09 März 2009

Environmental Wisdom, Courtesy of Joe Friday

Circa 1954...an piquant critique of the burgeoning consumer culture of the fifties. Jack Webb, who was in his early thirties at this point, had been raised poor during the Depression, fifteen or twenty years before. Strange how the monologue manages to combine environmental, moral and economic concerns.

This is the city. This is the way it looks from downtown--steel and stone and two million people. They produce everything by the millions; they use it up by the millions. They waste it the same way. Every month they throw away thousands of dollars worth of everything. Some of them waste food and water. Some of them waste time and money. And some of them just waste themselves. When they do, I pick up the pieces. I'm a cop.

--Dragnet, "The Big Casing," broadcast 5 June 1952