Time Gets A Comb-over
I missed my pre-drive morning coffee this morning, because of the surprising number of clocks I have to reset in my house, the one I forgot was my alarm clock.
It’s a good thing I have the backup reminder on my wristwatch, which is one of those self-adjusting radio-chronometer ones. The clock on the cable boxes adjust by themselves, too, as does the computer. The clock on the stove and the Guinness beer bottle clock need to be moved by hand, but they’re easy enough to move forward or backward. My antique grandmother clock is easy enough to set forward, but in the fall I have to stop the pendulum and wait an hour then start it up. The aforementioned alarm clock only adjusts forward, so in the fall I have to adjust it by 23 hours; that’s also true of the automatic coffee pot. The VCR and one of the DVD recorders are the worst; they self-adjust, but they do it on the wrong days since George W. Bush’s administration decided DST was something they could also fuck up even more, so I have to adjust them each four times a year now – forward and then backward in the spring, backward and then forward in the fall.
How the hell did we come to accept this idiocy every spring and fall? I guess it’s like one of those comb-over hairstyles that look so ridiculous on bald men; it seemed like a good stopgap measure at one time, back when people only had one or two timepieces that never self-adjusted, and people got used to it, and then it became possible to make self-adjusting clocks so they did that, then of course politicians who love apparently cheap and simple answers decided to extend it without any empirical evidence that it had worked in the first place or concern about the increasing complexity. Bit by bit, we kept sweeping our hair over this growing bald spot, and now we all look like idiots.
(Yes, yes, Arizona, in this regard you are the bright kids in the 48 contiguous states; now that Indiana has succumbed to the madness, it’s just you and Hawaii.)
A moment’s thought should reveal the pointlessness of it all, though in my experience it seldom does; people actually believe changing the clocks makes a difference. Take, for example, the little history of DST in the Washington Post yesterday, containing this little gem:
In Britain, Parliament is considering a move to adopt daylight time in the winter and double daylight time in summer. In Washington, that would mean a 9:40 p.m. sunset in late June. Ahhhhh.
That’s just an extension of the essentially retarded premise, of course. Let me spell it out for the cognitively challenged:
The times of sunrise and sunset are determined by the rotation of the Earth with respect to the Sun. Changing the display on a timekeeping device does not change that by one second!!
I can see the advantages in getting up earlier, so that you can make better use of the period of time the sun is up… but why, oh, why do we all have to reset our clocks to do it? Just get up an hour earlier! That’s what you’re doing anyway, and the fact that you changed the display on your clock doesn’t make any difference to the amount of sleep you got the night before.
Okay, I’ve finished bellyaching now… until fall.