Published Oct 15, 2019When Nick Cave isn't cranking out tunes like his recent Ghosteen album, the long-running artist likes to respond to fan questions through his blog The Red Hand Files. In a new post, he's decided to take on "woke culture."
The piece was spurred on by three questions from three respective fans: "Why do you write?," "What are your political leanings, in a broad way?" and "How 'woke' are you?" In response, Cave penned a lengthy screed clarifying his views on present global politics. Regarding "wokeness," he's not really a fan.
"Living in a state of enquiry, neutrality and uncertainty, beyond dogma and grand conviction, is good for the business of songwriting, and for my life in general," Cave wrote. "This is the reason I tend to become uncomfortable around all ideologies that brand themselves as 'the truth' or 'the way.'"
He continued: "This not only includes most religions, but also atheism, radical bi-partisan politics or any system of thought, including 'woke' culture, that finds its energy in self-righteous belief and the suppression of contrary systems of thought. Regardless of the virtuous intentions of many woke issues, it is its lack of humility and the paternalistic and doctrinal sureness of its claims that repel me."
Cave went on to suggest that Antifa and the rise of alt-right voices are two sides of the same coin, saying, "Antifa and the Far Right, for example, with their routine street fights, role-playing and dress-ups are participants in a weirdly erotic, violent and mutually self-sustaining marriage, propped up entirely by the blind, inflexible convictions of each other's belief systems. It is good for nothing, except inflaming their own self-righteousness."
That said, he still thinks people should stand up for their beliefs.
"This is not to suggest we should not have our convictions or, indeed, that we should not be angry with the state of the world, or that we should not fight in order to correct the injustices committed against it," Cave conceded. "Conviction and anger can be the most powerful expressions of universal love."
Read the full post here.
Nick Cave recently appeared in conversation in New Westminster, BC. Read Exclaim!'s review of the event.