Daylight Saving Time: Return of a Modest Proposal

Areas enduring Daylight saving time. (2017)
Daylight saving time, 2017. Details have changed, but we’re still stuck with it.

This is a condensed/abbreviated version of something I wrote a few years back:

I discuss my “modest proposal” under the Daylight Saving Time: How SADIST Could Make it Worse heading. What’s behind the “SADIST” acronym is explained in point 3.

And now, a whittled-down version of that 2017 post.

Perhaps I should remember my station, and be respectfully silent before the weekend’s mighty display of power and glory.

I am, after all, but one of those who live neither in the Northeast megalopolis nor the shining lands of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Daylight Saving Time — Again — Still

Fred Barnard's illustration: Uriah Heep. (1870s)Enough of that ‘umble posturing.

If you live in America, there’s a pretty good chance that you remembered to set your clock back an hour during the weekend. We’ve gone through this routine every year for — too long, I think.

This is where I usually start talking about when this nonsense started, why we did it, and why it’s still a twice-yearly ritual.

The Open Heart paper in PubMed’s online resource may be the most interesting of the lot.

The odds are pretty good that you didn’t enjoy the benefits of a DST-induced acute myocardial infarction last spring.

My guess is that we’re not absolutely, positively sure that the DST jump causes the increase in acute myocardial infarction.

Pinning down the exact metabolic, neurological, and probably psychological and behavioral causes is another set of tasks. I suspect that there must be an iron-clad case before national leaders will consider changing this hallowed custom.

Myocardial infarction is geek-speak for heart attack.

Properly, or weirdly, considered, it’s an opportunity to skip work. Sometimes permanently.

Daylight Saving Time: How SADIST Could Make it Worse

John Hambrock's 'The Brilliant Mind Of Edison Lee'. (Nov.7, 2016) used w/o permission.Now, my modest proposal; something I first suggested in spring of 2007. I figure it’s time to run this up the flagpole again.

With any luck, someone will think I’m serious — and suggest something that makes more sense. Like dropping DST.

Sure, some other countries have their own versions. But I suspect ‘everyone’s doing it’ isn’t a particularly good excuse.

Enough preamble. Here it is.

Three more ways that changing the clock (and, while we’re at it, the calendar) that could CHANGE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE:

1. Set clocks back 12 hours during August. Keeping people quiet during the day could save enormous amounts of energy that would otherwise be wasted on air conditioning stores and offices.

2. Set clocks back ten hours and forty minutes at noon on April 15. This 10:40 time shift would remind those who wait until the last minute to file tax returns by the date.

It’d also give them more than a full business-day’s-worth of additional time to get their forms in.

Ten hours and forty minutes is a large time shift, so clocks should be set forward one hour and twenty minutes at 2:00 a.m. — For eight days — April 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.

The reason should be obvious: to minimize psychological stress.

Although this stress-relieving measure might not save significant amounts of energy, the psychological effects could make a significant difference in quality of life.

“Quality of life” is such a nifty-sounding phrase: you know it’s gotta be a good idea

3. Finally, replace the evening of December 31 with Substance Abuse and Drug Interaction Study Time. The acronym should be easy to remember: SADIST.

SADIST: If At First You don’t Succeed, Threaten

Instead of over-indulging during New Year’s Eve parties, citizens would be encouraged to learn about substance abuse, dangers of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol.

This should reduce deaths in drunk-driving accidents, alleviate the need for expensive security measures in places like New York’s Times Square, and promote sober, healthy lifestyles among the general public.

And if you don’t agree, SADIST activists could say that those who oppose them promote drunkenness, debauchery, and delinquency. Or say they’re drug pushers.

I’ve gotten the impression that logic has very little to do with politics, and even less with real-world analogs to SADIST.

Can’t say that I blame folks running the show for using raw emotion and discouraging logic.

Encouraging the masses to start thinking might — — — actually, I think that’d be a good thing.

It might disrupt ‘business as usual.’

I think that could be a very good thing indeed.

The status quo isn’t particularly peachy these days. I think a growing number of Americans are realizing that.

Experience suggests that hard times aren’t nearly as bad for folks, in our hearts, as ‘good times’ like the late 1940s and 1950s.

I like being an American, mostly, but realize that this isn’t a perfect country.

Wasn’t in my youth, either. What we’ve got now is, in some ways, an improvement.

You see, I remember the ‘good old days.’ And am glad they’re gone. (August 20, 2017)

Getting back to SADIST and irrational appeals, be honest: if you follow political news, you’ve run across something that’s pretty much as sensible as SADIST.

It’s not just ‘those people.’

I’ve still got a few politically-inclined folks in my social media feeds, on several sides. Some of them get pretty vehement. To be polite.

It’s nothing new.

But it’s no incentive for me to wade into that particular sewage lagoon.

Then there’s the French Revolution’s calendar, and that’s another topic, for another day.

More, mostly how I see life and death, health, pleasure and moderation, and getting a grip:

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About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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2 Responses to Daylight Saving Time: Return of a Modest Proposal

  1. I’d like to suggest an equally dangerous media-based alternative to Substance Abuse and Drug Interaction Study Time, but unfortunately, I’d take too long coming up with a buzzwordy enough acronym, and I really wanna get back to to using and pushing for that habit of mine soon.

    But seriously, you also brought me back to when I had to study “A Modest Proposal” and other satires in university, Mr. Gill. Satire is one form of expression I’ve been struggling to understand and utilize for so long, especially with how easily toxic writings claimed to be as such come off to me. But as much as I think that, I seem to draw a lot from it a lot, and having learned about St. Thomas More, I hope to employ such means in more and more God-centered ways.

    • 😉 Budgeting time and effort: a very good idea. And – yes, Swift’s “…Modest Proposal….” was sharp-edged satire: that I’m inclined to sympathize with, given my Irish (among other northwestern European) roots. Or maybe tubers would be the word.

      Also yes, “toxic writings” with the “satire” label are a thing. I’m not sure which side of that border my “SADIST” proposal is. I was in a distinct frame of mind whenI wrote the original, back in – 2007?

      Best wishes with your habits, work, and all that.

Thanks for taking time to comment!