Best Of 2020



Is it any surprise that this extraordinary year saw more world-class palindromes then any year in recent history? “2020” is almost a palindrome, after all. (This happens very rarely in years.) Palindromes, for those who don’t know, are words and phrases that read the same forwards and backwards — it has much to do with the way the letters are arranged. For instance, “DAD” is a palindrome, because whether you start at the beginning or end of the word (DAD) you will always get the same result, word-wise: You go from “D” to “A” and then to another “D.” And, of course, D-A-D always spells DAD. Amazingly, Dad’s partner (“MOM”) is another such palindrome. People should talk about this more often.

Now here’s where things get tricky: We have established that DAD and MOM are both palindromes. But what’s another word for “DAD and MOM?” That’s right, the word is PARENTS. But PARENTS is not a palindrome! What can we say to this but WOW. (WOW is a palindrome, so we’re right back where we started! It’s maddening, yes, but it’s also fun if you’re a “word nerd” in 2020. And I must say just one final thing: If you turn WOW upside down, what word appears? Correct! MOM! The wealth of secrets contained within our English language is a sight to behold — for those brave enough to investigate.)

Time, unlike palindromes, only moves in one direction. And so we find ourselves at the end of 2020, never again to return. Before we step forward into the new year of 2021, let’s say one final “WOW” in 2020 as we review the TOP TEN PALINDROMES OF 2020:

10. I, Fauci


8. “Mah ham!” (Southern lady mad about the ham)

7. THIS: Madam, I’m Karen, and I’m mad! Shit! (Oh helllll no)

6. 20/20 vision is in 2002 vis a vis 2020

5. Don Jr snorts coke, OK … strong RJ nod cocaine love

4. Melania mania, me? Ain’t I a woman

3. Biden won, sheesh, he’s edible now!

2. BB (gun)

1. Tenert

Thus concludes my 2020 Top Ten Lists. I wish you a healthy, happy new year and I’ll see you again soon on my lists!


music and spaghetti

As we conducted our way through the symphony of 2020, music was our compass and our map, always there to guide us to the next note as we played the instruments of our lives. The art of good music can be a comfort during difficult times, and music in 2020 was no different — in fact, music in 2020 was, indeed, very important to us!

What is music? Some say that from folk ballads to major songs, from hip-hop to country, music often gives voice to our feelings. That’s one of the defining characteristics of this art form … an art form just as important as any other mode of cultural expression. Perhaps one could say that music is the best of all art forms? (I know many musicians who would agree with this sentiment!) Think about the sayings “there’s a song in my heart,” or “I love that ol’ time rock ‘n’ roll,” or “music makes me feel like dancing” — such expressions are a reflection of the significance of music to the human spirit, and a testament to its enduring power. A world without music would be a very quiet world indeed.

Spaghetti’s importance in our culture is, of course, is self-evident. I will not debase this legendary pasta by trying to explain it.

Here, then, is the BEST MUSIC AND SPAGHETTI OF 2020:

10. Chart toppers and delicious spaghetti

9. Songs that healed us as we ate … SPAGHETTI

8. Music we listened to in our kitchens as pasta aromas provided a full sensory experience

7. Loud music! Yeah, turn it up!!! Let’s hear more notes of the music! SPAGHETTI AND COCAINE FOR BREAKFAST, I’M IN COLLEGE!!!

6. (TIE) Hard-rockin’ music or spaghetti / Meaningful music, the soundtrack to our spaghetti lives

5. Music in our headphones, spaghetti in our mouths, it’s all love

4. “Hennnry!” “Yes, dear?” “Have you heard the latest music?” “I think so and I’m eating the spaghetti.”

3. Quiet, reflective music … a way to hear the softer side of music, as soft as cooked noodles of spaghetti

2. Pretty good music (spaghetti)

1. When the spaghetti is perfectly cooked and the music is perfectly chosen and all is well in 2020


political stories

2020 saw, among other things, a massive increase in the popularity of politics. Some of this was to be expected, as November elections were held towards the end of the year. These elections would inevitably lead to political stories and discussions. On the other hand, for many of us, 2020 was the year we realized how deeply politics can affect our lives: from public health to private property, from the economy to taxes, from freedom of speech to freedom of life, in 2020 we learned firsthand how important politics can be. How did we learn this valuable lesson? By simply reading, watching, and listening to political stories in the news among other places, to be clear.

Many newspapers, magazines, TV shows, podcasts, bumper stickers, and books focused on politics in 2020, and it was sometimes a struggle to keep up. If you were a true news junkie, it could take up hours of time. If you were a regular person and found yourself falling behind, don’t despair: I have compiled the following list for you.


10. The elections

9. Impeachment

8. The intersection of politics and the real world

7. Cable news has the latest political stories

6. Funky political stories that redefined our groove but we kept on movin’

5. Political stories that trended on Twitter (including scandals)

4. (TIE) Pocketbook issues / When all your friends are talking about politics and you’re in heaven

3. Heavy-duty dumpling triumphs and tragedies

2. Breaking political stories, the latest and greatest

1. Goofy and fun political stories that will stand the test of time



Oh, fashion. What a year you had! From the runways of Paris to the glossy magazines of New York and Milan, in 2020 we lived, ate, and breathed many things … and one of them was fashion. Fashion (the art of wearing clothes that improve one’s appearance according to the latest trends) has always been about looking stylish and living with high style. In 2020, as the world saw multiple unusual circumstances come into play, fashion continued to play a role in our lives. They say that fashion is never more important than when it seems least necessary, and 2020 certainly put that to the test. I’m happy to say that our student (fashion) passed that test with flying colors! (And what better way to pass a test for fashion, than with flying colors, for colors — and fabrics — play a central role in how we perceive fashion, because colors are quite mesmerizing when presented as part of a cutting-edge ensemble that fills us with lust for fashion.)

So, that’s the good news. Now here’s the bad news:

Unfortunately, as with so many things this year, when it came to fashion, there were lows as well as highs. Not every shot in fashion can hit the bull’s eye, but sometimes a fashion mistake is just as exciting as a fashion triumph! Although we had fewer red carpet events this year, the rich and powerful/glamorous still had occasion to take fashion risks (chances). Sometimes those risks were successes, but other times — and here’s where things get interesting (and fun) — they truly achieved a “fashion fail.”

Who said that just because 2020 was an extraordinary year, we couldn’t celebrate some hilarious fashion fails?

Here are the TOP TEN FASHION FAILS OF 2020:

10. Runway mishaps

9. Remember that one time that lady wore a goose

8. Floppy skirts that looked silly

7. When a majorly trendy shirt doesn’t button correctly … and … has spaghetti sauce on it

6. (TIE) Weird bags / Shoes where you can see someone’s toes sticking out like their foot is leaking

5. When Givenchy and Prada both released the exact same hat with little basketballs and strange words printed on it

4. Wedding gowns that didn’t seem quite normal

3. “I wouldn’t let my own horse dress like that!”

2. When a horse looks better than you

1. Horse = 100, You = 0

Best Of 2020: MEMES


As Americans spent more and more time online in 2020, they created (and enjoyed) more and more memes online. Memes can be confusing for those who aren’t familiar with internet culture. But for those of us in the know, nothing pleases us more than stumbling upon a new meme and sharing it with online friends.

Memes can sum up a complicated issue in a matter of seconds; memes can make a joke about a shared experience; memes can cut to the quick and bring a proud man (or woman) back down to earth. In short, memes are the oxygen of online reality. And in 2020, we needed them more than ever. You see, in 2020 we all needed things to read and see while using our computers — and this is where memes truly shine.

Here are the TOP TEN MEMES OF 2020:

10. Hilarious memes — not “funny” memes, but truly HILARIOUS memes

9. Cartoon animal memes

8. Jammin’ memes

7. LOL, can you remember that funny meme

6. I saw some aspect of my own self in that meme, damn man, that meme got me

5. 2020 memes

4. “Hennnry?” “Yes, dear?” “Are we a meme?” “I don’t know”

3. (TIE) Relatable memes / Memes where you have to know a particular reference to truly understand the meme

2. Stupendous memes

1. Memes that call out to us from hell

Best Of 2020: PODCASTS

2020 was a year of transition for the podcast industry. With more people working from home, they had less time to listen to podcasts during their commutes to and from work. Advertising revenue took a dip. On the other hand, with so much social isolation, people sought out human connection, and longed to spend more time with their “audio friends,” thereby wanting to listen to their favorite podcasts more often. In short, the podcasting world had its share of ups and downs during 2020, as did other industries.


Fortunately, podcasts are here to stay. In fact, in many respects, podcasts could well be the breakout star of 2020 — a media phenomenon that showed us the importance of being connected and desiring to listen to more podcasts. Someday they will make a statue about podcasts.

Here are the TOP TEN PODCASTS OF 2020:

10. (TIE) Excellent podcasts / mediocre podcasts

9. Podcasts that combined world-class storytelling with facts and figures from Wikipedia

8. Pop-culture podcasts

7. The bad boys of podcasting, what will those funky fellas say next

6. Scripted podcasts with characters

5. “I sincerely wish you would listen to my podcast”

4. Mega-successful podcasts that rewrote the rules of podcasting … or should I say, “there are no rules”

3. Many quality microphones are used to record the podcasts

2. Talking, laughing, living, breathing … podcasting

1. Gold-medal podcasts worth a million dollars of excellence, truly the best of all

Best Of 2020: PARABLES

When we look back on this year, what will be the parables of 2020? But first, we must define “parables.”

Parables are an ancient way of making sense of our world and our surroundings through simple stories. From the Good Samaritan to Jack and Jill (who went up the hill for to fetch a pail), students of history and scholars of tomorrow must all agree that the power of parables is how they explain and humanize our human experience. For instance, when Aesop told his famous parables about animals (called “fables”), all who heard his words were edified and walked away with a deeper understanding of what it meant to be human — no matter the cost!

A simple example from history will suffice to make this clear:

Just imagine … it’s ancient times. You work in a market and weave baskets to sell. Your home is a little clay house and you get your water from a mighty aqueduct. After a long day selling your wares, you go to the town square for an evening’s entertainment, for Aesop is scheduled to deliver one of his famous parables … he takes the stage in the center of the crowd and begins … he says he will share a brand-new parable about a tortoise and a hare who have decided to run a race … you chuckle to yourself and think, “Aesop has gone mad … for what hope has a mere tortoise, to run in a race against a hare? That tortoise will surely be defeated, this parable will suck” … but the parable begins, and you are spellbound … Aesop speaks of how the tortoise and the hare were in a dispute as to their swiftness, with the hare being very mean (sarcastic) to the tortoise, so they decided to race against one another … at first, the hare was the swifter of the two, but the tortoise nevertheless kept moving forward on his tiny legs … and then, after a few minutes, the hare started moving slower and slower, and the tortoise increased his speed, and so at the last moment, the tortoise actually won the race … because turtles are actually faster than rabbits! … the crowd is stunned … you fall to your knees screaming — you cannot withstand the intensity of this parable … your neighbors do likewise, all have been shattered by the unexpected conclusion of this simple parable … Aesop delights in your terror, he laughs at the cowering throng, shouting now to be heard above their wailing … “YOU HAVE NOW LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON, YOU DAMN ANCIENT IDIOTS,” he yells … (and then he keeps talking) … “THE TORTOISE IS FAST AND THE HARE (RABBIT) IS SLOW — WELCOME TO MY WORLD (HELL), YOU DAMN FOOLS WHO THOUGHT YOU WERE SO SMART AND KNEW EVERYTHING” … the screaming from the crowd continues, for everything they have ever been taught, all they have ever held to be true, vanishes in a mere instant … Aesop, the Master of Horror, has shared another of his sickening tales birthed from his perverted mind! You will not soon forget this moment! You are in ancient times!

Anyway, here are the TOP TEN PARABLES (OR FABLES) OF 2020:

10. The parable of how everything was bad

9. Thought-provoking parables that make ya go “Hmm”

8. Light-hearted parables that celebrate the funny side of 2020

7. Animals can talk and make mistakes like people do (fables)

6. The parable of “you reap what you sow”

5. (TIE) Parables of greed / Parables of having fun

4. “Let us build a house of straw, for that shall remind us of strawberries”

3. When winter comes, stay warm like a bear

2. Parables that strike at the heart of the matter

1. Legendary parables of 2020

Best Of 2020: MOVIES


The unexpected challenges of 2020 left no industry unscathed, and that includes the Movie Industry. From Hollywood to New York, all who make their living by making movies found themselves in unfamiliar waters, negotiating the needs of safety with the needs of making better movies. To balance these needs was often complex. As theaters closed and release dates were pushed back, many movie studios grappled with issues and strategies that were unique to their movies — and yet, in the tradition of classic feel-good films, they didn’t give up.

Rest assured, the movies will shine once more!

So let’s all enjoy the final act of this grand movie sequel known as “2019 Part II: 2020,” as we bring 2020 to a close but we won’t forget the wonderful movies …

Here are the TOP TEN MOVIES OF 2020:

10. Movies that helped us forget

9. (TIE) Movies we streamed online / Films of different sizes

8. Widescreen blockbusters that simply must be experienced to have been believed, the director’s commentary will be a treat according to my movie friend

7. Indie films with … shall we say … “unique”-looking actors

6. A single movie that brought us all together; what could be more important in times such as these

5. Movies with dialogue that sounds realistic

4. “This film shines like … feature film … an experience like no other!” –Praise on a poster for the movie

3. Movies about brave heroes

2. A director makes a nice movie

1. Superman

Best Of 2020: TECHNOLOGY


Technology is the art of moving forward. Grounded in science, yet inspired by creative thinking, new technologies improve our lives in ways both large and small. Everything from your dishwasher to your favorite invention is a result of people using technology to innovate and add value to many aspects of life.

One of the defining things about this year (2020) was the way we used technology to stay connected — and grounded — in a changing world. When we needed it most, technology didn’t just show up … it stepped up. From online conference calls to the latest apps, technology was the constant in a world of change and made everything just a little bit better. Medicine, too, may be considered a technology. “Silicon Valley brings out the best in us” is another point I wish to emphasize in this essay. One final thing: You’re reading these words using technology. And that’s something worth celebrating.

Technology asks us to always look to the future, but at the end of the year it’s also appropriate to look backwards, to review all the ways technology has made life different than it would be otherwise. Having said that, let’s enjoy ourselves by reviewing this list of the TOP TEN TECHNOLOGIES OF 2020:

10. Technology factors

9. Computerized technologies with elements of innovation

8. More recent technologies

7. Wonderful technologies of 2020

6. Medical technologies available for purchase using credit-card technologies

5. Technological research

4. (TIE) Mechanisms / Hopeless technologies

3. “I’m glad you told me about the technology. Let’s feast in celebration!”

2. Corporate technologies that help the common good

1. Technological perfection of the highest caliber, what could be described as “The Very Best Technology”

Best Of 2020: SPORTS



How will history remembers the sports of 2020? There were special bubbles, delayed tournaments, tragic outcomes, and of course … more excitement than ever before! Sports, perhaps more than any other aspect of our culture, show us the true winners and losers of life. If you play by the rules and exercise, practice with your teammates, and obey your coach, you may have a chance at becoming a Legend of Sports.

From tennis to baseball, sports in 2020 saw many such legends achieve new heights in their favored pastime. (A true champion, one whose heart beats like a world-class winner, will stay focused no matter what, thinking of only of the next game.) Those champions found their rewards in 2020 — as the world went wild, they stayed calm, disciplined, and focused on their sport. And sure enough, many athletes were winners this year. Their victories made them shine brighter than ever — and they inspired us to do better in our own lives. That surely means more than any championship trophy.

So let’s stand tall, cheer, and celebrate the TOP TEN SPORTS OF 2020:

10. Sports played purely for the love of the game

9. Knock knock, who’s there, Dunk, “Dunk” who, Slam Dunk

8. Winners

7. Sports with high scores 

6. “Hennnry!” “Yes, dear?” “What time is the game on?” “Which game, dear?” “THE CHAMPIONSSSHIPPPP” (so frustrated her voice slows down)

5. In spite of the challenges, when sports rose to the occasion and we love sports

4. Professional sports played at the highest level

3. E-sports

2. Thrilling games as exciting as any movie

1. Sports that brought us together