I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Daylight Savings Time — I love the one night a year it buys me an extra hour to sleep, and therefore an extra hour to stay out the night before — but I pretty much hate it the rest of the year. For the unaware, Daylight Savings Time (DST) is the practice where a bunch of now-deceased dudes mess with the clock a few months out of the year just so they can screw with my sleep schedule. I always assumed that DST was put in place so that farmers could have more light to farm by (or whatever it is farmers do at 4am when the rest of us are just getting home for the night), but a brief skim of DST’s wikipedia page shows that the practice of DST — though proposed by various people over the years — was actually put into place by a bunch of Eurotrash A-holes who were trying to conserve coal during World War I so they’d have more energy to bomb the hell out of America.
After the USA, England, and the other, less-important countries that were essentially just along for the ride in that war (I’m looking at you, France) kicked the begeezus (be-Jews-us?) out of Germany and Russia in that war, we did what America has always done best: took other peoples’ ideas and claimed them as our own. Thus, DST came to America just so we could add an additional layer of “F you” to the teabagging we gave those Nazi bastards. Scholars would later conclude that our robbery of DST was the main reason behind Hitler’s second war against the world (the appropriately-named World War II). But as is often the case, the sequel wasn’t nearly as good as the original, the ending was predictable, and critics generally agreed that there were a lot of unnecessary explosions and effects that simply didn’t make up for lack of a creative or unique plot.
So that brings us to today, where the tradition of saving daylight is still practiced — but for what reason? The vast majority of America’s farming has been scaled back or outsourced to sweatshops in Taiwan, the Nazi/Russian contingent is only alive and well in James Bond movie reruns — yet here I am, waking up just in time to watch the sunset at the stroke of 4:30pm. And I’m one of the lucky few who get to see sun at all; I can’t even imagine if I was still stuck behind my desk in the office, driving in to work right as the sun rises, only to have it be long gone by the time I drove home. I’d probably go on some sort of Paula Abdul bender all winter just to cope with it all.
Here’s what I think: let’s just pick whichever version gives us the maximum amount of daylight all year ‘round and go with that one. In another hundred years when the world economy has totally collapsed and we revert back to the barter system (“Would you like to pay your bill with cash, credit, or oxen?”) and agriculture isn’t just a profession, it’s a way of life, maybe we can revisit the idea after some punk-ass, know-it-all kid writes about how desperately we need to bring back Daylight Savings Time so he can milk his cows properly. Until then, don’t take away my sunshine.
Now I’m sure you’re probably skeptical about the negative side effects that getting rid of DST could have on our society, and rightfully so, because this is a potentially huge change. Truthfully, it would be ideal if we had some way to test out the no-DST system in various parts of America so we could see how they deal with it, and maybe have a sample to study. Oh, wait a second, WE ALREADY DO! Arizona, Indiana, and Hawaii are all DST-free and have been for decades. Last I checked, those three states are still functioning members of the USA, and have yet to crumble into total decay from their disregard for saving daylight. I even had the pleasure of living in Phoenix, Arizona for three years (the Scottsdale area, to be specific), and let me tell you that they aren’t taking any measures to save daylight at all. In fact, they toss around their daylight so carelessly that you’d think they had some sort of endless supply of sunshine that renewed every single day on some kind of regular cycle. It’s sheer madness.
As usual, I don’t particularly expect anything I say to bring about any significant change, and I’m perfectly content to whine about these sorts of things rather than try to make a difference, my only real point is that there’s so little to look forward to about winter weather (even California, Texas, and Florida — states that are typically associated with year-round sun — aren’t as nice as you’d think during the winter months), that there’s no reason to take away extra daylight (the one element of winter we can control) on top of everything else that happens outside of our power. And since we’re no longer trying to conserve coal in order to more-effectively fight the Germans, this whole thing reeks of a “tradition for tradition’s sake” sort of situation that I’d prefer to avoid/remove altogether.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s 6:30pm EST, and I need to go wish my friends a good night.
Peace, love, and rock.