Anyone who works in a high-tech field - and even those of us who own clocks - knows of the semiannual horror caused by Congress when they force us to change our clocks. This pagan religious practice has become enshrined as the festival called "Clock Day" - it is celebrated by strange rites of eating, drinking, and odd patterns of sleep, but most importantly, the formal rituals of visiting every mechanical and electronic form of timekeeper and offering homage to Chronos the Time God (or perhaps that is Chronas the Time Goddess; I don't really pay attention to such details of paganism.)
Clock Day is especially hard on certain computer technicians, for the popular systems don't really understand how to deal with these ceremonies. And this deity (or deityess - is that the feminine?) does not deal kindly with scoffers - those of us who work in time-critical fields ignore this rite at our peril.
So tomorrow morning, at the doubtful hour (who knows what its name really is - 2 AM or 3 AM or perhaps the second 2 AM!) while some will be celebrating, and some sleeping, certain technicians will vest in the required garb, and go from system to system, making the required ritual visit and peforming the prescribed rites for the day as written in the Holy Books of Instruction...
And, no doubt, singing the carol of the season.
Clock Day is coming and the Congressman is fat.
Time is unimportant when the Senate goes to bat.
If you think our clocks should stay in sync
With noon by the sun's view,
Then write a letter to your rep,
And God bless you!
Change your clocks, citizens, we mean you!
But write a letter to your rep, and God bless you!
The few who use Catholic time which is one over the whole world (Oh, does that sound sectarian? I'll switch from Greek to Latin then) those happy few who use Universal Time (which is also called Greenwich Mean Time) don't have to worry, as they deny such local divinities as vestiges of paganism.
And now... of course you are expecting a Chesterton quote, and you will be glad to know that there is a very appropriate one, if also rather scary:
Suppose I had by some pre-historic law the power of forcing every man in Battersea to nod his head three times before he got out of bed. The practical politicians might say that this power was a harmless anomaly; that it was not a grievance. It could do my subjects no harm; it could do me no good. The people of Battersea, they would say, might safely submit to it. But the people of Battersea could not safely submit to it, for all that. If I had nodded their heads for them for fifty years I could cut off their heads for them at the end of it with immeasurably greater ease. For there would have permanently sunk into every man's mind the notion that it was a natural thing for me to have a fantastic and irrational power. They would have grown accustomed to insanity.
For, in order that men should resist injustice, something more is necessary than that they should think injustice unpleasant. They must think injustice absurd; above all, they must think it startling. They must retain the violence of a virgin astonishment.
[GKC, Illustrated London News March 10, 1906 CW27:138-140]