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“Dragnet” is so meta


The definition of “meta” with respect to art, is something that is self-referential.

I spent the weekend driving around Los Angeles listening to old radio episodes of “Dragnet,” which is a police procedural series that was set in and broadcast from Los Angeles from 1949 to 1957. (The radio show was successful enough to create a television series of the same name, starring some of the same people, from 1951 to 1959.) It was interesting to listen to radio history, bridging decades of time to today, in the same locale where the show was set. And it certainly made the time spent slogging through the thick LA traffic of today much more bearable.

I love the old radio ads for Fatima and Chesterfield cigarettes. Especially how the Chesterfield ads proclaimed that a two-year medical study had shown that Chesterfield smokers suffered no ill effects from smoking. Fatima was discontinued by 1980, but Chesterfields are still sold today, especially in Europe (no doubt a holdover from the World War II popularity of the brand).


“Bunco” means “confidence swindle.”

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