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Recession solution: Just pretend world ends in 2012
Ask yourself: What would Joan do?

 In '2012,' the end is imminent. Should we adopt that attitude?
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Date published: 11/14/2009


--"I, Joan Crawford, believe in the dollar. Everything I earn, I spend."

The dollar, but no wire hangers! No wire hangers, ever! Now that line from the movie actually finally makes sense, because "Mommie Dearest" was spending every dollar she earned on clothes.

Anyway, American consumers need to get back to Joan's free-spending philosophy to pull themselves out of this stinking recession.

I found myself thinking about Joan's credo--as well as the crazed reaction to the new film, "2012," inspired by a Mayan end-of-the world prediction--at this week's CES Unveiled event in New York City, which previews products to be shown at the giant CES show in Las Vegas in January.

So many people are taking "2012" seriously that NASA felt the need to post a Web page this week explaining why it's likely that life will continue in 2013.

But the way things are going with the economy, the government might do well to encourage a "party like there's no tomorrow" attitude--among average Joe consumers, not just Wall Street types.

The consumer electronics industry continues to do surprisingly well despite the recession, but it could do better if we all really embrace the idea that it's all going to be over as of Dec. 21, 2012. And so could the economy as a whole.

If America accepts the fact that we are all doomed anyway, consumer spending will skyrocket. I know that if I believed the end was near, I'd whip out the credit cards and put big-screen HDTVs in every bathroom in my house. Then I'd go to Vegas and blow the kids' college fund--but not on electronics.

Anyway, here are a few new products from the New York show that are cool and may sell even if doomsday isn't imminent:


Watch "American Idol" live anywhere with Audiovox's palm-sized FLO TV Personal TV. It'll be on sale for the holidays at $250, plus an $8.99 monthly subscription fee. If you think texting while driving is a problem, wait till people get this little gem on the road. It's the perfect gift for the person you've taken out a hefty life insurance policy on.


Free broadcast digital TV and DVD movies on one device, without any pesky boxes. On sale now for $149.


Verizon Wireless is testing a new "Jetsons" style, Android-based video-call smart phone that won't require high-speed 3G network coverage. It has a QWERTY slide-out keyboard and a 5-megapixel camera and should be priced between $200 and $300 and available in 2010. Guaranteed to be another menace on the highway.


New digital camera has a built-in projector, so you can bore co-workers, friends and family with impromptu 40-inch slide shows on the wall wherever you are. Now available for $340. Only dangerous if images are projected on ceiling of car by a passenger while car is in motion. But the driver probably wouldn't pay attention to them anyway.

Michael Zitz: 540/846-5163
Email: mikez@freelancestar.com