There are a flurry of books out there now using philosophy as a lens to view popular culture(i.e. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Philosophy, etc) I've decided to indulge two subjects I spend too much time thinking about: KL and philosophy. I'm far from an expert, and I could definitely be wrong, so any constructive criticism, insights, views will be welcomed with an open mind. Part I. Gary "The Other" Ewing The "Other" is a concept several philosophers discuss. To simplify it as much as possible for the sake of this post, it's putting people into a category that essentially separates them from the self or the "Us." Historically, as we all know, this has been done by Europeans to the people who populated Africa, Asia, and the Americas. This has also been done to gays, immigrants, Muslims, but I personally have seen it done to the police, people who voted for Trump, the poor, and the rich. From my understanding, it's stripping someone of their humanity making it easier to hate or debase. The character of Gary Ewing is a good example of "othering." His family viewed him as the "weak one" and "the black sheep." His neighbors often saw him as "the drunk" and the "one who cheated on 'poor Val' " and the media depicted him as the "Ewing heir" anytime he was on trial for murder. An aspect of this concept is that the "other" is a reflection of ourselves in the eyes of people and how we conform to this image. Jean-Paul Sartre famously said, Hell is other people" in that we can't escape the "gaze" of other people. We lose a certain amount of autonomy in outside opinions. That is our "hell." Sone philosophers raised the idea that we discover our true selves through our interactions with this "other" and their is the possibility for personal and moral growth when we recognize the humanity in whoever we deem separate from the Self or "Us." I like to think Gary escaped this hell as the series progressed, due to his own growth, to a degree. When Val told him how she hated her mother for abandoning her, he pointed out how young she was when she had Val. In other words, he didn't excuse Lilimae's actions as much as display an understanding of her humanity. Just as Gary was more than the "weak Ewing," Lilimae is more than the "Bad Mother." You could say Gary was more trapped in Sartre's hell in one of his earliest appearances on Dallas. He spends more time with baby John Ross than his own daughter Lucy. Babies can't cast a reproachful gaze on us the way young adults can. In Lucy's gaze, no matter how happy she is to see him, he'll always see himself reflected as the drunk who abandoned her. A few seasons later he visited SF and could interact with her(and give her his voting shares). Maybe this is why Muss Elllie could travel all over the world yet somehow never make it to California to meet her new twin grandchildren. She's be in the crosshairs of Sartre's gaze, courtesy of Valene, and see herself as the woman who stood by and let her son kidnap Valene's baby, Lucy. In fact, in the end Gary could be the luckiest Ewing of them all. He was the victim of JR, Jock, and Abby Cunningham, but it was through his interactions with them that he may have achieved the most personal growth out of everyone in both series. That way he could finally settle down with the one person who never "othered" him, Valene. It took 14 seasons of affairs, marriages, a succession of blondes and brunettes, but hey, the road wasn't boring. Next in Part Two: Simone de Beauvoir and the men, the females, and the humans of Seaview Circle.