Fear and Glee in Recessed America

It seems to me that the media (TV, newspapers, radio, the internet, etc.) and several people I know are thoroughly enjoying the current fearmongering fun of “hard times!”, “Recession”, “Depression”.
Everyday I hear radio ads for how to beat the current hard times, all the NPR news presenters are starting their segments by mentioning how rough things are, and in the last month the LA Times has more ads and advertising supplements folded into the paper on a daily basis than there has been in the last five years.
I have friends and family members who can only talk about how “bad” it is. Only problem is that none of these folks have lost their jobs, nor their homes, nor any real lifestyle differences. I called two of them out on it recently, as they were talking about how “hard” it is.
I said, “You are saying that with glee. Are you enjoying this?”
Both were shocked into silence and then kept talking about the doom and gloom.
Yes, people, America is enjoying this. We love our horror. We love our shock. We love our End Times. We love our big budget Hollywood Thrillers and Action flicks. We love our apocalypses. We love prophesying THE END.
Funny thing is that the end never seems to come. Well, except individual death. And the credit card bills keep showing up every month. And once a year, in April, the taxes are due.
As Americans we love fear. FDR told us that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. No, in 2008, there is nothing quite as enjoyable and gleeful as fear itself. Why do we enjoy the fear? Is it a nice break from our optimism?
But hey, the LA Times food section just did a whole Wednesday section on Depression era cooking, shopping, and articles on how to make the food budget stretch.
Back in 1991 – 1993, everyone was really gleeful about the mini-Depression we were going through, esp. here in SoCal where the AeroSpace Industry was collapsing due to the end of the Cold War. In ’91-93, the big gleeful fad was Depression era Prairie style dresses, long flowing print dresses with clasps to cinch in the waist. Dang it all if we didn’t wait out that recession in Doc Martens, dreadlocks, and flowing flowered dresses.
Be as gleeful or fearful/gleeful as you want about this Recession, but what I want to know is where are all the fun dresses?