BY NORBERT RUG
In early November there are two things that occur that I think should be eliminated. One is a throwback from days gone by. It is the switch from daylight saving time to standard time.
The first Saturday in November ends daylight saving time. Unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona, where DST is not followed, you need to turn your clocks back an hour in November, getting back the hour that you lost last March.
The truth is that switching back and forth is a total waste of time, messes with your internal clock and accomplishes absolutely nothing. According to the popular myth, it saves energy. Not so, according to what I have read. Energy costs tend to go down in the summer because we use less lighting and we are not heating our homes. Daylight saving time has no purpose in our industrial, always-on, technology-driven society.
There is certainly no good reason to do this today. If people want to take advantage of an extra hour of daylight, maybe they should just get up an hour earlier.
We reset our clocks during the summer to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Here’s an idea, move the whole world clock forward one hour and leave it alone.
The time to eliminate this dinosaur, this throwback to when we were an agrarian culture, is now.
But the only way we can change this is if Congress takes action. Unfortunately, you will get old waiting for this to happen. Congress can’t seem to agree on many things. How can we expect them to handle an issue like eliminating daylight saving time, even though there is almost universal support for its repeal?
The primary thing that drives me crazy (although some people will say it is just a short putt) is Christmas music in November. Every year it seems we start a little earlier, putting up the lights, the trees and blowup Santas. Before you call me a Grinch, I like Christmas music just as much as the next guy. Give me a good Burl Ives “Holly Jolly Christmas,” a Nat King Cole “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” or José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad,” but Lord help me I don’t need it on
November 1st. I gave my radio a quick scan the other day and found four stations broadcasting “All Christmas, all the time.”
I like the Christmas season; it is one of my favorite holidays. I love the eggnog, the much-maligned fruit cake, the Salvation Army red kettles and bell ringers and the decorations. I enjoy the kindness that seems to pervade society at this time and the gathering of friends and family, but for the love of God, can we wait until the Thanksgiving turkey is out of the oven and the dishes are washed before we start celebrating Christmas?
I think that the stores must have paid to have some big, expensive study done that said by playing Christmas music in November, it encourages consumers to spend more money. The study probably said it increases impulse buying and therefore the stores’ bottom line, but sorry, it doesn’t work on me.
It has just the opposite effect on me. In fact, it persuades me to get in and get out as quickly as possible without any looking around. This makes me just want to get what I wanted and leave. It causes me to shop online so I don’t even have to enter a store. I now do more online shopping than in-store shopping. Give me free shipping and we are golden.
Norbert Rug is a journalist from Lockport, NY.