Author: Barry Gittins

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Observing October

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 October 2021
    2 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    True friendship

    • Barry Gittins
    • 04 February 2021
    2 Comments

    All three of us are parents, we’ve all been adversely impacted by COVID-19, and prior to that we’ve shared the usual rough and tumble dynamics of male friendships and bridal party affiliations. We have been in and out of each other’s good books, hard conversations, interpersonal dynamics and orbits. We’ve been through a lot as mates. COVID-wise, though, that affinity has been at a remove.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A very varied Christmas

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 December 2020
    5 Comments

    What does Christmas mean for you? What does it have in store? Preceding and in the midst of the annual celebration of life and hope that is Christmas, we will always have those, as H L Mencken noted, are obsessed with the ‘haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy’.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flashback to the coronation scene

    • Vasilka Pateras, Barry Gittins, Racheal Chie
    • 10 November 2020

    Real power never changes hands. And yet like a spell, we cast our votes in a ballot box for the same corrupt government.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The sometimes United Nations

    • Barry Gittins
    • 22 October 2020
    1 Comment

    The UN describes itself as ‘a global forum where countries can raise and discuss the most difficult issues, including problems of war and peace’. Saving lives that would otherwise be taken in wars is the big-ticket item; the reason the body was formed. So, 75 years on, how would the UN be graded in terms of achieving those five tasks?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Father shows best

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 September 2020
    7 Comments

    I have been thinking for several months about fathering and wisdom. To my surprise, I found some of Marcus Aurelius’ truisms to be reflected, if erratically, by the pronouncements of my own pater familias, Kenneth Hugh Gittins.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Angry poets society

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 July 2020
    11 Comments

    Identifying the true nature of things, and capturing their horror or charm? Let’s give it a crack. I recognised and recognise still that there are few humans who will ever approach Les Murray's heights of linguistic mastery and vision of life. But one thing I felt I had in common with Les, apart from our shared rustic heritage, was anger.

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