Nick Cave has offered some probing thoughts on cancel culture.
The term is a hot topic in online discourse, with people being 'cancelled' for doing or saying the wrong thing; sometimes it's abusive, at others it can be a minor infraction.
Writing on The Red Hand Files - a site he uses to communicate with fans - Nick Cave mused on the relationship between mercy, and our modern-day cancel culture.
He writes: "As far as I can see, cancel culture is mercy’s antithesis. Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world."
"Its once honourable attempt to reimagine our society in a more equitable way now embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer (and none of the beauty) — moral certainty and self-righteousness shorn even of the capacity for redemption. It has become quite literally, bad religion run amuck."
Continuing, he criticised our increasing inability to engage with ideas we find uncomfortable or offensive. Nick Cave explains:
"Cancel culture’s refusal to engage with uncomfortable ideas has an asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society. Compassion is the primary experience — the heart event — out of which emerges the genius and generosity of the imagination."
"Creativity is an act of love that can knock up against our most foundational beliefs, and in doing so brings forth fresh ways of seeing the world. This is both the function and glory of art and ideas. A force that finds its meaning in the cancellation of these difficult ideas hampers the creative spirit of a society and strikes at the complex and diverse nature of its culture."
He ends: "But this is where we are. We are a culture in transition, and it may be that we are heading toward a more equal society — I don’t know — but what essential values will we forfeit in the process?"
Read the full missive HERE.
Clash explored the dynamic of Red Hand Files at length HERE.
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