author: Barry Gittins

  • 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Going big picture with Malcolm Turnbull

    • Barry Gittins
    • 22 May 2020
    17 Comments

    As the small-l Liberal who attempted unsuccessfully to stare down the right-wing of the Liberal Party, known to his enemies as ‘Mr Harbourside Mansion’ or as the best Labour Prime Minister to ever lead the Liberal Party (2015-2018), Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was a man who dreamed, spoke and spent big.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A new kind of leadership

    • Barry Gittins
    • 06 May 2020
    9 Comments

    Jacinda Ardern: A new kind of leader is crisp and sharp, explaining the optimism that launched a millennial (and only the second world leader to ever give birth in office) into the highest public office of her land.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The beginning's end

    • Barry Gittins
    • 24 April 2020
    8 Comments

    We are at the end of the beginning. ‘If you feel you have coronavirus…’ I tune out emotionally and daydream as the public service announcement plays over and over in empty trams and trains, and in deserted shopping centres.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Choosing to choose

    • Barry Gittins
    • 07 February 2020
    3 Comments

    You’d think it would be easier these days, with the technological resources we have available. Choosing directions seems passé these days, with GPS satnav. Search engines connect us instantly with a plethora of possibilities. But that’s often the problem.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    It's Christmas and I'll dance if I want to

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dance and music are as innate as breathing. Babies dance while in the womb, and the Yuletide can be prime time for 'playing music, singing and dancing [as a] healthy outlet for their emotions'. As William Stafford observed, kids dance 'before they learn there is anything that isn't music'.

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  • RELIGION

    Woe to those who punish the poor

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 October 2019
    16 Comments

    If our PM's theological name dropping rings true, his life is guided by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. That unemployed Jewish tradie turned rabble rouser made this apocalyptic observation: 'Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.' Yet it remains a vote winner, this business of punishing poor people for being poor.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The contrasting gospels of Morrison and Shorten

    • Barry Gittins
    • 13 August 2019
    6 Comments

    In Jensen's take, while Shorten expresses honest doubt and cites Christ's golden rule, care of his Jesuit educators, Morrison indulges in a marathon of spiritual self-indulgence. Morrison masterfully works right-wing media outlets, or is worked by them, with Alan Jones leading the PM through a radio interview 'like Simpson led his donkey'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My seasons among the homeless

    • Barry Gittins
    • 19 July 2019
    7 Comments

    The regulations these guys have to abide by — the behavioural hoops they need to navigate — are designed to protect them, the volunteers and the property of the host churches. It is an ethical dilemma, the ceding of normally inviolate personal freedoms for the use of the facilities. I don't know how I would feel about it if I was in their shoes.

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