I’m happy to report that the BULB Act — a cheeky little bill that would have preserved for Americans the freedom to buy whatever kind of light bulbs they like for use in their own homes — now appears unlikely to pass.
Well, good. It was a dumb move anyway. After all, our leaders have made it very clear that they have our best interests in mind here, and an insolent little bill like that is exactly the sort of thing that simply can’t be tolerated if we’re serious about winning the future. I mean, does anyone really think that American consumers (and those silly “free markets”) are responsible enough to be trusted with important decisions about things like light-bulbs? C’mon, man! Let’s get real.
(To tell the truth, I’ll bet the legislation’s sponsors never really even wanted it to pass, anyway. You know how we kids are: always testing the limits, just to see what we can get away with — but deep down inside we’re relieved when Dad puts his foot down.)
Anyway, as thrilled as I am that this bill won’t be passed, I guess it’s a teeny bit of a shame in some ways, because those compact-fluorescent bulbs we’ll all be using as of next year A) make an unpleasant light, B) have a far shorter lifespan if you don’t run them in special CFL fixtures (or if you switch them on and off frequently, instead of leaving them on for at least four hours at a time), C) don’t work at all well with dimmers, D) are a real headache to dispose of, E) can’t support those clip-on lampshades that we all have in our houses, and F) come from China. (And although of course I know it’s wrong, I have to admit there’s a part of me that kind of liked, in a naughty sort of way, the idea of being able to decide for myself what light-bulbs to use. It felt kind of grown-up and cool.)
But hey, no big deal — and it really isn’t our place to be worrying about things like this anyway. Like the President said today, we ordinary folks have got a lot of other things on our plate: we’re worrying about our families; we’re worrying about our jobs; we’re worrying about our neighborhoods — and that’s why we’ve got smart people in Washington who are paid to worry about all that other stuff. Let’s let ‘em do their job! It’s always good to have more rules (I mean, otherwise, things get kind of unruly, right?), and you can bet that before long we’re going to love our new light-bulbs.
Just try not to break ‘em, OK?