This article originally appeared on VICE US
“OK boomer” has hit the highest levels of government.
Chlöe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old member of Parliament for New Zealand’s Green Party, threw down perhaps the most devastating “OK Boomer” in history while delivering a speech this week calling for drastic changes to climate policy.
“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 [climate change] behind closed doors?” she said. “My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury.”
Swarbrick continued: “In the year 2050, I will be 56 years old. Yet, right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old.”
But right as she mentioned her age, one of her colleagues in Parliament butted and heckled her. Swarbrick wasn’t having that.
With surgical precision, she dropped a swift deadpan “OK boomer,” and moved on to her next point.
In case you’ve missed it, “OK boomer” has become a popular retort among Gen Z to older folks who just don’t seem to understand anything. You know, things like technology and climate change. It’s an especially popular meme on TikTok, and has spread into millennial usage (Swarbrick is a millennial).
And it has taken on a political life as well, with one teen telling the New York Times the phrase is for “outdated political figures who try to run our lives.”
Swarbrick said some weren’t happy with her quick joke in Parliament. But she defended her use of a pretty harmless phrase.
“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,” she wrote on Facebook. “So I guess millennials ruined humour. That, or we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and abstain from avocados. That’s the joke.”
Cover: Chlöe Swarbrick, New Zealand politician, entrepreneur, and Member of Parliament in New Zealand, shot at the St. Gallen Symposium 2018, University of St. Gallen, 4 May 2018. | usage worldwide Photo by: Tobias Schreiner/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images