Ok Boomer

Updated on December 4, 2019 Updated on December 4, 2019
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Millennials and Gens Y and Z are fed up with plundering, bitter baby boomers. Denigrated at every turn by the most spoiled, entitled generation ever unleashed on the earth, they created a dismissive battle cry, “Ok boomer.”

Defining Generations

Boomers love to call anyone who annoys them Millenials but not everyone under 35 is a Millenial. This is how the generations break down. 

Boomers

Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964. As of 2019, they are between 55 and 75 years old and there are 76 million of them in the United States.

Gen X

Gen Xer’s are defined as having been born between 1965 and 1979. They are between 40 and 54 years old and there are 82 million of them.

Millennials or Gen Y

Those snowflake Millennials were born between1980 and1994 They are currently between 25 and 39 years old and there are 73 million of them.

Gen Z

Those called Gen Z were born between 1995 and 2015 They are currently between 4 and 24 years old and there are about 74 million of them.

Where OK Boomer Began

As is often the case with memes and other things that go viral, (you Boomers can use Google to find out what “go viral” means) there are various origin stories. The earliest dates back to 2015 on the troll board 4chan where it was used by those on the forum to insult other users who were deemed out of touch.

The catchphrase really gained traction on TikTok, a social media video app where it was often used as a dismissive rebuttal to frothing at the mouth, Baby Boomer accusations about young people suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome (something I myself “suffer” from proving that Peter Pan Syndrome can impact those of any age because I’m Gen X).

The New York Times even picked up on the Ok boomer phenomenon and wrote an article about it entitled ‘Ok Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations.

“Ok boomer” has become Generation Z’s endlessly repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don’t get it, a rallying cry for millions of fed-up kids. 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.

My favorite and perhaps the most appropriate use of Ok boomer happened in New Zealand’s Parliament. Politician Chloë Swarbrick used it to rebut an older colleague after he interrupted her speech about how her generation feels angry and frustrated by lawmaker’s past and ongoing failure to address climate change with the urgency required.

Get Your Merch

And now you can buy an ‘Ok boomer’ hoodie, t-shirt, and various other assorted merch.

Ok boomer

If you have to spend the holidays with Trump-voting relatives, these will make great gifts!

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Yes, Some of Them Are Terrible

Full disclosure, I’m older than all these kids, I’m Generation X. I endured some down times as all generations do but also enjoyed those sweet, sweet Clinton years. Big Daddy Bill made it rain for us all, for a while anyway.

And if I’m honest, there are some that annoy me, the SJW (social justice warriors) Tumblrinas on Tumblr, the Hashtivism on Twitter. I think this quote from Shonda Rhimes sums this phenomenon up better and more pithily than I could:

“Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing on your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show. I do it all the time. For me, it’s Game of Thrones.”

But I live in New Orleans where there are a lot of hipster young people and they make some awesome food and cocktails so I’m not complaining.

What Boomers Think Of Millennials

So why am I writing an article to defend younger generations? Well, to put it crudely, I’m sick to my back teeth of hearing the Boomers, the most naval gazing, self-congratulatory generation of circle jerkers ever to exist on this planet in all of human history crapping all over them. Read any article about young people that allows reader comments and you’ll find vitriolic little gems like these:

“It’s funny how the illegals seem to have no trouble finding a job. Oh wait, they are willing to actually get their hands dirty & break a sweat. Allow me to fill you guys in, NOBODY is going to pay you to sit around and play video games and look at your smartphone all day.”

“Laziness & entitlements. I was out there raking leaves, shoveling snow & cutting grass to earn a dollar when I was a kid. I was riding around on my bicycle & socializing with friends face to face. If you want it, go get it.”

“Go work at a deli or Burger King”

“You snot nosed punks want everything handed to you. If you want it, you can have it too. There’s jobs out there. May not be your dream job or what you went to school for, but set a goal and go get it. Time to get out of mommies basement.”

Let’s Break That Down

So in just four poorly worded comments containing appalling grammar and punctuation, let’s look at the keywords and phrases that jump out.

Illegals. Ooh, the scary illegals all have jobs. Why don’t you? As if the jobs they have to take would pay off $50,000 in student loan debt.  Also, the obligatory reference to video games and smartphones. Because clearly this commentor is out making the world a better place in his spare time rather than watching Nascar and attending Promise Keepers Rallies.

Laziness and entitlements. That doesn’t even make sense. We’ll give angry grandpa the benefit of our doubt and assume he meant entitled. How cheeky that young people would feel entitled to a job that paid a living wage. The nerve! If only they weren’t so lazy working two jobs to keep the lights on, they too could have an over mortgaged McMansion and a sickening sense of unearned superiority.

Work a fast-food job.  Well, they are. That is their second job. And it’s still not enough. We’ve seen mass walkouts by fast-food workers trying to get a little something more than the crumbs their social betters brush off the table and onto the floor for them.

Snot nosed punks. Ooh, getting in the way back machine to bring the insults  “There’s (sic) jobs.” Just go get one off the job tree you lazy hippy that lives in a filthy opium den!  Then you can have the crap spelling yet oddly incongruous superior tone that I have.

The Boomers had everything handed to them by the Greatest Generation on a silver platter so why they look down on the generation that came after them is a mystery. I guess it goes back to not valuing what, through no merit of your own, you have managed to accumulate.

Boomers Love Affair With Themselves

A week doesn’t go by where the Boomers aren’t featured in some fawning documentary about how they revolutionized the world, ended the Vietnam War, fought for Civil Rights, and changed the face of music. And the Boomers did those things, full credit. Although if I see Sir Paul McCartney trotted out at some fundraising concert in his New Balance sneakers one more time, I’ll vomit.

What they don’t like to talk about or have PBS wax rhapsodic over is how they created record national debt that will take generations to pay off through their reliance on easy credit, government-backed mortgages, and overvalued properties.

And the reason young people can’t get a job is that the Boomers thought the gravy train would never end. Until it did. And when it did and they hadn’t saved anything for retirement in their mortgaged to the hilt lives, they won’t exit stage left so younger workers can take the jobs they should no longer need had they had a modicum of foresight and planned for the future.

The reason Washington can’t create any long term debt reduction is because the Boomers represent a massive, active voting block. And they love their free health care too via Medicare. But when the rest of us would like to not go bankrupt if we get sick, the Boomers begrudge us the ACA. They got theirs and the rest of us can fuck off. And that seems to be their attitude overall. I got mine, piss off.

A Not Exhaustive List of the Sins of the Boomers

Do I dare thwack the hornet’s nest some more? I do dare. Let’s look at a few of the ways the Boomers have screwed all those who came after.

Manufacturing

You sold our robust manufacturing economy oversees to tighten up your balance sheets which decimated the middle class. Ross Perot was dead on when he talked about “that giant sucking sound.”

Parenting

You complain about the Millennials but they are yours. Claim them. If you don’t like how they turned out, have a look in the mirror. You brought them up, you taught them in school, you fed them a steady diet of crap fast food, you parked them in front of the television where from the age of one they learned to covet all the things they saw advertised.

In fact, you geared ads for crap food and crap toys directly to them and then complained when they grew up materialistic. And you fueled that materialism by giving them things instead of time because you were too busy working and accumulating to spend any time with them.

A Lot of Y’all Are Racist AF

The level of casual racism I have encountered among boomers in the south is breathtaking to a Yankee transplant like me. Down here they still use the n-word in front of people they barely know or have just met. I guess they think that because I’m white too that I don’t find that word offensive.

In this century of knowledge, being racist only proves how low in society you really are.

Tweet This

Electing a racist president aided and abetted by a White House full of racists has brought them out from under the rocks a more polite society forced them to live under. I hope they crawl back soon.

Wages

Under your watch, CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978 while the average worker’s wages have risen a measly 12%

Climate Change

Scientists have been warning us for years that climate change is fast reaching the no going back point and yet boomers still have the nerve to write it off as a hoax. Some of the dumber ones believe this but the politicians who could enact legislation to combat at least some of the effects of climate change know the scientists are correct.

They won’t admit it of course and make the same, tired jokes about “How can there be global warming when it still snows in the winter? Har har.” That’s just them playing to their drooling, science-denying base.

The real reason these politicians refuse to act is that lobbyists are paying them not to. And they don’t care what happens to the Earth in 10 or 20 or 50 years because they’ll be long dead. It’s a toss-up for me which is worse, stupidity or sheer greed. Which brings me to the next sin on the list.

Dark Money

Citizen’s United. You sold our government and everything it entails to the highest bidder. Who is always you. Of all the nefarious shit you have done, this is probably the worst.

Also, the reason a bonafide moron like Betsy DeVoss has a fucking cabinet job. Here are the words straight from this idiot’s mouth.

“I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party. Occasionally a wayward reporter will try to make the charge that we are giving this money to get something in return, or that we must be purchasing influence in some way,” she wrote in an essay for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. After explaining that she did not always get everything that she demanded, DeVos continued, “I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return.”

2008

Your greed caused the crash in 2008 and your political influence not only kept those responsible out of jail where they ought to be but scored massive bailouts for yourselves and your cronies shortly to be followed by record bonuses.

And you’re probably about to do it again.

Student Loan Debt

You have allowed the cost of college to rise so much that your children will be dead before they pay back the entirety of their debt. And while doing so you robbed them and the community they may have served of the chance to do some good in the world through volunteering or making charitable donations.

They don’t have the time to volunteer because they’re working two jobs to even stay afloat and all their “spare money” goes to frivolities like the roof over their heads.  What’s the last thing the Representatives you bought and paid for have done to address $1.5 TRILLION in student loan debt floating around out there?

In 2005 they passed a law that no student loan could be dismissed in bankruptcy unless the borrower could prove “undue hardship.” Congress’s definition of undue hardship apparently does not extend to ending your life because you are so consumed by the hopelessness of ever being out from under this debt because the families of people who have made this terrible, ultimate decision have been chased and harassed to pay back the loan.

Wars

You have involved us in endless wars since 2001 costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives and made the rest of the world hate us to the point we pretend to be Canadian when abroad.

Security State

You sold our freedom for your twisted version of security theater. I give up my Fourth Amendment right if I want to do something as innocuous as getting on the subway or fly on an airplane. Your naked porno scanners are probably giving me cancer. Only I won’t subject myself to them so instead, I get sexually assaulted by a TSA worker. Also thanks to this, everyone at the NSA is personally acquainted with my Youporn viewing preferences. This knowledge will surely prevent the next 9-11. Well done.

You’ve overseen reverse posse comitatus. Rather than the military becoming the police, you’ve turned the police into the military. You pepper spray non-violent protesters, you brutalize and terrorize citizens on a daily basis.

You’ve kitted out small-town police forces with military-grade weapons, even armored vehicles.

Trump

How could you?

Voter Age

Oh, I remember. You voted for him because he promised to cut taxes for millionaires, throw all the brown people out of the country, and likes grabbing unwilling women by the pussy.

The Young People I Know

The young people I know are smart. They’re hard-working. They bought the bill of goods the Boomers sold them. Go to college, get a good job and it all works out. No no, don’t look at the math. It just works out as if by magic. Serve your country, the greatest country in the world. And now they see the enormity of your lies.

They are literally killing themselves over debt. And it wasn’t debt accumulated through buying smartphones and avocados. That is a fairy tale you Boomers tell yourselves so you can sleep at night.  And serving your country is your way of saying, “Go over where the brown people live and get your ass blown up so we can continue to profit off the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower tried to warn of fifty years ago.

The young people I know started the March For Our Lives movement when you did nothing as dozens of them were gunned down at school. They’re at the forefront of demanding action on climate change. They are not lazy and entitled – the Boomer’s favorite epithet.

They see that they can’t win at your game. So they’re changing the rules. They’ve started their own businesses, they’ve started building and living in tiny houses because they don’t buy into your demented idea of the American dream of an ugly pre-fab McMansion filled with crap on a mortgage they can’t afford.

These people don’t own cars and contribute to global warming by burning fossil fuels the way the Boomers burned the middle class. They ride bikes.

They are moving into the cities you washed your hands of like Detroit and New Orleans and bringing them back from the brink with hard work, cooperation, and ingenuity. Urban farms where you left a foreclosed house to rot.

Katrina Flooding

Small businesses in a city you left, to quite literally drown.

The Reckoning Is Coming

I could go on. Your lousy generation has pissed me off.  But let me send you off to sleep with this thought: You can’t and won’t live forever. Oh, you’ve tried. You won’t go quietly into that good night. But so far your quest for eternal youth and life has only netted Botox treatments and silicone fillers.

And when you’re drooling into your incontinence pan, it will be a Millennial or a Gen Z, forced to take a second job as a nursing home assistant to pay off the remaining eleventy billion dollars they still have left on their student loan who will be looking after you. And they know.  We’ll see how insufferably superior you’re feeling then. So on behalf of them, in the words of my generation, Up Yours.

If you did not like this article, don’t hate on a truth-teller.

Candice Elliott - Editor-in-Chief Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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