Tim Krohn

“OK boomer” is the slang phrase used by millennials to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the baby boomers and older people in general.

It’s already becoming a bit tired from overuse, but it’s a funny line. Anything to needle the generations above you is fair game.

Younger generations chiding the generations above them started when the second generation of humans was born hundreds of thousands of years ago. Early teen Homo sapiens often mocked their parents for sucking the marrow out of the end of woolly mammoth bones when the kids discovered that a rock worked great for breaking the big rib bones apart.

It’s hard for any later generation to top the so-called Greatest Generation, because, well, they’re called the Greatest Generation. They grew up during the Great Depression and then won World War II and went on to create an economic boon and live in nice subdivisions. Tough to beat that.

I always felt especially bad for Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979. Those latchkey kids, who returned from school to an empty house, were jammed between boomers and millennials and never made much of a splash as a generation because boomers and millennials tend to suck the air out of the room.

Boomers haven’t exactly been slouches when it comes to improving the world. They came up with the remote control, computers, put an end to a lot of once deadly conditions, passed civil rights reform, built artificial hearts.

But I guess boomers have plenty to account for as well. Waging wars on borrowed money, passing a lot of tax cuts and public spending on borrowed money. Ignoring climate change. Making Richard Simmons famous. Letting giant banks and corporations run free, causing the Great Recession.

While different generations enjoy jabbing each other, the fact is generations have always learned from one another. Younger generations come up with new ways of doing things and rebel and change the status quo. Then they get a little older and start respecting some of the stuff the generations before them did. And the older generation eventually realizes that actions the younger ones took, such as protesting the Vietnam War or letting gay people live their lives like anyone else made sense.

So, OK millennials, we really do wish you good luck in fixing what we boomers helped mess up. You have lots of good ideas and a lot of spirit.

And we’ll respect you even more once you stop living in your parents’ basement.

Tim Krohn can be contacted at tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com or 507-344-6383.

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