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Title: The real meaning of ‘OK Boomer’
Source: Spiked
URL Source: https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/ ... the-real-meaning-of-ok-boomer/
Published: Nov 13, 2019
Author: Jennie Bristow
Post Date: 2019-11-14 01:19:42 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 1767
Comments: 63

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Over the past few weeks, the ‘OK Boomer’ meme has gone viral, leading to an offline epidemic of earnest commentary. The whippersnappers of ‘Generation Z’ have taken to TikTok – a social-media platform that seems to be about sharing chill-ironic lip-synching video-selfies – with a flurry of music, artwork, and follow-on merch responding to criticisms of the youth of today with the admonition that older generations should STFU.

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Being of the generation that grew up with VHS, audio tapes and landlines, I don’t really get the TikTok thing. It’s cute and funny when my kids use it, and even ‘OK Boomer’ has its moments of mirth. One viral example is a video of white-haired man in a baseball cap and polo shirt droning on that, ‘The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don’t ever want to grow up’, and a studious young woman deftly designing a sign in response that reads ‘OK Boomer’.

So far, fair enough. The only thing more annoying than young adults blaming their parents for everything is the idea that kids have a responsibility to socialise themselves. Peter Pan syndrome among millenials is the product of a culture that is persistently infantilising young people, hobbling their opportunities to develop independence and blunting their aspiration to grow up. From infancy, today’s kids are trained to regard every slight or criticism as a threat to their own – or somebody else’s – mental health or self-esteem. Young children are discouraged from playing outside without adult supervision. Older adolescents are schooled in the importance of seeking professional support for all the emotional difficulties and life transitions that come with growing up. It is not surprising that they react against being labelled as ‘snowflakes’ by the very society that has instructed them in this way of thinking and being. OK Boomer, indeed.

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If only we could leave it at that. Unfortunately, this silly meme has been bounced into mainstream political and media debate to provide yet another opportunity for self-righteous claims that older generations have stolen their children’s future. Politicians, commentators and campaigners are relentlessly transmitting the message that adults have messed up the world for their kids. ‘OK Boomer’ deftly captures the sentiment that everything adults say is not worthy of debate, only summary dismissal.

As such, the meme merely follows a script that has been played out in a range of present-day political dramas – including those around climate change, the Brexit vote, and the election of Donald Trump – to shut up those whose values, attitudes and priorities are seen to represent ‘the past’. It is a script routinely deployed by people of all ages, who are so wedded to the rightness of their own cause that they arrogantly appropriate the voice of ‘future generations’ to put their claims beyond debate.

That is the spirit in which Chlöe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old MP for New Zealand’s Green Party, said ‘OK Boomer’ in a parliamentary debate about climate change last week. It wasn’t a joke, she explained in the Guardian:

‘My “OK boomer” comment in parliament was off-the-cuff, albeit symbolic of the collective exhaustion of multiple generations set to inherit ever-amplifying problems in an ever-diminishing window of time. It was a response – as is par-for-course – to a barrage of heckling in a parliamentary chamber that at present turns far too many regular folks off from engaging in politics.’

Leaving aside the question of what Swarbrick might mean by ‘regular folk’ – presumably, right-thinking graduates – it is worth noting the speed with which a silly meme has been filled with such deep meaning.

Proclaiming that the meme marks ‘the end of friendly generational relations’, the New York Times reports that: ‘Now it’s war: Gen Z has finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality.’ The teenagers currently milking the ‘OK Boomer’ meme – in some cases, for money – are elevated to the status of prophets, engaged in ‘their own little form of protest against a system they feel is rigged’.

Eighteen-year-old college student Nina Kasman is flogging the slogan on a range of single-use tat – from stickers and socks to water bottles and notebooks. She told the NYT that she was driven to producing OK Boomer merch ‘because there’s not a lot that I can personally do to reduce the price of college… which was much cheaper for older generations who then made it more expensive’. From there, she extrapolates:

‘There’s not much I can personally do to restore the environment, which was harmed due to the corporate greed of older generations. There’s not much I can personally do to undo political corruption, or fix congress so it’s not mostly old white men boomers who don’t represent the majority of generations.’

Frustration with ‘the system’ is channelled not towards political action but into making a quick buck. These young entrepreneurs seem impervious to the contradictions within their arguments, to say the least.

Twenty-year-old college student Jonathan Williams is credited with writing and producing the ‘anthem’ of the OK Boomer ‘movement’. The song ‘goes out to all the 65-plus crowd on SoundCloud’ and is peppered with the refrain ‘old ladies suck’. But it’s not really aimed at old people, the NYT assures us:

‘In the end, “Boomer” is just a state of mind. Mr Williams said anyone can be a boomer – with the right attitude. “You don’t like change, you don’t understand new things especially related to technology, you don’t understand equality”, he said. “Being a boomer is just having that attitude, it can apply to whoever is bitter toward change.”’

Swarbrick has also used this argument that ‘Boomer is a state of mind’. This, apparently, lets self-styled generation warriors off the hook: they have nothing against old people, so long as they agree with young people! And if not all young people parrot the same script about stolen futures and impending doom – which they don’t – they can be dismissed as Boomers, too.

All of which shows that, at the end of the day, this debate has very little to do with actual generational differences. As I argue in my book, Stop Mugging Grandma, the ‘generation war’ that supposedly defines our times is not about a clash between young and old. Instead, it masks disagreements over politics, values and ideas about the future. It has the character of an unseemly fancy-dress competition, in which claims-makers compete to see who can appear most like the twentysomething ‘voice of the future’, thereby appropriating the hopes and fears of young people, and using them for their own ends.

The generation war is a proxy, lip-synched conflict, in which the more young people are talked about, the less they are actually listened to. (1 image)

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#24. To: Vicomte13 (#13)

There hasn't been slavery or Indian wars since 1930, or 1900 for that matter, in the USA, unless one wishes to call prisons "slavery" or "slaughterhouses". But that's a bit hyperbolic.

Racial segregation wasn't abolished until the Civil Rights movement of the late '60s and still persists among small communities of bigots & mental midgets to this very day....

Willie Green  posted on  2019-11-20   14:49:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#23)

Sounds like a man with demons. Many have them. I don't recall him singing about meth or urging his audience to use it.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-20   16:18:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: Vicomte13 (#25)

Is he a role model?

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-20   16:44:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#26)

I don't recall him holding himself out as a role model. I recall that he sang a lot of songs about pain, and that we knew he was a tormented soul. I recall he lived out his love with June Carter in public, that she rejected him publicly more than once, that when they married it was tempestuous, with separations and other problems, and that Cash and Carter lived all of that out on the stage before the public eye, because there was nowhere to hide.

I don't recall him as a role model so much as a guy with a lot of pain, that came through his songs, and so did the love, and the simmering violence. Not a role model, a...mirror....for the pain and frustration and mistakes and demons, and really difficult love affairs and marriages that so very many people go through.

Johnny Cash wasn't a guy you wanted to BE, he was somebody covered with scars and flaws who sang about what he WAS, and that resonated with huge numbers of people because that's what WE are. Maybe not YOU, but millions of people. I see some of myself in his songs, especially those love songs and duets with June.

Role model? No, not really. Who wants that pain? Who wants to be unlucky in love? Who wants to be rejected on stage? And who hasn't been, in some fashion? It fucking hurts. Johnny Cash sang about that real pain, from his own soul, and people could relate. I was young, and even I could. "Yeah, that's what that feels like."

Bruce Springstein sang in a different genre, but some of his songs were the same. "I'm On Fire", or :Dancing in the Dark" came from the same place that "Walk the Line" and "Jackson" did, just through an electric guitar.

I think that maybe you are a strict moralist in all things, and you don't like public figures to have demons and flaws, or to sing about them, or certainly to be popular for exposing them. I am less perfect than you, having my own flaws and demons. I don't see Johnny Cash, or Bruce Springstein in his "downer" songs, being a LEADER, but as a fellow spirit. Life is hard. Love is hard. They hurt. Music doesn't really dull the pain, but it mellows it, and the shared popularity of some of the most famous songs of men with problems reveals that we've all got them.

You see a Judas Goat, I see a guy in the same boat, but with a guitar and the talent to sing about it.

I don't see anything wrong with that.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-21   7:02:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#23)

Johnny Cash was a better man than you are. I'd hang out with Johnny. I'd flush you down the toilet. You're a hateful deceived asswipe.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-21   7:58:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: A K A Stone (#28)

Johnny Cash was a better man than you are. I'd hang out with Johnny.

Peromischievous leucopus = VxH, former poster.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-11-21   8:36:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#30. To: Deckard (#29) (Edited)

Yep. That's what I was thinking. Then he talked about Felix confirming it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-21   9:04:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#31. To: Vicomte13 (#27)

I don't recall him holding himself out as a role model

The parasites in the music bidness used him as one.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-21   23:07:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#32. To: A K A Stone (#28)

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-21   23:12:54 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#33. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#31)

I think they used him to make money.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-22   6:58:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#34. To: Vicomte13 (#33)

I think they used him to make money.

Money being a capitalist abstraction, like derivative a$$paper denominated in quadrillion, that, too often, facilitates predation.

That'd be what puts the Useful in Judas Goat Useful Idiots like Johnny CASH.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-22   8:44:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#35. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#34)

Listen to some good music.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-22   9:11:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#36. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#34)

Of all of the men on which to hang the sins of corporate greed and leading the decline of society, Johnny Cash seems like a singularly poor candidate.

It reminds me of the hyper-evangelicals who read the "forbidden fruit" of Genesis as telling us that to eat fruit is a sin. "Woe unto the melons!"

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-22   9:18:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#37. To: Vicomte13 (#36)

as telling us that to eat fruit is a sin.

Nobody ever said that to you. Be honest.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-22   9:20:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#38. To: A K A Stone, Vicomte13 (#37)

Nobody ever said that to you. Be honest.

Psychosis is what the "entertainment" bidness was really selling.

How's that workin' for the popular herd these days?

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-22   9:41:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#39. To: A K A Stone (#35)

A phony POS right to the end -- CASH, the Grifter in Black, didn't even write that song.

[ON THE RECORD: Why Johnny Cash felt so 'Hurt'

Q: The song “Hurt” was one of Johnny Cash's last songs. ...

A: “Hurt” was actually written by Trent Reznor of the alternative industrial rock band, Nine Inch Nails. It was included on the “Downward Spiral” album released in 1994]
rapidcityjournal.com/blac...ae-bf39-1bb0d058f1bf.html



Yaaaaawn.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-22   9:56:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#40. To: A K A Stone (#37)

Nobody ever said that to you. Be honest.

It was a parody, to make a point. You're right, NOBODY believes that. And I can't believe that ANYBODY, including VxH, really believes that Johnny Cash is a "Judas Goat" who led society to perdition.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-22   10:19:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#41. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#39)

Presidents have speechwriters. Does that render them all charlatans when they give speeches, because they don't credit the person who wrote the words by name?

Why am I even arguing this?

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-22   10:20:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#42. To: Vicomte13 (#40)

Ok.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-22   10:21:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#43. To: Vicomte13 (#41)

Johnny Cash never said he wrote the song. He gave credit. I've known since this song came out it was a nine inch nails song. Dont take this as a negative towards you Vic.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-22   10:23:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#44. To: Vicomte13 (#41) (Edited)

Why am I even arguing this?

Evidently because it's all you've got to defend Johny Cash, the meth-tweatking crossover Judas Goat who the parasites in the Music Bidness used to make a profit on the steps of the Temple of the Grand Ol' Opera.

He was tweatking, when tweatking wasn't cool!

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-22   11:47:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#45. To: A K A Stone (#43)

Dont take this as a negative towards you Vic.

I don't. Thx.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-22   14:03:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#46. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#44)

Evidently because it's all you've got to defend Johny Cash, the meth-tweatking crossover Judas Goat who the parasites in the Music Bidness used to make a profit on the steps of the Temple of the Grand Ol' Opera.

He was tweatking, when tweatking wasn't cool!

Excitabat fluctus in simpulo. - Cicero

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-22   14:05:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#47. To: Vicomte13 (#46)

Excitable boy they all said - Zevon

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-23   10:31:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#48. To: Vicomte13, A K A Stone (#46) (Edited)

Consider the role that Entertainers, especially Rock Stars, play as prophets in post-modern culture.

www.google.com/search?&q=...ainers+as+modern+prophets

Who publishes the words in their mouths and for what purpose?

Imagine what the thespians in Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy"... could've accomplished with with Virtual HD and surround sound!?

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-25   17:36:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#49. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#48)

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-25   18:43:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#50. To: A K A Stone (#49)

And they're proud of it.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-25   21:35:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#51. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#48)

I respect the degree to which you respect the power of words. You are truly an idealist.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-25   23:43:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#52. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#50)

And they're proud of it.

What are they proud of?

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-26   6:50:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#53. To: A K A Stone (#52)

The volume of traffic on their highway.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-26   11:04:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#54. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#53)

The volume of traffic on their highway.

www.theguardian.com/music...y-to-hell-all-four-lanes- of-major-perth-highway-to-be-close-for-festival-of-acdc-covers

You don't have a clue what the song is about.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-11-26   11:39:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#55. To: A K A Stone (#54) (Edited)

I was dancing to covers of that song in 3.2 beer bars in 1979.


I have more of a clue about the work-product those emasculated Judas Goats produced than you evidently do about how to post a link.

LOL.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-26   12:05:30 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#56. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#53)

Alright, so, my favorite music of all time - the "If I were stranded on a desert island with a solar-powered record player but only one record, what would it be" record, would be: Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975. And if I were only allowed one more record, it wouldn't be a different group, it would be Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2.

To me, the Eagles are the Gold Standard of modern music.

So tell me why this has led me to perdition.

If I were allowed a third album, it would be Billy Joel's "The Stranger".

A fourth album: Gordon Lightfoot's "Summertime Dream".

Fifth: Jimmy Buffett's "Songs you Know by Heart".

Girl bands: Linda Ronstadt (yeah, I KNOW you're going to take aim at that), and Blondie.

Rock Opera: Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

So, there you go: Eagles, Joel, Lightfoot, Buffett, Linda Ronstadt, Blondie and Rice & Webber.

You will probably be able to sort through that and explain where I have been led astray, and why. Have at it.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-26   16:49:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#57. To: Vicomte13 (#56) (Edited)

To me, the Eagles are the Gold Standard of modern music.

I'd almost agree if it weren't for Dan Fogelberg's "Innocent Age" edging them out.

Like many other groups, the Eagles had their foray into things spiritual - a common citation being their association with Carlos Castenda.

FWIW, I think Henley is right on target:

"They're not here, they're not coming

To this garden we were given
And always took for granted
It's like my daddy told me, "You just bloom where you're planted."
Now you long to be delivered
From this world of pain and strife
That's a sorry substitution for a spiritual life"
--Don Henley

I suppose the degree to which anyone was led to perdition by the Eagles might correspond to the degree to which their spirituality either didn't exist (and was a void to be filled) or was founded in religious sand to begin with.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-27   10:59:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#58. To: Vicomte13 (#56)

Linda Ronstadt (yeah, I KNOW you're going to take aim at that)

Beautiful talent exploited by the predators in the music bidness who kept her wobbling along with cocaine.

Glenn Campbell was in the same boat.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-27   11:01:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#59. To: Vicomte13 (#56) (Edited)

Lightfoot

One of my biggest influences.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-27   11:11:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#60. To: Peromischievous leucopus (#58)

Glen Campbell was on cocaine? I did not know that.

Linda Ronstadt really had a voice!

I just remembered Laura Branagan also. Unusual for an alto to be so successful. I liked her stuff too.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-11-27   11:23:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#61. To: Vicomte13 (#60) (Edited)

Glen Campbell was on cocaine? I did not know that.

Yep. Likely contributed to his Alzheimer's - and Ronstadt's memory issues.

www.google.com/search?&q=...en+Campbell+Alzheimer%27s

A band gets a bar tab not so they can drink, but so they can buy drinks for the audience - and get the alcoholics primed and spending.

It's really an ugly bidness behind the facade.

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-27   11:33:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#62. To: Vicomte13 (#56)

Linda Ronstadt (yeah, I KNOW you're going to take aim at that)

the Eagles are the Gold Standard of modern music

No, I'm gonna take aim at the Eagles. Witchy Woman? Hotel California? These songs made me want to puncture my eardrums.

Billy Joel, okay. We Didn't Start The Fire. When my home schooled millennial kid heard this song he dove in head first. To this day you do NOT want to ask him about "Belgians in the Congo"...

watchman  posted on  2019-11-28   16:02:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#63. To: watchman (#62)

Billy Joel, okay. We Didn't Start The Fire. When my home schooled millennial kid heard this song he dove in head first.

"Piano Man", one of his first hits was IMHO his best song.

Witchy Woman? Hotel California? These songs made me want to puncture my eardrums.

Well, I wouldn't go that far but neither of those is on my top 3 Eagles songs. The occultic "Hotel California gets my vote as worst Eagles song ever.

"Take It Easy", "Already Gone", and the mostly a capella "Seven Bridges Road" are 3 that stand out.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-11-28   20:00:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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