What Time Is It?

I hate Daylight Savings Time.  That’s what causes me to change my clock twice a year back and forth.  I don’t know what they had before DST but let’s just call it Regular Time.  Debates about DST go clear back to Ben Franklin, but RT was favored by farmers who needed as much early light as possible because they got up early, when the sun came up, went to work, and produced things.  Like food.

 Actually DST makes no philosophic sense.  There is no way to save daylight or not to save it.  There’s as much daylight in a day as there is daylight in that day.  The US first put in DST to save light so people wouldn’t turn on their electric lights which consumed energy.  After WWI though DST was repealed; it came back again in WWII.  The rationale again being: energy savings. DST should be called EST (Energy Savings Time) But there seems to be no evidence that energy is actually saved, because in reality just as there is as much light in a given day as there is light, so there is as much dark.  So people who have to get up before the sun comes up still have to use electricity and energy with it.

I remember Nixon in trying to cope with Oil Embargo extended DST year round.  They thought that would bring a savings in oil.  Fat chance, the idiots.  Instead, kids had to go to school in the pitch dark.  I remember footage of disconsolate waifs trudging their way to school carrying flashlights.

You can probably relate the movement into universal DST for the USA directly to the growth of the consumer society.  Business interests favor DST because it has been shown for a fact that when it gets dark people shop less.  They stay home (thus saving energy from car use) or maybe they go out to a movie.  The Republicans forced another week of DST on the public this year, explicitly stating as their reason: people will buy more when it’s light out. Banks, symbolically here, representing business interests, usually open at nine because when DST first started businesses were encouraged to open an hour later so people wouldn’t be fumbling about in the dark to get to the bank.

DST is a shell game favoring the forces that want us to consume, consume, consume.  It should be called BST or Business Savings Time.  If the supporters of BST could they would outlaw winter.

I hate it for political reasons and also because I have a very accurate inner clock.  It knows how long an hour is, but it can’t count or tell time.  For at least a week, maybe more, my interior clock will be stuck in either RT or DST and until the interior clock adjusts for a week or more I will go around not sure of what time it is.  My inner clock will tell me what time it is and that part of me that knows how to count (or more what numbers mean) will tell me that it’s another.

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