Electric Wine Openers: Progress As Novelty, or Novelty as Hilarity

Over the holidays this electric wine opener made it into the apartment. After several wine openings, a pattern has emerged: as it opens bottles of wine it also induces and triggers hoots and howls (especially when it is de-corking, which is what it is doing in the video). I’m uncertain how much inanimate or stored energy goes into driving the electric motor that uncorks bottles of wine in this device. But I sometimes wonder where the energy was first harnessed to do so: via huge wind turbines, or lignite fuel, or hydroelectricity at some dam, or nuke power from Minnesota. When I think of this it does not make me want to take up raging Deep Ecology, move to a shack in the Rockies and start up on some righteous tangent about how humans are or are not a part of the natural world and how I now speak for the trees and mammals (I’m fairly anthropocentric, but also ask that all mammals be treated decently). But the electric wine opener does make me both laugh and think. And then laugh some more. And then think some more about notions of efficiency and progress, or “efficiency” and “progress.” I’m going to go pour a glass and log off for the evening. Click on the video. Let me know if this triggers laughter. I digress. 


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