Chlöe Swarbrick says 'OK Boomer' reaction 'desperately bewildering'

Chlöe Swarbrick says she finds it "bewildering " her use of the "OK Boomer" meme has made international headlines.

The Green MP told an Opposition politician - believed to be National's Todd Muller - "OK Boomer" after he disputed her claim that the average age of Parliament is 49.

Video of her quick retort went viral on social media, made the 25-year-old a hero to Millennials around the world, and made drew international news attention.

The Washington Post called it a "glib retort often employed by Millennials and Gen Z" that flew over the heads of the few MPs present in the House at the time.

But in an opinion piece for the Guardian, Swarbrick wrote she's surprised that it was her meme that drew the most attention.

"It feels so desperately bewildering that the thing which made international headlines, amidst Aotearoa New Zealand’s debate on a law to bend down carbon emissions and do our bit to keep our planet below the 1.5C of warming required to keep life anywhere close to how we know it, was an innocuous two-word meme," she said.

"My 'OK boomer' comment in Parliament was off-the-cuff, albeit symbolic of the collective exhaustion of multiple generations set to inherit ever-amplifying problems in an ever-diminishing window of time.

"It was a response - as is par-for-course - to a barrage of heckling in a Parliamentary Chamber that at present turns far too many regular folks off from engaging in politics."

Chlöe Swarbrick in Parliament.
Chlöe Swarbrick in Parliament. Photo credit: Parliament TV

However Swarbrick's comment in Parliament left The Am Show host Mark Richardson unimpressed and he questioned if it was insulting to Baby Boomers.

"It's just so dismissive, isn't it?" he said on Friday. "It's that sort of intolerance and dismissiveness towards a generation who have a great deal of experience that you can call upon."

But Swarbrick says good comedy is supposed to "prompt reflection on privilege and power structures".

"When you close yourself off to new ways of looking at things; when you become conservative in mind - that being, a preference to shut down conversation and the potential for progress associated - you become intrinsically less likely to hold the requisite open, critical and creative ability to tackle unprecedented, evolving socio-political challenges," she wrote for the Guardian.

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