Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Prohibition -- The Lights Are Going Out

I read a reminder that as of 2012, the incandescent bulb design we've all known for so many years will become illegal, and we'll move into a yellowish future of little spiraly things. Even the designers of the ban seem to understand the idea of the lights going out -- first they'll take away out 100 Watts, then our 75s, then our 60s. By the time they take away our 40 Watt bulbs in 2014, we'll all be so used to it, we won't know the difference.

Oh sure, the new bulbs give light, and they're spiraly, and they last a long time and collect dust in fascinating ways. And I'll get that little surge of evil when I throw them in the trash instead of taking them to the hazardous waste dump, but I know that after a few years of prohibition I'll become desperate. I'll go to an unmarked door in a run down brick building and give a password, and enter a windowless brick room lit entirely by bootleg incandescants hanging bare by their cords from the ceiling. Their glowing filaments will burn little green and blue squiggles into my vision, and I'll sidle up to the bar, take off my fedora, and ask for a Scotch on the rocks. When I'll lean back and watch as the gangsters and their molls dance in the harsh white light of bare incandescents.

"Hey buddy, you look like a guy who can appreciate a good light, you know wad I mean? You have any interest in a case of 120 Watts? I got a guy who brings them over by the truckload from Mexico. Real stuff, you know wad I mean? You could heat your house with these things."

And I'll picture my house, blackout curtains down, with those round, curving bulbs radiating brilliant white light from every socket. But it's not to be. Going to the speakeasy is one thing, but bourgeois virtue prevails, and I'll shake my head. When the g-men raid my home, there will be no incandescents found.

13 comments:

Big Tex said...

What we will soon come to realize, is that these little spirally bulbs will not turn on in cold weather. Leaving for work before dawn in the winter, I turn on the light in my back yard so as to see my path, and not stumble on my way to the truck. In winter, these bulbs take forever (if ever) to warm up and light my path. Grr...

Rebekka said...

The prohibition is already in effect here and I agree, the warm-up time is obnoxious, as is the color.

I also find it environmentally questionable that something that counts as hazardous waste should be better than incandescents, but what do I know?

TS said...

Perversely, I never developed an appreciation for incandescents until they were banned.

Melanie B said...

We accidentally dropped one of the new spirally bulbs on the dining room table which changing the light. As a pregnant woman I took the baby and fled the room while my husband dealt with the hazardous waste. I didn't want to eat off the table for a week. Gee, somehow I never felt at risk with incandescent light bulbs. If they break you just sweep it up. No hazmat suit necessary. How is this better for the environment?

And what was all the hysteria a few years ago about getting rid of those environmentally hazardous mercury thermometers? You can't even buy them anymore. But now you MUST buy light bulbs that have mercury?

Anonymous said...

The US Navy does not allow incandescent lamps to be installed in their facilities. This prohibition came into effect under President Bush.

Obviously the Navy brass are a just bunch of liberal pantywaists who believe Al Gore . . . .

Joel

Jim Janknegt said...

So how am I supposed to keep my baby chicks warm with a fluorescent light?

F@*&%ing nanny state!

Christine said...

The energy-efficient lightbulbs are dangerous in more ways than one:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=425444185921&ref=mf

Christina said...

Just by LED - they last longer (or they did on Myth Busters), are bright, and energy efficient...without the mercury.

Of course we'll later find out that they cause polio...

Meredith said...

How are we going to be affected mentally by the Matrix-y green glow of these bulbs? I predict that the suicide rate will go up. Who wants to come home from a fluorescent-lit office and try to unwind under the same cold, spiteful glare?

So how about them LED bulbs?

Roz said...

I've always had an abiding resentment for the alien glow of fluorescents. How will I know whether my kids are sick if everyone looks like they've been stricken with cholera?

When cyclamates were banned (early 70s?), a friend stocked up cases and cases. I envied her for years. But I've learned my lesson. Home Depot, here I come.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, you can still buy normal bulbs at Walmart. They are still cheap. They are very very very lightweight, which makes them perfect for stockpiling in a cardboard box in the attic over the garage ... eh? Now is the time.

Roz said...

Maybe there's hope!

SherryTex said...

How will my daughter use her Easy Bake Oven?