Why Many Boomers Have Earned That 'OK, Boomer' Title

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
oman wearing gray top and headscarf grimacing, rolling her eyes
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On November 4, 2019, politicians in the New Zealand parliament heckled 25-year-old parliamentarian Chloë Swarbrick during her speech on climate change. Her response, reports Vox? “OK, Boomer.” The senior vice president and editorial director of AARP Media, Myrna Blythe, tried a fall-on-your-face clapback during an interview with Axios a few days later: “OK, millennials. But we’re the people that actually have the money.”

OK, Boomer. See how well that goes over for you on TikTok and Twitter — when we’re a generation mired in student loan debt, when we can’t buy houses because the cost of living’s so goddamn high, and we’ve put off having kids because we can’t afford them. American dream, my ass. You got the interstate running through your front yard and your little pink house and your vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico, you walking goddamn John Mellencamp song. You tell us, ain’t this America?

OK, Boomer. Here’s how we really feel:

The AARP had to issue one of those convoluted apologies that’s really just a backtracking “oh shit we didn’t mean it, stop making memes about us, please, because the most we can do on the internet is repost fake news and share pictures of our grandchildren on Facebook.” You can read the whole thing on USA Today, but it’s classic Boomer backtrack.

Then they all go back to bitching about us saying “OK, Boomer.” ‘Cause, you know, it’s all ageist, and basically like calling someone the n-word, says a University of Oklahoma ethics professor and a right-wing talk radio host. This is the kind of whining that makes ‘Ok, boomer’ so relevant.

First: not all Boomers are like this, the same way not all Millennials are avocado-toast-crunching, music-downloading, Insta-loving hipsters living in their childhood bedrooms while yearning for tiny houses. But lots of Boomers have these attitudes the same way lots of Millennials (more than other generations, according to Health Finance News) don’t have health insurance. So don’t go clutching your handmade wooden beads, Karen, about how you don’t feel this way and you’re loyal to your Woodstock roots and you’re in touch with the younger generations. We’re talking about the rest of you.

You fucked up the world for us.

When we look back with nostalgia to Richard Nixon’s environmental policies, we have a problem, Boomers. Didn’t you fucking hate Nixon? OK, Boomer. I loooooooove Richard Nixon. I would vote for Nixon in 2020. I would campaign for Nixon in 2020. I love Nixon sooooo much because Nixon isn’t Donald Trump.

Guess what? More than half of you voted for Trump. OK, Boomer. You thought a billionaire alleged rapist with no political experience would make a better president than a former secretary of state just because you don’t happen to like the dude she married and you liked The Apprentice? Seriously? Now we’ve got the Cheeto-in-Chief because you believed in Rush Limbaugh’s conspiracy theories.

Then there’s climate change. Maybe we should call y’all the Ostrich Generation. Like, you stuck your head in the sand and pretended climate change wasn’t happening as ice sheets melted. Your environmental politics are worse than Richard Nixon’s. Now my kids will probably live to see Venice drown, thanks for that. But that’s okay. Because even if a climate Armageddeon happens, you said:

OK, Boomer. You’ll let us scramble onto a life raft and resort to cannibalism when you could have saved the whole goddamn ship. And the raft thing isn’t really a metaphor. Because, y’know, rising ocean levels and all that.

You say we killed all the things.

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Here is a short list of the things we have murdered that you love to bitch about. “But you NEED [insert thing here]!” OK, Boomer.


Napkins: We use paper towels, because we’re lazy bastards, OK, Boomer?

– Big houses: we can’t afford them. See earlier notes on home ownership.

Bar Soap


The video star, much as video once killed the radio star

Fabric softener


Cable News

Movie Theaters

You disrespect our identities.

Older people are less likely to support gay marriage and see it as an important issue. Boomers are less likely than Millennials to say they have close friends or family members who are gay. Freaking 43% of Baby Boomers think gays and lesbians “just choose to live that way.” About half of them would be upset if they had a gay child. OK, Boomer. After reading this study from the Pew Research Institute, I’m ready to take away your Social Security checks.

So why do we say “OK, Boomer”? Because it’s nicer than saying “STFU and sit down, you had your time, and you screwed us over, and your outdated attitudes are laughable at best and damaging at worst.” Yeah, you probably have a better lasagna recipe than us, but we can just google that shit.

Just do us one favor, we’re begging. We’ll even stop saying “OK, Boomer.” Promise. Pinkie-swear.

Please get your heads out of the sand and stop making life worse for the rest of us.

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