"OK boomer" started in car culture. Everyone else is just catching up.

Car counterculture is a powerful thing to come from this decade and it showed us the future.

1y ago

If you have spent any time on the internet in the last few months, you've probably noticed the "OK boomer" meme taking off. In case you aren't familiar, the younger generations are responding to anything based in an "older" philosophy of thought with a short, sweet, and effective "OK boomer." Memes are short but bright burning stars that keep the masses entertained for a few weeks at a time before being replaced by the next popular meme to come down the line, but OK Boomer is more than that. It has lasted longer than the average meme, and there is a deep backstory behind it.

OK Boomer is a major cultural milestone, and it started with the car enthusiasts

Understanding Cultural History

Every car cruise used to be old iron just like this.

Every car cruise used to be old iron just like this.

I remember the car culture of the late 90's and 2000's. I remember going to car cruises filled with the rumble of small block V8s drowning out the DJ stand playing Chubby Checker. I remember Saturday morning car shows on TV where some nondescript 28-52 year old white guy threw some shiny parts on a car. I was there, Gandalf. I was there 20 years ago.

Around 10 years ago, car culture changed in a major way. The 1950's based car car cruises and bland TV shows continued, but they've been joined by a powerful counterculture. In the last year, we've gained gems like Roadkill, Hoovie's Garage, the 24 Hours of Lemons, the Concours d'Lemons, the Gambler 500, and countless other automotive based shows and events. This new car counterculture is stunningly popular, and has shaken the old guard of car enthusiasts.

Current Car Counterculture - How did we get here?

Rusty wonders like this have become some of the most exciting things to see at any modern show, but it wasn't always that way.

Rusty wonders like this have become some of the most exciting things to see at any modern show, but it wasn't always that way.

This new wave of automotive shenanigans are typically based on cheap fun. For instance, look at Roadkill. At its core, it's just a few normal guys with no budget trying to have as much legitimate fun with cars as they can. The magic of that show, especially in its early years, was that hosts Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger looked like they were doing this for their own fun with the cameras being little more than a formality.

In case you're not familiar with the series, Roadkill revolves around the art of cheap cars and junkyard engineering. Seeing the shiny sponsored parts of other car shows is a rarity, being beaten out only the finest rusty parts found in the junkyard that day. It's a kind of entertainment that has exploded in popularity because it's relatable. This is where the numbers come in.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

When we look at the average incomes of Americans by age group, you'll notice that the "baby boomers" make a significantly larger amount of money than the younger age groups. On top of the income distribution, we also have to remember the current student loan norm where the younger age groups have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from their secondary education. In a weird way, this can explain the rise of Roadkill and others. Today's youth just doesn't have the money to buy the shiniest engine parts Chip Foose is installing on a $60,000 Camaro this week.

Car Enthusiasts Showing the Future

Roadkill and other low buck car entertainment rose over the last decade with the rise of the newest generation of car enthusiasts. This counterculture represent a fantastic and powerful rejection of the previous generations of car culture, just as the new generations of people grow old enough to find their independence and reject the older generations before them. This new car counterculture has been brewing for a decade, while the mainstream rejection of older "boomer" generations is a fairly new phenomenon.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps I'm waxing poetic and trying to connect reason and logic where there is none. Maybe the rise of car counterculture has different reasons behind it, and I welcome your thoughts as we try to figure out our crazy world.

I'm not convinced of every part of my theory, but I am sure two things. I am sure that the car community can be one of the earliest indicators of mainstream trends. I am also sure that one day, a new generation will one day come along to replace us, so understanding how we react with our elders can help us one day react with our replacements.

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Comments (4)

  • but no matter how many generations had passed, doesn't matter if you're older than walter rohrl or younger than mick schumacher. some car culture and traditions are undeniably too strong to reject:

    - nurburgring touristenfarthen / track days (hyped from dtm glorydays and endurance racing)

    - touge / mountain driving (hyped from initial d / keichi tsuchiya)

    - hwy street racing (hyped from wangan midnight / drag racing culture)

    - drifiting (hyped from japan / keichi tsuchiya)

      1 year ago
  • I know this is a little unorthodox and a bit deeper than what we may typically see on DT, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

      1 year ago
  • Ok boomer

      1 year ago
  • Altough it doesn`t seem like it "Boomer" is part of a agrupation of meme characters which include NPC.Doomer,Bloomer,Coomer,Boomer,Zoomer,Milenial etc... which were originally seen first (by me) in FlyingKitty`s Youtube channel, he is also responsible for bringing the Honkler meme to youtube which is destined towards fighting left-wing NPCs on real life, the NPC meme surely hit the right spot making a lot of them angry due to the extreme acuracy of it. And the Honkler meme is surely no diferent when it comes to show the harsh truths young socialists and comunists alike aren`t aware of, like in the berlin wall EVERYONE fled from the communist side of germany towards the capitalist side...HONK HONK! The honkler is also used towards showing any kind of truths everyone`s uncomfortable with, like a used 2nd hand ICE is far more practical and environment friendly than a basic city EV despite being "friendly" with the environment after being sent on a huge cargo ship vomiting C02 to the atmosphere.

    the "Ok boomer" meme is a unnoriginal stolen version of the "boomer" meme made by left-wing people which aren`t clever enough to create an original meme of their own so like comunists they steal it "for the greater good" and distribute them as theirs just like they tried to take NPC Wojak and turn it into their own meme. Fox is also trying to trademark "Ok boomer" to get profit from it and 4chan isn`t exactly taking it kindly since they`re one of the last places on the internet with actual free speech of all kinds without any kind of filters or PC moderation, The basis of free speech lets both points talks not taking either side just like with the force in Star wars.

    Apart from this short but deep Memeology lesson which I share for free on this comment, I would say that shows like Roadkill are making popular an older version of the Rat rod culture in which instead of a showroom shiny ford Anglia with a chrome blower we get a Rusty Slammed ford with classic wheels which does the same thing but with the junk aspect for far less money for it to look nice, It`s a pretty interesting derivation if you ask me, Just like the drift missile culture in which they don`t even bother to repair their cars.

      1 year ago