‘Ok boomer’: Millennials’ dig at oldies
A catchphrase coined by the millennial or “meme” generation, it is used to dismiss out-of-touch, condescending or closed-minded attitudes associated with the baby-boomer generation and older people more generally. On Thursday in Wellington, New Zealand, with the quickfire putdown, a 25-year-old Kiwi politician dismissed a heckler during a speech about climate change—highlighting the generation gap between herself and other members of Parliament (MPs) in a clip that has gone viral. Closer to home, “OK, boomer” has been the favored retort to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr., who has been slammed by Pinoy netizens for undiplomatic behavior. This was after Locsin shot expletives at a newspaper reporter on Twitter for tweeting President Rodrigo Duterte’s absence at the closing ceremony of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, and at another journalist who reminded him of his role as the country’s top diplomat. In recent months, “OK, boomer” has gained traction as a meme on apps like TikTok that have a predominantly young user base. Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick used it to hit back at interjections while speaking this week in support of a bill to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. “How many world leaders for how many decades have seen and known what is coming, but have decided that it is more politically expedient to keep (climate change) behind closed doors?” she said. “My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury. “In the year 2050 I will be 56 years old... yet, right now, the average of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old,” she added. As she spoke, another MP began to heckle her and Swarbrick fired back: “OK, boomer.” The retort, referencing people born in the “baby boom” period of 1946 to 1964, flew over the heads of MPs in the house at the time.