“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
. “
-Dylan Thomas

I don’t like the dark.

Oh sure, all the really good stuff goes on after sun-down. And the effect of low-light on my face can only be described as miraculous. But I still don’t like the dark.

Right now, we’re down to just over 7 hours of light in a day. Not enough to feel normal, by any means.

That’s probably why one of the few things I really, truly enjoy about the Christmas season are the lights.

(photo from here)

It’s as if, by putting up these strings of bulbs, lighting them for 2/3 of a day, we’re fighting back.  Flipping the darkness the bird, if you will.  Refusing to give in to the dark, and maybe by extension evil and fear and all things negative.

Which is why the advent of LED lights is gutting me.

Yes, I know they use a fraction of the energy of regular, old-fashioned incandescents.  They’re the way of the future, the right thing to do.

But for the love of Edison, they give off about as much light as an orange cat.

(image from here)

Not only do they not fulfill the role that Christmas lights have always taken on for me, they actually go so far as to bum me the hell out.  Forget raging against the dying of the light, LED lights are like a half-hearted shake of the fist at the dying of the light, then losing interest half-way through the shake, and going back to your crossword puzzle.

I know they’re the right thing to do.  But god damn LED lights, you’re wrecking this for me.  And there’s not a whole lot of things I have left to love about the season.

If anyone messes with eggnog, I give up.

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26 responses to ““Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

  1. Did I ever tell you I didn’t drink egg nog for the first 17 years I was clean because I didn’t know it came withOUT alcohol?

  2. Only seven hours of light? Damn that sucks. I don’t like the LEDs either. It’s better than what I have this year though, I got nuthin’.

  3. I live in San Diego, probably the most sunny city in North America (at least in the top 10) and I much prefer the dark. The sun burns my skin and hurts my eyes. I’ll trade you all this sun for your 17 hours of darkness (as long as you don’t throw the cold into the deal.)

  4. i work in a field (semiconductor research) that drove the development of LEDs. i am obsessed with them, and drive people crazy with LED ‘factoids’ all the time…

    and yet, i’m not a fan of LED christmas lights for exactly that reason. i like my twinkie lights a little warm and bright. and that ‘warm’ means they are somewhat inefficient… for now, i’d say we need to buy up as many sets of incandescent lights as we can…

  5. I love this little old planet but I also love the one strand of 1950s vintage hot-bulb lights that I put around the front porch window every year. When we got them from my wife’s parents, in the box was one blue bulb that blinks while the others stay steady. Along the way, firing up “Blinky” became a Christmas tradition and while in the early years we had to have the talk with the kids about every year being the year that Blinky could go to decoration heaven, it turns out Blinky is a stud. He’s out there blinking away right now, even though the kids have grown up and moved away from home. These days, when I pack up the lights in January I put an old sock around Blinky before he goes in the box. As our shining miracle of Christmas, I figure he deserves it.

    Merry Christmas everybody and watch out for the lowfat eggnog.

    Saint Nuke

  6. The dark is not fun, at all, but at least on Winter Solstice we can celebrate that the days start to get longer again.

    And you can have my eggnog rations for the rest of my life. Ick. ;)

    • The fact that the days start to get longer in under 2 weeks is one of the only things keeping me going. And I will take your eggnog. And I will love it.

  7. i’m with joy – eggnog is a foul, foul creation. unless mixed with copious amounts of rum.

    i’m with you on the LED lights. i bought christmas lights to not only decorate my porch, but also to serve as the light source to get up and down the 15 creaky wooden stairs without killing myself. (we’ve got about the same amount of daylight as you).

    and i hate them.

    the thing is, i’m waaaaay too lazy to take them down and put up the inefficient lights.

    • I’m afraid to go back to the inefficient lights because it will only confirm my dinosaur status to everyone around me. And I’ll be out in front of my house, sobbing, “But I recycle! I’ve changed all the fixtures to CFL bulbs! I kind of compost! Don’t judge me!”

  8. Our LEDs give off a lot of light. Perhaps you’ve seen crappy ones?

  9. I absolutely HATE LED Christmas lights. I even hate the mini-light type Christmas lights that everyone has. I miss my grandmothers big Christmas lights. The ones with the old C7 bulbs on them. Those are what Christmas lights should be.

    • The Boy saw a picture of an old-school Christmas bulb. And he asked me what grenades had to do with Christmas. He didn’t even recognize them. I wept, inside.

  10. “they give off about as much light as an orange cat.”

    I laughed beer onto my laptop screen over that one. Awesome. Sparks.

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