In selecting the “best” commentaries of the past year, NonDoc editors looked at a combination of article performance and subject matter.

Some commentaries made an indelible splash on social media, in turn garnering the kind of traffic that helped secure their spot on this list. Others made smaller waves but managed to stick with our psyches hard enough to warrant inclusion.

(Before moving on to the list, we’d like to take a moment to recognize local education correspondent John Thompson, whose regular contributions to the site account for a fair bit of our weekly readership. Without his voice and perspective week in and week out, NonDoc would truly lose one of the pillars of content that props up our platform. Many thanks to you, Dr. Thompson.)

Oklahoma Standard ‘a myth’

By Jack Fowler – April 27

With more than 3,700 pageviews and almost 9,000 engagements on Facebook, local artist Jack Fowler’s rant on what he sees as the duplicitous nature of what’s become known as the “Oklahoma Standard” remains one of our most popular articles. The piece sparked much conversation beneath its Facebook post, with most commenters agreeing with Fowler’s premise while others derided the article’s pessimism.

High school junior: ‘Oklahoma is failing its students’

By Sophie Trachtenberg – April 19

Of all our contributors who looked at education issues in 2016, it was a local junior in high school who managed to garner more than 4,000 engagements on Facebook and generate more than 2,800 views for her commentary on how Oklahoma’s budget crisis was adversely affecting her school experience.

Christian minister on Oilfield Prayer Day: ‘I just can’t’

By Lori Walke – October 11

One of the legacy effects of our early series, Vital Conversations, was that local clergy have become semi-regular contributors to what is otherwise a patently secular site. To that end, this pointed submission from Lori Walke has more than 9,000 pageviews, making it one of our best-performing commentaries by far.

I still breastfeed my 2-year-old (and it’s fine)

By Angela A. Arcos – August 1

Moving away from the performance-based metrics that qualified the above posts for inclusion on this list, we’ve selected Angela Arcos’ commentary about breast feeding for its courageous vulnerability. Not only did the subject matter of her article require a fair amount of guts to go public, but the accompanying photo of the author’s 2-year-old at her breast is equally compelling for its unflinching intimacy.

How terrorism ends: A slow death from loneliness

By David Walters – July 12

One of NonDoc’s biggest strengths is providing a responsible public forum where people feel comfortable voicing their opinions. To that end, having former Oklahoma Gov. David Walters contribute pieces to the site is a real boon. In articular, his take on the statistically miniscule threat that fundamental Islamic terrorism poses to America is worth re-reading for the perspective it provides in quantifying the real dangers that face us every day.

As we close the door on 2016 (finally), NonDoc looks forward to a new year filled with new commentary submissions and their related discussions.

If you’ve got something to rant about, get off your chest or illuminate to our readers, feel free to email us at

Josh McBee served as NonDoc's managing editor from September 2015 through January 2019. He earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. He has reported and edited for newspapers and other media in Oklahoma, Colorado and California.