We Have Gained An Hour But Are Always Losing Time

The sun loves withholding

Let us begin by getting one thing out of the way: everyone has Seasonal Affective Disorder. I say this not to minimize the horror of the needle-fingered beast of dread that forces itself from your bowels up your throat and into your panicked mind at this time every year as you realize that daylight is abandoning you, but to remind you that you are, at least for now, not wholly alone.

The government would like you to believe that this is all for the best – society offers its paltry consolations – but you know better. The rest of the world clearly knows better – look at this map of Daylight Savings Time observance, where blue denotes current observers and orange/red denotes those who have rightly abandoned the practice or never kept it to begin with:

There is no rhyme or reason to this

This map is a horrific exercise in absurdity. Were you to give a map of the world to an angry child and say to him: “Divide these countries. Isolate them from one another. See to it that they cannot connect; have no common experiences, no shared sorrows that would bring them together as one people,” you could not have produced a less coherent series of subdivisions. One country loses light; another takes it; no one is enriched by these series of petty thefts.

“But I like winter,” some of you might say. “I can wear my boots again. I like Christmas music. I like eggnog. This isn’t so bad.” You are brave, dear soldiers and I salute your courage from the bottom of my soul. Wrest what small joys you can from these tomblike days. I would give you a medal if I could bring myself to rise from this recumbent position, soaking up the final patch of daylight before it disappears at 2 pm.

No Starbucks Red Cups can make up for the growing darkness that pools outside of our doors. We cram our waking hours with cheap artificial lights but we cannot escape the truth: the sun has retreated, disgusted by our bald and undisguised need, leaving us to spin silently in an ever-darkening universe. Every year spring comes too late.

[Images via Flickr and Wikimedia Commons]

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    • swag

      you type like a faggot

      • http://www.facebook.com/mallory.ortberg Mallory Ortberg

        A cogent point, and well-made. Nor is it untrue!

      • http://twitter.com/Sedna_51 area

        Chris Roberts@facebook, is that you? I thought we buried you under the peonies months ago.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar


    • swag


    • Elisabeth Oswen

      What A World That We Should Live In

    • http://twitter.com/aleedee1789 Alee Dee

      Oh god I wanted to give this stars but I don’t know how this website works and I think I’ve somehow given it -20 stars? I didn’t mean it I’m so sorry Mallory Ortberg I love you.

    • Sarah

      You do realize that if we were to abandon Daylight Savings Time, we would not “spring forward” and we would stay at the time we are at now, right?