Goldie And Kurt Were Almost In Hell. But They Got Out

It’s a shame what happened to Goldie Studlendgehawn. She caught up on her reading, she said, because there was just nothing to do while she was in Vancouver. Except maybe listen to the pitter-patter of raindrops on her roof.  It must have been horrible.


Goldie Studlendgehawn, who shortened her name to Hawn and became what she became, told Jay Leno on the Tonight Show a few years back that her and love-of-her-life Kurt Russell lived off and on in Vancouver because their son Wyatt Russell was honing his craft as a goaltender in the Junior ranks there.


But they were bored. They had to whittle their days away in their rented three million dollar, 7000 square foot, five bedroom, eleven fireplace igloo in some backwater part of “The City That Fun Forgot.”


Nothing to do in Vancouver? There’s more than 2000 restaurants and almost as many bars. And what about the traffic jams? Surely, Vancouver’s traffic jams are almost as good as Los Angeles’.


There must be lots to do in Los Angeles. Marvel at gangs as they fight over drug territory. Spend hours looking for the sun through the smog. Enjoy lovely beaches provided you don’t get shot at on the freeway on the way there.


And it’s fun to think if young Wyatt would have gotten traded to the the Powell River Kings. After all, the young fellow was stopping pucks for the Coquitlam Express, a junior stepping stone, just like, gulp, the Kings.


It’s something Kurt and Goldie probably didn’t want to think about. Although if it had happened, they may have thought about disowning their young Jacques Plante.


But the glamorous couple might have liked Powell River. They could’ve joined the Moose or Legion, made new friends, played darts, and quickly forgot about the nightmare they went through in Vancouver. They could’ve dined on those wicked fish and chips at the bowling alley, eaten prawns, lawn bowled, and danced the night away at the raunchy Westview Hotel.


It would’ve been great if Wyatt had been traded to the Powell River Kings. It would’ve been so much fun to hear a couple of Hollywood stars screaming at the top of their lungs all up and down the Sunshine Coast.


And Goldie Studlendgehawn could’ve sat in Powell River and watched reruns of herself on the Tonight Show, as rain pitter-pattered on her new Powell River roof.

3 thoughts on “Goldie And Kurt Were Almost In Hell. But They Got Out”

  1. DK,

    Place. It’s central to our daily lives and is the cornerstone on which the vast majority of us erect our personal and collective sense of self, in many ways it defines us, you might say that `we are where we are’. A dood called Fernand Braudel in his historical opus `The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World’ argued that a peoples’ identity -in all meaningful ways – is shaped by where they live, by the physical nature – climate, terrain – of their environment. And to a certain extent this makes sense. I mean, where else can you find Munchkins other than Oz? Brobdingnagians only live in Brobdingnan, at least, to my knowledge. Mind you, not all peoples are irremovably rooted to one spot. So, for example, `les mangeurs de Twinkies’ can be found scattered across Canada (usually these dps are to be found in isolated pockets huddled around a big tower) although the vast majority are, as we know, concentrated in the Greater Trawna Region. And, on an individual level, I ask you, where else, other than Powell River could there be a Lawrence, for example? La P, Buffalo? And so on and so forth, which brings me to Goldie & Kurt.

    I was surprised at what you had to say about G&K, DK. My image of them (an utterly false one?) has always been a positive one for two very simple reasons: first, they have managed to stay together and, to all outward appearances, they appear to have a healthy and happy (whatever that means) union which I think is remarkable given that they come from a `place’ called Hollywood which is even weirder than Oz. Not only are they subject to the constant barrage of tensions, often violent, that you listed but for much of their lives they have been treading water in a turbulent sea of neuroses, behavioural complexes, psychiatric syndromes and outright obsessions both oral and anal as well as anything else you might want to dream up. Imagine yourself in a giant pot being slowly heated up along with a variety of exotic vegies and meats, a hodge-podge of assorted phobias, panic-attacks, anxieties, depression, dissociative manics in fuge, depthless shame, paralyzing guilt, self-loathing, the absence of a `moral’ compass other than that expressed by the motto `skin deep is the greatest good’, and the broth in which this bizarre compote is stewing is sex, lots and lots of sex, rampant promiscuity of which Caligula might well have been proud. Not a pretty picture, eh? So, the fact that G&K are still together, that they haven’t dissolved into the anonymous Hollywood olio to my mind says a lot for them, for their characters, for their values and sense-of-self. It is very difficult, Braudel might argue impossible, to rise above one’s environment, but they seem to have done so. Granted, they are coated with a patina of this volatile mixture – which in all fairness must be expected – but a hint of misanthropy, a touch of `social withdrawal’ is not a bad thing, it might even be construed as an essential part of a Hollywood ingredient’s survival kit. So, what I’m saying is that I don’t think Vancouverites should take what appears to be G*K’s cavalier rejection too personally. I mean, if you don’t fish, if you don’t sip tea, if you don’t know your beer and if you don’t like splashing around in mud puddles, I can understand why they might have found life in Vancouver arduous. And, c’mon, how many times can you visit those totem poles before they get tired of the sight of you?

    Secondly, G&K possess a saving grace, not only do they know about hockey, they even appear to know something about it as witnessed by the fact that they brought their kid to Canada to learn the game. This means they have been to Canada’s special place, the place that in many ways defines us, shapes our identities and in a crucial way unites us as Canadians: yup, the arena. Which means they know the `feel’ of the place: they know the unique `sounds’, the echoes of skates cutting ice, of sticks connecting with pucks, of padded bodies colliding at high speeds, and the thuds and clangs and rattlings, the grunts and groans, the cries of jubilation and the shouts of encouragement, the sounds of victory and the sounds of defeat; they know the `smells’, the salty tang of sweat, the faint hint of stale beer lingering in the stands like cheap aftershave lotion, the wisping aromas of hot drinks; they know the `flavours’, oh yeah, they know about the coffee and hot chocolate that can only be found in the arena and only be savoured there, along with the dogs and popcorn; and they know the sights, the battered flecked smudged chipped beat-up lived-in vaguely hazy crispy vista that can be found nowhere else other than the arena. And, by uniting us, by becoming a part of us in an inescapable and enduring way, what `the arena’ does is remind us of who we are and where we came from and by so doing grounds us, keeps us in touch with the basics, as it were, and so in effect helps to protect us both against our own wanderlust and against the less healthy climates of places such as Hollywood which, although superifical, holds an undeniable frequently destructive attraction that makes the biblical story of the snake, the apple, the girl and the boy ring true.

    I don’t entirely agree with Braudel’s thesis of the definitive nature of `place’, but I do believe it does play a critical role in our development, both individually and collectively. And, yes, I am mightily impressed by G&K’s ability to remain relatively intact, given the nature of the `place’ where they have lived for so long, and I also believe that, in some small? way, `the arena’ has played a role in their survival.

    p.s. of course, if H&K are canuckleheads, they should be pilloried and pelted with rotten vegies, then flogged and taken out to the hallowed site of Saint Trevor duh Linden’s Descension and tossed in to join him in his watery place of neverending hope (lessness?).

  2. I guess what I’m really on about is the personal thing about people like actor David Duchovny who worked in Vancouver and couldn’t wait to get out of town, or basketball players who were drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies and asked to be traded because they thought they were coming to the Arctic, and various other slights we hear from time to time from rich, spoiled folks from below the border who want nothing to do with Canada because they think it’s an icy dead zone that’s way too foreign for them with silly money and hurry up and send me back to civilization as quick as possible. I remember hearing that talk show host who’s originally from Scotland (can’t remember his name) joking that why would anyone want to live in Canada? I think he was joking. I’m just a proud Canadian and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
    So when Goldie said that on the Tonight Show, I always remembered it and took it personally because I’m a patriot and as great as many things are in the US, there’s lots that aren’t so great down there. I’m sure La Punkette could agree on this. I just feel Canada’s as modern, as great, as beautiful, as civilized as they are and I’m a little sensitive about this.
    Good for them for bringing their boy up here to improve as a goalie. And maybe they are more normal than most Hollywood-types.
    Maybe I just made a mountain out of a mole hill.
    Sorry Goldie and Kurt.

  3. DK,

    Ooops. Sorry, DK, it was not my intention to even imply that what you had to say was not valid. I mean, I do share much of your attitude (perhaps somewhat less emphatic) as expressed above only I guess for some reason I’ve always thought of Hawn & Russell as kind of atypical, exceptional even, in this way. And, in an important sense (hehehe, I’m resisting the urge to go off on another riff here) what happens with `public’ figures, especially those caught up, will-nilly, in the current cult of `personalities/celebrities), is they are reduced to two-dimensional symbolic status (which price they are fully aware they must pay for the very very nice perks they get from this biz)and as such they are held to different standards and a profile and importance that is at best merely exaggerated does adhere to them and, again, given their choice to do what they are doing, they must be responsible for what they say and do to an extent not expected of, hehe, say, somebody like me.

    So, don’t get me wrong. I do agree with you that nobody should tolerate spoiled narcissistic celebrities particularly when they are acting like petulant children – hehe, another riff yet to be realized. Part of this `world’ is how the media works, how it can generate distortion and misrepresentation, although once again, people in the biz should be well-aware of these pifalls. So, I guess in the case of H&K I personally tend to think of them as not being so shallow and therefore believe some kind of garbling has occurred if not in the actual lexical content then in the tone and intent of what was said.

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