Darwin’s Review of Daylight Savings Time

This is probably the only time I’m going to say this, but those fuckers in Saskatchewan have it right.

There’s no politic way to say this, so I’ll just say it factually: Daylight Savings Time is an antiquarian shitsack of a concept that suppurates from a period of time when cows ruled the world, everyone was afraid of electricity and racism came free with every hamburger. It’s a worthless relic with no relevance or necessity in the modern day. It’s basically the VHS of time.

This review is going to contain some spoilers for Daylight Savings Time, but you know what? Spoiler alert: it’s fucking stupid and we shouldn’t have it. At the same time, though, and don’t fucking tell Pax I said this, it’s kind of awesome. But I’ll get to that part after I explain why it’s the literal worst.

So it all started in 1895, when George Hudson, noted entomologist and probably secret anarchist from New Zealand, wanted to have more time after work to collect bugs for fun. He worked shift work at the post office and really thought that it sucked that he didn’t have much light to collect bugs to write treatises on after work, so he suggested fucking over literally every single person in the Western world by having a seasonal time adjustment so that he personally could go get beetles in the woods to show up his childhood bullies.

A lot of people like to say that Benjamin Franklin invented DST, and he did propose something similar to it sometime in the late 18th century, but he was joking, it never happened, and also he was a shitty person, so mostly I think that’s just another example of Americans wanting to pretend that they invented a thing. Realistically, we can just put that idea in the idiot box where it belongs and recognize that Daylight Savings Time was first done in Canada, even before it was done in Germany and Britain.

So, you know, we’ll add that to the list of Canadian historical shit that we sweep under the rug to make us look better, along with slavery and residential schools.

Anyway, Daylight Savings got picked up and started being used in a lot of countries, partly with the argument that farmers wanted more time to do stuff with their farms (most farmers today report that Daylight Savings Time upsets their cows), and partly because electricity was a hot new invention and people didn’t understand it and thought that it was best to avoid people having to have lights on at night, kind of like how when cell phones were invented old people thought they gave you brain cancer.

In the modern day, it goes without saying that Daylight Savings Time is objective shit. Nobody’s afraid of lights anymore, farms have electricity too, it just messes up everyone’s sleep schedule and real people don’t go bug hunting after work. All it does is disrupt everything and has no practical benefit that couldn’t be gained with some basic patience—yes, it’s nice that it’ll now be light out until 7:00 PM, but it would have done that in a couple more weeks anyway and nobody needs the sun to be up until 9:30 in July. So yeah, try having a little bit of patience, everyone, and then we’ll be able to just ditch this piece of chronological shit.

So with all that said, it should be pretty easy to just toss Daylight Savings Time in the toilet and flush it away like so much coffee rinds, but there’s another side to the issue that I think bears considering.

Time, as we know, is fake. If you don’t know time as fake and aren’t willing to just agree with me on that, I can’t help you, because it is and this is a review of Daylight Savings Time, not a review of time generally. So taking it as given that time is fake, DST makes its fakeness very clear. Someone made up time at some point, and though we like to pretend that it’s an ontologically-grounded thing, the fact that some asshole entomologist in the 19th century could just decide one day that we should have it be a different time so he could get off work early to go look at beetles in New Zealand should be pretty major proof for that fakeness.

And if we start to admit that time is fake, maybe all the crappy stuff that comes out of our insistence that it’s real will lessen, which, I don’t know, seems pretty awesome since some of those things are racism and colonialism. I can’t stress enough that time is racist, and though this isn’t the place to explain why, it really just is and I’ll write another review in the future explaining it, so just believe me for now, okay? DST provides us with a unique opportunity to look at time in a different way and see it for what it is—a shared delusion that we’ve all agreed not to challenge because otherwise we won’t know when to sit down and watch Star Trek.

So yeah, if we do a little defamiliarization, recognize that time is something that we made up and that we control, and then apply that to time all the time, rather than just at Daylight Savings Time, I think we’ll all be happier. And that’s why I think that, even though DST is wrong and awful and bad and cows don’t like it and presumably neither do beetles, not to mention no human on earth has ever enjoyed it for one hot second, it does also have some potential positive benefits, so maybe let’s keep it around for another year or two, see if people smarten up.

And if they don’t, then we’ll take DST out around behind the barn, shoot in the head with bullets made of razor blades, and feed its corpse to the time scorpions. Seems only fair for making me get up an hour early on a Monday.

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