As the season of graduation continues, many people are reflecting on their past campus experiences.

Harold Witkov, a contributor to Enter Stage Right, share is views on a term he learned in the 1970′s and how it can be applied today.

The study of planned obsolescence in my sociology class started reasonably enough with the professor’s assertion, “They could make an incandescent light bulb last longer if they really wanted to.” But discussions in class and afterwards always seemed to raise the bar to new heights of conspiracy: “It is no coincidence that things seem to breakdown as soon as their warranties expire…Big business only cares about money…Big business is the reason we are in Vietnam….If it wasn’t for big oil standing in the way, they could probably design a car engine that ran on water!”

I ate it all up, of course, hook, line, and sinker. How I loathed the Republicans, big corporations, and the men who ran them.

…Today there is a new kind of planned obsolescence; however, that does trouble me. It is the planned obsolescence of the incandescent light bulb. Back in 2010, the last major U.S. incandescent light bulb factory closed in Virginia and 200 workers lost their jobs. And thanks to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, most incandescent light bulbs will be a thing of the past by 2014. The writing, my friends, is on the wall.

There is also another type of planned obsolescence that, if true, scares the dickens out of me. I know it sounds crazy, but I fear there might be a plan out there to make conservatives obsolete.

Now I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy nut because it would make me sound too much like my sociology professors. But is it just a coincidence that the IRS has been singling out conservative groups and denying them tax-exempt status?

And speaking of light bulbs, how is everyone enjoying those “high quality” compact fluorescent bulbs (with mercury)? They give me a headache.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is a conspiracy out there to make conservatives go the way of the incandescent light bulb, but if there was, and if this conspiracy went all the way to our President, I know exactly what I would say to him if we ever met. I’d say, “Mr. President, it is one thing to plan the demise of the incandescent light bulb, but quite another to plan the obsolescence of conservatives. After all, Mr. President, you know, you didn’t build us.”


 
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