As I sit here, at 6:00pm, gazing out my window into the pitch black veil of night, I can’t fight the desire to track down the jackass who first dreamed up the concept of daylight savings and punch him right in the throat. I realize that in order to do that, I’d have to conjure him from the dead so I won’t likely pursue the idea, but I can still shake my fist at the sky and curse his name… DAMN YOU, GEORGE VERNON HUDSON!
Personally, I have never been a supporter of changing the clocks (in case you couldn’t tell from the title of this post) – Backwards or forwards, the artificial time shift has always thrown a monkey wrench into my connection with my inner time keeper and has caused me to desire intravenous caffeine injections, permanent snooze button options and extra large size vitamin D pills. Having a baby has made me loathe it even more. At least in years past, I enjoyed an extra hour of drinking. Now I have a baby who does not give a fuck about clocks and instead of an extra hour of sleep I get a wake up call at 5am instead of 6.
So this morning, since I was up so goddamn early, I decided to do a little research into this daylight savings business. If millions of people haven’t joined together in a revolution against it, then maybe it serves a greater purpose that my self involvement has blinded me to. Well after reading up on the concept, my educated opinion is simply: daylight savings is horseshit. Here’s why:*
1. G.V. Hudson was the first asshole to propose DST. Hudson found employment in shift work in New Zeland way back in 1895. In his spare time he collected insects, which led him to value after hours daylight and inspired him to write a formal proposal for a 2-hr time saving shift.
I hate him and his insects equally.
2. The next genius to write a proposal for DST was William Willett (I hate him too). According to Wikipedia, this old chap was out for a lovely morning ride when he when he “observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through a large part of a summer’s day.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this. Are you telling me that some dude on a horse who apparently was physically incapable of minding his own business is responsible for messing with my internal clock? Is this a fucking joke?
3. William Willett gets 2 strikes against him because the other reason he felt inspired to write a proposal for DST (that eventually got turned into a BILL by THE HOUSE OF COMMONS in 1908) was because he was “an avid golfer, [who] also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. His solution was to advance the clock during the summer months.”
*Blinks. Blinks. Rubs eyes* um, is this guy for real? Did I wake up at 5am today with my son because HE DIDN’T LIKE CUTTING HIS GOLF ROUND SHORT?!?!?!?
4. Since its conception, DST has been most popular in times of war (namely WW1 and WW2) because it was an efficient way to conserve coal supplies.
Riiiiiiiight.. we are not currently fighting any wars that require copious amounts of coal, nor do we even use coal as a major energy source, soooooooooo #horseshit.
5. “Although some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity), modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory”.
Oh cool so a couple people think we’re conserving some energy…. But there are also some people who think we’re making shit even worse. That’s awesome because with the ice caps melting we can totally afford for millions of people to make bad decisions about energy conservation.
6. Daylight savings messes with pretty much anything that is tied to the sun or darkness. Important things like your kids sleep, your evening entertainment, the farming of the food you eat, and even your ability to enjoy fireworks at a reasonable time.
Do you hear me? Your firework watching is at stake here, people!
7. “Clock shifts were found to increase the risk of heart attack by 10 percent, and to disrupt sleep and reduce its efficiency.”
I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was THIS bad! But come to think of it, I did feel like I was going to have a heart attack today when I looked at my iPhone at the first sound of my sons cries and it read 5:15am…
So there you have it. If you’ve always had an inkling that daylight savings was a bullshit concept, dreamed up by annoying morning people, benefitting pretty much no-one, I hope it provides a little solace to know – you were right. Perhaps one day, I will summon the energy to write a proposal to rid us of the nuisance that is DST (#BYEfelicia)… But until then, I’ll just have to be grateful for 2 things: the wine I’m sipping tonight as I mourn the loss of a stolen hour of daylight, and the coffee I’ll be downing tomorrow morning after another dreaded 5am wakeup call.
*the following facts on DST were all gathered from Wikipedia (I woke up an hour early and decided to satisfy my curiosity – I didn’t wake up in 2007 and decide to write a research paper at U of T!). The sources of both direct quotations and paraphrased selections can be found here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time
Photo by Stephen Wilkes