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Generation X's existential panic after the death of Luke Perry

When actor Luke Perry, best known for depicting TV heartthrob Dylan McKay in the 90's theater drama "Beverly Hills, 90210", died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, there was common public impressions of grief when public person leaves us. But his transition was particularly painful for people of a certain age. As a fan expressed on Twitter: "I'm in grief for Generation X today, for real." Perry died in just 52 years. Which makes him the first Gen X icon to facilitate natural causes. It is a worrying reality check for those of us who identify as Gen Xers, the 65 million people born in 1965-1980. We are used to death – we have lost lots of heroes against drugs and suicide, all from Kurt Cobain to the Phoenix River to Chris Cornell. But Perry is the first to die of something we just expect to happen to old people. It does not help that Perry's death came on the heels of a rather uneven generation's small. A January CBS news story, which focused on millennia, included an infographic of each generation, from the silent generation (born between 1 925 and & # 39; 45) to baby boomers (born between & # 39; 46 and & # 39; 64) to those after the millennia (born between 1997 and the present). Generation X was apparently absent. "Gen X definitely has a quality of life crisis," said Matthew Hennessey, 45, author of "Zero Hour for Gen X: How The Last Adult Generation…

When actor Luke Perry, best known for depicting TV heartthrob Dylan McKay in the 90’s theater drama “Beverly Hills, 90210”, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, there was common public impressions of grief when public person leaves us. But his transition was particularly painful for people of a certain age.

As a fan expressed on Twitter: “I’m in grief for Generation X today, for real.”

Perry died in just 52 years. Which makes him the first Gen X icon to facilitate natural causes. It is a worrying reality check for those of us who identify as Gen Xers, the 65 million people born in 1965-1980. We are used to death – we have lost lots of heroes against drugs and suicide, all from Kurt Cobain to the Phoenix River to Chris Cornell. But Perry is the first to die of something we just expect to happen to old people.

It does not help that Perry’s death came on the heels of a rather uneven generation’s small. A January CBS news story, which focused on millennia, included an infographic of each generation, from the silent generation (born between 1

925 and & # 39; 45) to baby boomers (born between & # 39; 46 and & # 39; 64) to those after the millennia (born between 1997 and the present). Generation X was apparently absent.

“Gen X definitely has a quality of life crisis,” said Matthew Hennessey, 45, author of “Zero Hour for Gen X: How The Last Adult Generation Can Save America From the Millennium.”

“It’s not just about getting older. We have this bulky fear that we will be shifted and forgotten.”

The Cast of “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Courtesy Everett Collection study from 2014 at the Pew Research Center called Generation X “America’s neglected middle child”, and that nickname seems increasingly faithful. “We are booked between these two monster generations, baby boomers and millennials,” Hennessey says. “It feels like the torch is handed over to the head.”

As a proof of this, Hennessey points to the current political climate dominated by baby boomers such as Hillary Clinton and President Trump and the millennial start-up such as Alexandria Ocasio -Cortez. Barack Obama is sometimes credited as a Gen X president, but he was born in 1961, a full four years before generation X’s start date.

“The closest we’ve got to the presidency was Ted Cruz,” said Hennessey of the 48-year-old Texas senator. “Or maybe Sarah Palin (55). We continue to blow it. We can never get our chance to run the country.”

Even our cultural contributions often feel reduced to side letters. Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield, 53, author of books like “Love Is A Mix Tape” and “Talking To Girls About Duran Duran”, says he felt worried after watching Mike Myers and Dana Carvey presenting the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody “at this year’s Academy Awards.

“They made their” Wayne’s World “routine words by word, he says.” It was bitterly sweet to see Wayne and Garth, a touch shield of the Gen X culture, remembering as nothing but a little detail in the story of a boomer rock band. “

So what is our heritage, will Gen X remember as well-the scrubs, the generation that only managed a smirk and faded in the distance without ever leaving their mark?

Possibly , and it may not be a bad thing. “I think it’s the whole generation of X,” says Douglas Rushkoff, 58, author of “Team Human” and a professor of media technology at Queens College. “Gen X is really just a marketing concept for a group of people who were unfathomable to marketers. We were the ones they couldn’t figure out so they went on for millennia. It’s a little late now to look back and say, “Hey, why weren’t we ever represented back to ourselves through regular media and advertising?” “

Our generation’s crisis of crisis – the realization that time is fleeting and our friends (both real and fictitious) are dying and we may not achieve everything we hoped when we were younger – gives what really matters in sharper focus. [19659002] And for many Gen Xers, who are known for their cynicism and apathy, what really means is not to take any of this generation material seriously.

“Who cares?” Says Neal Pollack, the 49-year-old author of “Alternadad” and nine other books. “Do you really want to be responsible? If Thano’s snapped fingers and every member of Gen X disappeared, the world would be fine. Let Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fight it out in the excavations. It’s a good show. “

Pollack believes that Gen X never wanted or needed a legacy, intent or logo.” It’s part of our charm, “he says.” I’m just trying to live out my back nine in decent health, decent humor and a lot of privacy. I choose cynicism and aloofness, now and forever, and I will not change my tune because Luke Perry died. “

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