April 5th, 2004


If we’re going to start saving all of this daylight, are we going to earn any interest on it?

Daylight Savings Time is one of those “hot button issues” that people get fired up about…twice a year, anyway. Maybe they don’t in your neck of the woods, but here in Indiana, it’s hotly debated every time the non-change comes up. I say “non-change” because the majority of Indiana doesn’t “spring ahead” or “fall behind.” We stay the same and everyone else moves around us. There are some counties around Chicago that change with Chicago, and some counties down south that change with other major areas, but the majority of us stay at the same time all the time. Arizona and Hawaii also stay put, time-wise.

I like it. You don’t have to change your clocks, so that’s nice. Most electronical things automatically change themselves these days, though, so if they don’t have a setting for “Indiana,” I end up changing them once they’ve changed themselves.

Here’s where it gets irritating – TV schedules.

Our prime time is 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., the same as Eastern Standard Time. From October to April, we see shows the same as, say, Georgia. Eight o’clock Indiana time in those months is the same as 7:00 in Central time (Wisconsin, for instance). Wisconsin’s prime time is 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., a preferable timetable, in my opinion. So, during the winter, if I’m watching Seinfeld (let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that it’s still putting out new shows) at 8:00 p.m., Georgia is also watching it at 8 p.m. and Wisconsin is seeing it at the same time, even though it’s 7 p.m. for them.

Now spring ahead with me. If it’s 8 p.m. in Georgia, it’s 7 p.m. in Indiana and 7 p.m. in Wisconsin. (Half the year I’m on the same time as my EST friends, and the other half I’m on CST with those friends and my family.) Our TV schedule doesn’t change. Seinfeld is still on at 8 for me. Here’s where it gets confusing: by the time I’ve seen it at 8, Georgia has seen it an hour earlier, and so has Wisconsin. Georgia and Wisconsin are seeing it at the same time because 8 in Georgia is 7 in Wisconsin. I don’t see it until 8 because that’s our schedule, even though 8 in Indiana is like 8 in Wisconsin.


I’ll put it to you this way, if I were an American Idol or Survivor fan, it would really bother me to know that Georgians and Wisconsinites would both know the outcome of the episodes before me.

It doesn’t even make sense, does it?

Here’s what I would like: I would like for Indiana to stay the course and not change to the clock-flipping nonsense, but I would like Indiana to change its TV scheduling to reflect a 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. prime time. I’m not going to get into how DST saves us money and how it’s best if we match up with other parts of the country because I don’t care about all of that. Frankly, from what I understand, DST has a lot to do with farmers, and that doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. How are farmers affected by the clock? Don’t they “get up with the sun”? The sun isn’t actually changing anything in its schedule, it’s just us fooling around with our clocks.

Anyway, smarter people than me (yes, there are plenty) have debated this for years. The time non-change, not the TV schedule change. It comes up as an attempt to be a bill in the government every year in Indiana, and it gets defeated every time. We’re a stubborn, proud lot, us Hoosiers. (We Hoosiers? Can I really call myself a Hoosier if I’ve only been here four years, even?)

So, CST-folk, welcome to our time zone. EST-folk, we’ll see you in about six months when you’ve realized the error of your ways.

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