Monday, April 4, 2016

Brax's Plan, Difficult Secrets, Pretend Andrew Fraser, and the Real Andrew Fraser

1. Had a dream featuring Abe Forsythe.

Tim and I are at a place with Australians in the entertainment industry.  (For some reason, this includes Val Kilmer)  I see Abe Forsythe and consider going up to him to tell him I've heard he's working on a new movie.  I worry, though, it will look like ass-kissing.  Either way, it's a no-go, because I realize I don't remember the name of the movie.

The Australians start singing a song written by Val Kilmer. They sing with their real accents. Tim makes a remark about the singing being British. One of the Aussies corrects him. He's polite enough, but I can tell he's exasperated by Tim's mistake.  

2. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

3. Thought that the whole Brax (Stephen Peacocke) storyline is boring and annoying.

First Brax decides to put his brother's and friend's lives in danger by asking that they help him escape from prison.  

Now he's missing and presumed dead by some. He wants to keep it that way so he can protect Ricky (Bonnie Sveen) and their baby.  Brax's idea is that if he's "dead", the bad people won't go after his woman and child.  

4. Thought about it, and realized there could be some validity to his plan.  MAYBE the bad people won't go after Ricky. They were mad at Brax. If he's gone, maybe they'll lose interest in his family.

It's not guaranteed, though.  First of all, Brax's body wasn't found, so the bad people might not believe he's dead. Second, what if Brax's death isn't enough revenge for them?  What if they decide they want Brax dead, AND his family to suffer as well?

5. Felt very bad for Ash (George Mason). Brax has asked him to not tell anyone he's alive.  So, Ash has to go back to Summer Bay with this huge secret. He has to watch a woman mourning over the father of her child, and he's not supposed to say anything.  

6. Thought about when it's fair and unfair to burden someone with a secret.

I think if the only thing you're burdening someone with is not spreading gossip, that's totally fair.  

I think it's sort of unfair to tell someone a big thing and then request that they don't tell ANYONE else.  I don't mean gossip type stuff.  It would be more like something that would be emotionally painful for the person you're telling—something that they might need to talk about with someone else. They'd need to vent.  

7. Felt I might be wrong.  Because it's hard to know if someone spreads a secret to a third party because they want to gossip, or whether they're doing it because they feel an emotional need to talk about it.   

8. Decided there's no easy answers to what's fair and unfair.  

9. Thought that maybe it's about intent.  Why is someone burdening someone else with a secret, and why do they want to keep it quiet?

Are they sharing a secret because they need to get something off their chest?  Do they not want it to go farther than their one confidant, because they value their privacy?  

OR are they sharing the secret in order to purposely burden and then test the loyalty of their confidant?  

Then there are secrets that are just way too big to demand of someone not to share it.  This would include the fact that you did not die in a car accident.  

10. Thought that it's unfair to ask anyone to keep a secret that's going to make them excessively worry about your health and safety.  

There was a storyline like that on Coronation Street.  Thirteen-year-old Faye found herself pregnant. She was with her friend Craig when she took the pregnancy test.  She demanded that Craig not tell anyone—her plan being that she'd have the baby in an abandoned flat and leave it at the hospital.

Poor Craig was terrified about her health and safety, and kept pleading with her to tell her parents. Craig was torn between doing the right thing and staying loyal to a friend.  

At least Faye had the excuse that she's just a child.  

Since Brax is an adult, he should maybe be a little bit more mature and considerate.

11. Realized I should give Brax a little credit.

Faye was trying to protect herself, for the most part.  She didn't want to endure the wrath and disappointment of her parents.  

Brax is trying to protect the safety of his family.

12. Finished watching the episode. 

13. Started watching an episode of Killing Time

14. Saw Andrew Fraser (David Wenham) looking shocked and disturbed by the violence he witnesses in prison.  It kind of surprises me, because he's a criminal lawyer.  He worked for violent criminals.  

The way he acts, it's like he's a person who was sheltered from all that stuff.  

But it could be that he's scared, because he feels his own life is in danger.  Maybe he didn't sense that type of danger when he was working for the criminals. 

15. Saw an actor that looks vaguely familiar to me, on the show.

I looked through IMDb, and saw that Andre de Vanny from Wicked Science is on this episode.  He might be the actor I just saw.  I'm not positive.

I had glanced at the cast of the episode before starting to watch, but didn't notice de Vanny's name.  

I'm not sure why I missed it.  

16. Went back to the scene.

Now I see that it definitely is Andre de Vanny.


17. Wondered if Killing Time will have any more Jonathan Shiff alumni.

18. Thought, that with the flashbacks of Fraser as a free man and lawyer, it's hard to have sympathy for his unhappiness in prison.

Fraser helps maintain a society in which criminals can hurt and intimidate innocent people with very little consequence.  

19. Thought of the difference between Fraser and Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh) from Rake.

When watching Rake, I know Greene is a criminal lawyer, and that criminal lawyers are often hated.  

I know Greene defends criminals, and sometimes those criminals might be guilty.

But still.  I like him...a lot.

Cleaver Greene is clever. He's funny.  He has questionable morals, but he does sometimes show some feelings of remorse and regret.

Fraser, in comparison, doesn't seem to have much of a conscience. He's not very funny. He doesn't seem overly clever.  

Now Fraser is a real person and Cleaver Greene is fictional.  It's not exactly fair to compare them.  

Well...Fraser is BASED on a real person.  I can't know for sure that the character I'm seeing on the show is very similar to the one that exists in real life.  The real Andrew Fraser might be funny and clever.  He might show more evidence of having a conscience.  

20. Wondered if it's possible that the only difference between Cleaver Greene and Andrew Fraser is the latter is an asshole-lawyer, and the former is a charming, asshole-lawyer.

Maybe they both have an equal sense of right and wrong, but I'm more willing to recognize it in Greene, because he's more appealing.  

21. Felt bad for Denise (Diana Glenn).  Fraser invites her over to celebrate her birthday.  She's pleased to see he is working hard to make dinner for her. Then she sees the table. It's set for several people.   

Denise thought they were going to have a romantic dinner for two, and instead Fraser has invited his friends over.

What the hell?  

It's one thing if they were mutual friends, or HER friends. But his friends?

I think a very extroverted person might be okay with it.  I'm not sure if there are many people who'd be actually happy with it.  

22. Thought of the two most extroverted people I know.  Both of them like, and need, a lot of social interaction.

I CAN picture them appreciating a small crowd appearing to celebrate their birthday, even if the crowd was made up of someone else's friends.  

Both of these people are very eager to make new friends, and seem to like making other people's friends their friends.  

23. Thought that Fraser's way of winning cases in court reminds me of how some people argue in daily life.

It's not about who's right or wrong. It's not about the truth. It's about getting off on a technicality. These arguers use semantics and other tricks to win their case.  

24. Wished I could think of an example.

I can't right now.  

25. Thought of an example.

Let's say Jennifer accuses her girlfriend Sarah of sleeping with their mutual friend Becky, the night before, at Becky's apartment.  

Jennifer and Sarah fight about it. Sarah denies it.  Then days later, the truth comes out.  Sarah did have sex with Becky, but not at night and not in Becky's apartment.  They had sex in Becky's car in the wee hours of the morning.

So, when Jennifer accuses Sarah of not only cheating, but lying, Sarah clings to innocence over the lying part.  You asked me specifically if I slept with Becky last night in her apartment.  I didn't! So I did NOT lie to you.  I answered your question honestly.   

26. Thought of another example.

Scott and Tom are roommates, and both claim to be people who care about the environment.

Tom sees that Scott has thrown some bottles into the trash rather than recycling them.  He complains to Tom about not recycling the water bottles, and Scott denies it. No, it didn't happen. He wouldn't do that.  

Tom asks Scott to come with him so he can show Scott the water bottles in the trash.  Scott refuses for awhile. He's busy. Tom's being ridiculous. Blah, blah, blah.

Finally, Tom persuades him to come and see.  They look in the trash. There are bottles there. Scott declares that he's the one in the right. Why?  The bottles weren't water bottles. They were juice bottles.  

Tom changes the argument from being one about recycling to an argument of trivial semantics.  

27. Started thinking and wondered if I'm going off on a tangent that has little to do with what I'm seen on the show.

Fraser's arguing DID remind me of the arguments I've encountered in daily life.  But I don't think I've actually seen him do the semantics thing.

His thing is more about using unfair tactics to discredit the witness.

For example, someone was shot in the head at a bar.  After the incident, the blood was thoroughly washed away.  In the courtroom, Fraser demanded to know how this shooting could have happened if there's no blood to prove it.  

28. Thought about how it all comes down to unfair and unscrupulous arguing versus fair and truthful arguing.  

29. Finished watching the episode of Killing Time.

30. Tried to find an interview with Andrew Fraser, and learned that there's another Aussie public figure with the same name.  He was a treasurer in the Queensland Parliament.

31. Found a video interview with the lawyer Andrew Fraser.

I'm going to watch that.  

32. Thought that Fraser sounds nervous.

They talk about his cocaine use, which is shown a lot on the TV show.

Cleaver Greene is a cocaine addict too.

It makes me wonder if cocaine is popular among lawyers.

Yeah, that's how prejudices are form.  I see a commonality between two people of the same profession, and then wonder if I can apply it to a lot of people in the profession.

33. Found this addiction website.  They say that a 1990 study showed lawyers use cocaine at twice the rate of the general population.

Does that mean when they use cocaine, they use MORE cocaine then the general population? Or are they more likely to use cocaine?

Or maybe it means they're more likely to use cocaine, and they're more likely to use more of it.

34. Thought the website was very interesting. They talk about WHY the lawyers might be using a lot of drugs.

A lot of it is due to the pressures of the job—the stress and long hours.

Then there's also the personality of the lawyers.  The website says,  While there are many exceptions, lawyers as a group tend to be controlling, perfectionistic and hypercritical. While supportive of career success, these personality traits may put some lawyers at a deficit in terms of coping and interpersonal skills

I would imagine there's also the fact that some lawyers make a lot of money. If you have a lot of money, you can afford the drugs that are going to make you feel better.

I know a lot of people without money have drug problems,  so it's not like poverty is the answer to drug addiction.  I'm just thinking it makes things that much easier for a lawyer.

35. Thought the real Andrew Fraser seems much more likable than the one on the TV show.

I'm not sure if it's because Andrew Fraser has changed.  Or if it's just his appearance...or something.

Shit. I feel like I'm saying that David Wenham is unappealing.

That's not it at all.

David Wenham is adorable. Obviously.

But he makes Fraser seem like an asshole. He's a cocky asshole during the lawyer scenes, and then a cowardly, asshole during the prison scenes.

I feel bad calling him a coward.  It's not like I'd be tough and brave in prison.

Anyway....

The Andrew Fraser in the interview seems much more charming, but not in a psychopathic, narcissistic way.  He's charming in a quiet, nervous way.

36. Looked at the comments on the video.

Someone named Samantha Brown says,  Andrew certainly is an inspirational character. Not all of his actions were holy but yet his ability to come back from the ashes and truly make changes to his character is true motivation for many. I wish him all the best - and love the books!

So maybe he really did change.

I like that.

I like when bad people turn good.

37. Started reading a review of one of Fraser's book. It's written by a fellow lawyer (Peter Faris) who used to hate Fraser, but then grew to like him.

Faris talks about how prison changed Fraser a lot.

38. Finished reading.

It turns out that it wasn't really a book review.  I got that wrong.  It's more of an editorial about the drug problem among Victorian lawyers.   Faris believes that the Victorian Bar doesn't do much to help lawyers with their drug problems.  He says, There are studies showing the medical profession has a serious problem with doctors being addicted to drugs. The difference is that, unlike the Bar, the medical profession admits the problem and helps its members. Victorian police have a major problem with addiction and they assist their members.

Faris' editorial was written in 2007.  I wonder if things have gotten better since then.

39. Found a 2015 article in an Australian law publication.  

It seems like the problem is still there.

Well, of course it's still there.

 Drug problems are never going to go away.

What I mean to say is that I'm not getting the sense that there's been much improvement.

40. Started Googling some of the criminals in Killing Time.

If I'm understanding things correctly, the main criminal family on the show is the same one that inspired Animal Kingdom.

I haven't seen that movie yet.

41. Did some more investigating.

Yeah.  It is the same family.

Animal Kingdom changed the names, though.

42. Looked up the actress who plays Kath Pettingill, the matriarch of the crime family.

It's Kris McQuade, who plays the horrid Jacs on Wentworth!

I'm disappointed in myself for not recognizing her.  I did think she looked vaguely familar, but I had no idea who she might be.

43. Saw that, in Animal Kingdom, the family solicitor is played by Dan Wylie.  I'm guessing his character is based on Fraser.

44. Thought it's also possible that the family got themselves another solicitor after Fraser went to jail.

I'll have to watch the rest of the series, and see what happened.

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