We described boomers before through one meme: old man yells at cloud from “The Simpsons.” Just like any other meme, it’s a simple retaliation for a multi-layered problem. For two decades, old conservatives have called young people entitled, self-absorbed, and lazy. TIME Magazine even made a cover spread to make it official. They called us “The Me, Me, Me Generation.”
It took us six years for a response, but at least it pisses them off as much as that cover story pissed us off back then. Okay, boomer.
This started spreading last January through an Ironic Doge meme. But it didn’t rise to prominence ‘til late October this year when The New York Times wrote an article about it.
It’s fun to know that it takes two words and four syllables to make a baby boomer explode.
Since we started using “okay, boomer,” it became the perfect response to shut down conservatives saying dumb shit and expecting praise and validation in return. Just this week, the phrase reached viral heights when New Zealand’s Prime Minister replied “okay, boomer” to a heckler. And in the Philippines, young Filipinos shut down Teddy Locsin Jr.’s trash tweets by flooding his threads with it.
Read more: Youth fashion means redefining yourself
It’s fun to know that it takes two words and four syllables to make a baby boomer explode. They even made polls to have it removed from Facebook. Right now, conservatives are equating the word boomer to the n-word. This is the perfect excuse to quote John Mulaney: “First off, no. No, it’s not.”
Do you want to know why boomer is nowhere near bad as the n-word? We’re saying the word boomer right now. The term “boomer” literally refers to 50 to 70-year-old conservatives. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure old men in power were never enslaved or historically oppressed.
Read more: On millennial humor and what makes it so weird
The Atlantic defines the usage of the n-word as “a pitiless slur often used amid physical violence.” In fact, it carries the weight of insults and struggles African-Americans faced. “Boomer” is just a word that describes an age range and a harmful mindset. Of course, the n-word is the worse word.
Going back to the article that made “okay, boomer” official, The New York Times header says “‘OK boomer’ Marks End of Friendly Generational Relations.” Uhm, where did that come from?
Generational relations were far from friendly to begin with. Since Millenial became the buzz word for young people, it is used to infantilize the generation. Millennials have families and jobs. They range from young adults to 30-somethings trying to figure out life. As Safe Spaces DC’s Dana White tweeted, “[The word] ‘Millennials’ is used in the media to infantilize, discredit, and instill distrust of an educated, hard-working, low-earning, fed up generation of 30-somethings living through the worst of capitalism, police brutality, government corruption, and a resurgence of hate violence.”
Gen Zs are not treated any better. For instance, let’s talk about Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is getting backlash from boomers denying climate change is real. An American commentator from Fox News called this 16-year-old environmental activist a “mentally ill Swedish child.” King of Boomers, U.S. President Donald Trump, sarcastically tweeted that she’s “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
We are suffering and taking in whatever insulting buzzword people hurl at us because we are fixing the world older generations have fucked up completely.
If close-minded conservatives are pissed off by being called a “boomer,” then why don’t they pull themselves by their bootstraps and try not to be sensitive about everything? Folks from Gen Y and Z have taken bigger backlash than that.
Millennials are always called lazy and entitled, yet they are The Burnout Generation. Kids from Gen Z like Thunberg and our young activists in the Philippines are trying their best to save this planet. But here’s the thing, we are cleaning up the past generation’s mistakes. We are suffering and taking in whatever insulting buzzword people hurl at us because we are fixing the world older generations have fucked up completely.
Instead of putting effort into proving “boomer” is the new n-word, why not actually help us save the world?
“But going beyond our age sensitivities, [“okay, boomer”] is the voice of the young telling us to ‘grow up.’ They want maturity and wisdom from us, and all they get is crass, juvenile, or downright stupid behavior,” Rappler wrote in their piece. That’s exactly what we want from the people who raised us.
Instead of putting effort into proving “boomer” is the new n-word, why not actually help us save the world? We actually want to learn from you. But in return, you’re proving why baby boomers got their name in the first place.
Quoting “The Good Place,” The tiniest little pinprick to baby boomers’ ego and boom— they become babies. The earth is dying. It’s best to let your egos subside and help us unfuck the world.
Photo from “The Simpsons”