Upset about FirstEnergy’s pricey, hand-delivered light bulbs? You ain’t seen nothing yet

By Kevin OBrien
Cleveland Plain Dealer
October 08, 2009

There was a time when you and I could be trusted to change a light bulb.

In those days, powerful people who made weighty decisions understood that if a light bulb burned out, even the dimmest of us common folk would know enough to remove it from its socket, choose a suitable replacement and install it.

Apparently all of the weighty decisions have been made, because powerful people have now worked their way down to telling us what kind of light bulb we will use — and even bringing some to us, apparently fearing that even the brightest of us common folk might botch the job.

How is it that an act whose very simplicity spawned a genre of humor, based mostly on ethnic, sexist and sectarian slurs — “How many (insert your favorite target for tactless, insensitive, mean-spirited, stereotypical humor here) does it take to screw in a light bulb?” — has suddenly become a complicated, labor-intensive, expensive, public endeavor?

The old jokes have given way to a new one, with a reworked setup for the punch line:

“How many public officials and utility big-wigs does it take to — well, you know — every FirstEnergy Corp. customer?” …

…People are upset about FirstEnergy’s light bulbs, as folks with sore ears at the PUCO will attest. But let’s keep this in perspective: $21.60 is nothing, compared to the expenses we’ll pay if the greenshirts drop a bag full of cap-and-trade taxes on our front porches…

The entire op-ed is here.

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