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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daylight Saving Time - Really?

I had a discussion today with a colleague regarding Daylight Saving Time, otherwise known as "Daylight Shifting Time" - a phrase which leaves me more than just a tad at unease. I feel that time is one of the few constants of our universe and should not be tampered with. Farmers, railroads and Benjamin Franklin apparently felt different and now I am forced to feel unease every time people start in with all the hocus-pocus of moving their clocks around to suit some mystical need to take advantage of the sun.

This is not the first time I have had this conversation and I am nearly certain it will not be the last, as it tends to come to mind at least twice a year as I scratch my head in bewilderment.

In the old days, time was even less constant than it is now, which I kind of get, because the world has not always been connected by satellite and Internet and Greenwich, London. Folks used to set their clocks by the sun and of course, this time differed as the sun did not move across the sky uniformly for all folks in all locations. This apparently drove the railroads crazy, since every town they arrived at was on a different time-set, which made keeping a consistent travel schedule nearly impossible. Of course, I imagine that there could have been some work done with a slide-rule and compass and some other mathematical doo-dads that might have made a schedule manageable - they should have let the Chinese handle that part of it with their colorful abaci instead of just using them as slave labor in the building of their empires, but as always, hindsight is twenty-twenty and I digress.

The need to standardize time became a priority and after decades of stubborn resistance on the part of locals, eventually everyone came around and time was calibrated for one and all and time zones were created to allow for the sun's lazy roll across the sky and everyone was happy. Well, everyone that is, but those who felt that keeping time standardized through the summer robbed them of precious daylight and that clocks should be moved to accommodate later hours in the summer, then moved back again as the days grew shorter.

What the hell? Somehow, it made more sense to change time than to come to an agreement with those around us that perhaps we can simply start our day a little earlier at certain times of the year than others and set our alarm clocks accordingly. Certainly it would make more sense for folks to make a deal with a handshake, a solid game plan and a couple of dates circled in red on the calendar than to make everyone in the world change time... Right???

If I had come up with the idea to come in an hour earlier in the summer so that I might enjoy an extra hour's sleep in the winter when the sun is slower to rise, I most certainly could go to any boss or patron with good sense and suggest that we accommodate such a need. Then I would set my clock accordingly and consider myself a lucky man to have the privilege of working for such a forward-thinking individual. Would this affect someone who might live elsewhere? Not likely. Just a deal made between a couple of like-minded simple folk to make life a little easier.

No, no - let's try this! Let's move time around. Everywhere! Twice a year, we will force-feed the manipulation of time itself upon all in the land - then, just when we think we have gained an hour on the grim reaper, or Mr. Sandman, or the lazy sun, we will give it back again, just in time to take advantage of the winter thaw. Perfect.

I don't mean to complain here - after all, I live in Arizona and we don't change time. That's not how we roll - time is time and it shouldn't be fiddled with. I think we learned this from the bloodthirsty Apache, who wouldn't have dreamed of changing time. If they needed to get up a little earlier to go massacre some ginger-haired sod-busters, then they got up a little earlier. If the sod-busters decided to change time, then they could die in their bed instead of while scraping at the earth with their plows and mules.

So, I suppose my long winded point is that Ben Franklin, for all his value as a statesman, inventor, musician, author, father of our nation and diplomat, was a lazy bastard who wanted to move time around so he could sleep a little later while nursing his daily hangover in France. Look it up - Franklin = lazy bastard.


Ben Franklin - Lazy Bastard

Just leave time alone, please. When I am King, time will be constant and unmoving. The hell with the leap-year, too - that has scarred too many a leap-year dipshit who insist that they are 8 years old and not 32. Then they act childish and invariably have their ass beaten at some bar where leap year is not the be all and end all that the leap-year babies think it might be. If our calendar comes a little bit uncalibrated when I get rid of leap year, is anyone really going to notice? Maybe Ferdinand and his nuclear spectroscopic telescope or some imbecile that insists that he has an extreme sensitivity to time and lunar activity and tides. As King, I will declare all such activity as tantamount to witchcraft and it will be dealt with appropriately.

Remember to vote Jerry Ford for King in the upcoming elections. It will be a write-in vote - but it will save us all some time. In the meantime, let's simply do the logical thing and get up when it makes sense...

2 comments:

  1. Now a Revolution would be not setting the clock back and keeping your own time...

    ReplyDelete