Are you OK mate?: Nick Cave

He’s said almost literally this before on a previous RRH file hadn’t he?

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It’s a recurring theme he keeps going back to but every time he does he sort of goes a bit further on it. You’d wonder what exactly his issue his or where in particular his creative freedom is being asphyxiated.
Has he had anything to say about Black Lives Matter so far in 2020? I guess that’s not as pressing as white men’s creative voices being stifled or censored.

He must fucking love the Harry Potter books.


As much as I like his music, he’s been a successful musician and a professional edgelord for the last forty years.

I don’t know why you’d particularly expect him to have different views.


It is hardly the edgiest thing in the world is it? He was asked a specific question and he answered it. My mate sent me this link as he knows I like Nick Cave, whilst I am always sticking up for the value of political correctness. I don’t agree with Cave, and I wouldn’t conflate PC with cancel culture in the way he has. I don’t actually think cancel culture is even really a thing to be honest. But he does have a point in noticing that PC originates from very noble intentions, but can easily get corrupted and then in turn become corrupting. Him noticing this is very different from the ravings of the political correctness gone mad brigade, who are just annoyed that they might get called out if they say horribly offensive or thoughtless things.


I for one am shocked a sleazebag boomer rockstar loves the smell of his own farts this much


Firstly, it might be because I haven’t slept for properly all week due to the heat, but I can’t actually grasp exactly the point he’s trying to make.

Secondly, is this sparked by people bringing up in the comments that they played Israel whenever the band are mentioned online?

When challenged for an example this lot always just vaguely express their perceived right to have whatever half baked bullshit they think up shorehorned down the throats of people who aren’t interested in it. it’s just lashing for the sake of it

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Not surprised as he’s said similar stuff before. I find it hard to hold things against Nick too much as he seems like a good sort in a lot of ways but he’s definitely out of step with me on a few things that can sometimes make it a bit disappointing to open that Red Hand Files email.


From reading the full post - I would say the values he are alluding to are mercy, forgiveness, humour etc.

I think all he is saying is the political correctness stems from consideration, thoughtfulness and empathy, but that people can end up using it to elevate themselves above others, and it can even be totally abused by bad actors acting in bad faith. His understanding of cancel culture is as a consequence of this corruption, which is the creation of a mob mentality focused on retributive justice at the cost of restorative justice / redemption. He is then suggesting that people, particularly artists, become somewhat paralysed by fear of saying something that is deemed offensive, and you end up with a bit of a sterile, humourless culture. As I said, I don’t really agree with him on this, but I also don’t think he has said anything at all outrageous or unsavoury.


If cancel culture were actually a powerful force then the condemnation of him playing in Israel would’ve been enough to shut him up, but it obviously didn’t, so it’s hard to argue that cancel culture as he imagines it really exists.


Can’t really see how eg stopping a transphobe speaking at a student union because the student’s dont want them there is somehow devoid of mercy or humour, it’s not got anything to do with either at all really. He’s made it up.


I get the impression that it’s more about him feeling that a lot of the musicians or authors that inspired him maybe wouldn’t have made the same things were they active today, and that the world would be weaker as a result (I might be way off there, but that’s what I think he means anyway).

That obviously ignores that the world has always been an ever-changing set of norms and we’re not all of a sudden in some kind of cultural clampdown, but I think he’s done that thing that a lot of older people unfortunately do which is get to a point beyond which any further cultural progress is something to be very suspicious of. As I noted when this was brought up in the other thread, it’s especially disappointing because there’s many examples of him being really compassionate to individuals about loss or grief or forgiveness and writing quite powerfully (I think) about those things, but he doesn’t seem to realise that if he scaled up that compassion to a larger group then he’d be less defensive of people being held to account for things.

There are absurd and extreme examples of some people’s desire for accountability (recently the girl who danced in the Sia videos was apologising because a video came out of her mocking accents as a 9-year-old), but this isn’t what Cave is talking about here. Idk, @ttf nailed it with the yelling at cloud jpg.


He touched on the topic in a recent question about whether he feels the need to change some of his old lyrics when playing them live

That’s like Bukowski having a winge that nobody writes like Dickens anymore etc etc
Besides which art is freer than it’s ever been in terms of tv, videogames, internet culture - my word, it’s just so devoid of any thought whatsoever

Yeah as I say, I don’t agree with him, just that that’s where I feel like he’s coming from

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Yeah maybe a bit of a generous reading, but one based on the context and the position I feel he is coming from, which is not one of hatred or intolerance, or even indifference. I’m not sure how many people have actually read the full post he made, which was in response to the specific question “what do you think of cancel culture?”

I think this idea that holding people accountable doesn’t allow room for forgiveness is a wilful myth.


exactly this -
Cave is constantly alluding to ‘moral certitude’ etc but just look at the way he reacted when people questioned him on breaking the cultural boycott. He gives all the appearances of someone who’d never even consider that he’s wrong about something.