- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A millennial politician in New Zealand’s Parliament used the newly trending insult “OK, Boomer” Tuesday to shut down a heckler interrupting her speech about climate change. 

Chlöe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old Parliament member, dropped the barb while giving a floor speech about a new bill aiming to make New Zealand carbon emission-free by 2050.

“How many world leaders, for how many decades have seen and known what is coming, but have decided that it is more politically expedient to keep it behind closed doors? My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury,” she said.

“In the year 2050, I will be 56 years old. Yet right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old,” she continued, during which inaudible heckling can be heard in the video.

“Ok, Boomer,” she said quickly before resuming her speech, using an insult which has gone viral in the last few weeks as a way for millennials to dismiss complaints from people of the Baby Boomer generation as out of touch.

Ms. Swarbrick doubled down on using the insult in an interview with the New Zealand publication “Stuff,” calling it a “simple summarisation of collective exhaustion,” adding she and other millennials are tired of Boomers telling them they’ve ruined everything and to “pull our socks up, or something.”

“It’s better to acknowledge that perhaps energy is better spent elsewhere,” Ms. Swarbrick said in a statement. “That rallying cry is the relatively innocuous ‘okay boomer’.”

She also defended her use of the jab in a Facebook post, saying “Boomer” is a reflection of what the older generation has been using on millennials.

“Today I have learnt that responding succinctly and in perfect jest to somebody heckling you about *your age* as you speak about the impact of climate change on *your generation* with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad,” Ms. Swarbrick wrote.

“So I guess millennials ruined humor. That, or we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and abstain from avocados. That’s the joke.”

The insult — which gained international popularity after reporting from The New York Times — has been criticized as being ageist, including from conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry who called it the “n-word of ageism” in a now-deleted tweet this week.


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