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Author: Barry Gittins

  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Surviving the cold, small hours

    • Barry Gittins
    • 07 June 2022
    3 Comments

    There’s nothing wrong with us enjoying a quiet breakfast and admiring the beauty of a winter city steeped in recovery. If we can’t also see the people sleeping on cold concrete, or sitting half-dressed, with no hope, peering through unfocused eyes, then we’re not getting the whole picture. 

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  • RELIGION

    Losing certainty, keeping faith

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 April 2022
    1 Comment

    As a kid, all I wanted was answers. As soon as I’d get one, I’d chase the next. Nowadays, I’m happy with holding onto questions. Rephrasing, examining, thinking. The answers I have don’t always add up, and my mania for meaning, for definitive proof, is abating. I am increasingly aware that all of us, regardless of creed, creditworthiness, consciousness or credentials, lack definitive answers to life’s mysteries. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The fable of the frog and the federal election

    • Barry Gittins
    • 21 March 2022

    Like the trusting frog, voters have in the backs of their minds the inkling that when a government achieves power, they lavish time, energy and resources on staying in power. Promises are non-core, or open to interpretation, or de-prioritised as new issues bob up to the surface.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Australian love story

    • Barry Gittins
    • 15 February 2022
    7 Comments

    Did you make the annual obeisance to St Valentine’s Day traditions [read purchases] on the 14th? Last year, Australians were projected to spend $1.1 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts as St Valentine’s Day was lauded and backed by marketers, glamorising Romantic ardour and infatuation, glorious, all-consuming passion, and a thirst for intimacy and transcendence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our hopes and fears for 2022

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 January 2022
    1 Comment

    We’ve been in a pressure cooker, these past two years. More than a score of historians had memorably described 2020 as the sixth-most ‘stressful year ever’. Predictions and speculations look ahead; I looked at the past trends of the past two years and make these humble observations. With the stage set for dire times, here are six trends to look for in 2022. Here’s hoping.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tidings of comfort

    • Barry Gittins
    • 07 December 2021
    3 Comments

    Without Christmas, without that beautiful bookend of closure and celebration for another rather depressing year, where would we be? Speaking for me and mine, ensconced in the oft-locked-down leafy suburbs of Melbourne, 2021 promised much and delivered little more than a continuance of stress, bad blood among some of the tribes that comprise Victorian society, and the hope that heightened vaccination rates will translate into the need for no more lockdowns. That’s certainly a present worth unwrapping.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Observing October

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 October 2021
    3 Comments

    I have decided to observe October as a month to observe other people observing things. For me, there was a sense of self crumbling under the weight of being house arrested for the good of all. Gravitas, like gravity, can be crushing; I knew I needed a break from howling at the Moon (16 October is the ‘international observe the Moon night’). So to the calendar I turned.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hoping for hope

    • Barry Gittins
    • 09 September 2021
    1 Comment

    What does it take to lose hope? For the 4,000 people who attended the anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne last month, an odd coalition of the frustrated, the scared, the angry and the hurt, it takes 18 months of pain and the ensuing changes in employment status, isolation from family and friends, and losses in lifestyle and individual liberties.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humility, kindness lead to strength

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 August 2021
    10 Comments

    In his 83 years, social psychologist, researcher and author Hugh Mackay has seen the sun rise and set on regimes, ideologies, cults, fads, movements and manias. He has also seen language used to clarify and build common ground, or to confuse and demoralise. One constant throughout these years has been his fascination with how human beings treat each other and their planet, and why.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Giving up the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor dichotomy

    • Barry Gittins
    • 29 June 2021
    27 Comments

    We are all beholden to our story of origin and the systemic realities we are born into. Regardless, now and historically, politicians, preachers and pundits sporadically look to reintroduce the discredited dichotomy between the ‘deserving poor and the undeserving poor’. The embodiment of that second label, historically, has been the Jobseeker (Newstart) recipient.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How do you measure a human?

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 May 2021
    28 Comments

    How do you measure a human? Can you determine their worth by vivisecting the actions of a potentate or a serf? Do we judge by what they’re consuming? Are we truly labelled from birth? Are we assessed by our factions? The absence or presence of mirth?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Addressing gendered violence in Australia

    • Barry Gittins
    • 01 April 2021
    11 Comments

    We don’t want to admit the truth of who we are as a nation: there are Australians who are violent toward the people they say they love the most. Living among us are those who take what they want, out of entitlement, privilege and the naked use of power.

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