Boomers are doing what they do best: Shouting on the internet.
The youth — and by youth I mean anyone who understands how to rotate a pdf — are firing back at disgruntled Olds with an all-encompassing “OK, Boomer.” The phrase has become a rallying cry for all who’ve had to deal with some old fart complaining about how younger generations are entitled and lazy.
“Teenagers use it to reply to cringey YouTube videos, Donald Trump tweets, and basically any person over 30 who says something condescending about young people — and the issues that matter to them,” New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz explained in an article about the phrase.
Kalhan Rosenblatt, who also reported on the meme for NBC, explained it as “a culmination of annoyance and frustration at a generation young people perceive to be worsening issues like climate change, political polarization, and economic hardship.”
The phase is especially useful for situations when you simply don’t have the time or energy to unpack why someone’s in the wrong, and need to shut it all down with a dismissive “OK, Boomer.” Predictably, the Boomers are pissed.
Lorenz herself received backlash from old people offended by the phrase.
In an opinion piece for the New York Post, columnist Steve Cuozzo complained that the younger generations’ “extreme hatred” for Baby Boomers is “totally unjustified.” He checks every box in the rubric of Boomer complaints, mentioning kale, lamenting Starbucks as an institution, and condescendingly reminding everyone that his generation was able to pay off college debt by working hard. He did not touch on the ongoing climate crisis or the fact that financial instability makes it almost impossible for young people to afford medical care.
But why break down Cuozzo’s argument, point by point, when you can just respond with an equally condescending, “OK, Boomer.”
Maureen Dowd, a columnist at the New York Times, tied the phrase to Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation after her relationship with a former campaign staffer was revealed through revenge porn. Dowd was offended that her coworker and national hero Shawn McCreesh responded with “OK, Boomer” when she expressed “bewilderment” at Millennials’ penchant for taking photos of everything they do.
On Twitter, McCreesh very maturely did not respond with “OK, Boomer.”
Other Twitter users, Boomer or not, are also pissed off that younger generations are sick of their condescension.
If I ever hear my Gen Z kids saying “OK Boomer,” I will show them how much of an asshole Gen X can be too. I will not raise my kids to be entitled little shitheads.
— Candice Aiston (@CandiceAiston) November 3, 2019
Radio host Bob Lonsberry claimed in a now-deleted tweet that the phrase “OK, Boomer” is akin to a racial slur. His take was quickly ratio’d with “OK, Boomer.”
Other Twitter users reminded everyone of a very fitting John Mulaney quote.
Bottom line: saying “OK, Boomer” is even funnier now because of how pressed all the Boomers get. And you know what we say to that?