The other day I went shopping in a garden centre. You know, one of those very large ones that require a map to navigate. Why I was there is of no importance; the fact of the matter is that I was there, and that I got lost. In my own –very human- hubris, I had decided to not follow the clearly laid out path. Some shops are so very vast that they recognize the maze they are to the shoppers (Ikea as the most prominent example of these gargantuan chain stores), and they create a route. A shopping route, which is made for only one purpose: to stop people from getting lost. Well, anyone who knows me knows I do not like being told what to do. Besides, most of the times these routes are designed to make people want to spend more money. These expertly crafted mazes of products will lead you past so many alluring things that you will end up spending a fortune on things you don’t really need. Only people with the most strong self control can resist. I have enough self knowledge to know that I am not one of those ironclad people, so I thought –in my pride- that I would be able to find my own way out. Apparently I do not have enough self knowledge to know that this was a stupid idea. And so, as the old saying goes: pride comes before the fall. I ended up being hopelessly lost, and spent about 2 hours longer in the store than I meant to. One might say that is time wasted, but I say that that time can be spent in contemplation. So while I was stranded in aisle 1573 with no hope of salvation, I did what anyone would do: I took out my phone. If I was going to perish in an obscure garden centre, I might as well do it laughing. So I went to my social media platform of choice and prepared for an avalanche of fresh new memes. What I found did not disappoint.
I hope at least most of you are aware of the ‘ok boomer’ meme? Absolutely hilarious if you ask me. For those of you who do not know of this, allow me to explain. For years now, the ‘baby boomer’ generation has made fun of, ridiculed and judged the later generations, namely Millenials and Gen Z. This ridicule was mostly centred around the lines of: “Millenials are the most lazy generation”, or “All new generations do is complain about the economy and climate change”, or my personal favourite “The Gen Z generation is too sensitive” (this is mostly said in relation to protests against inequality, be it financial, between genders or religions etc.). Millenial or Gen Z retaliation consisted of explanations on how climate change is actually a problem, and that although there has always been inequality in the past, there shouldn’t be anymore in the future. Arguments from the ‘baby boomers’ usually stem from the old “But in the good old days we didn’t do anything about these problems either, and everyone was still happy then”. As you can see, there is quite a bit of controversy. Because the arguments of Millenials and Gen Z were rarely listened to (as claimed by Millenials and Gen Z) and often discredited as oversensitive dramatics, these younger generations changed their tune and created a slogan that could be said as an answer to all ‘baby boomer’ argumentations. And so ‘ok boomer’ was born. It is equal parts condescending and disregarding, which makes it genius. It is a silent salute to the fact that even though ‘baby boomers’ might ignore the younger generations plights, they will not change their opinions because these ‘baby boomers’, in their pride and refusal to take action, might pressure them to do so. Because as we all know: pride comes before the fall.
Some context: ‘Baby boomers’ are people that are born between approximately 1946 and 1964.