OK, Boomer

Posted on February 14, 2020


A professor at the University of Oklahoma provoked outrage by saying the phrase “OK, boomer” was like saying the N-word. He later apologized to students. This event has been getting a lot of press lately, ecllipsing even the the two most significant, ongoing, high-profile meltdowns the world is currently facing: the Antartic ice shelf and Donald Trump.

Setting aside the fact that this professor would seem to exhibit an astonishing lack of awareness of what the N-word signifies in both a historical and cultural sense, Life in the Boomer Lane will admit that she hadn’t even been aware of the phrase “OK, boomer.” She has been entirely too preoccupied with her own aging process, which presents her with daily opportunities to marvel at how the human body can create entirely new forms for itself, in the hours in which she is sleeping.

But, on closer inspection (of the article, not of her own body), LBL now realizes that “OK, boomer” is but the tip of a (non-climate change affected) iceberg that is swallowing up her entire generation.

The prof’s comment was precipitated when a student said that news organizations needed to adapt to stay relevant with younger audiences. Mr. Gade, the professor, said that the student’s comment was like saying, “OK, boomer,” referring to a phrase that, accordibg to the news source, has alternately been called “a dismissive, even ageist retort” against older people and “a rallying cry” of younger generations. He then compared it to the N-word, generally shocking the entire class.

According to CNN, “The term ‘OK, boomer,’ a viral meme among millennials and Generation Z, exploded last year on the TikTok social media app, where countless mocking videos are calling out what young people perceive as out-of-touch Baby Boomers and their patronizing opinions.”

For those readers who generally spend their days on Facebook or in staring at their senile perpura, and have not yet been introduced to the terms “viral meme” and “TikTok,” LBL invites you to enter the reality of the present century. There you will find any number of people, places, and things that have absolutely nothing to do with you but that have a profound impact on virtually everything else on the planet.

LBL, herself, is not outraged by younger people boomer-bashing her. If she were young right now, she would be pretty pissed off at how things are going all around her. Starting with the first cavewoman who rolled her eyes and told her caveman spouse that he was acting like a complete Neanderthal, humans have realized that the best way to make themselves feel better about their misfortune is to blame someone else.

She actually feels pretty lucky. As a Boomer, she may have had to exist without cell phones and Spanx, but she also had the great fortune to exist before it was known that political conspiracies, identity theft, and gluten were ruining her life. She had a pretty carefree early existance. Looking back, the threat of polio or nuclear war was a mere annoyance, compared to the current threats imposed by the President, the demise of science, and the fact that Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 86 years old.

Millenials, Gen Xers, Gen Zers, and all other alphabet generations coming along, will, if they are very, very lucky, be around to sit in our seats. Like us, they will be surprised to find out that they have ruined everything for younger people. They will continue on with life, living in their own age-appropriate bubbles, being basically unaware that they have no idea who anyone is who represents humanoids on earth.

They will, without realizing it, start wearing comfortable shoes and avoid driving at night. They will choose to have dinner earlier and earlier during the day. They will one day suddenly notice that the menus they are looking at in a restaurant are advertising early bird specials and be delighted that they are seated at just the right time to take advantage of this. They may even take extra little sugar and sweetener packets home with them.

LBL wishes them the very best. The world has been turning for a very long time, and hopefully, it will decide to turn for awhile longer. LBL hopes that it continues to do so until these up-and-coming generations can appreciate what it means to be the older generation and to learn to congratulate themselves when no one else will. We Boomers have our faults, for sure, but we have been pretty successful at the self-congrtulatory. You’ll learn to do the same.

Meanwhile, we’ll leave the light on for you. You’ll need it by then.