Saturday, October 29, 2005

Clock Day

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

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]


At 29 October, 2005 18:52, Blogger rhapsody said...

First part of the posting...

Second half-
I agree, but YUCK!!!

At 30 October, 2005 06:25, Blogger rhapsody said...

Good morning, Dr. Thursday,

This is too funny- "Clock Day" has me all messed up- forgot all about the time change, & I'm caffeinated already! When I realized my mistake, I thought of this post :)
But, I do have a couple of off topic questions.

Was Googling some names, & discovered that you had been a speaker at one of the Chesterton conferences a few years ago! I was wondering if you knew if the
tape was still available because I would love to have one! Do you think I could order one online from the American Chesterton Society? Would you mind blogging a little bit about it? The Chesterton conferences have been held for twenty-four years...

How many have you attended?

Just call me
Early Bird

At 30 October, 2005 17:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good so the kids don't go to school in the dark. That is the primary reason.


At 31 October, 2005 05:51, Blogger rhapsody said...

Good morning,
Well, I can understand wanting the kids to go to school by the light of day-
But I just made the coffee, packed a lunch, & woke youngest up for school, whereby I was informed that it was ONLY 5:30!!!

At 02 November, 2005 12:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know those silly guys over at DiViX did one ..and ONLY one thing.. right by setting the system up as GMT. Ashame they botched the rest.

'Time has a way of taking time'

At 04 November, 2005 11:35, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Yes, I know who that anonymous was. (And moreover, he's right!)

It was one of the infamous "Green Shirt Gang" - or, as the Romans put it,

Co-Artifici Quondam Co-Artificique Futurus...

Or, to paraphrase, they have already appeared in books, and will do so again. And the mathematicians are still trying to find the appropriate order of infinity to express, uh, what should be expressed. (See GKC's poem about the grass for more on that.)

Ahem. But to clarify: there are some realms of computing where GMT is the right way to go. In one of those realms, we were stuck with the times people carry on their wrists. In the meantime, however, write to your congressbeing and demand that our clocks follow the sun!

Time, indeed, has a way of taking time. Hee hee.


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