Recently a new meme hit the watch list on platforms like Twitter and Tik Tok that launched Generation Z and Boomers into a petty cyber war. While this happens, millennials and Gen-X acted as an audience to the bickering.
The phrase “Ok Boomer”, which originated from a Lil Phag music soundtrack called “Ok Boomer,” was released earlier this fall. Young people recently co-opted the phrase to dismiss the older generation. The song follows the same theme, pointing out the stereotypical nature of “boomers”:
“You’re all old and racist
All about the fakeness
I’m tryna pay my bills but I’m all on the waitlist
Staring at our piercings, staring at tattoos
Staring at a bra like the evening news
You BibleThump your kids
Wonder why they’re pissed
Say America again, I’m gonna take a piss
Cremated to ashes, disappear like magic
When you wear that MAGA hat, looking like a fascist”
Conservative radio host and a boomer himself, Bob Lonsberry, spoke out about its use. However, he mistakenly made the choice to bring his grievances to Twitter.
He said, “Boomer is the n-word of ageism,” in which thousands of Twitter users of all generations flooded the timeline, rejecting his take. Dictionary.com’s Twitter profile corrected the interpretations of these words.
They tweeted, “Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during the baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965. The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language.”
Twitter user @k1dgorg3ous counters Lonsberry as well with a John Mulaney quote, “If you’re comparing the badness of two words and you won’t even say one of them, that’s the worst word.”
While many see the ridiculousness and wrongness of comparing the usage of the n-word to the usage of “boomer,” others see it as an example of the immaturity of Gen-Z.
However, young people claim that the phrase originates from a defensive place against the condescension and patronisation from older individuals.
In my opinion, as an older Gen-Z individual, I don’t find the phrase to be offensive, especially since older people consistently categorised and claimed young people as “lazy” and sensitive “snowflakes” when it is known that the younger generation is facing and will continue to face some of the harshest economic catastrophes since the Great Depression.
However, I can acknowledge that the economic problems that people face don’t necessarily have to do with an age difference as so much as a class difference.
It’s not the “boomer” who’s struggling to survive off their retirement plan we should be mad at, but the predatory banking investor guiding us to ruin and the billionaires hoarding wealth that supports their lifestyle ten times over while many of us barely survive off unliveable wages.