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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sweaty Globes

Kathy Bates, Diane Kruger, The Clooneys and Helen Mirren all supported with Hashtag Activism.
Okay, so where am I? 

I'm writing from this from one of the quasi VIP lounges at LAX (destination?: Parts Unknown) on this fancy, new vintage writing accessory from Querkywriter (no, this is not a paid endorsement...).

You know, there is something special about the heavy, mechanical feel of an old typewriter keyboard. You can feel the keys working as you type, offering a deeper and infinitely more tactile experience than contemporary flat, plastic keyboards. The only problem is that typewriter keyboards are attached to old typewriters. They are heavy, they need ink, and you can’t work on one in Starbucks lest you reach the upper echelon of hipster douchedom. More on that later...

Let me say that I love awards season like I love a Starbucks venti drip with light cream (which means an awful lot). So far I've hit the American Music Awards, the Hollywood Film Awards and now the Golden Globe Awards. This year's event was riding a high from the 2014 rating bonanza that featured almost 21 million views. The swank Beverly Hilton was awash in designer gowns, a bearded woman, oversized eyeglasses, and every new style of hairs and make-up. And, unlike the American Music Awards where half the attendees and nominees look like they threw on something from the Goodwill Designer Rack, the Golden Globes attendees were in full Oscar prep dressed to the nines. Looking great, however, did come with a price.

Sweating with the Stars

Katherine Heigl literally shined on stage with David Duchovny.
 On a 60 degree evening who would have guessed that sweat was back?! During the ceremony, everyone looked like their agents just told them their shows were cancelled or a big part went elsewhere. Bright and shiny was definitely in. Hundreds of stars, including Clive Owen and Katherine Heigl, sported glistening foreheads while fanning themselves as soon as the teleprompter shoo'ed them away. Management at the luxury hotel insisted that the air conditioning was on full blast. Perhaps it was too much whiskey -- I mean even Kevin Spacey brought his drink on stage to accept his Globe (that's how he rolls) -- or maybe it was the air; all I know is that I'll feel a lot less awkward sweating in the future.

Je Suis Charlie

Before the event -- or maybe the red carpet IS the event for most -- Hashtag Activism was in full bloom with "Je Suis Charlie" seemingly everywhere you looked.  In an industry that regularly censors gays, sex, and politics, the performing artists we love and hate came out to champion peace and free speech. 

For those who have been away from their media for the last week, Je Suis Charlie (translated “I Am Charlie”) is the the solidarity slogan that sprouted up in the wake of the ghastly massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper Paris offices. Twelve were left dead at the hands of terrorists and now the tragedy has morphed into a mantra symbolizing those who stood in support of the slain Hebdo satirists at Hebdo and their world's right to basically the U.S.'s first amendment.

The slogan became the latest hallmark of hashtag activism with #JeSuisCharlie rising as one of the most popular hashes ever with over three million tweets in a 24-hour period. Hollywood caught on and George Clooney wrapped up the sentiment of A-listers in his moving Globes’ lifetime achievement award acceptance speech:
“And one last thing: to reiterate what we’ve all been talking about, today was an extraordinary day,” said Clooney. “There were millions of people who marched not just in Paris, but around the world. And they were Christians and Jews and Muslims. They were leaders of countries all over the world. And they didn’t march in protest; they marched in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear. We won’t do it. So, Je Suis Charlie.”
Leave it to Clooney to be the media mouthpiece. In 2006, while receiving a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Syriana, Clooney reflected on the progressive part of Hollywood:
“We are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while, I think,” Clooney said. “It's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects, we are the ones—this Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this Academy, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch.”
Gina Rodriguez Made Us Cry

Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez was the CW network's first Golden Globes nominee and today she's their Golden Globe winner! Judging by where she was sitting (aka the nosebleed section which was much closer to Hollywood than Beverly Hills) this was quite an upside win. Once she made her long hike to the podium, she unleashed her words that lefts us all a little weepy:

"This award is so much more than myself," she said. "It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes."

Not-So-Candid Globes Moments

Sweating up a storm with (l to r) Camila Alves, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Matthew McConaughey.
Big thumbs up from Salma Hayek.
JLo and her Golden Globes
Hollywood's Royal Couple: George and Amal Clooney 
Emily Blunt and that guy from The Office.
Good Girl Rosamund Pike dressing oh so bad on the red carpet.

I led the column with a tease about my new keyboard. The Qwerkywriter from Qwerkytoys is an authentic mechanical typewriter keyboard that can be used with your desktop, laptop, or even tablet. You can get that retro feel from a typewriter without eschewing modern conveniences like inserting and deleting. After almost $130,000 on Kickstarter, the Qwertywriter is headed for mass production, with units shipping summer 2015. For now, you can preorder a Qwerkywriter for around $300.