Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
Why does anything exist? How do I know it exists? What do I mean when I say "I?" It's convenient to pin everything on God, but if there is a God, he provided us with brains and curiosity and put us in what seems to be a physical universe, and so we cannot be blamed for trying to figure things out. Newton seemed to have it about right, but it's been downhill ever since. And with the introduction of quantum physics, even unusually intelligent people like you and me have to admit we are baffled.
"What the #$*! Do We Know?" is a movie that attempts to explain quantum physics in terms anyone can understand. It succeeds, up to a point. I understood every single term. Only the explanation eluded me. Physicists, philosophers, astronomers, biologists and neurologists describe their strange new world, in which matter can (a) not be said to exist for sure, although (b) it can find itself in two places at the same time. Time need not flow in one direction, and our perception of reality may be a mental fabrication.
Among the experts on the screen, only one seemed to make perfect sense to me. This was a pretty, plumpish blond woman with clear blue eyes, who looked the camera straight in the eye, seemed wise and sane, and said that although the questions might be physical, the answers were likely to be metaphysical. Since we can't by definition understand life and the world, we might as well choose a useful way of pretending to.
Sounded good to me, especially compared to the cheerful evasions, paradoxes and conundrums of the other experts. Only after the movie was over did I learn from my wife, who is informed on such matters, that the sane woman who made perfect sense was in fact Ramtha -- or, more precisely Ramtha as channeled by the psychic JZ Knight, who would seem to be quite distinctive enough without leaving the periods out of her name. And who is Ramtha? From Cathleen Falsani, the religion writer of the Sun-Times, I learn that Ramtha is a 35,000-year-old mystical sage from the lost continent of Atlantis. Well, weirder authorities have surfaced. Or maybe not.