Remember when CSI first came out a few years ago? Great idea, right? It was entertaining, suspenseful, and the ancient Marg Helgenberger inexplicably got hotter with each episode. To capitalize on the success, the suits at CBS whipped up “CSI: Miami.” Stupid CBS, that will never work, I told myself. It was destined to fail, right? I mean, it was starring David Caruso!

Nope, it was a hit. Guess that’s why they are rich TV execs and I’m a poor college student living off Easy Mac and malt liquor.

But wait, the suits were just getting started. Just imagine the conversation in the CBS boardroom:

Rich Exec #1: OK, how about this, a show about these cops who investigate crime scenes.

Rich Exec #2: Brilliant! Crime scene investigators! You know, figuring out the crime, at its scene. It could take place in Miami– no wait, New York!

Rich Exec #1: Brilliant! And it could star a washed up actor that will work for cheap! David Caruso?

Rich Exec #2: No, something tells me he wouldn’t be able to carry a series. But the guy who played Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, he has crime scene investigator written all over him!

Rich Exec #1: Oh, and another thing: there’s some dude selling forged Texas National Guard documents out of his El Camino. How ’bout we slide a couple in Dan Rather’s direction?

Rich Exec #2: Yes, and if anyone finds out, he can take the fall!


And thus, “CSI: New York” was born, along with a major politico-media scandal. But I’m only here to talk about the more important of the two conceptions. We’ll let a lesser columnist tackle that other story.

I want “CSI: New York” to fail more than Deion Sanders’ comeback. The American public should be insulted. It is the same show, three times a week.

I’m sure the show will be a success, because people are stupid, and therefore, will not be insulted. And many of the people who watch this show are the people who will be choosing the next leader of the free world in just a couple months. Scary, isn’t it?

Why can the media get away with this? Everything is the same. “Survivor” is “Big Brother” is “The Surreal Life” is “The Real World.” Avril Lavigne is Ashlee Simpson who is Michelle Branch who is the not-quite-as-good-looking-and-angry-because-she’s-not-quite-as-good-looking-so-she-sings-about-it brunette girl.

Even advertising has caught the bug. Apparently, the sole purpose of advertising is no longer to distinguish your product from others. One person says, “Low carbs,” and now every product is talking about carbs. Now we’re drinking super-special carb-free bottled water. Panera has low-carb bread. That’s impossible — I remember the food pyramid from health class, and bread is the carbohydrate group. In the works is a carb-free Saturn that runs on carb-free gasoline.

People are actually paid, with real money, to make recycled crap like this. Why? Because our society has ADHD, so we keep watching and listening. What if everything worked the way mass media worked? Next time you’re in section and the TA agrees with a comment made by some tool, repeat the exact same comment. He liked the comment the first time, so why wouldn’t he like it the second time? Tell him it’s not the same, yours was a different voice and it came from a different part of the room. See what happens.

Or you could buy your significant other the same present two holidays in a row. And then tell him/her, “Hey, it’s not exactly the same; the wrapping paper had a different theme.” See what they say.

Or why don’t you purchase a bunch of flowers at Gourmet Heaven, and then resell them 15 feet away in front of Au Bon Pain. See if anyone buys your different flowers. Oh wait —

The dining halls have even tried to go media on us. I swear they keep inventing “new” kinds of clam chowder; first, it was Boston clam chowder, then Rhode Island clam chowder, then Yale Sustainable Food Project grass-fed angus beef clam chowder. But no one eats it.

So then, why do we continue to eat the steady diet of CSI clam chowder fed to us by the media? Order the wedding soup, the cream of broccoli, or minestrone. Or just take a risk and get the soup du jour (that’s the soup of the day). Mmm, that sounds good — I think I’ll have that.

Carl Williott is Michael Chiklis who is Don Johnson who is a bald Danny DeVito who is just gross. God, Carl, you disgust me.