BONUS TRACK: #133. I met Steven Seagal
I forgot about this one.
After Katrina, the racist Jefferson Parish Police Department made action star Steven Seagal a deputy sheriff as part of a reality TV stunt. “I’ve been working as an officer in Jefferson Parish for two decades under most people’s radar,” Seagal told the camera during the pilot. “I believe it’s important to show the nation all the positive work being accomplished here in Louisiana — to see the passion and commitment that comes from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in this post-Katrina environment.”
That last part is bullshit; During the decades that Louisiana held the title “incarceration capital of the world,” Jefferson Parish remained the incarceration capital of Louisiana. Jeff Parish police stood on the bridge during Katrina with guns, to stop anyone (Blacks) from coming over to dry land when Orleans Parish filled with water. Fuck Jefferson Parish.
I met Seagal only in passing, when my friend and I worked not on an episode of Steven Seagal Lawman, but on a photoshoot to advertise the show — an over-the-top extravagant photoshoot that must have cost as much as an episode of the show. A big crew flew in from Los Angeles to film half the Jeff Parish police department and their squad cars arranged in a circle jerk around Seagal.
As with Donald Drumpf, you take one look at Seagal and think, No, no way. His taped-on widow’s peak appeared to be made of black felt. And he lives in a world where no one mentions that to him. The small, young Japanese woman who held a fan to his face between takes would not mention his pelt toupee (Seagal would later be accused of running a sex ring populated with Asian women who served as his “assistants”). He also resembled Drumpf in regards to physique, his giant belly squeezed into a sheriff’s uniform with several girdles (in this way he really did resemble your average Louisiana cop). I could not fathom that anyone — especially an investor — would look at this comic tragedy of a man and think, Yes, yes, let’s do this.
The two-dozen person crew photographed this self-serious buffoon wrapped tight in his dark blue sausage casing in all kinds of heroic situations, dragging criminals through the dirt, emerging from behind smoke machines. In between, his Asian assistant would dab his forehead and fan the permanently furrowed brow beneath his V pelt.
Afterwards, Seagal catered a massive feast for his brothers in blue: a fried seafood po’boy buffet, gumbo and jambalaya, plus a bar serving both raw and chargrilled oysters, all you could eat. When the police had their fill, the crew was invited to dig in.
Prior to that, I’d never really liked oysters. But thos chargrilled ones! Holy shit! I ate so damned many oysters that day. So... thanks Steven Seagal.