The escape of Matthew Perry, as a reminder for our generation

The escape of Matthew Perry, as a reminder for our generation

By Ryan Coogan/ It's hard to know exactly how to react when a celebrity dies. In many senses, we are not truly mourning a human being; we are mourning a role, or a performance that influenced us in some way. If we do not know them personally, we are not likely to be sad that they will no longer be around. It does not affect our daily life.

We are sad that there will be no more movies, or episodes, or songs, or jokes from them. More than that, I think we are sad when we are suddenly reminded that we are getting old; that the person we admired growing up is no more - and so is our childhood. There is something very selfish about our grief.

For most of us, the sudden death of Matthew Perry comes as such a shock, not because he was someone who entertained us growing up, but because he – and the series he had a hand in creating – has been a presence in our lives. for so long.

Whether you're a child of the eighties, nineties or 2000s, Friends is one of those TV series that you feel has always been there, present. Sure, it ended 20 years ago, but it's so embedded in our culture that it feels a little ubiquitous. I think that's why they never felt the need to reunite for a new movie or series. Why reunite? They have always been there.

If, growing up, you were an anxious kid who put himself in play to distract bullies at school, Chandler Bing's character was probably one of your favorites. I'm sure Perry himself would say that he never wanted his character to be a role model, but that's what he became.

Circling on X and Facebook is something Perry said when asked what his posthumous legacy will be. In the memoir she published last year, Perry said: "When I die, I know people will talk about Friends, Friends, Friends... When I die, I want Friends to be ranked far behind the other things I did for him. help others. I know it won't happen, but it would be nice."

You are right. In fact, Perry's true legacy would be his work to help those suffering from addiction, and in a material sense, he's right to want to. As for the things that really matter, there's a lot more value in helping someone get better than making a million nostalgic millennials cry.

But Perry as Chandler represents something about our generation that's hard to quantify.

For our generation, it may be the first really "big" loss that we have experienced collectively. There are other icons who have passed away, of course, but Perry was the exact combination of a not-so-young-not-so-old character that makes you reflect on your own mortality.

Many of us grew up wanting to be like the friends on Friends, and now we have to face the fact that most of us are older than they were in some or all of the show's seasons. We are old.

We all know, on an intellectual level, that things cannot last forever. But are we serious or not, deep down we continue to pretend that they actually last. Perry's departure is an inescapable reminder that, in fact, this too shall pass. Maybe it's passing. Maybe some things are gone, and we haven't noticed.

Originally published on bota.al