The dome on the Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional in La Paz, Bolivia’s Murillo Square has a new clock. The catch: the hand ticks to the left instead of the right, and the numbers are ordered backwards. No, it wasn’t a prank, and no, it’s not just an attempt to confuse Bolivians for no good reason (or is it?): it’s a reminder that Bolivia is in the Southern Hemipshere, not the Northern one, goddamn it.
What am I talking about? Well, we know that our planet, Earth is kind of tilted, and that there is a Northern and a Southern Hemisphere, which are geographically divided by the equator line. The division, the tilt and the magnetic poles on both ends do cause the north of the planet to be quite different from the south. Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca explained that “the sundial, which is a natural clock, shows that if you were to put a pen to the ground, the shade moves left in the south and right in the north.” Crazy, perhaps mind-blowing, but true.
“We are in the south, and we are in a time during which we are regaining our identity,” Choquehuanca continued. “Who says that the clock always has to turn one way? Why do we always have to obey? Why can’t we be creative?”
Okay, I get it. This is about being “creative.” Creative, as in rebelling against the Western-imposed, “clockwise” way of reading time. Bolivia is definitely big on regaining regional solidarity and generally telling the mean superpowers to fuck off, so I’m not surprised. Bolivia will not hesitate to implement
meaningless bold, revolutionary measures to show the world that it won’t take shit from all the asshole imperialists anymore, okay? And I can’t think of a better place to start than this. A new clock shows ’em, all right.
Luckily, nobody uses analog clocks anymore, and while people are free to adopt this southern clock, the government clarified that it is only optional. So basically, this is a politically-charged,symbolic gesture likely to have no effect on anyones’ lives. Impressive, nonetheless, Bolivia.