Bill Bouldin

Bill Bouldin

I got Boomered. Took me completely by surprise.

There I was, happy as a clam, participating in a Facebook review of a new fast food joint, when out of nowhere I got a reply of “Okay, Boomer.”

At first, I thought someone had mistaken me for an Oklahoman, but I could not imagine any connection. 

A little Google research later, and I learned I had been ambushed by a segment of the population which has had it up to here with Baby Boomers.

Whether they’re Millennials, Generation X’ers, Gen Y’ers, whatever, they’re tired of taking a back seat to those of us born just after World War Two. And they’re expressing that umbrage by dismissing us all with a derisive “Okay Boomer.” 

Okay, folks, I get it. Your nose is out of joint because the world catered to our every whim for all those years while we were the biggest demographic bloc on the block.

You felt neglected and disrespected and now that we’re not so numerous, you feel free to flip us off with a contemptuous “Okay, Boomer.” 

Fine. I’m tempted to say we’ll just take our toys and go home, but we really can’t do that and wouldn’t if we could. 

But here’s a short list of what you’d miss if we did.

YOUR VERY EXISTENCE. While the gift of the preceding generation to us Baby Boomers was thermonuclear warfare, we decided it was a Bad Thing, writ large, and best to be avoided.

And avoid it we did, with Mutually Assured Destruction, Peace Through Strength, B-52s, Polaris missiles and a cool finger on the button. And here you are. Literally.

YOU STILL HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT. And one that is getting cleaner and more productive by the hour. Can we do better? Surely. We leave that to you. (And stop calling us Shirley. Airplane.)  

NO MORE POLIO. No more smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, Bubonic Plague or whooping cough, either. Most members of Gen X and Gen Y never heard of infantile paralysis, never shivered at photos of vast hospital wards filled with crippled children, never shuddered at the sight of an iron lung.

There’s something to thank God and the Boomers for.

BOB DYLAN, THE BEATLES, THE BEACH BOYS, THE BEE GEES, BUDDY HOLLY, BO DIDDLY, BONNIE RAIT, BOB SEGAR. And that’s just the Bs. We gave you Rock n Roll and everything that flowed from it - from music, to fashion, to cars, and even to The Joy Of Sex. A simple “thank you” would be in order here.

GARY LARSEN AND GARY TRUDEAU. Both are blessings we didn’t deserve, but for whom we are thankful. And you should be, too. 

MOVIES. Yes, they were around before we got here, but we wove them into the fabric of our lives. Think Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

NO TATTOOS - We decided we could not improve on the wonder of the human body, just the way it came from the Maker.  

ALL THE WONDERS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED. Mobile phones, the Internet, the Ethernet, Apple II, DNA fingerprinting, the Jarvik 7 implantable artificial heart, Viagra, the ambulatory infusion pump, the portable dialysis machine, the Segway Personal Transporter, optical character recognition and text-to-speech technology, the Kurzweil 250 musical synthesizer, the Flex-Foot prosthesis, controlled drug release technology, synthetic skin products, the nanoscale motor, the Universal Serial Bus port, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and naturally colored cotton.

But for us, you would have none of that. You’re welcome

And before you decide to drop another “Okay Boomer” into the social discourse, remember the adage we Boomers grew with:


INTERESTING HOLIDAYS THIS WEEK: Jan. 26 - Spouse Appreciation Day; 27th - Bubble Wrap Enjoyment Day; 31st - Backward Day, or Yad Drawkcab. Enjoy.

Bill Bouldin, a Virginian by birth and a Son of Texas by nature, is a former Air Force pilot and veteran journalist who has spent many tale-weaving years on the Texas-Mexico border.

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