'OK, boomer': New Zealand MP hits out at parliament age gap

Cartoon of generations

And rather than stop everything to address the heckles, she did what anyone of her generation has learned to do when confronted with climate deniers.

In internet parlance, "OK boomer" is a derogatory phrase used primarily by the next generations to show their indignation towards older people deemed indifferent to their concerns.

During her speech on climate change as Swarbrick spoke about the Zero Carbon bill, which focuses on reducing net carbon emissions in New Zealand to zero by 2050, the 25-year-old told an older lawmaker "OK, boomer" when she was interrupted.

"Yet, right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old".

However, some also wondered what she could have actually meant by "OK, Boomer".

'OK, boomer, ' explained: Why are Gen Z and millennials calling out boomers on TikTok?

The phrase - which refers to the baby-boomer generation - has gained popularity among young people on social media in recent months as a way of brushing off the views of older generations perceived to be out-of-touch, condescending or closed-minded.

Swarbick said later in a Facebook post that people were upset about her remarks. Swarbrick went on to acknowledge that "you can not win a deeply polarised debate - facts don't matter".

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"Today I have learnt that responding succinctly and in flawless jest to somebody heckling you about *your ageyour generation* with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad".

Nevertheless, Swarbrick saved the best dunk for last: "So I guess millennials ruined humour", she added.

"It's better to acknowledge that perhaps energy is better spent elsewhere", Swarbrick told Stuff. "That, or we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and abstain from avocados", she said.

New Zealand's Parliament TV wasn't in on the joke, either. The parliament's social media team later issued an apology. Its closed captioning transcribed the Swarbrick's retort as "okay, Berma".

Needless to say, the Baby Boomers are pissed.

Though "OK, boomer", began making the digital rounds some time in early 2019 - or at least early enough for someone to remix it into a song in July - the phrase finally hit the cultural stratosphere in late October, when the New York Times presented a deep dive on the topic.

Contributing: Joshua Bote, USA TODAY; Ryan C. Miller, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

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