Sometime in 1987 the talk amongst the lunch tables at my junior high school was, “Who is the cool new-wave chick inStar Trek: The Next Generation?” At the time we had a lot of interesting women to look up to in music, but this one was living in a future where a woman could be the head of security on a starship. The character was named Tasha Yar, and her backstory was even more inspiring. She was an orphan who had to scavenge for the bare necessities of life, escaped rape gangs, overcame a drug addiction, and through her bravery and determination made her way into a high-profile job aboard the Starship Enterprise. For a bunch of teenage girls facing an uncertain future ourselves, she was the ultimate heroine. Until she was killed by Armus, a malevolent life form made from the byproduct of human negativity and evil. Tragically, our heroine had becomea memory contained in a hologram.
But Denise Crosby, the actor who made Tasha Yar legendary, lives on and continues to appear in films and on television as heroines in all sorts of universes. I met her recently at a Star Trek convention, where I saw her walking down the hallway with a small group of admirers. My opening line was one of pure fandom: “You’re awesome!” Surprisingly, we hit it off like old friends, discovering we grew up in the same neighborhood and had a deep affection for anything Fiorucci. As we spoke, the fandom subsided, and I became very much inspired by her legacy. A month later I found myself in her backyard discussing her career over coffee and cookies.
VICE: Being the granddaughter of Bing Crosby and the daughter of Dennis, you were born into the entertainment industry. Was there ever a time when you thought you would not go into showbiz? Denise: Absolutely. In my youth I had that rebel spirit in me that didn’t want to do anything people assumed I would do. Instead I would purposefully go out and do the opposite. I moved away from home and out of Los Angeles as soon as I could. I loved journalism and wanted to be like Christiane Amanpour or Diane Sawyer. I knew I wanted to be on camera, but I wanted to do investigative reporting or work in the field, so I studied journalism and drama at a college in Santa Cruz. On a fluke I auditioned and got the part in the spring production of the school play, which put me in touch with a part of myself that I enjoyed but wasn’t ready to embrace. I took a year off and bummed around the world, scored a few modeling jobs in London and Paris. Eventually I came back home to my parents’ place in Los Angeles, and it was there that I was contacted by a casting agent who had seen some pictures of me in Playboy.
I’ve seen the Playboy photographs! They are incredible. I don’t think I have ever seen a Playboy model with a punk-rock hairstyle! It’s true, and no one has looked like that since. What happened was I originally did some test shots with a photographer who had me dressed up like Little Bo Peep. I had ruffles and bows and I thought to myself, This is a mistake—this is not me, and I never want to be this. On an off day I went down to Vidal Sassoon on Rodeo Drive and said, “Cut all of my hair off.” I had shoulder length hair at the time, so the stylist said, “Are you sure?” And I said, “Just give me a short, short cut. Buzz it off.”
The next day I showed up to continue the photo shoot, and the photographer flipped out! He pulled me into the photo editor’s office to show her what I had done. They just thought Hefner would never go for it. But another photographer named Phillip Dixon was in the office and interrupted: “I like the way she looks, it’s very modern. Let me do some test shots.” So they gave him a chance, and it was the tests with Phillip that wound up going to print. Playboy is kind of what started my acting career. Thankfully I did it on my own terms, not Little Bo Peep with her boobs showing.
About a year ago I wrote a thing about how Johnny Depp just might be the lamest guy on Earth.
For some reason, a lot of people remember that post, and it’s frequently brought up to me by fucking geniuses who say things like “Uhhhh, so you think Johnny Depp is the lamest guy on Earth? What about Kim Jong-un? What about the Dark Knight shooter?”
OBVIOUSLY, I did not mean Johnny Depp is LITERALLY the worst person on Earth. Just because he wears dumb hats and is in shitty movies and is, generally, just an all-around unbearably smug turd, I know that doesn’t mean he is worse than a dictator or mass murderer. I am not retarded. CLEARLY, if we’re looking at and considering every single person in the entire world and being completely and totally literal, Steven Seagal comes out the worst.
Here are the most terrible things I can think of about him.
HE MAKES INSANE MUSIC
I often worry, when I embed videos on this site, that people reading it might not watch them because they’re at work or deaf or whatever, so just in case: this video is a dancehall song that Steven Seagal made, and it contains the following lyrics:
“Me want tha poonani”
“Nice itel breeze, we jammin’”
“That would be phat”
Also, his last album was called “Songs From the Crystal Cave,” which sounds like something they would play in Urban Outfitters.
HE’S A COMPULSIVE LIAR
Over the years, Steven has claimed that he:
- Helped train CIA operatives and did “special favors” for them (his ex wife says, “Not at all. He was never in the CIA.”)
- Is called in to help authenticate antique swords by auction houses as he is one of the world’s “foremost experts on swords” (again, lol)
- Was a student of the founder of Akido, Morihei Ueshiba (who died in 1968, meaning Steven would have had to have been a teenager living alone in Japan for that to have happened)
- Speaks four languages fluently (I’m unable to find any evidence of him speaking anything other than English made entirely of lies)
HE POOPED HIMSELF
In a 2002 profile in Vanity Fair, martial artist Gene LeBell claimed he choked out Steven during an Aikido exhibition, causing Seagal to poop in his pants. Steven denies it ever happened. But he also said he was a multilingual, Yakuza fighting, CIA assassin. So, ya know…
THESE ARE THINGS HE’S ACTUALLY SAID
- “I’m a very funny guy, if you’ll forgive me for saying so. When I did The Glimmer Man with Keenan Ivory Wayans, he and I were talking about who was funniest, and… I kicked his ass every day.” (source)
- “I was born very different, clairvoyant and a healer.” (source)
I recently moved from London to Los Angeles. Despite the fact that LA is the undisputed worst place in the entire world, I’ve been trying super hard to like it. Mainly because I like being that guy who likes the thing everyone else hates just to annoy people (which reminds me, people I know in real life: I never really liked Skrillex or Twilight. You should’ve seen your faces though).
Liking LA also seems to be “a thing” lately. I’ve seen a bunch of articles about it, like this one by Joseph Gordon Levitt that people keep sending me. In it, he talks about how LA is superior to New York because you can sing in the car when you’re stuck in traffic, and also he once saw the movie Swingers here.
Anyway, below are the main things that have been annoying me since moving to LA.
THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE
In London, the worst that can happen while you’re out walking around is maybe stepping in a puddle or gettinghappy slapped. Here, I have to worry about drive-bys and forest fires and mountain lions and “The Big One” and rattlesnakes and brain-eating parasites and home invasions and fucking TSUNAMIS! Why did someone think it would be a good idea to build a city here?
IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A NORMAL NIGHT OUT
In London, or New York, or Paris, or any other city on Earth, going out means either walking/taking public transportation to a bar or club, then maybe walking to another place after that, then taking a cab home. This becomes problematic in Los Angeles, because public transportation does not exist. And I’m pretty sure cabs don’t exist, either. This means everyone drinks and drives, and I’m not sure if you’ve seen those ads about it on TV, but drinking and driving is really, really, really not OK. Then, you have to find somewhere to park or pay a bunch of money to valet, and then line up to get in, and then before you know it you just paid $30 to get into a “yoga rave” that’s ten minutes from ending, you’ve forgotten where you parked and, oh shit, you got a ticket. Fun times.
THERE IS HIPPIE BULLSHIT ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE
Every time I think I’ve met a normal person, I find out they’re extremely into some kind of new-age nonsense. Did you know that Mercury is in retrograde right now? Me too, and I really, really shouldn’t know that.