The Very Weird Tales of Steven Seagal

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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55 Responses

  1. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark
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    says:

    All I can say is that Steven Segal has had the longest 15 minutes ever…Report

  2. Avatar Wardsmith
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    says:

    Executive Decision was an all time favorite at our place when it came out. We’d only watch the first few minutes and all cheer when Segal falls out of the plane at 35,000 feet. Then we’d rewind and do it agin. Apparently /he/ was supposed to be the hero but was such a pain in the arse that they redid the script and waxed him instead.

    That Putin would be star struck by pseudo celebrity should come as a surprise to no one. I like that he gave Depardeau a condo (in Chechnya no less) and before he could move in the place burned down.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Wardsmith
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      says:

      Thanks for bringing up Executive Decision. I love that movie, in good part because of Seagal’s fate. (Actually, I have nothing against Seagal. I just thought it was cool to have an action movie where the action hero dies in the first twenty minutes.)Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq
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    says:

    Does Steven Segal actually believe any of this? Is he massively self-deluded or engaged in a really elaborate con?Report

  4. Avatar Russell Saunders
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    says:

    Dear God, the man’s story reads like something Dan Brown would have rejected as “too implausible.”

    But then, we live in a world with Dennis Rodman, goodwill ambassador, so at this point in my life I’m willing to believe anything.Report

  5. Avatar BlaiseP
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    says:

    America is the very triumph of image over substance. There’s a weird little episode in the later years of Ted Kennedy’s years in the Senate.

    I suppose every US senator has entertained a secret lust for the presidency at one time or another. Barack Obama came to Ted Kennedy in 2006, mooting the idea. Ted Kennedy told him “Your time only comes once, and this is your time,” according to an anonymous Kennedy aide.

    In 2006, Barack Obama had been in office just over one full year of a six year term. Why would Senator Kennedy say “this is your time” ? Because Obama hadn’t yet been sullied with much of a voting record in the Senate, as had Hillary Clinton. The Kennedys were themselves a triumph of image over substance. Machiavelli:

    Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.

    Really, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Steven Seagal riding on top of Joe Arpaio’s armoured vehicles or in the company of those shitweasels Rohrabacher and King. Andy Warhol once said life is a series of images that change as they repeat themselves.

    Sure, facts and scientific progress might get our aircraft off the runways and the new Haswell chipset into the marketplace. But politics and the human heart have always been driven by images, apotheoses and incarnations of our daydreams. Steven Seagal and Ronald Reagan, and yes, even Barack Obama, succeeded, not on the basis of what they’d done, but because the human heart isn’t amenable to facts and track records. Vladimir Putin has beaten his chest for years, calling himself a martial arts expert. Let him press the flesh with another such expert.

    We had fed the heart on fantasies,
    The heart’s grown brutal from the fare,
    More substance in our enmities
    Than in our love;
    Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to BlaiseP
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      says:

      “Shitweasels” — I really must find a way to use this term.

      Seriously, I think your right about this country. Image over substance. All of Las Vegas comes to mind.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michelle
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        says:

        Michelle, it’s the whole world. So-called Smart Folks don’t seem to have any idea of how deeply the myths of Rocky and Rambo have sunk into the world’s collective consciousness. The myth of that poor doomed idiot Achilles, pouting and raging, puts in an appearance in every age. And there’s always a Hector for him to fight.Report

      • Avatar John Wiser in reply to Michelle
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        says:

        Michelle writes:

        > “Shitweasels” — I really must find a way to use this term.

        That shouldn’t be difficult.
        It can be applied appropriately
        to a host of right wingers and their enablers.

        jdwReport

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to John Wiser
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          says:

          Speaking as a Liberal, I have seen the Shitweasel, mustela merdis, among the ranks of the Democrats and their enablers: to wit, a certain odious Reverend Al Sharpton.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to BlaiseP
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            says:

            Brother Al’s not so bad.
            I even cut for Blago. He got a bum rap.Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Will H.
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              says:

              I’d like to hear more on why you think Blago got a bum rap.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to trumwill mobile
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                says:

                I’ve heard excerpts from the tapes played here (supposedly the most damning bits), and I just don’t see it.
                The guy’s quite a yakker in the first place, and it sounds more like he’s thinking out loud, bouncing ideas around, or something.
                I didn’t hear anything there that sounded like a sales pitch.
                I think he was convicted of being a loudmouth, more or less.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Will H.
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                says:

                Oh good Lord. Blago proves the rule: every Illinois governor serves at least two terms. One in in office, the other in prison. What a gonif.Report

              • Avatar Michelle in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                But at least Blago had great hair.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michelle
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                says:

                I think that hairy thing on Blago’s head attempted to mate with Donald Trump. Last I heard, Monsanto was trying to get a patent on its offspring.Report

              • Avatar Angela in reply to Will H.
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                says:

                Blago got blasted for doing what many many pols do all the time.
                However, it still should be illegal and punished.
                I would have been happy with just having his political career destroyed, which it is, and was after the first trial.
                There’s no benefit to anyone to lock him up for 10 years.

                And, there’s some hope that other pols will shape up just a smidgen.Report

  6. Avatar Pierre Corneille
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    says:

    I think I saw a Seagal movie in the 1990s about a monster python. I knew pythons were probably not the safest of snakes to snuggle up with, but I didn’t know that they moved so fast. I mean, the actors were on top of ladders and the python would shoot up several yards out of the water and grab them.Report

  7. Avatar Matty
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    says:

    Steven Seagal has the special kind of manliness that comes from excess preposterone.Report

  8. Avatar KatherineMW
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    says:

    A year later, he launched Lightning Bolt, an energy drink advertised to be the first ever to be made with Asian cordyceps.

    Wait, the fungus that mind-controls insects? Cool. I wouldn’t have guessed it as being edible.Report

  9. Avatar Michelle
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    says:

    My husband likes Seagal and has probably seen most of his movies, many of which he’s watched much more than once. My husband is Russian. Maybe there’s a connection–perhaps Seagal addresses the dark Russian soul in a way few other actors can.

    All I can say is that when I read about this nonsense earlier today, my immediate reaction was “WTF. You’ve got to be kidding.”Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Michelle
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      says:

      “My husband likes Seagal and has probably seen most of his movies, many of which he’s watched much more than once. My husband is Russian. Maybe there’s a connection–perhaps Seagal addresses the dark Russian soul in a way few other actors can.”

      I think I just heard Stanislavski and Chekhov rolling in their graves.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Michelle
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      says:

      Segal’s ancestors probably came over from the Pale of Settlement. It might be that.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Michelle
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      says:

      Maybe Russians really like that elbow-breaking noise? I’m pretty sure Seagal was contractually obligated to break one elbow — complete with disturbing visual effects (if crude) — per movie.

      Don’t get me wrong: I love me a good fight scene. Seagal’s only edge there was…not realism, per se, but a sort of slightly more realistic ruthlessness that was absent at the time. I mean, real hand-to-hand fights involve broken bones and ugly sounds, not jumping kicks to the face or splits (although also love me some Jackie Chan).

      So you had a god-awful — even by action movie standards — actor whose fight scenes were worse than average, if a bit bloodier/nastier than average at the time and that’s it.

      It’s got less rewatchability than Bloodsport, which at least has the awesomeness of a fairly…apt…version of monkey kung fu. (You get the gist of it, even if it’s your usual fight scene stuff). I’d rather rewatch Drunken Master II than anything, though. 🙂

      Jackie Chan’s Drunken Fist is quite awesome to behold.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to Morat20
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        says:

        My husband’s requirements for a good movie are chase scenes, explosions, and pretty women. A good fight scene or two is a bonus. Seagal’s movies tend to feature all of the above.

        I remember seeing one Seagal film, ostensibly set in Chicago, where the pony-tailed one went up against some kind of Jamaican voodoo gang. Lots of blood, gore, and bones cracking. The only problem (well not the only problem but one of the most obvious ones) was that the chase scenes were obviously filmed in downtown L.A. Not too many palm trees in Chicago.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    The series was suspended when Seagal was sued for sexual trafficking and harassment.

    So maybe he did train to be an LA cop after all.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      An interesting fact from that lawsuit is the accuser’s allegation that Seagal kept two young _Russian_ girls on staff essentially as sex workers, and she was hired to replace one of them. (Instead of the personal assistant position she thought she was hired for.)Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      Did you hear about the cop arrested in Contra Costa county for running a series of massage parlors?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to NewDealer
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        says:

        Is that a joke or a news article? Its hard to tell these days.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to NewDealer
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        says:

        Is that a joke or a news article? Its hard to tell these days.Report

      • Avatar maxl in reply to NewDealer
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        says:

        That guy was a one man crime wave. Didn’t he actually get caught because he was paid to issue a DUI to a guy in a custody battle? He was also stealing drugs from dealers and reselling them with some fool partner calling himself a “private detective” as a henchman. They ran the whole thing out of their happy ending massage parlor. They tripped over themselves squealing on each other, too, as I recall.

        And the best part is he was the head of the Narcotics Division for the county. It’s as great a story as the Crime Lab technician who was smoking all the crack samples in San Francisco.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to maxl
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          says:

          The whole story was insane! And I remember all the stories about SF possibly having to throw out hundreds if not thousands of court cases because of issues at the drug-forensic lab and possibly other forensic labs.

          I don’t remember why the guy in Contra Costa got caught but “one man crime wave” was a good description of the guy.Report

  11. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    Well he certainly knows how to hustle.

    I’m waiting for someone to talk about how all Americans should hustle like Seagal.

    We seem to like this kind of stuff as a nation……..Report

  12. Avatar Will H.
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    says:

    . . . to take out the crazed and/or terrorist gunmen with “marital arts.”
    This is a much under-used tactic in the repertoire of many major metro PD’s in this country.
    It’s a very effective and tine-tested technique.
    A little candlelight, a little peek-a-boo from Mr. Frederick’s– no crazed and/or terrorist gunman could stand a chance against that.Report

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