bossy happy people


this one is for connie. (who is not one of these people at all.)

i dont like the bossy happy people that have sprouted up. they dont just want everyone to be happy– they demand it. and if they cant demand youre happy, they demand you act like youre happy. or just go away.

but really, f*** that. mandatory positivity isnt just fascist, its mediocre.

in the old days, well-meaning people tried to cheer you up. they werent pushy about it, they didnt feel entitled to you putting a happy face on for them. (well, maybe your parents did. your friends didnt.) they might offer you a hug, or do some other nice thing for you. thats real charity– you dont owe them anything in return. you dont have to feel better if you dont.

this new happiness offers so little. it just demands people put on a show. this is a new sort of entitlement that has crept into popular culture during my lifetime, though perhaps some people felt it in the 70s and 80s. it even reminds me a little of certain cults that require people to either be happy, or pretend to be. some of it i believe can be traced directly to cults.

but whats different about it is that you used to be able to leave that sort of thing just by walking away from whatever group of people really believed that crap. and now, its like they arent in their own little groups and subcultures anymore. theyve gone mainstream, thats the real change. theyre everywhere. there could be bossy happy people right around the corner, lurking!

you know what? im not offended by your smile. if its real, let it shine. if its fake, i want to get away. if you expect me to fake it just so i can stand here, why dont YOU go away? but have yourself a *lovely* little day.


one more hour of saturday

time is a funny thing to measure. among other things, we use the rotation of the earth around its axis, and the earth around the sun. at least one of these is slowing down imperceptibly, and therefore weve had to adjust the standard definition of what a second is for the sake of accuracy.

the definition of time is strained by a need for consistency– on the one end, we have to make our concept of time fit a calendar based on celestial movement; we have to make all our tiniest units “add up” to broader ones, so that a second fits into a year the way that an inch fits into a mile. but for both scientific and military purposes, we need units that measure time on a much more precise scale than 1/3155760000th of a century. and so at this scale, we define time (and with it, the standard for the second) based on the vibrations of matter or energy particles.

im fine with all that, and the “quibbling” over the definition of second (or how many fit into an always-imperfect solar calendar) that is necessary to have units of measure that keep up with scientifically advanced time-keeping technology. leap years are fine, leap seconds (we had one at the end of last year) are likely necessary. its kind of too bad, but there it is. similarly, it is probably impossible to get time zones “just right.” we could all just go by utc. but then, we already have utc if we need it.

but none of that has anything to do with the political asininity that is daylight savings time. and i simply refuse to endorse it. by all means– you pretend its an hour later, and go back to what time it really is for less than half of a year after. if you tell me its an hour later than it is, and theres no good scientific reason for it, i think youre a silly person. and indeed, if most of the country does so, then i think theyre silly, too. you know who isnt as silly? (at least in this regard,) arizona– hawaii– guam, puerto rico, and the virgin islands, among others.

other states are adopting dst as a cheap way to change or join time zones permanently. i guess its easier than changing the official time zone maps, but those are (still!) published in the phone book (yeah, theres still a paper phone book…) and once your dst changes to all-year-round, the old time zone map isnt really accurate anyway.

i dont know where the line on this silliness is supposed to be drawn– if congress decided that every other day would add and subtract 25 minutes, would people finally relent, just because their clocks could adjust automatically? we have the technology, but wouldnt it be terribly stupid, and a little pointless, not to mention extremely confusing?

i know where i draw the line– at the necessary scientific definition of seconds and years, and required adjustments to the calendar. i dont go for this daylight savings absurdity. but you may! i have to keep track of the fact that youre all pretending its an hour later right now, and i do– but im not going to pretend with you. you silly people have a wonderful “time.” i will just alter the daily schedule, for the same ridiculous and arbitrary reasons that you change clocks as if the hour were really different. hey, you know what? maybe it wont be sunday after all– perhaps we can refer to sunday as “wednesday” for half the year! then sometime in winter, we can refer to wednesday as “sunday” again.