The Jetstream Journal

“OK, Boomer” is the Ultimate Millennial Retort

Junior+Samuel+Smith+and+math+teacher+David+Calvano+pose+back-to-back%2C+symbolizing+the+Boomer+v.+Gen+Z+conflict.

Junior Samuel Smith and math teacher David Calvano pose back-to-back, symbolizing the Boomer v. Gen Z conflict.

The phrase, “Ok Boomer,” was a simple meme started by Generation Z that can’t even really be described as an insult, and more of a negation showing disinterest in what Boomers have to say. It has been rocking the internet recently, and is used to shut down the aggressive taunts of Baby Boomers.

A 25-year-old politician and climate activist named Chlöe Swarbrick was giving a speech in New Zealand Parliament about the Zero Carbon Bill- a law that will allegedly reduce carbon emissions drastically- when an audience member threw out a remark making fun of her age.

In response, Swarbrick fired back with a quick, “Ok, Boomer,” and continued the speech unfazed.

Despite its shortness, the controversy caused by this simple, humorous retort has been unbelievable. Swarbrick responded to the outrage in a Facebook post reflecting the disbelief of most Millennials to the reactions caused.

“Today, I have learned that responding succinctly and in perfect jest to somebody heckling you about your age as you speak about the impact of climate change on your generation with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad, ” stated Swarbrick in a follow-up Facebook Post. “So I guess Millennials ruined humor. That, or we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and abstain from avocados.”

“That’s the joke,” she said.

Boomers, or Baby Boomers, are people born in the generation born from 1946-1964, or post-World War Two. Since the rising of the new generations, Boomers have taken up a habit of referring to themselves as the “greatest generation” and insulting newer generations consistently.

Usually, Millennials are referred to as overly sensitive, “snowflakes,” due to their progressive, open-minded social and political views. They are constantly harassed by older generations for being easily offended, so the outrage caused by this simple retort has proven pretty hilarious to most Millennials, who themselves are fed up with constant heckling.

HypeLife
T-Shirts bearing the phrase used by hundreds of Millennials have been sold in the thousands.

After “Ok, Boomer” was compared to fully-fledged slurs by multiple groups of people, though, John Kelly, senior research editor at Dictionary.com, took a stance.

“You cannot compare ‘boomer’ to slurs; if you do, you’re fundamentally not understanding the power balance that goes with slurs,” Kelly stated. “People in positions of power do not have slurs attacking them the way people in minority groups do.”

However, this phrase isn’t aimed at all Boomers, just ones with a specific set of behavioral patterns that Millennials and Generation Z find frustrating: Resistance to progressive opinions and change, aggressive actions and verbal insults towards newer generations, and an all-around lack of self-awareness.

However, not all people who fit the age category of Baby Boomer are offended by the phrase.

“I think it’s funny,” said Air Academy Front Office secretary Joani Nachbar. “I wouldn’t be offended.”

“Making fun of each other is what fundamentally sets these generations apart,” said social studies teacher Ronald Gorr. “The Baby Boomers came from a generation that had just gone and won a war, and from a generation that still trusted the government. The new generations have more radical opinions, and that’s where this generation conflict starts. When we do nothing but have conflict with each other’s ideals, that’s where phrases like ‘Ok, Boomer’ come from.”

About the Writer
Photo of Aidan Helvey
Aidan Helvey, Journalist

What's up? I'm Aidan, and I'm a Junior. I love to play music and watch anime, and that's the only thing I do. Talk to me anytime if you want a friend,...

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“OK, Boomer” is the Ultimate Millennial Retort