The traditional light bulb is already gone from California stores, the nationwide switch to a lower energy alternative starts in 2012, and Congress continues to make light of consumer choice
In Joe Versus the Volcano, the cult classic starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it is vital that the office at the beginning of the film seems unfathomably awful. The protagonist, Joe Banks, is supposed to be so horrified by his daily existence there that he volunteers to jump into boiling hot lava just to escape it. The audience is shown a bullying boss who constantly repeats himself, a painfully insecure secretary, and execrable coffee. But Director John Patrick Shanley's most powerful visual device is the flickering fluorescent light that fills the room. On arriving in the morning, Banks flinches under its ghastly glow until he gets to his desk and turns on a small lamp with a warm incandescent bulb. It is his only refuge, and when his boss prohibits its use, he snaps.
Suddenly we are all Joe Banks, innocently enjoying our incandescent light bulbs, only to have Uncle Sam rob us of their superior light in an act of arbitrary deprivation. What's your daily pleasure? Dogs? Red wine? Riding a Harley? Imagine if they made it illegal - if the US Congress passed a law prohibiting the particular thing that's your favorite. How would you feel after you drained your swimming pool or plowed over your garden or relinquished your iPad or sealed up your fireplace or destroyed the single consumer possession that you'd least want to give up? That's how I feel about being forced to replace my incandescent bulbs with screwy CFLs (pictured above): Angry! Outraged! Aggrieved! Stirred to action!