The Most Read Saturday Essays of 2020

Saturday Essay logo genericWe thought we were so artsy and sophisticated with our little essay series on Perfect Duluth Day. But we all know sensationalism sells. Which essays were the most read in 2020 according to Google Analytics? Well, the topics included a wet T-shirt contest, reckless behavior involving musical watercraft, flat-out fake news, a cult taking over a Lincoln Park church and a murderous dog. Readers, we hope you’re proud of yourselves.

PDD’s annual tradition of wrapping up each year of the “Saturday Essay” series with lazy top-five lists instead of arduously prepared compositions continues next week when the samplings will be less of a popularity contest and more about one person’s snobby opinion of what you should have been reading if you weren’t all heathens.

Before digging into the 2020 countdown, here’s a brief paragraph to spell out for the uninitiated how the “Saturday Essay” feature works:

PDD publishes an essay nearly every Saturday — like four out of five weeks or something like that. Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is the editor. A small group of writers are featured somewhat regularly, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to submit a piece for consideration. Shoot an email to paul @ to inquire.

And now, let the countdown begin …

#1: Slim Goodbuzz’s “Ripped at a Wet T-shirt Contest in 2000
… in which the region’s connoisseur of boozing ventures into a salacious event, back in the days when events happened and were sometimes salacious.

#2: Jim Richardson’s “Nautical Milestone for the Duluth Autonomous Navy
… in which Troy Rogers attempts to navigate the shore of Lake Superior on a pedal-powered sousaphone boat, with predictable results.

#3: Jim Richardson’s “Sharkgate: The Lake Superior Bull Shark Conspiracy
… in which Lake Superior Aquaman shirks all responsibility for the virtues of journalism to more fully embrace the joy of comedic art.

#4: Lissa Maki’s “My Partner is Starting a Cult
… in which a collective of artists, in the weeks before COVID-19, take over the former Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

#5: Molly J. Wick’s “Even Good Dogs are Still Dogs
… in which those who have poorly trained dogs off leash, or let their dogs approach strangers freely, face their judgement.

So there are the goods. Read or reread and enjoy. We’ll be back with new works of literary splendor in 2021.

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