Young Love and Daylight Savings

Young Love and Daylight Savings March 16, 2022

In the annals of Daylight Savings ruining my life, I thought this news item was probably pretty important:

I have a lot of problems with this moment in history. The first problem is that OK Magazine said I couldn’t read the article because of the country I live in. So I had to scroll through and read all the tweets. The second problem is that young love has suffered a serious blow. Seventeen-year-old Cruz and fifteen-year-old Bliss, thrown together because their mothers were good friends, “enjoyed 18 months together.” But now they’ve broken up, and so Victoria (the famous mother of Cruz) is going to “prioritize her family” because even though Cruz would never demand it, it will just be too hard to be divided in her affections. She is going to “tiptoe” away from her friend. Poor young things and poor mothers of teenagers. It’s so hard to know what to do when your offspring are going out into the world to discover themselves and who they are. What is a mother to do? Cut off her dear friend? Or soothe the sorrowed brow? I’m sure I would be just as troubled in her situation. Although, having a more dubious posture towards life in general, I imagine I wouldn’t be willing to totally rearrange my friendships based on any adolescent flights of fancy.

I forgot the third thing that’s wrong with everything! That amazing picture of Victoria Beckam, there, with her young son, is really a lot to take in a week of losing an hour of sleep to the malign gods of useless bureaucracy. I wonder what sort of expressions my young sons would adopt if I tried to have that sort of picture taken with either of them? Actually, I already know the answer to that question.

But back to Daylight Savings. It seems like the Senate has voted to stay on Daylight Savings Time, which, living where I do, suits me fine. But also, I did read this very informative piece:

Despite this policy failure, DST not only persists but actually has been repeatedly expanded to cover more and more of our year, thanks—as Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, explains—to intense lobbying by the U.S. industries that benefit financially from lighter evenings. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, however, it wasn’t farmers who wanted DST—they actually opposed it because they “now had an hour less of morning light to milk their cows and get their goods ready for market, let alone for commuters or children waiting for school buses in the dark.” Instead, the original, post‐​war implementation of DST was driven by the oil and gas companies that enjoyed the additional gasoline consumption. The gas and fuel industries were then joined by the golf, home improvement, and barbecue/​patio industries to lobby for the 1986 expansion of DST from six to seven months, because each industry gained hundreds of millions in additional sales revenue each year because of the extended evening daylight hours. Finally, the 2005 expansion of DST—from seven months to eight (second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November)—was driven by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and U.S. candymakers, each of which wanted Halloween to occur during DST because it boosted candy and, again, gasoline sales. “It gave the children more time to trick or treat and eat more candy … and the NACS credits that extra month of daylight saving with a $1 billion increase in annual [gasoline] sales.” (Big Candy also supported the 1986 expansion but had to lobby for another two decades before achieving the Halloween breakthrough.)

And also, children die a lot when they have to catch the bus in the dark:

Indeed, “when temporary, year‐​round DST was adopted in response to an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo, increased fatalities among school‐​aged children in the morning were noted between January and April. These findings may be due to darkness lasting longer in the morning when children are traveling to school, while other factors also may be at play.”

Dead children. My God.

Well, that’s terrible. Of course, my children won’t be dying that way because all their school is online. They will die from being taken over by Meta and losing their souls, or something seriously ghastly like that. But you know what, I don’t care. Stop taking my hours and then giving them back according to your whim. You can’t save time, just like you can’t save my sanity.

Tinkerty Tonk

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