I doth naught need a bedtime, father

Optic Brodie is an ornithology major and gender and diversity studies minor from Miami, FL.

A spectre is haunting my house – the spectre of “Da Bois.” All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: Mom and Dad, my neighbors and my other neighbors, French Radicals and Professor Mariani. So to the old, I speak thusly unto you, “I doth naught need a bedtime, Father.” 

All of history has simply been a fight between what is old and what is new. The COVID-19 moment that we find ourselves in hath not changed this. College students of the world have been forced to re-assimilate to the draconian rules and procedures put upon us by the feudal nobility of our parents. Chief among these is a strict 8:30 p.m. bedtime. 

First, I shall deconstruct the arguments my parents have given for the necessity of such a restrictive bedtime policy. The first argument, levied by my father, is that a consistent sleep schedule helps with productivity. 

While this may seem like a solid argument on its face, it makes a false assumption that I need to be productive. Given the circumstances of online classes, my coursework has become considerably lighter, thus creating more time for ‘Call of Duty’ matches and generally whatever I want. As far as I am concerned, it’s time to get this self-quarantine party started.   

My father would respond to this by stating that I need to ensure I am doing better than my fellow Musketeers while competing with them in the job market and for graduate school placements. This is an obvious attempt to sow a false consciousness, to turn our faces from them and instead point our ire toward our fellow Musketeers. I shall not allow this. 

My mother has argued that consistent sleep is “good for my mental health.” This notion, and the notion of mental health in general, is absurd. Study after study has shown that video games improve general brain cognition, reaction time and general well-being. Any of the supposed risks that a lack of sleep may present are far outweighed by the good that video games have been proven to show.  

Of course, my mother is not swayed by the counter arguments presented, for she doesn’t care about my personal well-being. Nay, she cares (as with my father) that I only turn myself into a commodity they have deemed to be in demand. A well-rested cog in the machine they call productivity.

The 8:30 p.m. bedtime has significantly impacted my ability to do whatever I want. My time could be better spent practicing for the “Call of Duty” tournament with my friends. The semi-pro teams competing against us are able to practice for substantially longer than my own team as they are not burdened by a bedtime. 

Furthermore, it is important to note that Declan, a fellow member of the “Call of Duty” squad, does in fact, not have a bedtime enforced by his parents. Additionally, Chad and Skylar are permitted to stay up till 10 p.m. on weekdays and even as late as 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Given this lack of consistency between our bedtime policies, how can I play with Da Bois? Why must we climb the wall that spikes in our enjoyment of “Fortnite?” Why must Declan be forced to play in the solo queue while I am in bed?

Dearest Father, I appeal to the greater man in you. Shall you relegate me to the sad, small screen of my Nintendo DS hidden ever so nervously under my blankets?  Or will you stop with this reign of oppression and allow me to play a few more games with Da Bois? Make the right decision.