Althouse | category: Nick Cave



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"The thing about writing a good song is that it tells you something about yourself you didn’t already know.... The good song is always rushing forward. It annihilates..."

"... to some degree, the songs that you’d previously written, because you are moving forward all the time. That’s what the creative impulse is—it’s both creative and destructive and is always one step ahead of you. These impulses can’t be replicated by a machine. Maybe A.I. can make a song that’s indistinguishable from what I can do.... But... that’s not what art is. Art has to do with our limitations, our frailties, and our faults as human beings. It’s the distance we can travel away from our own frailties."

"That’s what is so awesome about art: that we deeply flawed creatures can sometimes do extraordinary things. A.I. just doesn’t have any of that stuff going on. Ultimately, it has no limitations, so therefore can’t inhabit the true transcendent artistic experience. It has nothing to transcend! It feels like such a mockery of what it is to be human. A.I. may very well save the world, but it can’t save our souls. That’s what true art is for. That’s the difference. So, I don’t know, in my humble opinion ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone."

"Sitting around in my own mess, pissed off at the world, disdainful of the people in it, and thinking my contempt for things somehow amounted to something..."

"... had some kind of nobility, hating this thing here, and that thing there, and that other thing over there, and making sure that everybody around me knew it, not just knew, but felt it too, contemptuous of beauty, contemptuous of joy, contemptuous of happiness in others, well, this whole attitude just felt, I don’t know, in the end, sort of dumb."

Writes Nick Cave, responding to a fan who asked "When did you become a Hallmark card hippie? Joy, love, peace. Puke! Where’s the rage, anger, hatred? Reading these lately is like listening to an old preacher drone on and on at Sunday mass" — at The Red Hand Files. 

After his younger son Arthur, aged 15, fell off a cliff and died, Cave thought about "the precarious and vulnerable position of the world" and felt he ought to try to help the world, "instead of merely vilifying it, and sitting in judgement of it."

In 2022, his older son Jethro died, aged 31.

I've got 9 TikToks for you this evening. Let me know which ones you like best.

1. "Benjamin Franklin or food?"

2. Taking work seriously. 

3. "People always say that kids with Down Syndrome always super happy...."

4. "The great phone books.... why, yes, I remember them well...."

5. Cursing at the neighbor in Italian....

6. "Stay here with me, an old man..."

7. Nick Cave sings the word "bathtub" 10 times — ranked.

8. So you think your kid will feel the magic of the movie that felt like magic to you when you were a kid?

9. Scott!! 

When is a sign not a sign? When it's art?

I'm reading "Nick Cave’s Truth May Be Writ Large, but Is It a Sign?/The village of Kinderhook, N.Y., is not thrilled with the mark this artist made on a gallery, so the municipal government is demanding that it come down" (NYT).
The black vinyl letters in the artwork “Truth Be Told” measure 21 feet high and stretch some 160 feet across the facade of the 1929 red brick building that now serves as the School, a branch of Manhattan’s Jack Shainman Gallery.
The artwork is intended to start a "conversation" about the death of George Floyd, but the conversation is "about whether the text-based work is technically a sign or not." If it's a sign, it's a violation of law and it needs to come down, because Shainman was denied a permit for a 21'x160' sign/not sign.
“I naïvely thought I could just explain it and they’d agree,” said Mr. Shainman, who is liable for a $200 fine for each day the work remains in place after the order to remove it was issued. “They were saying it’s a sign, and it isn’t.” 

He put it up anyway and said, “We’re good people, doing something we’re allowed to do.” I love the "good people" argument. That's not how freedom of speech works! The "good people" get extra leeway. Is the argument that they have special rights because it's art or because they're the "good people"?

I love that the "good people" are represented by a lawyer named "Better" — William J. Better. He says the law defines a sign as “an announcement, direction or advertisement” and the "Truth Be Told" banner does none of those things. 

But Better isn't taking the elitist position and saying the law does't apply because it's art. He's talking viewpoint discrimination: “If someone puts up ‘Seasons Greetings’ on their door for Christmas, would the village tell them to take it down? I think not.” What about a 21'x160' "Seasons Greetings"? You have to say that wouldn't be regarded as a "sign" within the meaning of the code.

But if there were an "art" exception... would there be a bad art/good art distinction? Because, truth be told, the letters fit so awkwardly on the building! 

Report "Althouse"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?