Rock icon Nick Cave talked with 'UnHerd' host Freddie Sayers to discuss his book, 'Faith, Hope and Carnage,' saying that he sees human beings in a completely different way than he did early in his career, and said he is now a "more complete person." Sayers noted that the punk rocker turned "church-going person" might seem unrecognizable, but Cave said he simply gets a delight by "f-----g with people" and "living outside the expectation" of others. Today, for Cave, an avid church-goer, it means "you go to church and be a conservative". Cave also talks a lot about cancel culture and censorship.

"I just think this whole idea of changing words and books because they make one uncomfortable or taking the rape scenes out of the 'Metamorphoses' — this is, to me, it’s not just dangerous. You start there, and where do you finish?" - Patti Smith talks about historical context of works of art in The Active Voice podcast. She also shares a few thoughts on cancel culture: "I’m always optimistic. I just refuse to be pessimistic. Pessimism breeds nothing. A pessimistic person does not create anything. A pessimistic person does not envision anything. It’s not that I feel pessimistic. I just feel that people are moving too quickly via social media, not examining everything in a cubistic way, not examining all the facets of things, not trying to understand how certain things fit in the context of the history that happened or when they happened."

Appetite for cancellation
February 17, 2023

Slash: Guns N’ Roses would have been “canceled in this day"

"I haven’t really thought about all that [scandalous stuff] that much recently. But now that you mention it, most of everything that [Guns N’ Roses] did would’ve gotten us canceled in this day and age" - G'N'R's guitarist Slash says in a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment. He added: “We would not have fared well in this environment, for sure… on so many different levels. But I mean, a lot of things from back then would not be what you consider acceptable at this moment in time. … I’m just glad that we didn’t have the internet bac

Tablet Magazine published an interesting longread about Ariel Pink being cancelled after attending January 6 attempted coup d'état. "Rosenberg’s career is the story of how indie rock purged monsters that the culture had wrongly tolerated—or perhaps it’s the story of how even the most supposedly open sectors of the American creative scene abruptly slammed shut, losing any remaining patience for the complexities and cognitive dissonances that form the bulk of human existence. Both are really the same story, of how American culture got so stupid and so boring so quickly".

“Because everything’s so cancel-culture, woke bullshit nowadays, you could never have the punk explosion nowadays... We’re lucky it happened when it did, because it’ll never happen again. You won’t have any of those kinds of bands ever again. Everyone’s so uptight and P.C., it’s just like, ‘OK, whatever'” - Glenn Danzig says in a Rolling Stone interview about his beginnings with the band the Misfits in the late ’70s. He explained: “Part of [my songwriting approach was] like, ‘F**k everybody. F**k you, f**k you, f**k you, f**k the world.’ And that was pretty much the attitude. It was just like, ‘F**k your system, f**k all this bullshit.’ It was something else. I don’t think people will ever see anything like it again. There won’t be any new bands coming out like that. Now, they will immediately get canceled”.

“For artists, the protest song is an increasingly difficult proposition" - film director and musician Don Letts writes in Radio Times (via Guardian), adding - "in a world so woke you can’t make a joke, trying to navigate the minefield of fake news, conspiracy theories and information overload is made even trickier by the fear of being accused of cultural appropriation”. He also writes that he believes musicians are being “by default part of the business. In my day, getting into music felt like a rebellious, anti-establishment thing. Today, many see it as a way of becoming part of the establishment”.

"Sometimes I think people are too problematic to be cancelled, or not relevant enough to be cancelled. I mean, it wouldn't even make news if he said something racist today, because he went on a racist rant in the 60s or 70s that was very famous" - Phoebe Bridgers told about Eric Clapton in a Double J interview. She added - "I have such an Eric Clapton rant, because I think it's just extremely mediocre music, but also he's a famous racist". Previously, she spoke how "John Lennon beat the [expletive] out of his first wife, and nobody really talks about it. And he was the most fake activism guy ever". But "it’s not true that only people who make [expletive] music like Eric Clapton are problematic. Daniel Johnston wouldn’t have made the music that he did if it weren’t for John Lennon, and he’s definitely the best Beatle. But you can’t deny someone is a bad person because you love their art".

"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" - Nick Cave writes in the latest edition of his Red Hand Files blog, answering to what his idea of mercy is, and what he thinks of cancel culture. "Cancel culture’s refusal to engage with uncomfortable ideas has an asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society... 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?".

NME's writer Mark Beaumont looks back on "cancel culture" debate, and the shift in "Twitterworld" discourse: "You defeat a virus – and bigotry and racism are viruses; festering and dormant, largely unseen – by studying it, understanding its transmission methods, its cellular make-up and how it multiplies, and then developing antidotes designed to cure, not kill, the host. But that takes skill, composure, thoughtfulness and – y’know what? – a tiny amount of respect for your opponent".

"Although free speech remains the fundamental bedrock of a free society, for everyone to enjoy the benefits of freedom, liberty needs to be tempered by two further dimensions: equality and accountability. Without equality, those in power will use their freedom of expression to abuse and marginalise others. Without accountability, liberty can mutate into the most dangerous of all freedoms – impunity... When reason, respect and responsibility are all under threat, accountability offers us a better foundation on which to build a cohesive society, one where everyone feels that their voice is heard" - musician and activist Billy Bragg wrote in Guardian on the issue of "cancel culture", after an open letter that is decrying cancel culture, signed by 150 academics and writers, has been published. Actor Ricky Gervais joined the discussion saying there are “outrage mobs that take everything out of context” and that "some people have lost their sense of irony". Gervais pressed that free speech was not the same as criticism-free speech - “some people think freedom of speech means, I should be able to say anything without consequences and it doesn’t mean that”.