|Oh yeah. Authentic Baby Boomer, 1969|
Anybody got any spare pearls to clutch?
You probably heard. A young member of the New Zealand parliament was in the middle of a speech about the coming climate catastrophe when she was heckled by an older colleague. “OK, Boomer,” she snapped off, in a little bit of unrehearsed genius, and continued on. The old fart had been concisely scorned. “OK Boomer” became a viral hit. An entire generation has been dismissed.
And a whole lot of us famously self-involved Baby Boomers are in a snit about it, apparently.
I was born in the pinnacle of the baby boom, and you can see a lot from the top of a bell curve. You can see even more if you never take offense. And the complete inability to take things personally happens to be my superpower. Be forewarned.
If someone comes at me, I figure either I’m in the wrong, in which case I should promptly own it, or they’re mistaken, in which case there’s no reason to be offended because it has nothing to do with me. I know: it’s sickening how healthy my self-regard is. And, minus a couple adolescent years, it always has been. I don’t know if it was part of my out-of-box experience, or if my parents had it installed. Either way, it’s damned hard to hurt my feelings.
Not so the conservative radio personality who took to his fainting couch over the dreadful bigotry of the “OK Boomer” diss. Why, it’s the new N-word, says he. I Swan! Mercy Lord!
Settle down, Steve Mike Tom Dave Gary. You haven’t been persecuted in all your born days. You will live to flower delicately again.
Let’s face it. Most of us boomers had nothing to do with the development of weapons of mass carbon redistribution, but we all gobbled up the goodies as fast as we could. We worked for peace and justice until our own war went away and all that artificial wealth rained down on us. We’ve had more toys than any generation in the history of Life and we’re going to the grave with them.
There are generalizations you can make about any demographic, but I contend people are all the same. The millennials would’ve squandered our last resources too if we’d left them any. The Greatest Generation would’ve done the same thing if they hadn’t been born into a depression instead. It’s just the luck of the draw that we boomers got to eat all the candy.
And that’s what “OK Boomer” means. You bet it’s dismissive. Because it’s referring to the fact that now that we know we’re destroying everything and we know what must be done, we still won’t do it. Instead we’re all upset that someone’s calling us names. Damn house is on fire and the teenagers next door are handing us a hose and we’re all arms-folded and No! Not until you say you’re sorry for being mean. And get out of the petunias.
We’re perpetual toddlers.
You’re not one of those Boomers, you say? Stereotypes are unfair? Go ahead and fly your #NotAllBoomers flag. Whine that you were always on the side of goodness and can’t be blamed. See where it gets you. Nowhere. Now quit pouting and get over your damn self. We’ve all got work to do.