Showing posts from May 28, 2011

What We Make of Ourselves; Part 1: Upstairs Downstairs (TV)

Destiny. Fate. Call it what you will, but the fact remains that all of us start out, to a certain extent, either cursed or blessed by circumstances entirely beyond our control--namely, the sort of conditions into which we’re born. There’s little rhyme or reason to it, of course; it’s all a matter of biology and luck-of-the-draw as to our parents and their respective situations. Kings and queens are just as likely to have half-wits for heirs as paupers are to bear geniuses. (And no, I’m not discounting the importance of “nurture” in the old “nature vs. nurture” equation, I’m merely pointing out the randomness of it all when it comes to innate abilities.) That kind of randomness--and whether or not we attempt to change our lots in life or just accept things as they are--struck me when watching a pair of mini-series which aired (on PBS, here in the States) recently. The two stories have their similarities and differences, but it was how each character’s situation in life informs his/her ac…