A video of 25-year-old New Zealand parliament member, Chlöe Swarbrick, responding “OK, Boomer” to a heckler recently went viral.
Swarbrick was giving a speech on the parliament floor in favor of a new bill that would put New Zealand on track for zero carbon emissions by 2050. The heckling starts when she stresses how dire climate change is for people of her generation.
She tosses out the quip after discussing the age differences of the people in parliament saying “In the year 2050 I will be 56 years old. Yet right now the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old.”
While the words of the heckler are unintelligible, her response is quite clear:
The “OK, Boomer” phrase then started trending. It is used as a dismissive retort to those in the Baby Boomer generation.
OK … everyone. https://t.co/XUiCyEcHdW
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) November 4, 2019
Some are calling it out as ageism or bigotry. The New York Times even called it the “end of friendly generational relations.”
Swarbrick discussed the hypocrisy of people getting up in arms over “OK, Boomer” when they’ve been blaming Millennials for ruining…well, pretty much everything.
“Today I have learnt that responding succinctly and in perfect jest to somebody heckling you about ‘your age’ as you speak about the impact of climate change on ‘your generation’ with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad.”
“So I guess millennials ruined humor. That, or we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and abstain from avocados. That’s the joke.”
Even Stephen Colbert—who is “technically” a Boomer—pointed out that the phrase isn’t nearly as terrible as some are trying to make it.