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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"
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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"

Two weeks ago, The New York Times published a piece that has had far-ranging effects and stoked inter-generational ire just by focusing on what could be viewed as an innocuous phrase: “OK, boomer.” The article explains the rising popularity of responding to older people’s opinions by saying “OK, boomer,” referring to their belonging to the Baby Boomer generation. The phrase began among Zoomers and is meant to encapsulate the angst of Gen Z when it comes to the world they’ve inherited—and there may be some legitimacy. Millennials were the first generation worse off than the generation before them. To quote the article:

A lot of [Baby Boomers] don’t believe in climate change or don’t believe people can get jobs with dyed hair, and a lot of them are stubborn in that view. Teenagers just respond, ‘Ok, boomer.’ It’s like, we’ll prove you wrong, we’re still going to be successful because the world is changing.

 

The phrase has gained so much attention that one entrepreneurial Zoomer put a design of the words on clothing and sold more than $10,000 worth of merchandise.

Following the article, “OK, boomer” seems to have captured the cultural moment. A 25 year-old politician in New Zealand used it to silence older hecklers, The Times’ own opinion column weighed in on it, and the Internet is still abuzz with the echo of “OK, boomer” fallout weeks after the article was published.

But is it OK to say “OK, boomer?” Detractors say that at best it’s stereotypical, at worst it’s ageism. Baby Boomer proponents say that it’s a flippant phrase and shouldn’t be given more weight than it deserves.

Where do you fall in the debate? Is it OK for teens and young adults to say “OK, boomer” or are they crossing a line? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments (65)
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Discrimination of any kind is wrong and dangerous.

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It is fine for someone to say "O.K. Boomer", if he wants to be told "go f*** yourself". The are of similar levels of rudeness; although "O.K. Boomer" implies that the speaker has an IQ that is even lower than Donald Trump's IQ.

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Like all epithets, I guess it depends on how it relates to you. If you are using it to show your lack of respect for someone who is older, and therefore deserves it, it is a good thing. History has shown that it doesn't matter how you treat someone you have no respect for, and that lets you get away with all sorts of behavior, even up to the point of atrocity and mass murder. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? If, on the other hand, you find "Boomer" used as a pejorative to describe you, you can reappropriate the term and use it to show solidarity with your brothers and comrades in arms as you face your oppressors.

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"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers." Attributed (unconfirmed) to Socrates (469-399 BC). Next verse, same as the first, a little bit newer and a lot worse!

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Nope. Not okay. Just another form of prejudice. Anything that divides instead of unites us, is a detraction and distraction from the real problems we all face.

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