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    • Debra DeAngelo

      CEO, Columnist and Co-Editor
    • March 17, 2017 in Columnists

    Daylight Savings Time must die

    I’m a Daylight Savings kinda gal. With a day job and my own after-hours business, I love having a little daylight left at the end of the work day to spend in the back yard drinking a nice Cabernet with the hummingbirds.

    Daylight Savings Time also makes my chronic insomnia less frustrating. If I don’t take Benadryl or a little cocktail of sleep-inducing herbs, left to my own internal time clock, I’ll snap awake promptly at 3 a.m., Standard Time. On Daylight Savings Time, however, 3 a.m. becomes 4 a.m., and if I just lie there and daydream about horses and worldwide domination for a bit, it’s 5 a.m. before you know it and a perfectly reasonable time to get up.

    Two things.

    First, yes, I know the AP Stylebook says it’s “daylight saving time.” Two things about the first thing: One, nobody in the entire country says it that way, so get with the program, AP. And two, that lower case can make a sentence confusing, i.e., “I noticed that daylight saving time makes a lot of people grumpy”… as in… “This thing — daylight — is saving time, and that makes people grumpy because daylight has no business saving time, and should just stick to doing what it does best, like lighting things up and casting shadows and photosynthesizing chlorophyll and whatnot, and leave our damn clocks alone.”

    And another thing, AP: You capitalize Eastern Daylight Time and Pacific Daylight Time, but not “daylight saving time,” which I find a little arbitrary and lame. AP, you’re not that sexy anymore. And you know what else? I’ve decided I like the Oxford Comma.

    Yeah, that’s right, I said it: “Pigs, goats, and cows,” AP. Sometimes the Oxford Comma does add clarity, and also makes journalists look less uneducated in the eyes of those who worship at the altar of Chicago Manual Style. So yeah, AP… it’s probably over. It’s not you, it’s me. Let’s stay friends. Leave your stuff at the door, and also, I’ll need my key back.

    (And I know that the preceding two paragraphs only excited journalists, editors and English teachers, who can’t be in the same room and discuss commas without it turning into a cage fight. Meanwhile, everyone else in the room dozed off. Nothing induces “ZZZZ’s” like a Grammar Geek Squeee.)

    Now, back to the second thing: Daylight Savings Time (oh, look at me — AP Style rebel!) — I’m so over it. Daylight Savings? Standard Time? Who gives a rip. Pick one and stick with it, and let’s abandon this organized luncacy of switching our clocks forward and back twice a year.

    First, a reality check: We don’t “lose” an hour in the spring and “gain” one in the fall. There are still 24 hours in a day, the sun comes up and goes down when it wants without any regard to human considerations, and time is an illusion anyway. As the iconic ’70s group Chicago noted, “Does anybody really know what time it is?” and more importantly, “Does anybody really care?”

    Yeah, I care — every mid-March when I’m cranky and tired and spending my “lost hour” resetting the 18,000 clocks in my house. Must every electrical item have a clock? And if so, can’t the microwave reset them for us when it’s not busy taking our pictures?

    Time is merely a human construct to ensure that we show up at the same meetings at the same time and know who to give the stink eye to for being late. And, Daylight Savings Time began as a joke anyway! The supremely witty Benjamin Franklin quipped that getting up an hour earlier would save candles. Pity Ben didn’t know about “ironic quotes” — you know, like when you tweet “tapping my phones” — so we’d know his comments were said with a wink and a nod, and not to be taken seriously.

    But take Old Ben seriously they did, and now we’re saddled with this utterly absurd clock-setting ritual, that, honest to God, serves no practical purpose if you employ even one brain cell to think about it for longer than five seconds.

    It’s just dumb.

    Dumb, I tell you.

    Is life not stressful enough on its own without us adding ridiculous, nonsensical little rituals into the mix just to ratchet things up a notch? Let me answer that for you: Yes. Life is doing a fine job in the stress department and does not need human assistance.

    So, let’s just knock it off. Pick one or the other, and abandon this spring-forward-fall-back nonsense that’s weakly justified by the belief that farmers need more daylight in the afternoons, and in the fall, we have to “fall back” because it’s dangerous for children walking to school in the dark.

    And now, I shall destroy both those arguments.

    First, farmers. Dudes! You are your own bosses! Need more daylight? Want to get up earlier? Do it! Knock yourselves out! You don’t need the whole country to get up early with you. It’s not a buddy system. Hell, set the clock two hours earlier if you like. You have the power right in your grubby, dirty hands! It can be whatever time you say it is because you know what? Cornfields and cows can’t tell time anyway.

    As for the little children walking to school… please. Children aren’t walking to school, as evidenced by the parade of minivans in front of the schools every morning. If dark mornings are an issue, start school later at 9 a.m. Studies show that kids learn better with more sleep anyway, and teachers will love the extra pre-class prep time.

    Lest you think I’m one voice crying in the wilderness about this time-change poppycock, let me disabuse you of that notion: California Assemblymember Kansen, Chu, D-San Jose, has proposed Assembly Bill 807 to end Daylight Savings Time once and for all. However,  before voters get a chance to thrust a steely knife through the heart of Ben Franklin’s little joke, however, it must survive the State Assembly to make it to the ballot. So, contact your Assembly representatives and insist that Assembly Bill 807 be allowed to move forward into the people’s hands.

    That said, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, consider yourself contacted: Daylight Savings must die.



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