Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Embrace the fake time, better than the real time

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Let's just start with the official WB position on Daylight Saving, typically mislabeled "daylight savings time," or DST:

We're strongly in favor of it. But—only if it could stay in its "long form" all year, the one where summer Midwestern sunset comes at 10pm and winter sunset doesn't happen at 4:15 in the afternoon.

A cacophony of Internet bitching about clock changes erupted this week, and strangely it was not about the hell of short winter daylight that starts after we get to work and ends well before we get into our cars to go home. Instead, the anger's been aimed at the good stuff, the longer days—the "instant spring" as one right-minded online commenter put it—that bring all suicidal SAD-suffering residents back from the brink of despair in northern regions where we only get 80-100 days of full sunshine per year as it is.

That complaining makes no sense. Yet there they were in our news feeds: the Atlantic, the New Yorker, the Times, the Post, the local papers and TV stations, all of them sounding the anti-DST trumpet. Even John Oliver over at HBO, on his show Last Week Tonight, wanted to know, "How Is This Still A Thing?"

Who cares if the idea came from WWI Germany? Who cares if farmers don't want the longer days for planting and plowing? Who cares if there's actually a slight increase in energy consumption, when the whole idea is for energy use to go down?

Well, we do; WB is mean and green about energy use. But should we attack DST over the stupidity of people too lazy to reprogram their light timers, and too afraid of sweat to open an evening window instead of run the damned air conditioner(s)?

Educate the dim, don't terminate the bright.

There's another argument holding that DST isn't "real" time because it's a diversion from Greenwich Mean Time. And that non-DST months unfold in real time, and real is better than fake, so DST is inferior on account of being based on fraud. Plus, the sun wouldn't rise until 9am in some parts of the country, if DST were to permanently replace real time.

Well, it stays dark until 8am now, in real time, and most of us are at work then, having our third cup of coffee behind windowless cubicles, so what's another hour?

In winter, that is.

In summer, another hour is a gift to the human soul, hand-delivered by Apollo, god of light. And it should be revered and treasured as such. DST may be flawed, but sunshine never is.

Here's the horrifying trailer for Daylight Saving: The Movie.

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