Greg Gerding, Editor-in-Chief of The Big Smoke America, celebrates the two-month anniversary since launching (and the New Year) by listing your favorite articles based on what you read and shared most.
On November 9th, 2015, we launched The Big Smoke America. Since then, we have published over 100 articles and essays tackling a number of topics, generating a lot of interest, and sparking many debates and discussions.
I looked at the traffic through both our website and social media to review our most popular articles and here’s what I learned about you: you are smart, switched on, sophisticated, and you like a good laugh.
The Big Smoke America is after one thing, and one thing only—fine, edgy, opinion writing. We publish content that we may not agree with. We don’t censor; we provide a platform for debate. We cater to discerning readers like you who want to access ideas differently.
I’m proud of the work we have published so far. We have hardworking writers who are interested in change with an eye on improving establishments (political and cultural) that are either broken or misguided, while writing intelligently and beautifully in an accessible way. Our writers grab readers from the first word and leave them changed after the last.
You were engaged by the thought-provoking articles written by Sean Davis, Sarah Xerta, Jeff Reese, John S. Blake, Jason Arment, Chris Margolin, David Neff, Mark Gundy, and Jesse Valencia. You also enjoyed human interest stories from Ben Werner, Christy Powers, Jason Zenobia, Kari Stiles, and Travis Laurence Naught. You also laughed at the humor and satire from Amelia Cornwald, Paris Portingale, and Stefanie Histed.
As the Editor-in-Chief of The Big Smoke America, I wanted to mark the occasion of our two-month anniversary AND the New Year by listing your favorite article from each one of our major contributors (listed alphabetically by author’s first name).
“This whole shared experience of low spirits ends up creating a beautiful cornucopia of people all longing for a little human comfort, no matter how false and fleeting it might be.”
“I am a trophy husband—a glistening piece of arm candy while attending formal and informal Navy events with my Lieutenant Commander wife.”
“This book is based on a true book, right?”
“I think we have a large segment of the U.S. population in active denial, and are so uncomfortable with certain well-supported information, that they will embrace and defend nonsense that gives them at least a small emotional bubble to operate within.”
“It is the losses that require us to be our bravest. And I am faced with the hard fact that I cannot beat this without a loss. A double mastectomy is in my future.”
“The United States seems to be endlessly deadlocked in the debate over gun violence, with little sign of any real progress. Instead, we should be asking why these attacks keep happening.”
“When I got home from work and opened up my social media to catch up on what I missed, my heart sank.”
“Any analysis of ISIS that doesn’t start off with an unflinching look at what happened for the last century in that region, to include a close examination of U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, will simply be unable to grasp ISIS.”
“People need to be responsible for their own behavior and treat each other better. It sounds corny and simple, but the government can only do so much. We always seem to look to Big Brother to give us what we need. But discipline and morality can’t be given to us by the government.”
“I’ve seen some truly regrettable tattoos. Like Chinese characters that you thought meant, ‘Longevity and Peace,’ but actually say, ‘Urinal Out Of Order.’”
“Hug your friends, tell them you love them. If you see they are hurting, acknowledge that and tell them you care about them. Because you never know when they might go.”
“Everyone in America has ‘First World Privilege’ and ‘Consumer Privilege’ and should be finding ways to heal the planet, end war, and lift everyone out of starvation and poverty instead of focusing on their little bubble worlds where their feelings might get hurt.”
John S. Blake
“Anger keeps us from Loving each other. Loving each other is the only way forward. Always.”
“This is a remix of the Tuskegee Experiment; we have now concluded that white bodies also wither and bloom during heroin nods. White bodies, too, jitter and convulse with enough crack. White bodies deserve dignity and our deepest sympathy when they surrender to narcotics; just like bodies with more melanin in their skin.”
“I think it’s fair to say we ALL have hit depression or anxiety at some point in our lives, if it’s not a chronic issue or a generalized yet reasonably functional baseline. We need to continue to open our minds and hearts to mental illness.”
“Trump correctly figured out he could reach more voters by being on television 24/7 than by running boring ads as popular as infomercials and all he needed to do was take a position bound to infuriate the media to turn them into unwitting accomplices.”
“If you’re ever drunk and find yourself in a knife fight in a car park or somewhere, you’ve got a couple of options, and 2015 gave me the opportunity to try them both.”
“Our society is slow to take abuse seriously and even slower to recognize abuse that cannot be seen, pain that cannot be proven with empirical ‘objective’ evidence.”
“People need to be reminded that it’s okay to think. Political hashtags might show someone cares, but direct action changes the world.”
“If we commit to the heavy, human cost of war, it needs to be carefully thought-out. If it isn’t, we can find ourselves continuing an endless war, spending the sweat of our laborers, the genius of our scientists, and the hopes of our children.”
“Instead of feeling indignant about the mention of changing gun laws, help write better ones.”
“Alpha Dog Musk [Body Wash]: A best-seller from the Panty Dropper collection, this is a warm, comforting scent that screams Authority and Derision with subtle hints of Interest and Vanilla.”
Travis Laurence Naught
“The thrill of keeping oneself in better shape than most of the athletes who the dancers are representing doesn’t pay the bills. Neither do the meager checks these women are given.”
Thank you for your loyal readership. We want to shake up and transform America for the better. It’s time. Sometimes that requires rejecting what is already there to try to create something entirely new.
Please stay tuned, we’re just getting started.