Nick Cave is the exceptionally talented singer, songwriter, screenwriter, and performer who is most well known for leading Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. In “The Red Hand Files” series, Cave entertains questions from fans around the world. Allow me to cast the spotlight on his response to Hope, Optimism, and Christmas found HERE.
“Hope and optimism can be different, almost opposing, forces. Hope rises out of known suffering and is the defiant and dissenting spark that refuses to be extinguished. Optimism, on the other hand, can be the denial of that suffering, a fear of facing the darkness, a lack of awareness, a kind of blindness to the actual. Hope is wised-up and disobedient. Optimism can be fearful and false. However, there exists another form of optimism, a kind of radical optimism. This optimism has experienced the suffering of the world, believes in the insubordinate nature of hope and is forever at war with banal pessimism, cynicism and nihilism.
“As we move into Christmas, the image of Jesus in the manger — what Yeats calls the ‘uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor’ — is that hope and that radical optimism incarnate.”