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The ‘OK, boomer’ arrogance strikes again

Four years ago I took issue with the phrase “OK, boomer,” and the resulting feedback is the most I’ve ever gotten regarding a column to date.

The Fix comments alone numbered almost 600, and there were many responses on social media — mostly unfavorable.

Of the negative reactions, the one with the most merit was how discipline and behavior have deteriorated over the decades. Indeed, a good portion of the blame for this falls on (mainly progressive) boomers and Gen Xers, the parents of centennials, aka Gen Z.

Not to mention, many of these folks now run our schools and universities.

A TikTok video made the rounds this week in which a Gen Zer, who based on her ID tag is named “Cat,” complains about how easy boomers and Gen Xers had it compared to her generation.

Cat’s shocked that Americans work 8-hour days/40-hour weeks for a good portion of their adult lives. This segues into her belief that Gen Zers are the only ones who can’t make ends meet working such hours.

“Twenty years ago when you were getting started, you could live on your own,” Cat says. “Twenty years ago when you first started, you were able to do everything that I am now struggling to do.”

She then states the obvious — that the longer you work, the more you can do. This somehow is supposed to be rip on boomers/Gen X … and then she emphatically notes she doesn’t want to work “the rest of her life” just to be able to barely pay her bills.

Cat concludes that boomers and Gen Xers also are responsible for the current economy in which she cannot participate — well, at least in the manner she wants.

MORE: DEI ‘scholars’: Older workers need to learn from Gen Z about racism

As noted previously, Gen Z enjoys more comfort and an overall higher standard of living than its predecessors. The Internet Age is behind much of that — instant information, instant communication, virtual learning, and virtual workplaces.

(Note that Cat made her video on a smartphone while in her(?) car. How much did the phone cost, by the way? What plan does she have for it … and how much does it cost?)

This era also is responsible for Gen Z being not so much lazier than previous generations (also about which Cat complains), but weaker.

The internet and social media have created a class of “keyboard warriors” who think they’re badass and tough … that is, until they encounter reality. Then they fold like Mike McDermott trying to fool Teddy KGB and throw crybully tantrums.

Look at any college campus protest. Gen Zers think they have the right to do essentially anything they wish, and the slightest pushback from school officials or law enforcement results in paroxysms of self-righteous disbelief (“How dare you do this to me??”).

At the same time, Gen Zers are eternally hyper-vigilant about any sort of perceived slight. They’ll sic a bias response team on you for chewing a Snickers the wrong way, for Heaven’s sake.

It’s all about feelings. This recent story perfectly encapsulates the “weak” and “feelings” aspect: Michigan State U. students protested the reopening of a hall at which three students were shot a year ago.

Protesters said the reopening was “negligent of students still recovering from the trauma of the shooting,” “not conducive to students being able to learn,” and that “support dogs and counseling services [are] not enough.”

Consider that Colorado’s Columbine High School, site of a 1999 mass shooting in which 15 were killed and over 20 were injured, reopened in two weeks.

And look how several UMass students reacted after being informed they no longer were eligible to study abroad this year due to participation an illegal sit-in protest: “It never felt right to me that I got arrested for that,” said one student.

A major Hollywood star even has taken notice of Gen Z narcissism. It’s also worth checking out the X (formerly Twitter) threads on the topic “Don’t hire college graduates.”



MORE: 25% of millennials suffer from PTSD due to Trump’s election

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.