Some of you will read this column before Thanksgiving and, because of varying deadlines, others may read it a week or so later. A few unlucky souls won’t read it at all because they suspect I’m going to bash Dear Leader again. They’ll get their MAGA’s in an anticipatory wad and huff off to read “Snuffy Smith” or “Blondie.”
I got one thing to say to them: OK, Boomer.
Oh, that felt good. Now I know why the kids are enjoying it so. It’s such a deliciously fine-tuned put down – dismissive but not cruel.
I mention Thanksgiving because where better to witness the clashing of generations than around the family table? There’s Grandpa, all “Pass the cranberry sauce and build that wall.” There’s the adult chirren all “No politics at the table, Grandpa!” and here’s the lanky nephew, a freshly woke vegan who responds with the battle cry of his Generation Z: “OK, Boomer(s).” He will then mutter his suspicion there’s GMO’s in the green bean casserole and Grandma will say “No, honey, that’s just onion straws.”
With any luck at all, they’ll agree to disagree but, the way I see it, these days, civility is evaporating faster than alcohol on a skeeter bite.
“OK, Boomer” isn’t helping the sitch but it’s also not the worst thing in the world. That would be the maniac in the White House. Wait, sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.
The rapscallion in me would like to suggest we turn “OK, Boomer” into a drinking game during the holidays this year. For every utterance, you gotta take a shot. (Woke nephew can sub in kale juice as needed.)
I seriously love Thanksgiving but fully expect to hear “OK, Boomer” directed at me at least a half dozen times. (Where did I put that Fireball?) Guilty as charged. I’m a boomer by the calendar but, I swear, I’m a Gen X at heart and a millennial in overall maturity.
Much of the time “OK, Boomer” is deserved from what I can tell. A little background for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about because, well, Boomer. The expression went viral via TikTok (ask your grandkids; I can’t do everything for you) depicting an elderly man in a baseball cap and polo shirt whining that younger generations have Peter Pan syndrome, never wanting to grow up.
Ahem. While every generation has rebelled against their elders, this “OK, Boomer” response has galvanized teens around the world. At the heart of all the angst is Gen Z’s belief we’ve handed them a stinking pile of dying planet, no health insurance, insane rent and unaffordable college tuition.
To which unenlightened Boomers say: “Yeah, but your hair is 18 colors and just use that tattoo money for your rent, you little ….”
I’m just warning you things might be a little more tense than usual this Thanksgiving. You could get angry. Or you could smile softly and think about your 401k they’ll never have. All better?
Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.