"Dallas, You Merciless Universe!"

On April 2, 1978, the cultural tsunami that was the TV show Dallas debuted with an episode titled "Digger's Daughter" -- and, of course, the hard-drinking, hard-fighting and hard-effin' Ewings may be far more responsible for the fall of communism than the Afghani fighters who beat the Russians courtesy some other Texan named Charlie Wilson. Check out an op-ed piece that appeared yesterday in The Washington Post called “How Dallas Won the Cold War,” by Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason Online, and Matt Welch, editor of Reason magazine. Write the twosome:

Dallas created a new archetype of the anti-hero we loved to hate and hated to love: an establishment tycoon who's always controlling politicians, cheating on his boozy wife and scheming against his own stubbornly loyal family. But no matter how evil various translators tried to make J.R. and his milieu ("Dallas, you merciless universe!" ran the French lyrics added to the wordless theme song), viewers in the nearly 100 countries that gobbled up the show, including in the Warsaw Pact nations, came to believe that they, too, deserved cars as big as boats and a swimming pool the size of a small mansion.
Yep, that’s us: greedy and proud of it. As evidenced by the new exhibit opening in May at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin, titled "Dallas: Power and Passion on Primetime TV." --Glenna Whitley


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