It’s not just me. Arizona and Hawaii act like they’ve never heard of it. Farmers hate it, and for good reason. If you have ever spent 30 seconds with a cow, you know the glazed-over, my-mind-is-numb-and-I-like-it-that-way look they can give humans when we waste our time speaking to them.
Imagine: you have milked your cows at 7 a.m. for the past seven or eight months, and one October morning, the state tells you to turn your clock back one hour. 7 a.m. is now 8 a.m., Old Bessie’s lactation appointment has passed, and you’re fumbling blindly for a pail because it is still dark as night outside. If that does not sound like fun to you, I don’t know what would.
Daylight saving was born out of a need to conserve resources. By turning the clock back an hour during the winter months, the sun seems to stay out longer, which translates to people keeping their lights off for another hour.
In 1918, a federal law mandated that everyone in the nation observe daylight saving time. Less than a year later, the nationwide mandate was repealed and became the states’ prerogative. If you are not familiar with the lethargy our Congress typically exhibits when doing anything, particularly passing legislation, “less than a year” is fast.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time in participating states. The act also cited the apparently dramatic effects more daylight would have on “playtime for the children and youth of our Nation, – expanded economic opportunity – through the extension of domestic office hours to periods of greater overlap with the European Economic Community,” according to www.nationalgeographic.com.
So, now this is about appeasing some blithering, manky European businesses? American business owners: you don’t need an extra hour to shoot the bull on the conference phone with German pencil manufacturers who would rather be on their way home to hot schnitzel and a pint of their favorite lager.
And whom are we kidding? American children are not outside. They are living as rock stars in their living rooms, thanks to the miracle of Guitar Hero. Plus, the lack of daylight decreases glare on the screen and increases contrast, giving little Timmy the only chance he has at beating Through the Fire and the Flames.
Daylight saving began for a good reason, but the need is gone. Write your state representative. If Arizona and Hawaii can do it, we should have already.