Author: Barry Gittins

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Funny mummy slaps patriarchal Australia

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 19 September 2013
    5 Comments

    As a parent of a boy, I was concerned by Thomas' experiences doing 'sexual ethics theatre performances'. She recounts negative responses from teenage boys to one scenario dealing with pubic hair — the lads assuming that 'any girl with pubes would be so self-conscious about them that she'd avoid sex altogether', and that malekind is disgusted by non-exfoliated women.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Torn by Chopper's inner torment

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 22 August 2013
    3 Comments

    Chopper's a racist, self-billed sociopath with acknowledged mental and physical health issues and a highly evolved if bizarre set of moral principles. A raconteur ever-ready to discuss the robbing, bashing, torture, murder and disappearance of various peers and colleagues. Yet he is also a man who recognises the damage done by the spiritual, emotional and physical abuse he took as a child.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Asylum seeker karaoke

    • Barry Gittins
    • 19 August 2013
    5 Comments

    Manus Island's hot, there's no protection for the weak. Though you think you're kind, it's true asylum that I seek. What's the point of difference between the church and state? Why do Salvos validate a policy of hate? History repeats, you Aussies did the same to Jews. Running from the Nazis, with their pleas for help refused.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Angry ghost of Gillard past

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 25 July 2013
    10 Comments

    What we have here is a memoir of a woman wronged. And by that I don't mean our former PM. Well, not exclusively, anyway. Journalist Kerry-Anne Walsh may deny either a relationship with Gillard or an outright allegiance, but they're connected where it counts: at the heart of injustice. Both have been let down by a party that has seen much, much better days.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex and power in football and politics

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 27 June 2013
    5 Comments

    A young writer has crash tackled the ugly questions of non-consensual sex, coercion and the male privilege and misuse of power that can flow from sporting success. Yet when it comes to our football codes — let alone our political arena — a conversation needs to move beyond gender name-calling or the 'us and them' polemic.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Life beyond IVF purgatory

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 30 May 2013

    It wasn't so much a phone call as a lifeline — the day the fertility clinic called me with news of my pregnancy. After six years of hoping, the life my husband and I had all but given up on was to be ours. At that same time, radio host Sheridan Voysey and his wife Merryn were facing a more heartbreaking outcome.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abbott's animal charms

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 02 May 2013
    5 Comments

    Casting a Victorious PM Abbott as a puppet of Pell and Howard, or a fiddler with women's rights, seems risible; Abbott is bound by social restraints after all. Nonetheless, there is something ominous in David Marr's droll observation: 'His values have never stood in his way.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Living in the echo of suicide

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 04 April 2013
    4 Comments

    I know and love people who struggle with depression. I've lost friends to suicide. Depression was my constant companion at times and suicide an alluring, far country. A recent novel delves into the life of a family reeling from the suicide of a child, and shows that even in the deepest recesses of grief, joy can interrupt.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A wild new pope

    • Barry Gittins, Brian Doyle and B. A. Breen
    • 11 March 2013
    8 Comments

    Man, yeah, I would be pope, if the phone rang, late at night, collect from the Vatican. Yes, I would, if I could do it right. I'd call a meeting of the Curia and say boys, we are letting women run everything for the next five years. Each of you gets a new boss in high heels.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In bed with Phillip Adams

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 07 March 2013
    7 Comments

    Adams once told me about his room of gods. It's chockablock with deities from myriad cultures and creeds. While Adams is revered as Godfather to Australia's atheists, at heart he remains a young boy huddled under the covers at night; buried under the considerable challenges due his story of origin.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Election year food, sex and meaning

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 07 February 2013

    David Marr's withering piece on Tony Abbot completes the political trinity. These writers manage the impossible: they have me feeling sorry for politicians. Well, almost. I'm not sure if such magnanimity is allowed in an election year. But what a pleasure to discover those grey Canberran corridors harbouring such a chiaroscuro of emotion.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Empathy and irony in post-Howard Australia

    • Barry Gittins
    • 10 December 2012
    1 Comment

    Becalmed, bereft, besieged by race memory and hip pocket absorption, a nation of travellers and seafarers swallow leaders' sleight-of-hand, as they conjure pirates from refugees, demons from daughters, sons and lovers.

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