This age-old debate Does art mirror life? Or does life mirror art? This age-old debate added a new facet as the Center for Anal Statistics (CAS) revealed a compelling finding. Spokesperson for CAS Ben Bensen told assembled reporters, school officials and parents" organizations that for the week of Sept. 15-22 "there were more acts of violent crime on television than occurred in real life.

"It"s amazing," Bensen observed. "When you add up the murders, rapes, burglaries, car thefts and your basic assaults throughout the country, it barely amounts to half the violence witnessed on the network and cable shows." Bensen added an ancillary finding of the Center for Anal Statistics: "There are more policepeople, judges and prosecutors on fictional and quasi-fictional television programs than are actually employed in 50 states." As statistics regarding actual violent crime in America reflect a downturn over the past half-decade, violent crime on TV has increased. Bensen sees a "perhaps mystical" relationship between these two phenomena. "It"s not at all mystical," countered Lydia Diad, executive director of Metaphysics R Us. "There"s a causal connection. As violence on TV increases, there is an inevitable DEcrease on the plane of reality. It makes perfect sense." Network creatives responded to the recent findings with an official "no comment," but an anonymous source lamented that "We"ve just about run dry of plotlines, narratives, interesting murders and rapes and whatnot. What are we gonna do - especially as we now serve such a vital, life-saving purpose in real life?" Bensen promised a week-by-week update on his startling discoveries.

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