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What a Year it Was! Here’s a Look at My 20 Best 2020 Posts

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I always take a moment at the end of the year to look back at what I’ve written here at Patrick’s Place. Here’s a look at my best 2020 posts.

It can be a challenge trying to select what you consider to be the best posts of any given year. After all, the posts I feel pride in may not rank in your list. And you might really enjoy a post I didn’t rank that high on my list. But in any case, I still set out to find my best 2020 posts.

Here’s the list I came up with. And you should know they’re not in any particular order.

1. ‘When Does a Candidate Officially Become President-Elect?’

People suddenly became very confused about the “president-elect” title this year. Those same people didn’t find the slightest reason to object when the term preceded Donald Trump’s name in late 2016. But in just four years, they all seemed to develop amnesia. They insisted first that there’s no such thing, then that there are specific rules about when a candidate “officially” earns the title. Here’s what the Constitution has to say about that.

2. ‘If Your Answer to “Black Lives Matter” is “All Lives Matter,” Stop!’

The “Black Lives Matter” movement continues to be misunderstood. But at this distance, I suspect some of that misunderstanding is intentional. When someone says, “Black Lives Matter,” the correct response is not “All lives matter.” I explain that in this post.

3. ‘Will Virtual Learning Make “Snow Days” a Thing of the Past?’

During the pandemic, children began to learn how to learn outside of the classroom. Some students found more success than others. School districts scrambled to make sure students had the equipment they needed and parents scrambled to rearrange their schedules, too. But once the technology went out, what does that mean when the pandemic is over? I remember looking forward to the rare “snow days” we saw in South Carolina. Will snow days become an outdated idea?

4. ‘UofSC’s “Daily Gamecock” to Go Dark for Mental Health Break’

The stress of classes, the pandemic and producing a weekly student paper became too much for future journalists at my alma mater, it appeared. They announced plans to take a week off for their own mental health. Was it the right thing to do? I debated their decision with as much sympathy as I could muster.

5. ‘For Blogging, It Should Always Be Quality Over Quantity!’

One of the main reasons I made another change to my posting schedule this year was wanting quality over quantity. It sounds like a cliché, but there’s a lot of truth to it.

6. ‘Being “Covered in His Blood” Doesn’t Protect You from COVID-19’

We saw plenty of examples of poor decisions from our Christian friends during the pandemic. Some set aside science to pridefully show off how faithful they think they are. One woman said she wasn’t concerned about the pandemic because she’s “covered” in Christ’s blood. That’s a reckless way to handle your health and the health of those around you.

7. ‘Slaves or Enslaved Persons? The Reason Behind the Shift in Terms’

In the middle of the pandemic, we learned about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He died while in police custody and a cell phone video of the incident sparked a lot of conversations about race and the words we use. This important conversation was among the many that left editors rethinking their choices.

8. ‘Why Didn’t the Media Cover the Missing Children Story? It Did.’

People love to claim the media “ignores” stories. Most of them have never spent a moment in a journalism class, much less in the field. They conveniently ignore two facts. First, if a story is not covered, there may be a good reason for that. And second, just because they don’t see it doesn’t mean it wasn’t covered at all.

9. ‘What Dog Breeds Are Best for Apartment Living? Size Shouldn’t Matter!’

I added this one to my 2020 best posts list because I hear the question so often. People learn I have a 75-pound Collie and wonder if he’s really happy in a condo rather than running on a field. If they could see him lying on my couch with his head on a pillow, they wouldn’t need to ask.

10. ‘Could a Virtual Human Satisfy Your Need to Connect?’

We rely on computers for nearly everything these days. Should we even consider them for actual companionship? Too late to wonder: some are actually doing so.

11. ‘Should You Capitalize Black When Referring to Race?’

When the Associated Press announced it would capitalize the word Black when referring to people by race, it raised eyebrows. The organization raised more eyebrows when it said it would not follow suit with the word white. This was yet another conversation sparked by the death of George Floyd. (See item #7 above.)

12. ‘”No Guns” on New Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam Looney Tunes Cartoons’

The makers of a new round of Looney Tunes cartoons won’t have characters using guns. But they don’t seem to mind violence in general. In place of bullets, a sample had 14 explosions of dynamite. They even had Elmer Fudd in hunting gear chasing Bugs Bunny with a weapon no hunter ever use against a rabbit. Maybe there’s a better way to run this railroad.

13. ‘Is Wearing a Face Mask an Affront to God? Please!’

Some people apparently took the position that wearing a face covering in a pandemic would somehow “offend” God. I don’t understand where some people get these goofy ideas. I don’t believe that science and religion are enemies. And I believe that if God provided the wisdom to figure out the danger of COVID-19 and a way to help prevent it, why would He be angry that we would listen to it?

14. ’60 Years Later, “The Andy Griffith Show” is Still the Best!’

October marked the 60th anniversary of the premiere of The Andy Griffith Show. I couldn’t let the anniversary go by without mentioning the show. And yes, I do consider it the best.

15. ‘It’s OK to Control Your Conversation on Your Social Media’

Social media gives more people the chance to have their opinions heard. That’s a good thing. But when someone else comes on your social media page and tries to shut you down, well, that’s something I’m not going to put up with. So I hope adding this post to my 2020 best posts list will serve as a valuable reminder.

16. ‘It’s Time to Adopt a “No Guilt” Deleting Comments Policy!’

As difficult as it can be to get readers to leave a comment these days, bloggers almost hate to remove them. But it’s time to shed that apprehension. We’ve grown more mean-spirited these days. And you have every right to remove someone else’s garbage from your own front porch!

17. ‘Remembering The Charleston Church Shooting: 5 Years Later’

If our divided society needed a reminder of what it’s like to come together in times of trouble, remembering the response to the Charleston church shooting would provide it. I hope we never have to go through something like that again. But I hope we can find that spirit of unity again.

18. ‘Footnotes: The Story Behind the Red Skelton “Pledge” Speech’

I found several editions of ‘Footnotes’ that I liked a lot. But here’s the one I thought deserved a spot in my 2020 best posts list. For years, I’ve watched people share Red Skelton’s famous monologue about the Pledge of Allegiance. But then I stumbled across an interview he gave at Clemson University that shed new light on that famous moment.

19. ‘Past Tense vs. Passive Voice: They Aren’t the Same!’

For grammar gurus, I add this one to the list. There are many people, I’ve learned, who aren’t sure what’s different about writing in passive voice and writing in past tense. They’re quite different. Here’s what you should know.

20. ‘When Blogging, Are You Writing for Readers or Writing for Google?’

By now, I hope you know that SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In a nutshell, it’s a process where we try to write in a manner that will make Google to put our content at the top of its search results. But with the focus on that, is our audience our readers or Google itself? I thought it was an important topic to tackle.

So that’s my look at my 2020 best posts. I hope you enjoyed the look back. I also hope you found some good pieces you may have missed when they first went up on the blog.

Thanks again for reading.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.