"Make it noon."
I’m beginning this post at 11:19 a.m. on the Ides of March. That is, it’s 11:19 in real time, sun time. According to every time-keeping device within reach of me, including this laptop, it’s 12:19 p.m. (OK, 12:21 now, as I stopped to look something up.) But that’s because every time-keeping device in my vicinity lies. They are required to do so by law.
The law is the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the lying practice of observing Daylight Saving Time for four weeks more out of the year. You know why? Because Senator Michael Enzi and Michigan Representative Fred Upton thought it would be a fine idea to move the end of it later in the fall so that kids could go trick-or-treating in daylight. Really. (As if any self-respecting spook would venture forth before darkness has fallen.) I don’t know the excuse for moving the start from April to before the middle of March, but I’m sure it is also a doozy.
Lobbying for this change were “the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, and the National Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation Fighting Blindness.” Lobbying against, unsuccessfully, were “the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the National Parent-Teacher Association, the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Air Transport Association.
I had no idea that my church’s bishops were against it, but of course that makes perfect sense, as all right and moral people would be.
There are few measurements of time that are based in the natural world. There is the day, and the year, which both make sense as long as one is earthbound. Divorced from the cycles of the moon, months are nonsensical — just arbitrary devices we’ve agreed to pretend are real. The hours of the day make sense in only one way — if noon occurs at the height of the sun. In the days of sail, in the Royal Navy at least, noon was the occasion of some ceremony — the official beginning of the naval day. The captain would assemble his midshipmen on the quarterdeck and they would all shoot the sun with their sextants, and when there was agreement that indeed it was noon, the captain would say to the quartermaster, “Make it noon,” and a marine would strike the bell, and the foremast jacks would be piped to their dinner. Noon was real, it was grounded, and it provided a reference point for giving every other hour of the day meaning.
Now, the time of day is arbitrary, and I see little reason to respect it. Particularly when it robs me of an hour of sleep on my weekend, then causes me to rise before the sun every day for most of the year. Then — and this is the thing that bugs me more — it completely eliminates any enjoyment of the evening. I don’t know about you, but I am completely uninterested in eating my last meal of the day while the sun still shines. I’m a busy guy, and I continue being busy until the setting of the sun tugs at my attention. (This is rooted, I suppose, in all those years of newspaper work, when the climax of the long working day occurred in the evening.)
So the sun goes down, and we eat supper, and… it’s time to go to bed. No relaxing evening. No downtime. It’s all over. And I know I’ll have to get up an hour early in the morning. Which I resent.
I’m feeling this with particular force this week because I recently started working out everyday (I have a new elliptical trainer at home), and this week was when I started trying extra hard to do my workout in the morning rather than at night. I get that initial boost of energy from the workout, then I eat breakfast and about mid-morning I crash, and feel tired the rest of the day. I blame this on having to do my workout before the sun is up.
Some say it’s just an adjustment. Even people who don’t hate DST say the first few days are hard. I say stuff to that. I’ll hate it until the first week in November arrives.
You know, it’s not inevitable. Since DST is a false construct of man, it can be undone by man (arrogant man, who thinks he can revoke the movement of the spheres). They don’t put up with this tyranny in Arizona:
Arizona observed DST in 1967 under the Uniform Time Act because the state legislature did not enact an exemption statute that year. In March 1968, the DST exemption statute was enacted and the state of Arizona has not observed DST since 1967. This is in large part due to energy conservation: Phoenix and Tucson are hotter than any other large U.S. metropolitan area during the summer, resulting in more power usage from air conditioning units and evaporative coolers in homes and businesses.[disputed – discuss] An extra hour of sunlight while people are active would cause people to run their cooling systems longer, thereby using more energy. Local residents[who?] remember the summer of 1967, the one year DST was observed. The State Senate Majority leader at the time owned drive-in movie theaters and was nearly bankrupted by the practice. Movies could not start until 10:00 PM (2200) at the height of summer: well past normal hours for most Arizona residents. There has never been any serious consideration of reversing the exemption.
Did you read that? They’ve figured out in Arizona that it costs more money, because it makes you run air-conditioning longer. Well, duh. DST might, just might, make some sense if you live in Minnesota. Or back in 1918, before air-conditioning.
But it makes no kind of sense now, in South Carolina. Where are all these neo-Confederates who want to nullify every sensible act of the Congress when it comes to a useless act such as DST? How dare those damnyankees tell us to build our entire days upon a lie against God’s creation? Why, it offends all decent sensibilities.
People just accept things, as though they were sheep. Are there no men among us anymore?
I don’t know, but I wish somebody would do something. I would, but I’m too blamed tired…