“OK Boomer”

From Vox.com, ““OK boomer” isn’t just about the past. It’s about our apocalyptic future.”

“OK boomer” is meant to be cutting and dismissive. It suggests that the conversation around the anxieties and concerns of younger generations has become so exhausting and unproductive that the younger generations are collectively over it. “OK boomer” implies that the older generation misunderstands millennial and Gen Z culture and politics so fundamentally that years of condescension and misrepresentation have led to this pointedly terse rebuttal and rejection. Rather than endlessly defend decisions stemming from deep economic strife, to save money instead of investing in stocks and retirement funds, to buy avocados instead of cereal — teens and younger adults are simply through.

Don’t be pissed off at us, Millennials, with your “Ok, Boomer” trend. I would call it a movement, but I realize that with all the new apps available on your phones it would be superseded by some more pressing world crisis— perhaps the suppressing of teaching World War II history because some child might be terrified by the deaths of 45 million human beings. Duh, no shit. Kind of the point, yeah? Anyway, as Billy Joel sang, “We didn’t start the fire; it was always burning, since the world’s been turning.” No, what’s got you angry is we, the Boomers, have lived too long. Those who felt the euphoria of The Summer of Love and the wonderful chaos of Woodstock ought to keep themselves to themselves, because that was the last sighting of a benevolent sun and a possible world under it, and we are stark reminders of that promise lost.

No, you, and all of us, ought to reserve our indignation and condemnation for those who are the lords of the fire, the fanners of the flames, the ones who’ve been figuratively and literally raping and pillaging villages since humanity learned to build villages. You know of them (you’ll never know them— you belong to only one club, and it’s Sam’s), but you’ve seen them: getting into their limos, drinking cocktails in the sky boxes, rubbing elbows with celebrities in St. Moritz, all this while their minions stoke the engines of revenue-making, stoking them with exotic woods and endangered species and chunks of ozone. So, no, it’s not “Ok, Boomer.” It’s not “Ok, Millennial.” It’s “We’re screwed, all of us.” Eleven years, the climatologists tell us, is all the time we have to fix it. Let me know in twelve what you think.

Bill Kirby

December 15, 2019

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