Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mark Rylance Called Me a Poacher

3/8/2018—Travel is wonderfully broadening. Last night, we saw Farinelli and the King, starring Rylance in a play written by his wife, Claire van Kampen. His performance was riveting of course. We were so close to the stage that he looked down at me and asked whether I was the poacher who had been frequenting the King’s forest—Philippe V of Spain.

But you also don’t leave home. A friend on another night greeted with incredulity my claim that there might be more than opinion about right and wrong, good and evil. He accused me of reading too much David Brooks.

It is true that David Brooks asked the right question in a column last Monday in the New York Times—what comes after the chaos of Donald Trump? But, unfortunately, Brooks does not know how to get to a new foundation. How to set ourselves on a healthier course.

I did not mind my friend’s incredulity. I actually prefer it to the disguised nihilism I usually get. Usually, people claim to believe in right and wrong when they don’t. As Steven Smith wrote, their epistemology is out of step with their ontology.

There was one moment that brought a pause at the table. I said I knew someone else who thought there was no truth—Donald Trump. The death of truth is not something my friend would readily endorse with Donald in the White House.

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