Nick Cave is a is an Australian singer, songwriter, author, and screenwriter. On his website, The Red Hand Files, he answers questions from fans, any questions about anything. In this post, I’m featuring his eloquent response to the questions: What is mercy for you? What do you think of cancel culture?
What is mercy for you?
VALERIO, TURIN, ITALY
What do you think of cancel culture?
FRANCES, LOS ANGELES, USA
Dear Valerio and Frances,
Mercy is a value that should be at the heart of any functioning and tolerant society. Mercy ultimately acknowledges that we are all imperfect and in doing so allows us the oxygen to breathe — to feel protected within a society, through our mutual fallibility. Without mercy a society loses its soul, and devours itself.
Mercy allows us the ability to engage openly in free-ranging conversation — an expansion of collective discovery toward a common good. If mercy is our guide we have a safety net of mutual consideration, and we can, to quote Oscar Wilde, “play gracefully with ideas.”
Yet mercy is not a given. It is a value we must nurture and aspire to. Tolerance allows the spirit of enquiry the confidence to roam freely, to make mistakes, to self-correct, to be bold, to dare to doubt and in the process to chance upon new and more advanced ideas. Without mercy society grows inflexible, fearful, vindictive and humourless.
Frances, you’ve asked about cancel culture. As far as I can see, Read more …