Saturday, June 27, 2015

game of thrones vs. brave new world (part two)

I had last worked on this over two years ago (Thursday April 18, 2013) and left it as a draft, but given recent events, I thought I should probably dust this off and publish it.... and think about a part three.... Another element of the popular culture which has gotten me thinking about Game of Thrones vs. Brave New World is the show Switched at Birth. The show is a drama on ABC Family which (as the title implies) involves two girls who, as babies, were switched at the hospital and went home to the wrong family. One grew up as Daphne Vasquez and was raised by a Puerto Rican Latina single mother. (The mother's Italian-French-Arab boyfriend had been in the picture but then left when a paternity test confirmed that Daphne was not his daughter). Also a childhood bout with meningitis has left Daphne deaf. The other girl grew up as Bay Kennish, who was given a fairly comfortable upbringing, raised with a younger "brother" by a retired major league baseball player and a stay-at-home mom. The show has gotten a bit melodramatic lately, but it is surprisingly thought-provoking for a teenage drama; raising issues of nature vs. nurture, class, race, ethnicity, privilege, deaf culture, and the nature of family obligation. The reason why I bring it up in the context of Game of Thrones vs. Brave New World is because of the surprising way the show seems to deal with issues of custody. Even after the hospital's mistake is discovered by the two families, the girls don't simply go back to their natural families but instead the two families move in together (the wealthy Kennishes happen to have an empty guest house) and form a complex blended arrangement. 

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