Take a chill pill

We are coming up to one of my favourite days of the year.

I am of course referring to the Winter Solstice [not that other one a few days after].

I do not like Winter.  I never have.  Apart from the rain, the cold and the wind [which all nicely contribute to the gloom] the thing I hate most is the darkness.  Switching on lights in the middle of the afternoon is just wrong.  Looking out the window of a Winter's evening and seeing blackness, where on a Summer's day at the same time I would be out basking in the sun is depressing.

I am not alone.  Most people I talk to say the same thing – dark evenings: bad, bright evenings: good.

But they have a name for it.  It is Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Bollox!  Seasonal, it may be, and It certainly affects me but a fucking disorder?  It is fucking normal.  Man is a diurnal animal.  We are daylight hunters.  We reserve the night for sleeping [and maybe one or two other nocturnal pleasures].  Nighttime and darkness are not our realm so when the days get short we long for the sunshine.  It has been so since the time when we lived in caves and roamed the plains, so when we artificially extend our days into nighttime by using artificial lights our brains rebel.  We get depressed because we should be out there throwing rocks at Sabre Toothed Tigers or dragging stray women by the hair into our caves.

Of course this is all part of the pattern.  If you stray even a hair's breadth off the straight and narrow these days, then you have a "Syndrome".  As far as I can see there is a fucking "Syndrome" or "Disorder" for everything.

When I was a lad, I was a daydreamer.  Nothing wrong with that – some of the greatest minds [including myself] were daydreamers.  Now of course it is Attention Deficit Disorder.

When I was a lad, a kid who behaved badly and was generally disruptive was a kid who needed a firm belt over the head by a parent.  Now of course they have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

The trouble with these labels is that they abrogate the parents from any responsibility.  When a kid is tearing around a restaurant, tripping up waiters and boiling the piss of all the customers, the parents can look on and sweetly murmur "Ah, but he has ADHD".  Their conscience is clear, and the kid who has never been taught how to behave in public can carry on gleefully behaving like the spoiled little brat he is.

There is a reason for all these "disorders".  You see, if there is a "disorder" then there has to be a pill to cure it.  Does your child have ADHD?  Give him Prozac!  Suffer from SAD?  Swallow a few Valium!  There is big money in "disorders" and "syndromes".  And of course those pills have side effects, but don't worry – there are pills for those too.

Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Take a chill pill.

The days will soon be getting longer.

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Comments

Take a chill pill — 15 Comments

  1. what if you were the perfect human being with no disorders??

    I reckon 'They' would say im suffering from DDD – Disorder Deficiency Disorder !

  2. Dark bah miserable humbug – but: The good news is that earliest sunset is on the 13th (at 52 North anyway), after which it gets lighter in the evenings. The bad news is that the mornings keep getting darker till the end of the month. Between the two lie "The Dark Days of Winter" (see aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/rs_solstices.php).
    I've overcome the SAD bit with the aid of a f******g great 250W SON lamp on a stick, coupled to a time-switch. SON lamps come on gradually, from a tiny flicker to an amazing orange-white brightness, over about 10 mins or so. Its so king bright that you can't look at it without grinning. It's like my very own sunrise (or slow nuclear explosion maybe) in the corner of the room.
    So now you know ! What stuff one can learn off the inter-webs, eh?
    PS: have you tried rubbing lard on the syndromes?

    • Welcome, Gareth!  That is a phenomenon that confuses me.  How can it get lighter in the evenings while still getting darker in the mornings?  Is there a strange axial tilt that wobbles every night or is the Earth not round?  Logically it doesn't quite add up, but then who am I to argue?  Leastwise, I couldn't give a shite about dark mornings because I'm always asleep but brighter evenings do cheer me up.

      Are those lamps any good for indoor propagation of certain herbal plants?  Might be worth an investment….

      "have you tried rubbing lard on the syndromes?" – Isn't there a law against that?

  3. Thanks for the welcome 🙂

    The Equation of Time is what you need for for all your axial-tilt-wobbliness and adding up – see http://www.sundials.co.uk/equation.htm for useful and interesting stuff. IMHO timezones were a poor invention. Much better when Bristol could get up 20 mins after London, and somewhere like Baltimore or Dingle I guess whenever they chose 🙂 Sadly all done away with by railway and boat timetables.  Anyway have a look at  http://www.shadowspro.com for a free programme to create your own local time sundial.

    I couldn't comment *cough* on lights, but I think it's what get's used for lettuce under glass.

    And I think that a mixture of brimstone and treacle is still allowed under the EU ALOS-14  Directive (Anti Lard On Syndromes Directive 2014)

    gareth

    • Damnit!  You've sent me off on a long path of study now…. 

      I have a sundial in the garden.  It's a lovely job with a carved granite pillar and plinth, firmly embedded in the ground.  Unfortunately trees have grown up in the intervening fifty years and the damn thing is in permanent shade now.  I downloaded that programme [and had fun making it work in Linux!] so might make myself a new one, if I can work out the maths.

      Growing lettuce is fine.  What did you think I meant?

  4. My village in France is bisected by the Greenwich Meridian.   During the winter a group of us have had a series of 'workshops' to produce a Sundial to put outside the Mairie.   It's about 50m west of the meridian if Marie -Magdalena (the sexy voiced lady who lives in my GPS box) is correct.

    A local sculptor is preparing a stone column to support it.

  5. I seem to be suffering from GFOS (Getting F***ing Older Syndrome) but that's beside the point. It goes along with all these other syndromes of mine:

    LAS (Lacka Ambition Syndrome)

    LHS (Lacka Hearing Syndrome)

    GNES (Got No Energy Syndrome)

    FWIWGTDS (Forgetting What I Was Going To Do Syndrome)

    FWIWGTSS (Forgetting What I Was Going To Say Syndrome)

    IASTS (I Ache Something Terrible Syndrome)

    And last but not least…

    MPSTBGSS (My Pecker Seems To Be Getting Shorter Syndrome)

    Okay, the above is not nearly as deep and clever as all the previous comments but I'd already thought of the idea after I read the first paragraph of your post.

    Also, if I had my way about it, I'd buy a nice plot somewhere along the Rose Line and build a house in such a way that the First Prime Meridian went right down the middle of it.  Now, what that has to do with anything is beyond me. I just thought I'd write it down here to see how it looked. You see, I also suffer from this:

    SOTDSS (Straying Off The Damn Subject Syndrome)

    • Most of the above are familiar, but not all.

      Did you ever consider the idea of permanently mooring a ship on the Prime at the Equator?  No more seasons and no problems with telling the time.  If you call the ship Zulu, you can get an extra kick out of it!

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