"Ninety-nine percent of the people who read your question will think that you are being, well, a bit of an asshole..."

Nick Cave have handed out a stunning put-down to a bigoted 'fan'.

The Australian artist kicked off the Red Hand Files last year, a kind of slow correspondence that allowed him to open up on his own terms.

Answering questions sent in by fans, the queries move from the sublime to the silly... and - just occasionally - the offensive.

George from Alabama writes:

Do you ever get tired of all the pretentious fat lesbians who enjoy your music? Personally I enjoy a lot of your music, but I find most of your fans insufferable. I’m just wondering if you’re on the same page.

Oh dear.

Nick Cave isn't one to back away from confrontation, however, and published a searing, incendiary, and typically thoughtful response.

It seems that these days free speech has fallen out of favour. The concept has been polarised by some and now a free speech advocate is often seen – I feel somewhat bizarrely – to be aligned to the far-right. However, I do believe that, even though we should have the right to say what we like, there are consequences to what we say and just because we can speak freely, it does not – and should not – inoculate us against these consequences.

He added:

So, in the interests of free speech, George, I have given you a platform. However, and I am speculating here, I think that probably ninety-nine percent of the people who read your question will think that you are being, well, a bit of an asshole. I could be wrong. It could be more.

I do not believe that your anonymity protects you, any more than I believe the anonymity of the hate trolls on social media protects them. I feel that there are psychic pathways that exist between us all, and that the negativity we create eventually finds its way back to us.

The opportunity to act in a better way is one that is continuously afforded to us – to try to make the next thing we do the best thing, rather than the worst thing, the destructive thing. In this instance, George, it’s not too late for you. If you close your eyes and apologise to my fans, just maybe that negative attention will begin to dissipate. I think my fans are smart enough and sufficiently forgiving to understand that your words extend only to the margins of your own individual evolution.

Nick Cave ends:

There is always room to evolve, to become better at being human, and to advance the common cause of humanity and civility – this applies not just to you, George, but to me too and, indeed, to all of us.

Read the full answer HERE.

Related: Straight To You - The Online Intimacy Of Nick Cave's Red Hand Files

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