Three of my favourite words, and ones I find myself using more and more these days, are ‘Having said that’. I am also fond of saying ‘On the other hand’, and Seán O’Hagan tells me that the word I use most in our book, Faith, Hope and Carnage, is ‘However’.
I like all of these phrases because they acknowledge one point of view but also tender another, they preface the presentation of a stabilising counterargument. This is something not much liked in our contemporary culture, it is unpopular on social media that trades primarily in a currency of performative moral outrage. ‘Having said that’ is the bothersome and deflating enemy of polarisation, self-righteousness, intolerance and hubris. Nick Cave, December 2023