The Null Device

The geopolitics of time zones

Venezuela's increasingly autocratic socialist president Hugo Chavez's latest act has been to change Venezuela's time zone by half an hour. The announcement was made suddenly, and takes effect on Sunday. Chavez says that the shift will improve the "metabolism" of Venezuela's workers and allow children to go to school in sunlight. There may be geopolitical symbolism in the act, though: the majority of the Capitalist-Imperialist world's time zones are in one hour increments from Greenwich, whereas time zones breaking away from the Greenwich-imperialist tyranny include ideologically sound holdouts against the Washington consensus, such as Iran, Afghanistan and Burma. (And, oddly enough, South Australia.)

It has not been recorded whether Chavez intends to rename the months, seasons or ages of man. Rumours that Ken Livingstone is planning to shift London's time zone by half an hour in solidarity have not been confirmed.

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