“’The wackadoodle email is a classic example of such evidence,’ Pyle said. ‘The person you’re having on is forwarding without irony an email from a person who claims to be a time traveler. That is a red flag as to the reliability of that source.’”
The above quote is from an article on Fox News’ stories about how the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, and specifically how Texas lawyer Sidney Powell described on Fox News an email she received from an artist who claimed eyewitness proof that the election was stolen. The artist also claimed to be a time traveler herself.
The Washington Post asked Jeffrey Pyle, a Boston lawyer, about this, and Pyle responded above. It seems that Jeffrey Pyle believes that claiming to be a time traveler clearly undermines your reliability as a witness.
Does that mean that everybody who believes in time traveling is wackadoodle? I do time travel all the time. There isn’t a day when I don’t think of certain scenes Bernie and I shared. My brother called today to inquire if I would come to Israel for our mother’s 1-year memorial, and instantly I thought of her and me together: lipsticks, jewelry, talking to her as she lay in bed across a sea of Israeli newspapers (mostly right-wing). I look out and think of past spring seasons when hundreds of goldfinches descended on the birdfeeders all around the house. Who doesn’t do time traveling in their mind?
It’s true that a few may put on a maroon dressing gown to fly them over to Michelangelo’s studio where he works on David; others punch a few buttons before going through a secret door in the cellar of their home to spend a few hours with Cleopatra before she commits suicide via asp. Does that make anybody unreliable?
What about the people who are up in arms after seeing an AI-created video of Trump being led away from Trump Tower by police? Do we bar them from jury duty forever? Or those who know for sure that we’re visited by extra-terrestrials every night of the week?
What about toddlers who turn round and round, little arms up in the air, making tweeting sounds? “Are you a little girl?” “No, silly. I’m a bird.”
Of course, she’s a bird! She doesn’t bother with Linnaean classifications, that’s for the birds. She’s a child, wide-ranging, sky-circling, and free as a bird.
Poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote: “Whatever has happened, whatever is going to happen in the world, it is the living moment that contains the sum of the excitement, this moment in which we touch life and all the energy of the past and future. Here is all the developing greatness of the dream of the world.”
The linear story, the primitive arithmetic we use to explain things (this happened because that happened), the tools we use to restore order and control—okay, they may be needed to stop people from killing each other, but I like wackadoodle. I want to be more wackadoodle myself. Burst out of the drawstrings of logic and intellect, prise my brain open and welcome myth, fantasy, fear of the gods.
To this very day I’m frightened of lightning and thunder. Thunder beings, the Lakota call them. Spring is here, and with it the promise of their approach, maybe to the tune of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. At night I hear the distant rumble in the west announcing their intention to head east to the ocean, knowing they will cast their wrath on this valley, on this house, and no matter how hot it is I will go under the blanket, head under the pillow, shaking in the boots I’m not wearing.
Others laugh at me, shake their heads: There she goes again. As far as I’m concerned, only crazy people don’t cower when the gods are angry. Bernie, bless his heart, used to put his arm around me even as he slept to comfort me.
In The Gods Must Be Crazy, Xi, a member of the San people in the Kalahari Desert, finds a glass Coca-Cola bottle and is sure it’s a gift from the gods. There are lots of adventures and mishaps on the way, and the movie audience laughs at his gullibility, but that gift takes him to the very edge of the world, and how many of us sane people can claim to have been at the edge of the world?
As a Buddhist, I make the vow to free all beings. That’s way more wackadoodle than time-traveling any day of the week.
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