Idgit Watch

Joke of the day: How many Useful Idiots does it take to screw in a Compact Fluorescent lightbulb?

Posted by danishova on March 28, 2009

Ha! Many highly educated Goreacles have faithfully followed the Green Agenda, and purchased Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, because incandescent light bulbs are killing the planet, dontcha know.  Shockingly these bulbs don’t deliver as promised and (here’s where the joke comes in) they’re kinda hard to screw in properly.

The New York Times reports from San Francisco:

It sounds like such a simple thing to do: buy some new light bulbs, screw them in, save the planet.

But a lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early. At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don’ts.

Meet the Zuerchers:

Take the case of Karen Zuercher and her husband, in San Francisco. Inspired by watching the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” they decided to swap out nearly every incandescent bulb in their home for energy-saving compact fluorescents. Instead of having a satisfying green moment, however, they wound up coping with a mess.

Later we learn:

Better labels might have helped the Zuerchers, the San Francisco couple. Initially, they put regular compact fluorescents in virtually every socket in their home, including enclosed ceiling lamps, dimmable fixtures and areas where lights are turned on and off frequently.

But some of those applications require specialized, more expensive bulbs, something the Zuerchers say was not made clear on the label of their Feit bulbs or on any sign they saw posted at Costco.

“We’re both college-educated and pay attention to labels we read,” Ms. Zuercher said. “It feels like someone forgot to put a place to find the information.”

Read the rest here.


Gawker agrees that “Al Gore’s light bulbs are fail” but blames it on General Electric, who must have stolen Al Gore’s brain:

All those curly-cue planet-saving fluorescent light bulbs that Al Gore made everyone buy even though they cost $30 and cast a sickly pale glow DON’T WORK.

Light bulbs have been a pretty solid and cheap technology for more than 100 years, but General Electric decided to screw it up by making a new kind that lights rooms and offers its users a feeling of smugness. But they are very expensive, kind of like when the record companies made you stop buying $5.99 LPs and start buying $25 CDs.

f.w.i.w., I think that vinyl versus Compact disc analogy is fail too.

Hey!  It occurs to me that we can put Obama’s generously funded army of paid “volunteers” to work screwing in C.F. light bulbs for hapless Goreacles like the Zuerchers.  All we need to do is hire gazillions of bureaucrats to establish Green Learning Academies on National Service Campuses, which will teach the art screwing in a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Alas, Obama’s window caulking program may have to take a back seat to this vital initiative.  As the saying goes, you can’t walk and chew gum screw in a light bulb and caulk windows at the same time.

And speaking of jokes, check out this photo of a house deemed “badly in need of weatherization”. 


More:  People like Roger Ailes are crying foul, saying that the Times story was a poor piece of journalism as it didn’t back up its claims with any data, relied on anecdotal evidence, and so forth.  Roger is also a fan of C.F.L.s and says his work just fine.

Great! It’s a free country and you can use whatever light bulbs you want. Oh wait!  You can’t. Thanks to a horrible piece of legislation, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, “ incandescent bulbs that produce 310–2600 lumens of light are effectively phased out between 2012 and 2014.”  That’s anything more than 40 watts, suckers.

Oh, and as the Times noted:

Experts and bulb manufacturers say that consumers need to play a role in solving the problems by learning more about the limitations of compact fluorescent bulbs. The Federal Trade Commission has begun to study whether it should force improvements in the labels of the bulbs.

Translation from Bureaucratese into English: You will have no choice in what kind of light bulbs you can buy, but “experts” will find ways for you to educate yourself about their limitations so you won’t be too terribly disappointed if you determine that they suck . And we’ll make better labels too so you don’t become the butt of a light bulb joke.


One Response to “Joke of the day: How many Useful Idiots does it take to screw in a Compact Fluorescent lightbulb?”

  1. […] Here is the original: Joke of the day: How many Useful Idiots does it take to screw in a … […]

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