Greg Gerding

2020 Year in Review: Top 10 Articles from The Big Smoke America

Ta ta, 2020. What a year. The Big Smoke America is now five years old and has published over 2,100 articles and essays. Here are the Top 10 (+20 more) from 2020.


The Big Smoke America launched on November 9th, 2015. We endured that wacky 2016 election cycle and then were stunned when Trump was elected President, albeit, notably as minority President since he did not win the popular vote. And then the next four years happened, culminating in 2020.

Since the end of 2015, we have published over 2,100 articles and essays tackling a range of topics and contributing to a number of debates and discussions. Each year, we review the traffic through both our website and social media and find our most popular articles. The issues discussed heavily in 2020 were everything you might imagine, as the ongoing garbage fire that was 2020 raged along.

Here are the Top 10 most widely read and shared articles in 2020 listed from # 1 – 10.


1. Heather O. Petrocelli

On Finally Being Seen: Experiencing Portrait of a Lady on Fire

On Finally Being Seen: Experiencing Portrait of a Lady on Fire


2. Sean Davis

Black Lives Matter: The Battle of Lownsdale Square (Portland, Oregon)

Black Lives Matter: The Battle of Lownsdale Square (Portland, Oregon)

Also widely read by Sean Davis in 2020: Holding Your Breath Until You Turn Orange


3. Josh Hamilton

Putting Myself Back Together

Putting Myself Back Together


4. Ramiza Shamoun Koya

Driving Home

Driving Home


5. James Jay Edwards

James Patterson’s The Postcard Killings Rewards Patient Viewers

James Patterson’s The Postcard Killings Rewards Patient Viewers

Also widely read by James Jay Edwards in 2020: Dave Franco Introduces Himself as a Horror Director with The Rental


6. Florencia Orlandoni

Lessons From “The Rapist Is You”: What I Learned at the 2020 Women’s March

Lessons From “The Rapist Is You”: What I Learned at the 2020 Women’s March


7. Emil Morales

Finding a Secure Bottom

Finding a Secure Bottom

Also widely read by Emil Morales in 2020: Our Money or Our Lives—Are Our Leaders Listening?


8. S.M. Park

Risen Apes: The Long Good-Bye

Risen Apes: The Long Good-Bye

Also widely read by S.M. Park in 2020: Risen Apes: Hitchin’ a Ride


9. Dian Greenwood

Song of Grief

Song of Grief

Also widely read by Dian Greenwood in 2020: Alienation: Bringing the Outside In


10. Chris Dupuy

Nero and the New Normal

Nero and the New Normal

Also widely read by Chris Dupuy in 2020: To Get to the Next Level, You Must Embrace Discomfort


The following 2020 essays and articles ranked # 11 – 30:

11. Nancy Townsley – What My Expectant Daughter and I Talk About When We Walk

12. Joseph Edwin Haeger – Book Review: Life of the Party by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic

13. DeMisty D. Bellinger – To Hope

14. Leo Daedalus – I’ve Had It With You Guys

15. Linda Rand – Pandemic Diaries: Give Space

16. Chad M. Christensen – Boy With Shovel: Percocet, Kidney Stones, and the Old Apache Trail

17. Mike Magnuson – Election Prayer from Wisconsin

18. F.I. Goldhaber – Peaceful Protests

19. George Grundy – Ending the Age of Billionaires

20. John Michael – Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise XXVIII

21. Jason Arment – Die for Retail, Sucker

22. Olivia Croom Hammerman – When There’s a Worm in the Big Apple

23. Stephen Hunter – The Lower Depths

24. Liz Scott – Postpartum Publication

25. Joel Gunz – Toilet Paper Isn’t Good for Sh*t: Making the Case for the #PaperlessPotty

26. Pablo Skolnick and Corie Skolnick – Desto3: Postcards from The Middle East: Kuwait

27. Ben Tanzer – The Thing About I May Destroy You, Trauma, and Failure

28. Luke Douglas – Inside Creationist Education

29. Jessica Leibe – How I Finally Started Taking Politics Seriously in My 30s

30. William Gosline – A Visit to the Autonomous Zone


I also want to acknowledge our partners in Australia who contributed writing to The Big Smoke America throughout the year. Here are the Top 10 most read and shared articles that were republished from articles that first appeared in The Big Smoke Australia.  

1. Connor McCallum – The Coronavirus Can Be Cured With Bleach … and Other Solutions According to Clickbait

2. Loretta Barnard – A Century Ago, Movies Tackled Interracial Love, Homosexuality, and Questioned the War

3. Mark Thompson – Broken Home Improvement: Life Lessons From Al Borland

4. Rick Boland – To the Fake Friends I Lost to Depression: Excuse Me While I Fixed Myself

5. Nicholas Harrington – With No Vaccine, This Is How the World Will Navigate the Coming Months

6. Ingeborg van Teeseling – Our Overuse of the Word “Trauma” Weakens It (and Us Too)

7. Trisha De Borchgrave – Coping With COVID

8. Claire Harris – Here I Am, Writing a Hallmark Movie As the World Falls Apart

9. Derryn Hinch – Hinch’s Hunch: Despite the Hype, the Democrats Won’t Back Bernie

10. Jane Caro – Oh, for the Confidence of a Mediocre White Male Vice President


Thank you for your loyal readership. We will continue to shake up and transform America for the better. Please stay tuned, new articles and essays published daily.


If you are interested in writing for The Big Smoke America, please review our guidelines page.


Greg Gerding

Greg Gerding is the Editor-in-Chief of The Big Smoke America. He is also the founder of University of Hell Press, an indie press that publishes irreverent and thought-provoking literature.

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