False Dichotomy

Darth Harley walked slowly with Darth Bowser as Harley tried to reason his way through a problem.

H: It was weird. Marty just showed up in a dress today and said he wanted to use the girls’ bathroom.

B: How do you feel about that?

H: I’m sure it would make the other girls uncomfortable.

B: It used to make a lot of people uncomfortable when white people married black people, but we now know there’s nothing wrong with that. People being made uncomfortable isn’t necessarily a reason to think something is wrong …

H: But what about sports? It’s unfair to let men compete against women in sports like swimming.

B: Then how can it be both right and wrong?

H: Maybe we’ve created a problem because we’re asking the wrong question. Worrying about boys who identify as females using the girls’ bathroom is only a problem if there are only two bathrooms. If there was an extra bathroom for transgender females, this wouldn’t be a problem. Sports are the same. If boys who identify as girls don’t want to compete against boys, then invent a new division for transgender girls. When they saw it was unfair for someone who was 6″4 and 260 pounds to wrestle or box against someone who was 5″7 and 130 pounds, they didn’t get rid of boxing or wrestling. They made different weight divisions.

B: It’s in seeing a false dichotomy that we can often find wisdom, Harley. It was a paradox that respecting transgenderism seemed both right and wrong, but this problem came from trying to fit transgender people into the traditional categories of either male or female. In seeing transgender as a new category on its own, transgender people are able to receive the respect and dignity they deserve.

Darth Harley Learns To Read

Darth Harley was sitting under a beautiful, lush tree taking in the warm afternoon sun and enjoying a Harry Potter audiobook. His master Darth Bowser saw what he was doing and, visually upset, approached Harley.

B: What are you doing?

H: I’m reading. I was going to learn to do it with my eyes, but read-aloud is easier, whether someone reading aloud to me in person or on audiobook. I tried reading with my eyes, but that’s hard. Actually, I don’t know any kids who read with their eyes anymore except for texting and facebook and stuff.

B: I see you have no marginalia for what you are reading. You’re just sitting there absorbing the book like a spunge.

H: What’s “marginalia?”

B: That’s when people used to read and make notes on the page of the ideas that were coming to them about the book, like what the story reminded them of, or how what they were reading connected to something many pages earlier.

H: Oh, I don’t do those things. With audiobooks you have to focus on letting the story unfold, so there is no time for relating or reflecting.

B: Audio books can be good for training you imagination to picture what you are reading, but there is much more to it. For instance, do you understand a book better the first time you read it, or the fourth time?

H: The fourth of course.

B: Why is that?

H: I guess because reading a book isn’t just like someone taking a walk and describing what they see, but also the different parts of the book are connected and so on a fourth reading you really see how the end is already an acorn in the beginning that is about to grow into an oak tree.

B: And non-fiction?

H: It’s the same in that later ideas are connected to earlier ones so connecting through reading in this way helps you see, not only the trees, but also the forest.

B: So I guess you want to trade in your audiobook for the real thing now?

H: No, not yet. This is a peaceful easy day suited for peaceful easy reading. I’m happy to just let my imagination create a world for me today. I’ll save the heavy lifting for another day!


When you read this article below, what do you thing are some of the most important points it makes about literacy?

Accepting the reality of a less literate age

Draw Your Own Adventure Darth Harley Pattern Book (K-Gr 1)

Page One: Help Darth Harley Find God.

Page Two: Harley is looking for God.

Page Three: “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Four. Harley looks under the table. “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Five. Harley looks in the closet. “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Six. Harley looks under the bed. “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Seven. Harley looks in the fridge. “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Eight. Harley looks in the basement. “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Nine. Harley looks in the garage. “Where are you God?” asks Harley.

Page Ten. “God is good at Hide and Seek” says Harley. “I can’t find him anywhere.”

Darth Harley and Darth “Absolute Zero” Bowser (Dialogue 3): Intelligence, Wisdom, And The Game Of Kings

“There are few secrets of the Force I have yet to master. But our Order’s ancient prophecies speak of one fabled manifestation unseen for generations—a dyad. This pairing of two beings strong in the Force, linked together by an unbreakable bond, creates a power as strong as life itself…For a millennium, the Sith have adhered to the Rule of Two. But this decree is said to merely be a pale imitation of its predecessor, the Doctrine of the Dyad. Legends claim that two beings sharing this profound connection gain access to a great number of abilities—skills beyond the grasp of even the most powerful Force wielder.”
―Darth Sidious

Darth Harley sat stupefied as he realized his master Darth Bowser had made an incredible move and took Harley’s Queen with a Pawn. Harley thought about his impossible chances for a moment and then stretched out his hand for a shake admitting he had been beaten.

H: That was amazing master, what move was it named?

B: I don’t know, the “Sponge Bob Square Pants Gambit,” why does it matter?

H: Just wondering. I’m not very good at chess. There are so many different move combinations to memorize like the “Sicilian Defense,” so people with better memories usually beat me pretty handedly.

B: So what does that tell you?

H: I guess I’m not that smart. Li’l Ritchie has a nearly photographic memory and beats me quickly every time. He knows lots of languages too, and his multiplication table up to 50 X 50! I only know up to 12 X 12.

B: I’m guessing you know less about multiplication than that.

H: What do you mean?

B: If I say 3 X 2 = 6, what does that mean?

H: Two 3s are 6.

B: An unfocused mind always sees things in black and white with one answer and one way. (pulling up a math website on his tablet). What do you make of this:

B: What do these 4 X 3 explanations/models of multiplication tell you?

H: I guess there is a lot more to understanding multiplication than just the multiplication facts. I’m guessing L’il Ritchie probably understands very little about multiplication even though he is very good at it. Still, I wish I had his memory.

B: Better to have a selective memory that is good at sifting out the important information than one that just recalls everything. The world is polluted with arrogant people that own many languages and are masters of none.

H: I’m not sure. I mean, when you win at Jeopardy you are the most intelligent because you can recall the most information the quickest.

B: Jeopardy certainly is a “Trivial Pursuit,” which basically tests to see who is the most like a computer. Jeopardy and Chess are very similar, which is why a well programmed computer can consistently beat almost any human at either game.

H: So what is the path to wisdom, not intelligence, Master?

B: Everyone has different aptitudes that they are good at, and that’s not bad. For instance, you are good at Reading and Karate, Harley. There’s no such thing as a person who is a genius at everything. You can no more be great at every kind of music than you can at every kind of sport. You can be a brilliant piano player but terrible on drums or at geography. Learn to see beyond the everyday lie that there is a general intelligence quotient or IQ that can tell if you are a genius. You can be gifted at certain kinds of math but Learning Disabled in other areas. Teachers call this gifted LD. Only by seeing Multiple Intelligences can by begin to ask what it means to be a wise person.

H: Socrates was wise. He knew that he knew nothing.

B: Do you even know what that means? Socrates knew plenty of things. For him, he said he meant by “WISE” he felt he was neither wise with the world’s wisdom or foolish with the world’s foolishness.

H: There is much to learn, master …

Darth “Absolute Zero” Bowser Part 2: The Art Of Not Seeing A Box

“When your power eclipses mine I will become expendable. This is the Rule of Two: one Master and one apprentice. When you are ready to claim the mantle of Dark Lord as your own, you must do so by eliminating me.”
―Darth Bane, to Darth Zannah

Amy watched as her friend Darth Harley stared intently at a picture of a box.

“I don’t care what that old fool Bowser said,” Amy said with frustration. “You really are looking at a box and there is no way to unsee it.”

Amy hated to see her friend struggle to understand Bowser’s ridiculous claims and ideas, but Harley was obsessive in that way so she left him to his impossible task and went skipping with a few of the other kids.

Harley had spent enough time with Darth Bowser that if his master saw something as difficult and important, he needed to think further on it.

“I need your help, master,” Harley thought. A focus and calmness came over Harley and he imagined Darth Bowser as an interlocutor asking him questions:

  • H: I can’t see it master. I can’t see beyond the cube.
  • B: Everywhere and at all times people are told to see cubes because that is what is important. They chase the lie of the whole and miss the truth of the parts. They ask: What’s the theme? What’s the main idea? Everywhere and at all times people see the box as the truth and the most important when all the box is, is a lie their mind is telling them. Learn to see beyond the cube, Harley.

Harley looked intently at the cube. Somehow, it was there and obvious to anyone who looked at it, but somehow it was not real… Then, Harley had a flash from the Muse. He took out a piece of paper and drew the cube, but in 2 parts: the inside and the outside:

Later in the day, Harley found Bowser and related his success in beginning to see beyond the cube.

  • B: Wherever there is a whole, there are lies that are itching to erupt from them. Tell me, my young apprentice, if you flip a coin a thousand times, how many should turn up heads?
  • H: Half
  • B: Good, and with all that mathematical and scientific knowledge about probability can you predict the outcome if I flip this coin right now?
  • H: No master. There is so much still to learn. THUMB’S UP!

Darth “Absolute Zero” Bowser

“Two there should be. No more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it.”
―Darth Bane

“What’s cooler than being Cool? Ice Cold (Andre “Ice Cold” 3000).”

“What’s cooler than being Ice Cold? Absolute Zero (Darth “Absolute Zero” Bowser).”

On one of those nights that promises profundity but all too often lapses into the mediocre, Darth Harley and his mentor Darth Bowser were out for a stroll.

B: (looking up a the stars) Beautiful night Harley. What do you see?

H: (starts naming the constellations)

B: Constellations?! That’s ridiculous. Do you believe what you see or do you believe what I tell you?

H: Always what you tell me my master.

B: Then learn to see beyond constellations. Do you think God painted a connect the dots puzzle in the sky?

H: Of course not, my lord.

B: You must learn to see the randomness that is the truth of the sky, not shapes and patterns. (draws a shape in the dirt) What’s this?

H: (hesitates) A box … A square prism?

B: Again, you need to see beyond the lies your mind is telling you. Boxes are 3D and you can put stuff in them. This drawing is 2D and flat:

H: I have much to learn, master

B: Well, that’s the starting point. Do you know the weekend is arriving soon

H: Yes master.

B: Does time flow backward with the weekend arriving, like someone kicking a ball to you, or does time march forward with you arriving at the weekend?

H: I guess both, depending on how you look at it. Calendars and clocks march forward, although we just as much can experience time flowing backward.

B: Both, or neither? Have you considered that time may not be what you sense but rather how you sense? In a dreamless sleep where the mind doesn’t create time as a place for experiences to take place in, what do you experience?

H: Nothing at all, just drifting off to sleep in one instant and awaking in the next even though many hours may have gone by.

B: Learn to see beyond the world of everyday opinion. It’s only in doing this that you can become strong in the Dark Side Of The Force!

H: Yes, my lord.