Losing something that was never really there in the first place.

28 Jan

It’s odd really, the things we take for granted. Most people, most of the time survive because of their capacity to keep up with the changes. A cliché of the elderly is that they are often ‘out of touch’, a saying that describes a state of being removed from the rest of us, as though at a certain point they stopped moving through time.  Conversely, to be with ‘with the times’ implies a state of total immersion, strength and ability. This is why I’m depressed by the death of lightbulbs.

I don’t mean the death of individual lightbulbs, but rather the slow dissolve of the idea of a lightbulb. Incandescent globes have slowly been removed from stores, and by 2012 you won’t be able to buy one for love nor money. Well, maybe money – I like the idea of a black market for dangerous and obsolete electrical equipment, the sort of place only a madman would venture. The replacement fluorescent light bulbs are a totally different thing, ice cream parlour signs in miniature. Since its creation the lightbulb have served as shorthand for inspiration, and without it countless cartoon animals would still be stuck in the first minute of the chase. Everyone, anywhere you go, knows what a lightbulb looks like.

The simplicity of form is gone now, to live on in cartoons with other hopelessly outdated things like outdoor toilets with a crescent moon on the door, gramophones and stripes on prison uniforms. Maybe people will always draw them that way without really knowing why, a symbol for a product lost to memory. Somewhere Plato is sitting in a beanbag chair, chuckling softly.

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One Response to “Losing something that was never really there in the first place.”

  1. Comer February 2, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    really, really good, Liam. really good.

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