Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Sun Is Trying To Kill Me

And it is, too!

I hate this whole daylight saving time thing. I've hated it since 1974. Ok, I was only 9, but I didn't like the whole thing. I had some notion it was what got Nixon in trouble -- all those sleep deprived people get cranky.

I don't buy the energy savings thing, either. Where I work, for example, there are exactly 4 offices without outside windows through which sunlight can be seen, and we still run the lights all day. The rest of the plant is cut off from outside light, and uses electricity. Many office buildings, factories, and stores are like this as well, continually lit electrically. The 30 minutes of 3 lights I use in the morning don't compare to this. My office is the ONLY one in the building that does NOT have the overhead lights on all the time -- I turn them off and use two smaller watt task lights. I've got a big, east facing window, and that's plenty of light for me.

And we are a society that works and plays 24 hours a day. Yes, maybe it's nice to have an "extra" hour of sunlight in the evening...so you can sit inside watching TV or playing on the computer. We turn on lights all day long, and even with energy saving bulbs, I don't think we're saving much.

Maybe I'm just cranky because I feel all messed up. I get used to moving more or less in time or in contrast with the sun (no matter how much I may like to ignore it). I feel most creative at night. That's my active time. When it's sunny and bright I feel guilty, like I should be out there enjoying it or some shit like that, or at least doing laundry. When it's dark -- and I mean good and dark, a few hours after sunset -- that's when I feel like settling down to read or write or work on something. And with the stupid time shift, by then it's bedtime and all that nice darkness is shoved into the morning when descent people are asleep. I also don't like the whole getting up in the dark thing. I also don't like the whole going outside thing. I sunburn. Fast. Like within 15-30 minutes. Why do I want MORE of the stuff?

There's another side to this, though, that interests me, and that's the absolute demonstration that our measurement of time is an arbitrary thing. Many times people confuse our perception and measurement of time with time itself. They act like clocks and calendars are some kind of absolute system of determination, a holy guidepost to reality, when really they are just tools humans created in our attempt to quantify something beyond ourselves.

I remember, years ago when I was about 13, I was in a little diner in Colorado that had an old fashioned cog-and-key clock. The clock was not set to DST and it was summer. Under the clock was a sign that said "God's Time". Even then I thought it was ridiculous, because what I knew of the Christian God never indicated he wore a watch or paid much attention to the passing of a day. The idea that the clock represented the sole and proper measure of Holy Time was ludicrous. If this God guy was everything I was being told, then all time was his and there was no particular style of measurement more preferable. It doesn't even consider the whole time zone thing. It was pure, brainless, patronizing posturing (the owners of the diner at that time being something of a relative of mine, I can say this with security).

Anyway, I'm gonna be out of sorts for a few days until I get settled in to my lost hour life...and then they will muck it up in November. Sheesh. And it's really all for the golfers, and -- I suspect strongly -- the grill and patio furniture lobbiests. Freaking addicts.

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