Generation consternation

January 10, 2020

Hello, loyal fanbase. I have crawled out of my cave to once again bring you the content you so desire. Seeing as how we have just entered a new decade and changing and aging are on our minds, I will aim to settle a classic argument, leaving it behind forevermore.

I like to think of myself as a hip, cool and in-touch youth—I keep up with (some) internet trends. One that has intrigued me is the rapid growth of the phrase “OK, boomer.” Intergenerational warfare is nothing new, but it arose so quickly and with so much vigor at the end of 2019 that it became impossible to avoid. So, who is actually worse: irreverent boomers or snowflake millennials? For that matter, what about those from the silent generation (silos) or Gen Xers or zoomers or little kids—who is the least tolerable?

“What are your credentials?” you may ask. Well, I am a zoomer, my parents are boomers, my siblings are millennials and I work with little kids. (Silos, while existent, will not really be talked about here, as their generational traits are linked almost entirely to their age, meaning every generation will be like that when older. Little kids, like silos, are almost entirely defined by their age rather than their attributes as a generation. I looked it up, and apparently people born after 2010 are called “Generation Alpha,” but that’s probably the most annoying thing about them). So, I will display a seeded tournament I ran to decide once and for all which generation is the worst, then I shall discuss the results.

The first round pitted zoomers against boomers. While this might seem like a close competition, I feel that the mere fact that zoomers are usually forgotten about in generational discussions as a whole speaks volumes. Even the nickname, zoomer, is derived from boomer. These terms are almost never endearing, so it should be pretty clear that zoomers, while pretty irrelevant, are, as a result, pretty tolerable. Zoomers are just suffering through middle school and high school and college, and we don’t really have time to launch a crusade against our elders (yet).

The second round pitted the Gen Xers against millennials. Gen Xers are probably the least offensive group due to their awkward placement between two much more culturally defined generations. Maybe they are worse than zoomers, but they don’t even compare to millenials, so the winner of this round was easy to decide.

So, here comes the controversial part. You all basically knew that it would be boomers against millennials in the finals. Boomers seem so blissfully ignorant of the seemingly irreparable damage they have inflicted onto the planet. A subspecies of boomer, “Facebook moms,” relentlessly poke fun at millenials for their thin skin and Internet addiction. “Boomer humor” has basically come to encompass any joke that makes sense but isn’t funny. Despite all of these things that make boomers so intolerable, in comparison to millenials, they might as well take the name “greatest generation.”

It is crucial to put this debate into perspective: What were boomers like when they were 20 or 30? Boomers were born into the Cold War, facing constant threats of worldwide destruction. They lived through and fought in the Vietnam War. And all that time, throughout the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s, they fought against powerful institutions like the government and the school systems and the media instead of turning on their predecessors. You never hear about boomers looking to their grandparents or parents and going “OK, greaties” or “OK, silos” because they realized that instead of starting an intergenerational conversation, it is just a cringey way of dismissing differences in opinion. Millennials face different, yet similarly, threatening global crises, but they blame an unfair amount of it on boomers—that’s what makes them so annoying. Sure, they can be overly-sensitive or belligerent at times, but when the subject that they are invested in matters, this is okay. What isn’t okay is dismissing a generation’s opinion when what you really hate are the institutions that just happen to be full of members of that generation.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re reading this article and thinking “OK, zoomer.” That’s actually pretty funny and serves as a clever, cogent retort to my argument. I guess if I had to sum up my point, I would say that every generation sucks. We all suck. Just try not to lump people together based on factors outside of their control––that’s what makes you truly annoying.

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