Vladimir Putin makes a show of pretending to care about Steven Seagal, and Seagal, in return, acts as unofficial mouthpiece for the Russian regime. Note to any aspiring strongmen – you buy off a C-list celebrity with a few honorary positions and official visits and the next thing you know, he’s praising your invasions of Ukraine and Georgia on national TV. Give the man a free piroshki platter and he’d probably excuse genocide.
Anyway, Steven Seagal, who, in addition to being a foreign policy, martial arts, and time travel expert, is also a blues musician, took his talents (*vigorous air quoting*) to the Crimean Peninsula this weekend, where he played at a Russian separatist-friendly concert in Sevastopol, on a stage adorned with the separatist flag. Perfect audience, I hear they love the poonani.
Seagal and his blues band played on Saturday at a bikers’ show held in the city of Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The star has come under fire for supporting Russia’s March annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, a view that saw him bounced from the lineup at an Estonian blues festival this summer.
At the corner of the stage hung the black, blue and red flag of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR), declared independent by pro-Russia rebels fighting to break away from Ukraine. Fans waved Russian and DNR flags as Seagal performed.
Oh what I wouldn’t give to hear Steven Seagal shout “HELLO, OO-KRINE!”
Seagal said he had travelled to Crimea because music unites people, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported.
“Look, guys, I don’t keep track of space or time or politics too well, I just came here to play my poonani songs and unite people.” (*waves flag of group explicitly referred to as “separatists”*)
Russian media also reported Seagal put on a Putin T-shirt given to him by the concert’s organiser. In television footage broadcast on a channel owned by Russia’s defence ministry, Seagal can be heard telling his hosts about his Russian ancestors. [Guardian]
Of course he has Russian ancestors (despite outwardly being an Irish Jew from Southern California). If Steven Seagal played a concert for Eskimos he’d end up trying to tell them how to make igloos.
I love that the guy who stole Bob Kraft’s Super Bowl ring has Steven Seagal convinced that they’re soul mates. I give it 10 days before Seagal shows up on TV trying to convince us all that Malaysia Flight 17 was actually full of corpses when it took off.
Frankly, I’m just hoping this spawns a “Steven Seagal’s Unimpressed Bassist” meme.