Nick Cave Blasts Cancel Culture and Its "Asphyxiating Effect on the Creative Soul of a Society"
"Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world"
Published Aug 12, 2020Never one to be shy about his opinions, Nick Cave has taken a swipe at "cancel culture," letting us all know he's not down with the woke police. In fact, he's even compared the phenomenon to the dark side of religion, saying cancel culture is having "an asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society."
Cave — who we better point out is a 62-year-old white man — voiced his opinion in the latest edition of his Red Hand Files newsletter, where he was asked by a fan straight-up what he thinks of cancel culture, while another asked him what mercy is. He then went on to compare the two.
Rather than put words in Cave's mouth, though, here's some of what he had to say:
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.
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.
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?
You can read the entire message from Cave here.
As of press time, it's unclear if Cave has been cancelled.