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7 Reasons That Lampshades Are Stupid

Posted on August 26, 2010 in Posts | 3 comments

a garish green lampshade hanging from the ceiling

1.  Dimness. Lampshades dim the light in a room.  You knew that already, but no one ever asks why we want to dim the light in a room.  Why do we go to the trouble of installing a light and then surround it with a device that hampers its efficacy?  We don’t put semi-transparent curtains in front of our televisions or our fingers in our ears when listening to the radio (except for Talksport listeners) so why do we cock up our lighting?  Stupid.

2.  Heads. Short people are left in charge of putting lampshades up in their own homes. There should be a law against this.  I can’t count the number of times that I’ve banged my head on lampshades in the homes of short people, which is probably a good thing as having the number to hand would make me appear weird.  However many times it is though, it is too many.  I don’t need another hazard to worry about when I’m concentrating on not falling over their child or treading on their dog.

3.  Walls. You go to the trouble of selecting a colour scheme for your living room and then, once it is complete you go and hang a lampshade up:  A device which changes the colour of everything in the room, turning your white walls rosy, your blue walls turquoise, your yellow walls brown, and your orange walls red (I am using four different lampshades and rooms in that example, not one.  There is no need to panic.)  The only wall colour that’s impervious to light filtered through a lampshade is black, which means that only the bedrooms of teenage boys and serial killers are safe from their effects.

4.  Art.  While we’re on the subject of colour, the damned things change the colour of art too.  Try appreciating the subtle use of colour in a print of Manet’s Olympia when it’s bathed in a ghastly light filtered through a green paisley lampshade.  Ever seen a lampshade in an art gallery?  No, of course you haven’t.  Well, unless you’re reading this next year, that is, after I have won the Turner Prize with my latest work entitled Stupid Stupid Stupid, which is a photo-montage of a hairless cat wearing a pair of Crocs balancing atop a green lampshade.  (I was being deliberately fanciful when I concocted that artwork, but it actually sounds better than Tracey Emin’s Bed).

5.  The Planet. Lampshades are killing our planet.  If we had no lampshades then we could use lower wattage light bulbs which consume less power.  This means that we’d need to produce less electricity, which would be better for the environment.  Think about it: lampshades are actually causing us to use more of the planet’s resources than we otherwise would. For what?  If we didn’t have lampshades we could probably use the energy we saved to put electrical lights on trees for a couple of weeks every year.  Or perhaps not.  That would be ridiculous.

6.  Cleanliness. While it is oft said that cleanliness is next to godliness (which seems fair enough), it is never said – until now – that cleanliness is next to lampshades.  This is for good reason, as one of the things I have observed when banging my head on many of the things is that copious amounts of dust fall from them when I do so.  This is because people don’t clean them.  They don’t dust them and they don’t hoover them, which means that the lampshade in the dining room – above your dinner – is covered in lots and lots of bits of dead skin.  Yum.  Now imagine how much you’ll enjoy your meal if a tall person should accidentally bump the lampshade when sitting down to dine, causing dust to fall on your food.  Eating it would not only be unhygienic, it would probably be cannibalism.  So there you have it: Lampshades cause cannibalism.  I bet you weren’t expecting to learn that today.

7.  Stupidity. Lampshades are not merely stupid, they also cause stupidity.  Here I am wearing mine.

The humourist, Marc Fearns, wearing a red floral lampshade made with material from Cath Kidston on his head


I have finished my masterpiece.  The 2011 Turner Prize will be mine!

The 2011 Turner prize entry, Stupid Stupid Stupid, a photo montage of a hairless cat wearing pink Crocs balancing on a green lampshade

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  1. 8. They get in the way if you’re practicing your golf swing in the living room or playing cricket with your brother in the hallway. This is particuarly true of the chinese style paper lampshades. If it wasn’t for a lampshade I could be playing at Lords.

  2. That makes me sad, Simon. Lampshades are truly evil. I too could be playing cricket at Lords, were it not for my abject lack of talent and indolent tendencies.

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