The Recession is Over! How We Celebrating?

For who knows how long anymore "The Recession" has been our warm ratty security blanket. But "experts" are saying the joyride of sadness is over. Now what? Jozen (Vibe), Melissa (Opinionistas), and Abiola (BET) advise.

So yeah, people are saying by the end of this year we'll have more jobs and money! Obviously that's straight up awesome, on the surface. But down deep we can't deny how The Recession has comforted us during moments of self-doubt, and how we might actually miss it, just a little, once it's gone. So I got some peeps to discuss how we should celebrate, offering us a blinkered light at the end of the tunnel, to the light at the end of the tunnel.

First up: Jozen Cummings is the Articles Editor for VIBE Magazine and VIBE.com. You can check out his blog here.

To many, CNN's news that the Great Recession will likely come to an end in 2009 is good news, but to me, it's bittersweet. Sure it's good to hear that things like the unemployment rate will quit rising like the sun, and things are getting back to "normal," but what people don't understand is "normal" is what got us in this mess in the first place, and I'm not entirely sure everyone has learned their lesson.

You see, I have always been broke and it gave me great comfort knowing the rest of the country was coming over to my side of the financial pool. For the past few months, I've been going to the club and it's been good to see more people hanging out by the bar buying one drink at a time like me, instead of popping bottles at a table in VIP. All of a sudden, my dates were no longer bugging me to take them to nice, expensive places, knowing that times were hard. Instead, they were cool with my offers of Netflix and Papa John's.

If you ask me, these hard times were just what we needed to reassess our values, get back to basics, and recognize that often times, life's simple pleasures really can't be bought. Hopefully, most of us will not forget these past few months but if we do, let us remember the words of the great Notorious B.I.G: "Mo' money, mo problems"

Where the true players at, throw your roleys considered opinions and emotions to the sky? I can get down with that. Next up: Melissa Lafsky, creator of Opinionistas.com, deputy web editor of Discover Magazine, and former editor of the New York Times' Freakonomics blog.

So the National Association for Business Economics is proclaiming that the recession will be over by the end of the year. Before we resume hemorrhaging our savings on panda-skin Jimmy Choos and gem-encrusted nail clippers, it's worth noting that the heavily pro-business NABE (former presidents include Alan Greenspan) didn't actually admit we were in a recession/downturn/Dickensian clusterfuck until the smack end of 2008.

Still, if the Great Recession does hightail it this year, I'll miss it. There's been something comforting about watching everything we've been taught to value liquefy into a river of shit. Plus when else will we get to see so many colossal hypocrites stripped down so publicly, like a daily Albee climax. The haute monde, the scions of capitalism — they were all exposed as liars or morons (or both), while everyone else was a deluded casualty. We got to watch, read, and blog while the system collapsed under its own hubris, flushing the white collars out of Midtown and Wall Street like a burst dam. There was nowhere to go but down. Sure took the pressure off.

(For the record, I haven't been cackling and stirring my cauldron while the six-figure types get the proverbial Prada loafer up the ass. But I'll admit to smiling once or twice while I munch my daily Triscuit rations.)

Of course, no one likes too much bad news (regardless of whether it's true), and this whole vacuum of delusion and incompetence is starting to grate on the nerves. Enter the shouts of redemption: The banks are lending! The consumers are consuming! The end is near! Sure, the stomach of capitalism is still churning out bile — but, as a well-preserved lawyer once informed me before slathering her face with embryonic stem cells, "Perception is reality." If we think the recession is gone, then who's to say it isnt! (Besides the people who may actually know, that is — but no one ever listens to them anyway.)

Word. This recession is over when WE say it is! So let's close this out with Abiola Abrams; TV personality, author of Dare, host of talk-variety show PlanetAbiola.com — and, oh yeah, recent cast member of VH1 reality show "Tough Love".

It's December 09. The recession is over kids. What are we gonna do today? Go to Disney World? Nope! Same thing we do everyday T.A.N., try to take over the world. Let's say a prayer of solace for retailers who won't have to con us into buying cheap crap by saying it will make us "recessionistas" or con us into buying expensive crap by calling $6,300 handbags "an investment."

Phew! Dust off your recessionary malaise, let's go shopping. Oh wait, let me call my immigrant parents first and tell them that maybe they can get their retirement back on with their 401Ks 75% thinner. And let me reassure the old people on my Harlem block as I prance to the new Starbucks on my corner not to worry because the bread line they were standing on before the recession will still be there. And luckily for me, as an author who has hosted shows for BET and is a recent VH1 reality show alum— and shameless promo whore (clearly)— that there's still the free clinic if I fall into a snafu because Simon and Schuster doesn't offer health insurance.

Thank the goddess that I learned how to live on a salary of fifteen bucks a year when I decided at 16 that I wanted to blab on TV for a living like Oprah, write books (kinda) like Jane Austen, and make art films like Spike Lee. It was already challenging to line up my next TV Correspondent gig and get published before the collapse. The main effect that the economy has had on my life is to totally depress everyone around me.

But some people do prosper during any downturn so without sarcasm. I ask, why not us? Now that I've racked up $100G in student loans and declared bankruptcy I can be introspective enough to say that wealth and abundance are states of mind. I continue to have real prosperity because I have solid friends and family, shopped at TJ Maxx before it was hip (um, it is hip, right?) and don't give a damn if my bag has someone else's name on it. So TAN, to celebrate the end of the recession, I think that I'll pimp myself out on a non-union reality show gig and allow them to edit out my tantrums and general spoiled bitchiness as the syrupy sweet "Miss Picky" in the name of empowerment and social experiments … Oh good-done? Rock on!

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