The local media has been abuzz this week with the latest buzzword – or should I say buzz phrase – as Chloe Swarbrick showed how hip and woke she is by using the phrase “OK Boomer”. Most of those writing about it in the media are abuzz with glee that a young person with so little actual life experience should take on the older generation… and win!
Well, whether she ‘won’ or not is a matter of opinion, but in the minds of the woke journalists, she buried all boomers in one fell swoop. Well done, Chloe. It was a victory for wokeness and for young people everywhere.
It was also a victory for extremely bad manners.
Firstly, most of us ‘boomers’ (yes, I am one) have children who fall into the Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z categories, so it is unlikely that we actively dislike our own offspring. I certainly don’t. What we probably don’t particularly like about them is that they rarely listen to advice, and have a very different attitude to life than their parents. But hey, Boomers – how many of us actually listened to advice when we were young? We were the original protestors, remember – the ones who formed the Ban the Bomb movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement and the civil rights movements in the US. Yes, Chloe, the original activists were boomers. All you are doing now is trying to copy our inimitable style.
Does she dislike the fact that boomers do not take climate change sufficiently seriously? Well, some boomers certainly do, but then again, how many times was the world going to end in our lifetimes, only for us to find that after all that, we are still here? It is hard to believe that climate change will destroy the planet when we lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, the Six Day War, endless Middle East skirmishes – including Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, Y2K, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar… and so on. All of these things were going to send us off the planet in a screaming heap. None of them did.
I remember a time when I was at school, when the world was supposedly going to end at 3.00 on a Thursday afternoon right in the middle of a double Science lesson. Everyone believed it. At the time, the world ending was probably preferable to a double Science lesson. But the world didn’t end, the teacher prevailed and the lesson was probably not as bad as the end of the world… it just seemed like it.
We grew up being taught to respect our elders, and even if the world does not see that as a viable way to live any more, the very least we should be doing is respecting one another. But Chloe and her woke friends know better than that. With a single, disrespectful phrase, she thinks she has consigned all of those people on the planet over the age of 55 to the scrapheap of irrelevance. She hasn’t, of course. She has just demonstrated her own ignorance and naivety.
I guess these young people are no different from the way we were a long time ago. We dissed our parents as old fashioned and out-of-date as well. Even though they had lived through the Depression and the Second World War, we all thought we knew better, didn’t we? Of course we did. And so does Chloe.
What is different is that, because we were brought up to respect all others, and particularly the older generation, we would never have made a statement like Chloe did. We may have muttered under our breath, or to our friends about how old fashioned our parents generation is, but no one would ever go public with it. And no one would ever make such a representation in parliament. It would be considered… gadzooks… disrespectful!
And the thought of a 16 year old autistic child telling the world how to behave would have been laughed into oblivion in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s. How a 16 year old with almost no life experience and with serious mental issues could possibly be considered as some kind of Messiah is totally laughable. Sorry, Chloe. You may think she is a hero. (Sorry, should that be a non gender specific person of heroic tendencies?) In reality, whether you like it or not, she is a damaged young woman, who needs help, not heroism. If anyone is likely to end in a screaming heap, it is Saint Greta.
But we boomers already know that… and we feel sorry for Greta, obnoxious though she is, because she is a damaged child. We understand that.
Just one final thought, Chloe. It is awesome being woke. We were all the equivalent of ‘woke’ in our day, with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Cream, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones (to name but a few) all screaming it out for our generation. Actually, I forgot to mention The Who, who really did scream it out for My Generation. Yes, Chloe, it has all been done before. You are nothing new.
But here is the scary stuff, Chloe. Baby boomers vote. We were taught to do so by our parents who either witnessed, or understood the importance of suffrage, particularly for women. They told never to miss the opportunity to vote. And we have always heeded that advice, Chloe. Because, our parents were right.
You just might want to think about that, Baby.