Obey Your Masters and Spring Forward

This rant is a couple of days early, but there’s nothing else going on, so this is as good a time as any.

In the US, we are all commanded to reset our clocks this weekend by moving them ahead one hour. The date for compliance with this tyrannical directive is Sunday, 09 March. Like good, dutiful citizens, we will all obediently and unthinkingly comply.

Your Curmudgeon will reset his clocks too, but as we do so we’ll be raising a middle finger to show our discontent. To keep things in perspective, think of this as “National Drop Trou and Bend Over Day,” which invites our governmental masters to have their way with us twice a year.

Some nations engage in this foolishness, some don’t. This website gives relevant information for most other countries: Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2014.

Why do we have this madness? At PhyOrg, they report that Daylight Saving Time does not save energy. But we do it anyway.

Hey — do you like getting up early? That’s your affair! If you run a business and you want the work day to start at 6:00 in the morning and end at 2:00 in the afternoon, and your employees are willing to comply, then do it. But why should everyone be forced to change his clocks? Leave our clocks alone!

Our last post on this wretched subject was Daylight Savings Time and Jack Chick, where we said: “We hate Daylight Savings Time, and so do our dogs. If you like the stupid system, there’s something wrong with you.”

Before that we wrote Creationism and Daylight Saving Time. There we said:

In the US, this tyrannical mandate is the result of the Uniform Time Act — an intolerable governmental intrusion into all of our lives which upsets the natural order of things twice a year.

We’re not aware of any politician of any stature who has ever spoken against the system. They’re all in on it, and there doesn’t seem to be any hope that we’ll ever be free. So stop complaining, or everyone will think you’re a kook — or a grumpy Curmudgeon. We don’t mind, of course, but not everyone wants to be us. Verily, this is nation of fools!

Okay, it’s time to end our rant. There’s not much else to be said anyway. [Mumble, grumble …]

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “Obey Your Masters and Spring Forward

  1. You are correct, SC, it is a waste of time. In essence it gives 300 million plus people jet lag for weeks, does not save “time,” and is basically useless.

  2. Speaking of a nation of fools…years ago, when I lived in San Diego, the SD Union-Tribune published a letter from a woman who complained that the ‘extra’ hour of sunlight each day was killing her lawn…

    I telecommute — I think I’ll change my work hours until November.

  3. This is why you are a curmudgeon. 🙂

  4. Curmy laments, “Why do we have this madness?”

    Here’s why — most legislators, both state and federal, are lawyers. Most lawyers are golfers. DST let’s them get in 18 holes after 5 PM.

    For many years, Indiana, like Arizona, did not observe DST. This caused problems for businesses, because clients/customers/suppliers in other states were never sure what time it was in Indiana. In summer, Indiana was on the same time as Chicago, while during winter, Hoosiers were on NYC time. So a couple of years ago or so, the state legislature took the controversial vote to once again observe DST. So now most of the state is on Eastern Time year-round, but it’s still daylight in June and July ’til well after 10 PM. Great for golfers; not so great for amateur astronomers. Oh, well… waddaya gonna do? Quoth Roseanne Roseannadanna, “It’s always somethin’!”

    Of course, before the era of electronic clocks, re-setting the time was a simple matter, and you may have only had a couple or four clocks or watches to change. All you had to do was twist the stem to move the dial one hour forward or back.

    Now, with electronics, it’s not so simple — although setting a digital clock ahead one hour is easy, setting it back one hour in the fall is a time-consuming pain in the butt. And everything has a clock in it — microwave, coffee maker, VCR (if you still have one), cars, range — and that’s in addition to alarm clocks, wall clocks, cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks, and biological clocks. At least our computers and cell phones change themselves automatically.

    Thanks for the opportunity to join the rant, Curmy.

  5. I, for one, would like to thank our chronological overlords.

  6. Retired Prof

    Back before I retired, I liked daylight savings time for the reason retiredsciguy mentions, except what I did instead of golf was bird hunting in the fall and fishing in the spring. Now that I am retired, I truly appreciate the sentiment expressed by the Ozarker who owned the land where I used to hunt deer back home. He said, “Yeah, I took early retirement at 55. I just got tired of getting up by the clock, going to bed by the clock, kissing a__ by the clock. . . .”

    So now I sleep till I wake up, go out when my mood and the weather coincide, and stay till I tire out or it gets dark. At times I still need to note the numbers on a clock to co-ordinate activities with other people, but otherwise those arbitrary markers are just background noise.

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    Well, daylight saving time was supposed to be only for one day. But since Congress is only in session about 3 days a week, and takes much of the summer off, they needed to spread DST around. So they made the sun stand still for just one hour a day.

    Before voting on the proposition, of course they were careful to get expert testimony on the legislative foundation of the matter:

    And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves on their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the middle of heaven, and hurried not to go down about a whole day.

  8. Bill Burke

    Okay, take a deep breath and slowly count to ten. You will recover from this horrible trauma.

  9. There’s also a book on the subject:
    Spring Forward – The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time by Downing.

  10. What Retired Prof said. But it’s still a pain in the a$$ to change all the clocks. Meh.

  11. waldteufel

    It’s the fingers of Satan Himself that turns the clocks to Daylight Savings Time. His demons like to frolic in the sunshine. It must be in the bible. Right?

  12. Why talk about “hours,” “minutes” or “seconds” at all? They are arbitrary and meaningless markers of the expansion of the universe. At most, they let us pick some point in the future to do something. Last daylight savings time, being the lazy sort, I never reset my bedroom clock. If I needed to change the time the alarm was set for, it was a moment’s calculation to adjust the alarm’s time to the time others were keeping in my immediate sphere.

    Vanity of vanities; all is vanity …

  13. John Pieret says:

    Why talk about “hours,” “minutes” or “seconds” at all?

    Indeed. We should decimalize everything. Ten hours a day. We don’t need that AM and PM nonsense. One hundred minutes per hour, each with a hundred seconds. I’ll work on weeks and months later.

  14. Holding the Line in Florida

    I like daylight savings because it allows me an extra hour to go the beach, or the bridge of the boat, set up a proper viewing arena, get the booze of choice, champagne, Rhum, red wine, gin or a good beer, fine cheese and my finest kind Girl Friend ready and toast the end of another day. If that isn’t righteous, then nothing is! Curmy, as a fellow curmudgeon, we must at times recognize that we must take advantage of the opportunities we are offered!

  15. Doctor Stochastic

    The golf lobby is stronger than the ballroom dance lobby. Along with TV, DST effectively killed the drive-in theater business.

  16. In the US, we are all commanded to reset our clocks this weekend by moving them ahead one hour.

    Actually, we are not so commanded. I have never yet had the thought police knock on my door, and demand the right to check whether I had changed my clocks. As far as I know, you are completely at liberty to refuse to adjust your clocks.

    Personally, I do adjust mine. I happen to find it useful to be occasionally synchronize my activities with the rest of the world. And it is easier to change my clock twice a year than to reorganize my daily schedule twice a year.

  17. Pshaw, here’s a real gripe for you:

    Every four years, every annually salaried individual on the planet is compelled to work one full day for no remuneration whatsoever!

    Globally, that must add up to some billions of dollars worth of slave labour extracted from the managerial classes!

    Time to storm the barricades!

  18. Pete Moulton

    SC suggests, “We should decimalize everything. Ten hours a day. We don’t need that AM and PM nonsense. One hundred minutes per hour, each with a hundred seconds.”

    Yes! And we could call each of the ten hours a ‘zode’, and divide each zode into 100 xats, and each xat into 100 tal. I knew those hours spent reading Edgar Rice Burroughs as a kid would come in handy someday.

  19. When I am supreme lord and dictator (and still late riser), winter will be double daylight savings! Bwahahaha! Dark til noon, but sweet daylight til 8p in winter.

  20. Curmie wrote> “”We should decimalize everything.”

    It’s been done already. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_time

  21. Ironically one of the Curmudgeon’s icons of the enlightenment shown at the top of this web page, Ben Franklin, was a big advocate of daylight savings time. He was also instrumental in starting it in the United States, and for good reason it makes a lot of sense.
    At temperate latitudes between summer and winter the different in daylight varies from about 9 hours to 14 hours. In the summer you’ll have the sun rising at 4 or 5. Assuming most people want to rise around dawn for typical urban jobs it makes sense to change it. (Also you have daylight when you’re at home out of the office or factory). I’d say don’t blame the government blame the tilt of the Earth’s axis.
    Some of the discussion reminds me of talk of eliminating the “leap second” (added because the Earth is slowing down) you sometimes hear about, which is another way, like decimal time, or other ways of divorcing time from the Earth and Sun. Modern humans don’t really need to be in sync with the natural rhythms of the planet but this is where timekeeping began and I’d like to see it remain so.