- Benjamin Goddamit Franklin, may God rest his sweet, patriotic soul, invented daylight saving time just like he invented electricity and he was obviously a genius and how dare you or any other non-genius fuck with Uncle Ben’s ideas. They didn’t put your ugly ass on the hundred dollar bill now, did they? Alright, look…you need to remember a couple of things. Absolutely, Ben Franklin was a genius. A great many of his inventions propelled America and mankind into the future that we enjoy today. However, Ben Franklin lived in a world without electric light and climate control. His nights were lit solely by candles and oil lamps, and even though his idea of shifting the clock around was pretty clearly meant as a joke, and he had likely been into his cups when he wrote this letter, it did make some bit of sense then to suggest that opening business an hour earlier during certain months of the year would reduce candle usage. American businesses haven’t relied on candlelight or oil lamps in more than a century. Even candle shops now use electric light and computers. The position of the sun no longer has anything to do with when we can and cannot work, play, cook, read, et cetera. If B.F. were alive today, I suspect he would want to pimp-slap all those who have mindlessly remained allegiant to daylight saving time. He invented his stove to more efficiently heat houses: he would certainly acknowledge that central heating and air is a vastly more safe and effective method of climate control, and would likely insist on having it in his house.
- It will save energy and money. Poppycock. Patently untrue. In fact, the exact opposite holds true: hundreds of millions of dollars are lost every year due to employees arriving late for work, conference calls and meeting missed, and overall productivity lost. Doctors tell us that dicking around with the clock and one’s sleep schedule increases the chances of heart attack significantly, leading to hundreds of millions of more dollars lost in medical expenses. Sleep loss, the disruption of the Circadian rhythm, greater susceptibility to illness…all of things lead to lost productivity, lost money, and ultimately increased energy resources. And having citizens in the work force arrive home at the hottest part of the day ends up using significantly more energy than would be used otherwise. Just ask Arizona. They ignore DST (as does Hawaii) and they do just fine. In fact, neither of those states have nearly the same number of rolling blackouts during the summer as California does. We have them regularly throughout the summer, during DSL. There has never been a rolling blackout during Standard Time.
- The farmers need daylight saving time to order to harvest their crops and get all their work done during the summer. I can’t even begin to understand this one. And I think that’s because this one falls in to the very strange category of many of the other lines of rationale I’ve heard to justify the menace of DST: people seem to actually think that DST adds an hour of time to the day. Like we ACTUALLY get an extra hour of daylight or the days are ACTUALLY an hour longer than they would be during Standard Time. To these poor souls I can say only that I will include you in my nightly prayers and hope that you aren’t a registered voter. Farmers go to work when the sun comes up, and they don’t spend the day watching the clock, waiting for 5 o’clock so they can knock off. Hell no. They quit work when it’s so dark they can’t see what they’re doing. They don’t give the slightest of damns if you insist it’s 5:00pm or midnight: just stay out of their way.
- Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
- Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
- When in another’s home, show him respect or else do not go there.
- If a guest in your home annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
- Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
- Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
- Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
- Do not harm little children.
- Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
- When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
N.P.: “The Future” – Leonard Cohen
What a weird week this has been. Nothing dramatic, just weird. I can’t say that I was a big fan of it. Rather glad it’s over.
In equally inconsequential news, my favorite word right now is “dongle.” It’s fun to use in serious conversation whilst trying to keep the conversation serious.
“Shamrocks and Shenanigans” – House of Pain
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve been pretty deeply immersed in the works of Poe lately, with a healthy dose of Lovecraft to go along with it. Interesting guys. I find it fascinating to look at American literature as it has struggled to come up with its own identity and language, and see how these people who are fumbling in the dark (as we all are) contribute to our ever-evolving canon, whether intentionally so or not.
In other “shit I’ve been into lately” news, I’ve had AWOLNATION’s catalog on heavy rotation recently. I’ve always been partial to DIY musicians who can handle all the playing, vocals, and production on their own, and Aaron Bruno seems very capable. His new album has “Handyman” on it, which sounds like Cat Stevens on his best day (and which I sound amazing singing…just saying), and another song (“Run”) that fits so perfectly with my current project that it’s spooky. Anyway, check it out. And read more Poe. It’s good for you.
N.P.: “Run” – AWOLNATION
One of my earliest memories is of my dad taking me to a mall to buy shoes, and when we were leaving, there was this big Marine Recruiters RV in the mall parking lot. So my dad took me in and we sat through this whole presentation (which included a free movie, which I thought was great), and at the end, my dad filled out an interest card for my mom. Pretty soon, the Marines were sending all manner of patriotically-themed flyers and letters to the house, and calling, wanting to talk to my mom. And this was during the Vietnam war, when they were drafting people. They never did let up until the war was over.
N.P.: “Money Changes Everything” – The Smiths
Hell is other people.
N.P.: “More” – The Sisters of Mercy