CSI: Miami's Real Economy

Mon Oct 16, 2006

I watched my first episode of this unbelievably dreadful program last night, and, as luck would have it, it was set in the orange groves of academe. An anthropology professor, fixated on pain as the horizon of human consciousness or expectation, is found strung to a tree (by a small woman using a convenient pulley system that just happened to be there, apparently, after dragging this exsanguinated and much larger man several acres from his office–but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). He’s been expertly tortured, this Svengalite anthropology professor who brings Colombian torturers to his classes and makes his students kiss his shoes (I would think that the phrase here is “lick his boots,” but it was thus); and David Caruso, with help from technicians including the token Southern tv actress, deconstruct the systematic appearance from the chaotic reality using science derived from the Thomas Dolby video. DNA, computer models, the blonde Southerner expertly eye-balling a five-inch ice-pick–it’s really all there. The faith placed on forensic gadgetry–its sheen is so blinding that the alleged crimes compensate with grandeur, with a complete disregard of anything other than fantastic truth, dream logic. Again, this was the first episode of CSI: Anywhere I’ve watched, and I can’t say how typical it was. The clumsy and inaccurate reference to the Stanford prison experiments might have suggested a hopeful gravitas. I don’t know. The tv itself was small and far-away, and I was also diverted by Primary Colors (and disturbed that I was having trouble remembering the clefs, disturbed also by the wretched prose, but still).