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What Time is It... Really?

by Dr David, Publisher / Editor

I wish they would make up their minds, Daylight Savings or Standard Time, one or the other. I don't like all this changing of the hour. Spring forward. Fall back. Spring back. Fall forward. Enough already.

The cows don't like it either. They don't understand why all of a sudden people are trying to milk them an hour earlier or later. The great State of Wisconsin, "America's Dairyland," refuses to comply with all this back and forth, rejecting this bureaucratic time fascism.

I know. I understand the rational for the fall back. The little kiddies shouldn't have to walk to school in the dark. (Are kids still walking to school? Aren't their overprotective parents all giving them rides these days?) But what about the world in general? Why are we, including those kids, all robbed of an hour of afternoon sunshine each day? And what about climate change? What about all the extra electricity that is being spent to illuminate our greater darkness?

The year I bought my computer, when it still had its defualt settings, before I adjusted my time to "Mexico," I overlooked this autumnal change of hour. I had invited a couple over to dinner that particular Sunday and they were late. The longer my spaghetti sauce simmers, the better it gets, and we are xxx in Mexico, so I kept my cool. Still, when they hadn't showed, at what I thought to be 45 minutes after the appointed hour, I opened the wine, drank a glass and munched on the appetizer. Having attended to my blood sugar and alcohol levels, I was cordial when they arrived, 75 minutes late, according to me. Still, I ventured a slight reproof, "Seventy-five minutes is a little late, even for Mexico, no?" (I was new in the country.) They set me straight.

This year I am intentionally overlooking the time change. Like those cows in Wisconsin, I am refusing to comply. They can change the hour, but they can't change the revolution of the Earth. I follow the sun. I used to go to bed around 12:00 and get up around 8:00. Now I go to bed around 11:00 and get up around 7:00.

I admit, that suffering as a kid, for years, the indignity of having to both go to bed and get up earlier than I wanted, I now greatly relish staying up late at night, as well as rolling over and going back to bed in the morning. But it's time to grow up. As the Good Book says, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

The last few days, when the sky first begins to brighten, instead of rolling over in bed, I'm rolling out of it, even if the clock says it's an hour earlier.

When I had my place in Vermont, we cut down some trees to cut up into boards to build my house. That winter a neighbor came up with his two huge work-horses and dragged the trees out of the woods, sliding them on the snow, to where the sawyer would cut them up come spring. I posted photos on-line of the horses at work. Someone commented on the photos, "Let the horses go free." I responded, "You live in a city, don't you?" He responded, "Why do you ask that?"

For a period of time I was walking a friend's Husky, a dog breed that was bred to pull. Annoyed at having my arm continually drawn taunt, I made the mistake of pulling back. To him that meant that the sled was stuck. It was his cue to pull harder. My arm was better in a few days.

Work-horses were, and still are, also bred to pull. They like it. Their bodies need the exercise. If you let them go free, they would go back to the barn and wait for their bag of oats. They are not wild creatures. Neither are we.

We are not born as blank slates and only then corrupted by society. Rousseau was wrong. Despite the wishful thinking of anthropologists, anthropology has clearly shown that the "noble savage" is not so noble. Not just we, but our close cousins the chimpanzees have a violent nature.

Society, for all its faults, Daylight Savings Time included, is not the problem, it's the solution. And you have to be ignorant of history and modern reality not to realize that the Western values of individual worth and tolerance have made the world a better place. These need to be honored and extended. The revolutionary agenda behind identity politics, to tear it all down and start over, seems like a bad idea to me.

Despite the romantic, utopian ideals of university-aged kids and John Lennon's Imagine, borders and nation states are the best that we have come up with; and they're a lot better than the tribalism that reigned before.

Call me old-fashioned, but I have faith in incremental progress and human ingenuity. Despite all the hysteria about the end of the world, things are getting better, for gays, women and minorities in the US, for the poor around the world... and even for climate change.

If you don't like where the herd is going, then try to take it in another direction. I am.

I don't like a lot of things about modern society. I do like work-horses and building houses from trees sustainably harvested. Still, all in all, I'd rather be here in San Miguel than in the woods of northern Vermont, with or without Daylight Savings Time.

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Dr. David welcomes you to San Miguel Sunday. Anyone with any interest in contributing articles is heartily encouraged to contact him at the email below. The "Best City in the World" deserves a good Lokkal magazine.

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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