This year's Academy Awards lacked a sense of serendipity or surprise (aside from Sacha Baron Cohen's red carpet stunt) and didn't include many films that connected with me. No, I didn't watch the awards show live--I was at the Aulani-A Disney Resort in HAST, the time zone that includes Hawaii--and by the time the broadcast was to air, I'd already heard about the winners and the results didn't sound too interesting. Even a film that could at one time be viewed as an underdog, such as The Artist (c'mon, a b&w silent film in 2011?!), was in reality the odds-on favorite of the evening.
Even though the latest batch of Oscar recipients may have been bland, I've got another list of winners for which you can surely get up-in-arms and root for a favorite: the Happiest States of 2011. Turns out, Hawaii finished in the top slot. Following my first soft steps with aloha this past week, I'm not surprised at this result. I do, however, wonder if Hawaii is simply so nice that the world's best cinema of the year can't approach competition.
A killer generalization, sure, but I'd like to think happier planners, suppliers and attendees = happier event. Following are the top 10 U.S. states as ranked by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
- Hawaii (corporate meetings, live TV broadcasts, weddings--I experienced or heard successful examples of all of these events taking place at Aulani last week)
- North Dakota (<shrugs>)
- Minnesota (while in Hawaii, I met so many people that originated here...happy follows happy)
- New Hampshire