Friday, November 29, 2019

Five PERFECT Responses to the “OK, Boomer” Meme

On the prowl for a snappy, succinct rejoinder for the most famous putdown of 2019? Look no further, folks ...

By: Jimbo X

The first time I heard the “OK, Boomer” meme, my initial thought was “well, that’s pretty dumb.” But as the saying gained traction on social media, I undoubtedly had to reassess my initial thoughts on the matter. After all, if something works, it just plain works, and if nothing else, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to explore the efficacy of the motto, just as a cursory overview of contemporary psychosocial phenomenon.

The truth is, the “OK, Boomer” is every bit as successful as memetic warfare as the “NPC” meme, if not even better. Like all forms of identitarian propaganda, it’s effectiveness rests on four things: its brevity, its replicability, its adaptability and, most importantly, its merits as an articulation of an irrefutable truth about the mindset of the political other.

Even better, the fact that it seems to be a co-option of 4Chan iconography makes it all the more efficient and damning as an online putdown. It’s literally an example of one identitarian group taking the lexicon of the antithetical identitarian group and using it to to ramrod them with their own lingo. It’s a message so blunt yet so devoid of textual meaning that it’s almost impossible to respond to. Like the NPC meme, it’s a form of cyber combat that creates a tautology of sorts, a war waging method that makes anything the opposing side say meaningless or without merit by sheer default of their own existence

The political context of the “OK, Boomer” meme is pretty obvious. It seems as if the “boomer” meme itself — surely, you’ve seen that cartoon of the Monster Energy-sipping Wojack with the receding hairline before, right? — began as a reactionary in-group phrase to discredit/slight anyone in the inner sanctums of 4Chan whose ideas or viewpoints were considered outmoded or overly-nostalgic. In a rather poetic twist, the term also appeared to be frequently used as  a pejorative to describe Trump supporters on online segments like /pol/, whose views were seen as too pro-Jewish and too pro-Establishment for the in-group’s liking. That the “boomer” in that context was almost always depicted/projected as a 60-something, morbidly obese pop-Republican seems to have carried over into the left’s re-appropriation of the term, indicating that, partisan politics aside, there does seem to be some granule of intrinsic truth to the iconography.

While there has been MUCH brouhaha over the alleged “ageist” connotations of the phrase, it seems quite clear to me that the “boomer” phrase also contains an explicitly classist element as well. Just take a gander at this “Trump Voter Starter Pack,” which obviously is meant to belittle and demean the other side as poor, obese, alcoholic, uneducated idiots — a rather odd mockery, especially coming from a political contingent that oh so vehemently claims to be a supporter of the underclass, with an especially pronounced distaste for fat-shaming. 

Of course, the utilization of the “OK, Boomer” term isn’t explicitly a meme meant to automatically disqualify opinions of the age group born between 1944 and 1964. In fact, the term seems to be applied to virtually anyone who disagrees with the hyper-progressivist hivemind, regardless of their age. A 23-year-old Trump supporter, by default, can be quieted by the “OK, Boomer” retort just as easily as a 65-year-old can — in a way, it almost seems like the term is being used as a linguistic Star of David patch to publicly identify the social other … a peculiar practice, indeed.

But like I was saying at the beginning of the article, if something is effective in practice — regardless of its theoretical components — it remains effective in practice. It’s a term that no doubt pisses off anyone assailed by it, perhaps doubly so because, as of the moment, there is no clear-cut rejoinder to the phrase. You just can’t respond by saying “OK, Zoomer,” or “OK, Millennial.” That’s like somebody on the playground saying your mom is so fat, she rolled over a Super Nintendo and made four Game Boys, and you responding by saying that his mom is so fat, she rolled over a Super Nintendo and made five Game Boys. Just redirecting the epithet doesn’t work, and indeed, only serves to make the initial utterance all the more damning and damaging.

Crafting a comeback to the “OK, Boomer” meme means using the same elements that make it so effective. It has to be brief, it has to be repurposable, it has to have high memetic value and, most of all, it has to strike a nerve in the other by trudging up an undesirable — yet irrefutable — truthhood about themselves. Always remember, that last part is key — unless it strikes a raw nerve right away, it just plain won’t work as an internet riposte

Which brings us to the main attraction. Below, you’ll find five TIIIA tested-and-certified “OK, Boomer” retorts that we firmly believe will put any smart aleck back in their respective places, online or off. Of course, we advise you to spread these out during your communicative sojourns, and as always the case, mixing and matching verbal barbs isn’t just recommended, it’s totally encouraged!

“Shh … adults are talking.”

This one is concise, succinct and a lot of other adjectives that mean “straight and to the point.” If the zoomer is going to belittle someone and automatically disqualify another’s opinion based solely on his or her age, turnabout, as they so often say, is fair play as a motherfucker. This insult/retort works on the same footing as the “OK, boomer” meme, instantaneously demarcating the object of ridicule as someone whose opinion has no validity/substance based simply on their age/maturity level. Even better, it also seems to imply a certain level of social power distance between the “OK, boomer” sender and the “OK, boomer” recipient, which in turn seems to negate the “OK, boomer” utterance itself as insignificant prattle from people who genuinely have no idea what they’re talking about. Or, to put it in more operational terms, it just plain works as an all-purpose rebuttal to the meme du jour of 2019.

“401K, Zoomer.”

This one adds an additional level of social power distance and really sticks it back to the “OK, boomer” sender. This riposte implies that the “OK, boomer” sender either doesn’t have a retirement plan or has a very lackluster one, especially compared to the target of the meme. So not only does it represent a quick and clever about-play on the “OK, boomer” boilerplate, it also works as a sarcastic advice towards someone who is more than likely financially illiterate on the topic of retirement savings. And any time you can remind a person that their pool of knowledge isn’t as deep as they like to think, the better … especially if you can throw in a little bit of personal wealth superiority while you’re at it.

“That right, I just got done boomin’ your mom 30 minutes ago.”

If all else fails, very rarely does calling someone’s mother an unrepentant, disease-ridden whore not give you an upper hand in linguistic combat. In this scenario, the presumed age discrepancy between the “OK, boomer” sender and “OK, boomer” recipient actually works out in favor of the latter, since the presumed age gap would likely put the recipient in a similar reproductive age window as the sender’s mother — thus, making the accusation that one put his or her penis matter into the sender mother’s nether regions moderately more believable than if someone closer in age to the sender made the same claim. And as we all know by now, there simply IS no verbal response to finding out someone who isn’t your father is actively pounding your mama’s puss box — and like shit kids today are going to have the backbone and sense of honor to even challenge anybody to a chivalrous duel to the death anymore. 

“OK, non-homeowner.”

A response that works on very much the same wavelength as the “401K, Zoomer” riposte. If some young whippersnapper is going to give you lip for not being in the same age bracket as they are, then why not turn the equation back around and give it to them for not being in the same socioeconomic bracket that YOU are in? Again, the best memetic responses are the ones that bring up a simple, albeit brutal, truth that the intended target can’t deny, refute or dismiss. This one basically says “enjoy talking mad shit to strangers on Twitter, sonny — meanwhile, I’ll go enjoy the three-story home I bought for $75,000 20 years ago while you pay $1,400 a month to live in a one-bedroom shoebox.” Hey, if ageism isn’t going to be off-limits, we might as well make blatant classism fair game, too, shouldn't we? 

“Shut up, cunt.”

I guess you could call this one the last resort card, but to be totally honest with you, I actually think this one ought to be a more common internet riposte in general. We live in a society where everybody believes their feelings are sacrosanct and that they have some ordained legal right to not have their self-esteemed bruised, and the younger generation seems to be especially keen on the self-absorption. Thus, what better way to jar ‘em out of their nominal safe zones by calling ‘em a bunch of worthless twats to their faces? In that, “Shut up, cunt” is an especially impactful retort, not only indicating that aforementioned social power distance, but also targeting the one truly sacred thing idealized by the “OK, boomer” sender — their own elevated sense of self-worth. Telling them “Shut up, cunt,” isn’t just a metaphorical assault on their ego, it’s also a hard reminder than their sense of self-importance doesn’t actually measure up with their actual social worth, no matter how much virtue-signalling and like-mining they do on the Facebook and Twitter. The same way the “OK, boomer” meme is meant to highlight the complete insignificance of one’s musings based on their age range, the “Shut up, cunt” meme operates by directly assaulting one’s self-worth based on their age range AND their overall unimportance to the general cultural framework. Of course, the ensuing indignation from whoever is assailed by the riposte only reiterates the blunt power and genius of the putdown — deep down, the people who are offended by being told to “Shut up, cunt,” are more than likely people who lamentably recognize that they are in fact cunts, and that they indeed need to shut up about matters and subjects they have practically no insight into


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