trees off at the end. I have challenged you before and you backed down...its obvious now that you are just trying to avoid having your "ability and talent" judged in a straight up contest...stop trying to confuse things with the "cause" aspect and stand on your talent;).


d) At AoB and KoB we select professional judges with vast experience and average their scores to avoid anyone from claiming the judging was biased. The last thing I want here is for someone to claim that the judge was biased and start all over again with the crap. Are you already making excuses???

e) Many of the people named here have made the statement that a tree is only worth what someone will pay for it, so let's judge the worth of the tree, I thought this was a "put up or shut up" contest about ability and talent????? your own words my friend commercially anyhow. As I mentioned before, the successful bonsai will stand out and anyone with enough experience to properly water will be able to judge for themselves.


We could just agree to enter the upcoming KoB progressive styling contest,been there done that... but the loudest mouths often do not enter these contests, too much to lose, maybe? Guess you really can't say that about me now can you

As to the other remarks, I'll ignore the slightly veiled attempts to incite.

The best trees will stand out, regardless. This chance at me is for a good cause, take it, or post your excuses ;)




Will

Come on Will have some huevos...its your turn now...do you have the ability or talent???...Put up or Shut up!
 

Rusty Harris

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This chance at me is for a good cause

Will
Will,

Here's an idea built upon that statement. If you are so freely willing to give of yourself for charity, why not set up a live web cam broadcast? You could sit on one of those "dunking booths", like the ones at county fairs and carnivals, you know the ones. Firefighters and Shriners use them to raise funds. People could log on to the broadcast, and donate money with credit/debit cards or paypal, and for every $100 increment reached, you would be dunked. Here's the kicker, the dunking booth would be filled with Superthrive.
 
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Rusty Harris

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For johng

Good to see you posting again. I hope you recieved and enjoyed the DVD I sent you. See you at the Spring Show!
 
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Come on Will have some huevos...its your turn now...do you have the ability or talent???...Put up or Shut up!


The challenge has been laid out, either accept it and stop making excuses, or shut up.

Here's your chance, are you going to take it or just whine about it?

Here's an idea built upon that statement. If you are so freely willing to give of yourself for charity, why not set up a live web cam broadcast? You could sit on one of those "dunking booths", like the ones at county fairs and carnivals, you know the ones. Firefighters and Shriners use them to raise funds. People could log on to the broadcast, and donate money with credit/debit cards or paypal, and for every $100 increment reached, you would be dunked. Here's the kicker, the dunking booth would be filled with Superthrive.

The challenge is laid out, actual bonsai, you can dunk yourself anytime you want....but this is all about seeing if the loudmouths have anything behind their words or not.....so far, not!


No Will I will not remove my post.

There's an old saying:

You can sit in the corner and look like an ass or open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Yes I am inciting you. Yes I am stalking you (before you start your rebuttal with the aforementioned previous sentences). But give it a goddamn break!! We are sick and tired of your charades and resume.

One would think you are the only f......r that does bonsai,

Is there A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?? You're sick man get help.

Typical, your post is only complaining about a thread that no one is forcing you to read, and you say I need help, lmao.

No I don't think I am the only one who does bonsai, on the contrary, this is all about showing once again that I actually do.

So Rick, why don't you stop attempting to incite here and put up or shut up? Talk with your work, not your mouth, its for a good cause, what can it harm?

And remember, no one forces you to read threads like this, no one invited you, and no one really cares if you like it or not, you can be part of it, or not, but we don't need your labor pains.....




Will
 
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emorrin

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This should be interesting if you get enough people to participate. I will be the first to admit that I do not yet possess the talent to enter this contest. Right now I do not have the funds either. It is good to see that this contest can go to a good cause. While I do not know William Valavanis, it is good to see that people still care enough to help a fellow person out in times of need.

I guess this leaves me as an interested bystander. I don't get involved in any of the arguments so I can easily remain neutral. The one thing I hope this does is stop all the flame wars or at least bring it to a minimum and focus on what this forum is about .... BONSAI. This being said....

What species are you going to be using? I am assuming an evergreen or Pine species. I think if you let people know what species you will be using, this will be a deciding factor for some people. Other than that, I think the idea of the highest bidder winning should be the fairest. That is as long as the person who createed the tree didn't bid, which was already outlined, or a friend/relative does not get involved.

I am not in this hobby to win anything or brag about my collection. I enjoy this hobby as something to do to relax and become one with nature. I have a good grasp of the horticultural side of this hobby, now I am working on the styling part of it. I still have allot to learn. That is all part of the fun of this hobby.
 
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This should be interesting if you get enough people to participate. I will be the first to admit that I do not yet possess the talent to enter this contest. Right now I do not have the funds either. It is good to see that this contest can go to a good cause. While I do not know William Valavanis, it is good to see that people still care enough to help a fellow person out in times of need.
It is all about helping out, I know my own talents and I am secure in my abilities.

The one thing I hope this does is stop all the flame wars or at least bring it to a minimum and focus on what this forum is about .... BONSAI. This being said....
No, they won't stop, people are already tossing insults and calling names in this thread. Simple attempts to incite yet another blowout. The sad part is this is for a good cause, I wish those who are not stepping up to the plate would just be bystanders, let it be, the only thing that will be proved here is by those participating.

What species are you going to be using? I am assuming an evergreen or Pine species. I think if you let people know what species you will be using, this will be a deciding factor for some people. Other than that, I think the idea of the highest bidder winning should be the fairest. That is as long as the person who createed the tree didn't bid, which was already outlined, or a friend/relative does not get involved.
This is blind, meaning no one will know the species until they get it. It is my firm belief that a good bonsaist should be able to find the potential in any piece of material, having a good eye is a huge part of bonsai design and separate the paint by number artists from those with creativity.

I also agree with your thoughts on the bidding process.

Will
 
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johng

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The challenge has been laid out, either accept it and stop making excuses, or shut up.

Here's your chance, are you going to take it or just whine about it?

As usual you duck legitimate questions and avoid responding to anything that might be opposed to your view...

Come on Will...the only possible way a bidding scenario could be fair is if it was completely anonymous. And, we both know that is just not realistic.

Who made you Czar of the rules anyhow???? Do you have control issues?

I will say it one last time...quite playing games...lets do this thing right and above the board and for a deserving cause or you can have your little charade and I will gladly find another way in which to provide Bill and his family with my support.
 

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Go on and find another way, in your judged contest, there are no funds anyway.

My challenge John, you want to play, fine, if not, find also, just stop complaining. You can't just march in and demand the rules be changed, talk about control issues.....


Either way, good luck,


Will
 

emorrin

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Ok, I guess that is fair enough about the species being unknown until it reaches the door step. The only issue I can see is the bidding process, like a couple of previous posters and myself mentioned. Other than that, hopefully you get some good participation.

Unfrtunately, I don't see the flame wars stopping anytime soon either. That is a shame. I guess one can only hope.
 
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