In case you missed the big news, Steven Seagal ‘defected’ from the US to Russia several years ago and was granted citizenship by Presidential decree of Vladimir Putin. In August 2018, Seagal has just been named by Putin as Russia’s “special representative” on “humanitarian” efforts in the “culture, public, and youth exchanges” with the USA. Today, I am going to make fun of him for being a fat dupe of Russia.
At first glance to a Western observer, such an appointment might look pointless since Seagal has the media clout here of a Mickey Rourke-esque has-been — all too common in Putin’s 1980s washed up movie star entourage. However, I actually rate this as a good pick for Russia’s fantasy propaganda football league.
Seagal is a potentially strong character in terms of promotion of mixed martial arts (MMA), fomenting “#metoo” kinds of feelings, and also promoting Russian guns (bonus: Maria Butina approved! ). He’s appeared as a guest to spread ‘Deep State’ conspiracy theories on Alex Jones’ Infowars. Regardless of the effectiveness of his diplomacy, it is clear Seagal is going to bring heavy controversy – if not firepower – in his stateside return on behalf of Russian information strategy.
As I have previously blogged, Russia seems to be behind some aspects of the current gender based controversies , MMA culture in America, and certainly infiltration of the right-wing gun rights movement. The concept of Alex Jones as a shill of Russia should seem hardly controversial at this point.
Therefore, the appointment of Seagal seems to fit with evidence of how Russia aggressively uses a culture of conspiracism to divide us in a dualistic sense, and perhaps also ‘shape’ us too in ways that suit their future plans.
Beyond this, Seagal apparently facilitated Russian access in 2013 for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher; and brought him to the site of the Beslan school massacre, where Seagal was an apparently useful tool for drumming up support for Russia’s continued war on ‘radical islamic terrorists‘ in Chechnya. (Don’t forget the history.)
Since his official immigration to Russia, Seagal has also been banned from entering Ukraine due to his inflammatory political activities at a concert run by Russia’s Night Wolves biker gang.
Oh, I guess we can predict the kinds of things Seagal will do… It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?
But back to fact shaming Mr. Seagal. I don’t take pleasure in hurting people’s feelings but in addition to being a big fat Russian dupe, Seagal is broadly a big fat liar too. I refuse to suffer fools lightly and ridicule is a powerful critical tool. Thus, I proceed. Dare I say, he deserves this ridicule? Injudicious ridicule is surely wrong, but what is wrong with administering a bit of deserved ad-hominem?
Like a schoolyard bully, I have zeroed in on Seagal’s unhealthy fat lifestyle choice as the easiest pressure point to pummel. I know you may not like to talk about it, but I am pretty sure the first thought when you see Seagal today is something like “Whoa, that dude has gotten fat” or “What the heck happened to Steven Seagal’s face?“. Let’s speak the truth here. At least I am not making fun of his mom (yet). (But it is notably sad that he had a Jewish father and he ironically shills for a ‘Tsarist’.)
The most obvious meme for this one seemed to be capitalizing on Seagal’s best known movie (Under Siege (1992)) and his current physical condition as a Russian citizen. Upon reflection, it seems that I’ve been taking inspiration from South Park and Monty Python in equal measure.
Not like it is the first fat expat dupe I’ve observed to come back to promote Russian culture here in the States.