Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
There’s a new saying in town: “ok, boomer“.
If you haven’t heard or read it yet, you will.
But, you know, speaking as a boomer…
If you are a member of the over-thirty un-cool crowd (in which case each of the terms I just used would have a certain “feel” of your own youth and cool-ness especially for those on the upper-age end of the crowd), you may have noticed a certain chronological regression of the sayings in my title in an attempt to point out in as few keyboard strikes as possible that, indeed, “everything old is new again”.
You could also have caught on that each crop of new kids on the block has its own way of the age-old push-back against, well, old age.
Specifically, their parents’ old age.
Generally, any of the older age groups who represent the un-cool rules, the stodgy standards, the moldy-oldy ways of thinking and behaving.
As Gen X-ers might put it, “Dude!”
Translation: “dude” as, in my view, the all-time; all-purpose; singular or plural; noun, verb, adjective, or adverb; slang expressing angst, joy, desire, or boredom that wins the linguistic prize (called The Dude), if there were a contest and a prize, in the category, “best in slang short-shorts”.
But the young will find out soon enough.
One day, they, too, will look in the mirror and realize, oh no! a gray hair here, a crow’s foot line there!
On any given day or dark stormy night, alone or in a crowd, they will realize, all of a sudden, they have just been thinking seriously about a word to the wise they agree with from the dusty archives of the ages–and the agesters–that, lo, just yesterday was so uncool, stodgy, and moldy…
(But it’s okay, kids. You’re still likely on the way-green side of arthritis, occasional irregularity, low impact sports, and reader glasses, etc., so no worries.)
Although, admittedly, the meme du jour “ok, boomer” is kind of cute, and doesn’t seem to have much nuance outside of the usual developmental demarcations where generations collide, I don’t think there’s anything to panic about concerning what some regard as “the n-word for ageism”.
Awareness, experience, knowledge and wisdom tend to catch up as birthdays speed by, and combined, tend to clear things up a bit with regard to the realities of both ends of the life cycle as well as all phases in-between.
Anyway, I think few seniors will sign up for permanent victim status (in our time remaining?) based on the latest in, dare I say it, groovy slang, upcycled by keyboard jockeys to memes and hashtags.
Not to mention #enjoyingretirement.
As long as knowledge, experience and wisdom continue to keep the race aware and afloat, for the most part, we can weather the young and, I believe, for the most part, they can weather us.
If it gets worse, well, that will be just another “sticky wicket” (British sports slang, ca 1882) to contend with because societal outliers will always be out there, well, lying in some context to make a buck, win a vote, or get into the “in crowd” (if you know what I mean).
But if you want to be truly (oooo, can’t resist this one) hip to the jive (ca 1930s), here you go, from a well-crafted, up-to-the-nano-second article in today’s Washington Post written by Molly Roberts who writes for the WP on technology and society. She includes a sniff from what might be her demographic as well.
Meanwhile, if, like me, you just want to step aside from all the political schlomitical and have a little fun to soften the hard edge of today’s world a bit, I invite you to enjoy the video*, below. It sums it up in music.
And don’t forget the bonus video based on another old slang term: ‘s wonderful (Gershwin, ca 1927).
The video ‘s exceptional, really, if you go for the gold of Ella Fitzgerald’s smooth pipes and great big bands with all the shiny brass!
*Song (ca 1974) written by Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager. Here is more history and an old rendition:
The saying comes from much further back: “there is nothing new under the sun,” as in, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (#eccesiastes1:9, #BC).
**BONUS enjoyment: here’s Ella Fitzgerald with her rendition of the Gershwins’ lyrical and musical genius wrapped up in all the glory of big band jazz:
Shocked emoticon from http://www.sherv.net/shocked-emoticons.html