Despite my love of sitcoms, I’m probably the last person to write about Matthew Perry.
You see, I belong to a cohort called Gen Z who believe that liking “Friends” is akin to being a Disney adult, or saying that your favorite book series post-middle school is still “Harry Potter”. Cringe, as the kids say.
But my heart still sank when I read the AP News alert on Saturday night confirming Perry’s death. It was a cold snap signaling a sadder reality, far removed from the cozy safe space of Monica Geller’s rent-controlled apartment.
Perry, struggling with addiction in his adult life, was also plagued by imposter syndrome. In his memoir, he described feeling like he wasn’t cut out for the limelight– even as the audience adored him.
“I felt like I was gonna die if the live audience didn’t laugh, and that’s not healthy for sure. But I could sometimes say a line and the audience wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and sometimes go into convulsions,” Perry wrote. “If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get I would freak out. I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. I also knew of the six people making that show [Friends], only one of them was sick.”
Even if you weren’t the biggest Friends fan, the sad passing of Matthew Perry is an important reminder that those who try and make you laugh the hardest often hardly laugh when they are with themselves.
Empathy goes a long way, especially in today’s world where we’re supposedly more connected with technology than we’ve ever been, but more and more Americans feel lonely and misunderstood.
As a newspaper editor, one of my big hopes is that this paper can help fill that void for others, where the Bryan County News can be water cooler talk for those looking to make friends and bond with new neighbors.
I may be young, but I’m old enough to remember when a petite Japanese woman named Marie Kondo triggered all of Middle America by making the bold suggestion that people shouldn’t keep junk they don’t need.
It was ridiculous how much media attention was dedicated to attacking her–it’s almost as if some people believe it’s their God-given right to become a hoarder.
However, I am glad that at least one out-of-touch senior citizen didn’t get the KonMari memo.
Last Saturday, my mom went to go clean an old friend’s house, and I tagged along to help organize some closets.
There, I found a wealth of old newspapers from the Savannah Morning News and the Claxton Enterprise dating back to 1945, where war was raging in Europe and milk was 60 cents per gallon.
Nowadays, we only have war, not 60¢ milk. Bummer.
Is movie etiquette even a thing anymore?
Last Sunday, I went to see “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. Most films by Martin Scorsese run longer than a country mile, so I was a bit worried about snacking, lest I need to run to the restroom.
But at least I’m self-aware. One woman in the front row of the theater was constantly on her phone, and had to be told off by a man sitting in the back.
But get this–that same man, sitting next to his girlfriend/wife/whatever, kept blurting out what was going to happen next in the film.
“She’s gonna die!” “That dude shot him the wrong way–it looks too suspicious!”
“That’s not insulin!”
Not that the spoilers surprised me–like any self-respecting bookworm, I read the novel first.
But big-time Hollywood directors, like Scorsese himself, wonder why people don’t want to go to theaters anymore. Truth is, not even hyped-up film bonanzas like “Barbenheimer” can stop the foot traffic exodus of moviegoers preferring the comfort and ease of video streaming over sitting next to some blabbermouths and phone addicts.
Plus—at home, I don’t have to hold in my pee for three hours.
Andrea Gutierrez is the editor of Bryan County News.