11 March 2013
Twice every year we the people, mindless lemmings every last one of us, change our clocks one hour this way, then one hour the other way. Sasquatch in the woods must surely shake his shaggy head in amusement at this bizarre and arbitrary ritual of the crazy humans. Why do we do this? Because our benevolent fathers and mothers in the citadels of government have dictated this as law (except those last bastions of Hawaii and parts of Arizona). This time change epitomizes despotism and arbitrary rule! We citizens grumble about this system every year, and every year we do nothing about it! I propose that we drive a stake into the heart of this temporal tyranny and overturn Daylight Savings Time forever and ever!
Where did this system come from, anyhow? It all started as a little joke by Ben Franklin. When he spent his days gallivanting around France as US ambassador during the American Revolution, Franklin observed in jest that the sun rose very early and that if people could only wake up earlier they would save on the use of their candles in the evening. For over 100 years, the sensible people of those times took this observation for what it was: a joke. But then, a sly and devilish Englishman named William Willett gathered together a cabal of men with untold wealth and power. Lounging in their smoke-filled parlor, these men crafted a little joke of their own. How amusing it would be to force every man, woman, and child to move their clocks forward in the spring, then back again in the autumn, every year, for all eternity! They would control everyone like mindless puppets! After coming up with this plan, Willett leaned back in his chair, arms folded behind his mustachioed head, and he exhaled a plume of smoke from his fat cigar before uttering these fateful words: “They will spring forward, ….and then fall back!” And he tumbled backward out of his chair to the floor, a look of startled amusement on his face; then he and the entire room burst into a fit of maniacal glee and gut-wrenching evil laughter that lasted until the following dawn. And so Daylight Saving was born.
The two world wars, with their strict fuel rationing, saw the spread of this system like a nasty infestation of gonorrhea. By 1966, our US Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, and Daylight Savings Time oppressed the honest, hard-working people of this land in earnest. While states could decide whether or not to participate, this presented a false choice. States could not choose the dates of implementation, for one thing, and as several influential big-business states adopted the system, pressure increased for the other states to join in this charade. To make this system even more grueling, Congress decided to extend DST in 2007 to the point that we only live in Standard Time for four months out of the year!
The reader might ask, “What’s so bad about Daylight Saving Time anyway?” Well let me just slap you across your clueless cheeks seven times, dear reader, and maybe that will knock some sense into that thick skull of yours! Sorry. But do let me tell you what’s so bad. Think about the public health! Heart attacks spike every year on the Monday following the “spring forward”, as described by Science Daily. Plus, according to a 1996 study by the New England Journal of Medicine, traffic accidents increase by about 8% on that infernal post-DST morning. In some areas dawn arrives so late that groggy school children must stand at the edges of pre-dawn streets or stumble across unlit crosswalks while exhausted motorists swerve all over the road attempting to simultaneously drive and fumble with their coffee cups. And some study that I read somewhere says that the deprivation of one hour of sleep in children each year over the course of their lives has cost Americans on average a loss of 1/4 inch in height and three months’ shorter lifespan! To top it all off, Daylight Savings Time doesn’t even save the country much energy at all, and it even costs money. SleepBetter.org reports an average cost of $1.65 per year for each American, and a 2007 study by the Department of Energy shows that the DST extension of that year only saved 0.03% in electricity usage. What a horrible waste of time and lives!
But there is hope! Daylight Savings reached its apex in 2006 when agrarian Indiana finally succumbed to its business elites and enslaved its population to the gulags of time-changing, but since that time the trend is shifting the other way. Movements are growing for the abolishment of bi-annual clock-changing all across the country, though none have yet succeeded. Alaska, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado have recently seen bills in their state legislatures for this purpose. Each of these bills has failed, but the issue keeps popping up again and again. People really do hate changing their clocks! (And if they don’t hate it, they should!)
Jimmy Two-Shoes the DST apologist lists several reasons to keep Daylight Savings Time in effect. Most businesses prefer more sunshine in the evening so their customers feel more inclined to shop after work. People with yards can pot around in the garden longer or mow the lawn later. People can enjoy outdoor pastimes such as boating, hiking, and fishing for longer. Most significantly, this supporter claims, evening traffic accidents are reduced because of the later sunset. It’s hard for me to decry these motives as sinister or stupid, as much as I might like to do so!
Most of the irritation that people experience from Daylight Savings Time stems more from the infuriating twice-annual change of clocks than from the government-imposed deviation from solar time (myself excluded!). So I begrudgingly propose a compromise: let us spring forward and never fall back! If Daylight Saving is so great, let it reign for all time without interruption!
So how do we change it? So long as most of the country participates in Daylight Savings, no state will likely pass a bill overturning this despicable system locally. Unfortunately the wise and humble members of our national legislature will have to change it on a nationwide scale, as they have already done numerous times, most recently to extend DST in 2007. President Obama has recently said that a law that could save even just one life is worth pursuing; surely then a law ending the “fall-back” autumn time-change will save millions of lives and cost not a single one. Let us continually nag Congress to pass such a law, and eventually those cretins will pass it just to shut us up. Who could possibly object? Surely even Sasquatch in the woods would nod his head in approval at this effort! Let us never, ever let up in these efforts until the day we the people will never have to set our clocks again forever!
 “The Ingenious Dr. Franklin. Selected Scientific Letters.” Edited by Nathan G. Goodman. University of Pennsylvania Press. 1931. Pages 17-22. http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html.
 The Clare Champion. “William Willett.” William Willett. WebExhibits.org, Nov. 2000. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/ref/Willett.html.
 Lollar, Jennifer. “Heart Attacks Rise following Daylight Saving Time.” UAB News. Office of Public Relations and Marketing, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. http://www.uab.edu/news/news-you-can-use/spring-2012/heart-attacks-rise-following-daylight-saving-time.
 Coren, Stanley, Ph.D. “The New England Journal of Medicine.” Daylight Savings Time and Traffic Accidents. New England Journal of Medicine, 4 Apr. 1996. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199604043341416.
 SleepBetter.org. “SleepBetter Lost-Hour Economic Index.” SleepBetter LostHour Economic Index. Carpenter Co., 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. http://sleepbetter.org/lost-hour-economic-index/.
 USA. Department of Energy. Impact of Extended Daylight Saving Time on National Energy Consumption. By US Dept. of Energy. N.p., Oct. 2008. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/analysis/pdfs/epact_sec_110_edst_report_to_congress_2008.pdf.
 Colbert, Harry, Jr., and Al McFarlane. “Obama Examines MN Violence Plan as Gun Bill Model.” Politic365. Politic365, 10 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. http://politic365.com/2013/02/10/obama-examines-minneapolis-violence-reduction-as-gun-bill-model/.