Search Results: Barry Gittins

  • RELIGION

    On love, money and Valentine's Day

    • Barry Gittins
    • 13 February 2019
    6 Comments

    Valentine's Day is built on some fairly shaky historical ground. Rather than honouring a prelate offering bridal trysts, or hoping for a good harvest, I'm inclined to spare a thought for the Greek philosophers and poets who set up shop well before Romulus and Remus; I like to muse over their various efforts to pin down love.

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  • RELIGION

    The saint and the sultan's model for peace

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 December 2018
    9 Comments

    Next year will mark the 800th anniversary of the future Saint Francis of Assisi's historic meeting with Malik-al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt, during the Fifth Crusade. As we hear or sing seasonal songs of peace and harmony, there are some lessons we can learn from that quirky piece of history.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cue God's applause

    • Barry Gittins
    • 20 November 2018
    8 Comments

    I am holy, no, to discriminate? But by doing so, I self-incriminate. I doubt the loud denouncing will dissipate before the promised election falls.  

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  • EDUCATION

    Homophobic prejudice casts a long shadow

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 October 2018
    7 Comments

    Next month, it will be two years since Tyrone Unsworth took his own life. He was 13. What makes his case stand out is that his suicide followed years of homophobic bullying, and occurred in the midst of the same sex marriage debate and conservative attacks on Safe Schools. Suicide does not occur in a vacuum.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rage, revile, repeat: Hanson's great swindle

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 October 2018
    4 Comments

    Consider the sheer volume of Hanson's emotive denouncements over decades. The anti-intellectualism that undergirds her populism. The shifts in tack, to capture the wind of whichever tragic event puffs up her sails. We're breathing in Hanson's views without conscious recognition of their invalidity. That's why this book matters.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A parent's guide to reward and punishment

    • Barry Gittins
    • 20 September 2018
    6 Comments

    How best to extract them from their cozy dens? Whispering endearments and professions of love does not produce the desired results. Nor does opening curtains, turning on the lights, singing annoying songs, turning on a television or radio, or serenading them on a tuba. These strategies have all been unsuccessfully trialled.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parents, it's time to spike the spank

    • Barry Gittins
    • 19 June 2018
    4 Comments

    If you are inclined to discount expert opinion from medicos, lawyers and criminologists, you could consider the evidence of your own eyes. Observe the body language around you if a parent hits their kid in public. A hush descends and tension increases. Post-Royal Commission, violence against kids is more and more on the nose.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A painter's lament

    • Clotilde Lopez
    • 21 May 2018
    1 Comment

    If you listen carefully, the sound of each colour can be heard, the scrunch of each mineral discerned, each cadence, a trace of its former life, a finer distinction. Relieved of its cumbersome form, it becomes lighter and mixes with white spirit like a cocktail blast of violets, mauves and ochres, ground to a fine powder and wet with new life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clay feet

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 April 2018
    1 Comment

    Mohandas was a lawyer and a saviour, who took his beatin's and refused to eat; Mahatma won, the Union Jack was flaggin’, then one of his own dropped Gandhi at his feet. Jesus was a rabbi and a dreamer, who talked and stirred and gave up carpentry; Mary cried as spearpoint slid past femur, godson egressed into mystery.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Families dazed by the running of the bills

    • Barry Gittins
    • 10 April 2018
    3 Comments

    Parenting is expensive, financially and emotionally. I would be fibbing if I didn't acknowledge the love and pride we receive from laughing with our progeny. Seeing them grow. But I'd be lying if I didn't acknowledge that being a mum or dad can be hazardous to your financial, social, sexual and physical health.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wisdom from the realm of the office zombies

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 February 2018
    1 Comment

    The closest Confucius came to this romantic view of work was a line expressed from the view of the bosses, saying, 'When he chooses the labours which are proper, and makes them labour on them, who will repine?' The answer as to who will repine, rather obviously, is the labourers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Songs for children on the path to maturity

    • Barry Gittins
    • 05 December 2017
    1 Comment

    2017 has seen us stirring a large pot of sticky issues with our 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. Old-school parenting used to play nice, with no discussion of sexuality, religion or politics. While recognising the need to speak appropriately to the ages and maturity of our kids, I disagree with that convention.

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