Let’s can­cel ‘OK, Boomer,’ hum­ble­brag in 2020

Orlando Sentinel - - EXTRA FAMILY & LIFE - By Leanne Italie

NEW YORK — Ei­ther loudly sing your own praises or don’t in the new year, but let’s leave the hum­ble­brag be­hind, along with a few other over­sat­u­rated, cloy­ing or just plain silly cul­tural quirks that de­serve a big good­bye.

Among them are pop-up shops, can­cel cul­ture and the ever-present “OK, Boomer” re­tort on so­cial me­dia. With much ado about some­thing, here’s our an­nual “Over It” list of things that should re­main in 2019:

Dou­ble-wristing: Wear­ing two time­pieces has been around since the 18-cen­tury dandy and his dou­ble pocket watches, in­tended to cul­tur­ally el­e­vate as op­posed to mak­ing sure he was re­ally, re­ally on time. Later, Mar­lon Brando pulled off the two-wrist tango but, you know, he was Brando. Young celebs have caught on, Chris Pratt, Johnny Depp and Drake in­cluded. Th­ese days it’s all about the dig­i­tal add-on, plus a state­ment piece. Can you see our side eyes?

Email re­ceipts: First, huge thanks for your outof-of­fice re­sponses. Those are gold, but please stop ask­ing for re­ceipts. Learn to live with the sus­pense like the rest of us as to when we read or do not read your mis­sives, ei­ther email, text or oth­er­wise. The same goes for when we most likely do or per­chance, do not, delete said mis­sives at our con­ve­nience. Our in­box. Our rules.

Hum­ble-bragathon: For the truly hum­ble, we ap­pre­ci­ate you. For the pas­siveag­gres­sive, not so much. Mer­riam-Web­ster sums up the hum­ble­brag nicely: “To make a seem­ingly mod­est, self-crit­i­cal or ca­sual state­ment or ref­er­ence that is meant to draw at­ten­tion to one’s ad­mirable or im­pres­sive qual­i­ties or achieve­ment.” Just own your­self. The dic­tionary ti­tans say the term has been around since 2002. It was later pop­u­lar­ized by the co­me­dian, TV pro­ducer and writer Har­ris Wit­tels, who died in 2015.

Pop-ups: There’s one for ketchup. There’s one for ice cream. There’s one for “Friends.” There are tons with the sole mis­sion of sell­ing you merch, as op­posed to sell­ing you merch while also be­ing mildly en­ter­tain­ing. The Busi­ness of Fash­ion notes that Ama­zon and other dig­i­tal dis­rup­tors have con­trib­uted to tra­di­tional re­tail­ers clos­ing thousands of stores. The prime but empty real es­tate is up for grabs on short­term leases for ever-ro­tat­ing ten­ants. Pop-ups are now a “strat­egy” on both ends, from com­mer­cial land barons to the sell­ers of goods, lux­ury to goofy. Some aren’t mad about it. We’re all popped out.

Can­cel the cancelers: There’s noth­ing wrong with call­ing out bad be­hav­ior, a bad per­son or bad prac­tices, es­pe­cially the kind that are truly threat­en­ing and make peo­ple feel un­safe. There is most def­i­nitely some­thing wrong with the mob men­tal­ity that swirls on so­cial me­dia unchecked. The can­cel cul­ture is of­ten stoked by sheeples with no in­ter­est in drilling down to truths.

Mean for mean’s sake or 100% will­ing to gulp gos­sip is not cool. We say, think be­fore you can­cel. We need can­cel truth. Unite!

Boomer back­lash: Once upon a time in Meme­land there was an older dude who trashed mil­len­ni­als and Gen-Zers for Peter Pan syn­drome. For that, younger folks have de­clared 2019 the year of “OK, Boomer,” as in baby boomer. Not that the yoots and their pe­jo­ra­tive for in­tran­si­gence, in­tol­er­ance and tech pho­bia among their elders is en­tirely wrong, mind you. It’s just time to calm down a bit. The phrase “OK, Boomer” has a richer his­tory. As the leg­end goes, it sur­faced on Red­dit in 2009 and on 4chan in 2015. Ac­cord­ing to The Bos­ton Globe, TikTok videos with the “OkBoomer” tag have been watched more than 44 mil­lion times and count­ing.

Is it the end of the line for in­flu­encers? Greg Petro, writ­ing for Forbes.com, de­clared in Novem­ber: “Con­sumers, es­pe­cially younger ones, are los­ing trust in paid in­flu­encers and look­ing in­stead to or­ganic grass­roots com­mu­ni­ties where their like-minded peers are shar­ing con­tent and commentary about brands and prod­ucts they ac­tu­ally love.” Rock on, Greg! Side note, ex­actly how many fol­low­ers does one need to score an in­flu­encer gig? Ask­ing for a friend.

Every­body is look­ing for feed­back of all kinds, all the time. Don’t be so needy! Your sur­vey doesn’t just take “a minute.” You have all the reviews you need. If we had some­thing to say, we’d say it. We’re putting the in­ces­sant re­quests for ser­vice and pur­chase reviews and sur­veys high on the an­noy­ing list alongside the on­slaught of robo­calls.

Spousal gush­ing: It’s your an­niver­sary. It’s your wife’s birth­day. We get it. You’re mar­ried or you have an oth­er­wise sig­nif­i­cant other and you want your so­cial me­dia world to know all about how you ac­tu­ally feel about the big day, the big event, so you post a pic, and your words go some­thing like this: “To my an­gel spouse, the per­fect love of my life. You com­plete me.” The re­al­ity at home might be more like this: “If you eat my left­overs, I will end you!” Or maybe true love is alive and flour­ish­ing. Love is grand, but in the words of 4-yearolds the world over: “Ewwwww.” In the words of far more cyn­i­cal grownups, “Get a room!”


Mer­ram-Web­ster ti­tans say “hum­ble­brag” has been around since 2002. Reviews and sur­veys:


Ac­tor Chris Pratt dou­ble-wristing on “Jimmy Kim­mel Live.” In­flu­encer fatigue:

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