EYE 2 EYE : Ok Boomer


Brent Gelick/Talon

Pro : Say it to my face — it’ll make me stronger 

Correction: it’ll make us stronger

By : Sam Barney-Gibbs

Let’s make something clear: I’m not pitting baby boomers, millennials or Gen-Z’ers against one another. This is not an act of ageism nor am I attempting to generalize all people over the age of 55. 

Chlöe Swarbrick, while speaking to her fellow members of the New Zealand Parliament about her generation’s disgust with the hand-me-down of the climate change crisis, waved her hand, hushing an interrupting member with “OK, Boomer.”  Memes and TikTok would never be the same.

Though “Ok, Boomer” has become a running joke, I don’t see it as such. She wasn’t calling out every mother or grandfather, rather she was sending a wake-up call to people who are afraid of changing with the times and who have no problem pointing the blame at the young’uns.

She calls it, a “simple summarization of collective exhaustion.” I call it, “we are so exhausted from the hate, from hearing we aren’t doing ‘well enough,’ that we cannot put more energy than it takes to say these two words.”

The fact is, we all have a problem. Well, we all have many — regardless of your birth year. And this seeming ‘war between the ages’ is not going to solve any of these social, economic, political — whatever issues we have. Boomers attack Millennials, Millennials attack Gen-Z; it’s a meaningless cycle of finger-pointing that must stop.

We are stuck in a state of insanity: we are stagnant, repeating opposite ends of the same argument, pointing fingers in the same directions, unable to compromise or coexist for the betterment of our whole society.

People may argue that “Ok, Boomer” just causes more divide between age groups. Let me tell you, there are plenty of other differences between age groups that already are causing a disconnect. Advanced technology, for example … the death of chivalry? Don’t you see?

Regardless, I see “Ok, Boomer” as a call-to-action on behalf of every single person on this planet, not just your grandpa or passionate PTA mom, whose eyes roll over the energy being used to pit one against the other, and who crave to just get things done whether the discussions focus on how our government is run, where our money goes, what we say or what we do.

I challenge you to yell at me from across the room, from across the world, “shut up, Gen-Z.” All I hear is the moment I’ve been waiting for: you are reminding me it’s time we set aside extreme polarization, personal attacks, as you see that in an ever-changing world, we need ever-changing mindsets.

I’m tired, you’re tired and I bet that Boomer from the New Zealand Parliament is tired, too.

We were bound to run out of energy. The fight cannot go on forever. Let’s just hope this struggle of the ages finally ends with both a Gen-Z kid and a BOOM!-er.

Con : Bye Bye “Boomer”

By : Nick Harvey and Oliver Carter

The “Ok Boomer” meme is a lackluster glimpse into pop culture, devoid of originality, and at its greatest profundity, it feeds the hunger for instant gratification.

To provide context, the baby boomer generation comprises an estimated 82 million adults aged 55-75: Barack Obama, Madonna, and Oprah Winfrey. The admittedly well-crafted phrase is representative of the frustration of Gen Z’ers toward their baby boomer counterparts, later adopted by Millenials, too.

Recently, this two-worded jibe targeted at this generation has spread like wildfire on social media, amassing almost 1 billion views on TikTok videos.

The cultural and political views of Baby Boomers often conflicts with the evolving views of younger generations, whether that concerns gay marriage, the role of women in society, or the environment. The statistically more right-leaning beliefs held by our predecessors are often quite distinct from those of our own, but addressing each other with the lazy shrug of a generational insult just screams “I’m out of ideas.”

We are by no means an extremist, and we’re not comparing this phrase to anything more than it is: a meme. However, we do believe “Ok Boomer” causes a stagnancy of communal relations between baby boomers and its succeeding generations. It doesn’t promote anything other than the idea of separating age groups rather than uniting them. Its tonality may be the only progressive facet of the meme. Without the actual means of progression, however, the phrase is doomed to rot in pop culture purgatory, right next to the likes of the world record egg and the great raid of Area 51 that never really happened.

You all have already made up your minds on whether or not you choose to love or hate the phrase “OK Boomer.” It’s one of those things that has no in-between—it’s black and white. If none of what we said up to this point is convincing enough that the use of this phrase is well below-par for good judgment, let’s play out a scenario in which you, the reader, have made the mistake of letting the spit hang from the lips:

You’re sitting at your desk in class during a lecture. We all do that, right? Your teacher is droning on about some war that, in reality, you only care enough about to get a B on the test. (No shade to my favorite history teachers). Your teacher lets out a wild howl at you, and rightfully so, because guess who dozed off during the discussion of turning point of the war? Despite the fact that your teacher may very well be a gen X, or even younger for that matter, you shoot back a sly “OK Boomer.” Not only is your face a brand new color (white as a ghost in fear or red as the class of ‘22 in embarrassment), but you guessed it: no one laughed. And the teacher that really didn’t need that kind of interruption is even more frustrated. Now who’s the clown? In other words, it’s not worth it. Spare the humiliation. Because when you cross that line, it’s gonna hurt