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Celebrity Slam - (Not) Above the Law

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Making fun of famous people is what we do best here at Celebrity Slam. That delightful combination of constant scrutiny and rampant egoism that is inherent to pretty much all celebrities? Well, it’s essentially a perfect storm that lends itself to the saying and doing of hilariously stupid things.

But there are some famous folks who really go the extra mile, who become so consumed by their own delusions of grandeur that they transcend mere stupidity and achieve a higher plane. It’s a higher plane of idiocy, but still.

Steven Seagal is one such transcendent idiot.

There are a lot of things we COULD talk about with Mr. Seagal. His seemingly unending stream of poorly-produced hack action movies or his assistance in advertising for a Russian arms manufacturer and friendliness with one Vladimir Putin, maybe? Or the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct levied against him? Or maybe his endorsement of a shady cryptocurrency?

Yeah – we’re going to go ahead and do that last one.

Seagal made news last month by endorsing a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin2Gen. But last week, said cryptocurrency wound up in legal trouble, with the state of New Jersey’s Bureau of Securities issuing a cease-and-desist order against the company’s initial coin offering. Yes, it’s an order that only applies to operations in New Jersey, but it’s still not a great look.

And it won’t be the least, because this whole thing definitely smells even scammier than a lot of these questionable cryptocurrency outfits.

(By the way, if you’re unclear regarding the whole idea of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – as we imagine many still are – we highly recommend tracking down the episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” where he talks about the phenomenon. It’s broken down in a fairly easy-to-understand fashion and is pretty darned funny to boot.)

Leaving aside the general shadiness of the name, which is clearly intended to piggyback off the prominence of leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin – the extra “i” is for “it’s totally not a scam” – this is precisely the sort of thing that reminds us all of what a lunatic weirdo Seagal has become in recent years.

He obviously doesn’t care about his reputation any more – watch any movie he’s made in the last decade for proof of that – but this is shady even for him. When the company you’re endorsing begins their press release by telling people that they are totally not a pyramid scheme, it should maybe raise an alarm bell or two. They literally say they aren’t scamming people. Generally, when you need to say that, you’re almost certainly scamming people.

It’s pretty clear that this Bitcoiin2Gen isn’t actually FOR anything. And while the company’s website does feature a disclaimer that states that Seagal doesn’t have any sort of ownership stake in the company … are we really supposed to believe that? What other compensation could they have possibly given him? Sure, he probably works for kimonos and chicken wings at this point, but those things still cost money at some point along the line.

(Shout out to the morons who somehow thought that the endorsement of Steven Seagal would prove beneficial in any way to their company. We’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that pitch meeting – when you think smart, secure investment in a vaguely-understood financial market, you definitely think of the guy from “Under Siege.” Also - how many names from their list did they call before getting to Seagal? Had to be at least 20, right?)

Also, can we talk about the baseline weirdness of this whole thing? If you’d told us even a couple of years ago that we’d be talking about a decentralized currency endorsed by Steven Seagal getting shut down from trading in New Jersey, we’d have asked you if you were drunk or if you had hit your head. Instead, that’s the world we live in.

Or scariest of all - what if Steven Seagal is actually some sort of cryptocurrency savant? What if he has taken his aikido-honed sense of using one’s physical forces against them and turned it toward market forces? What if he’s actually playing us all?

We can see it now – Steven Seagal’s “Crypto-Kill,” coming soon to VOD and streaming services. He’ll decentralize you … straight to hell.

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