George Carlin's brilliant 'whiny Boomer' rant was decades ahead of its time

"OK Boomer" is a catchphrase that has come to perfectly encapsulate the generational divide in modern American politics. It has also led to some moments of pure comedy gold.

But it turns out that one of the great all-time standup comedic minds was literally decades ahead of the game when it came to dragging Boomers for selfish, hypocritical, and entitled behavior. In his 1996 stand up special "Back in Town" George Carlin devoted a glorious two minutes and twenty-seven seconds to putting Boomers in their place.


"A lot of these cultural crimes I'm complaining about can be blamed on the Baby Boomers," Carlin says, beginning what would become a now legendary rant.

"I'm getting tired of hearing about Boomers," Carlin continues. "Whiny, narcissistic, self-indulgent people with a simple philosophy: 'GIMME IT, IT'S MINE!' 'GIMME THAT, IT'S MINE!' These people were given everything. Everything was handed to them. And they took it all: sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and they stayed loaded for 20 years and had a free ride."

"But now they're staring down the barrel of middle-age burnout, and they don't like it. So they've turned self-righteous. They want to make things harder on younger people. They tell 'em, abstain from sex, say no to drugs; as for the rock and roll, they sold that for television commercials a long time ago...so they could buy pasta machines and Stairmasters and soybean futures."


George Carlin at a book signing for Brain Droppings in New York City at


Or, as one person on Reddit commented on Carlin's video: "My feeling about baby-boomers is that they were one of the first generations to really adulate and idolize the idea of youth, and youth empowerment but when they themselves reach senior ages their own ideas were working against them so they changed to demonizing youth."

But Carlin wasn't done there. He says the Boomers have not only become hypocrites, they turned their own generational shift into cutthroat, corporate catchphrases that guilt and shame others who don't comport to their world view.

"You know something? They are cold, bloodless people," Carlin says.

"These people went from 'Do Your Own Thing' to 'Just Say No.' They went from 'Love is All You Need' to 'Whoever Winds Up With the Most Toys, Wins.' And they went from cocaine to Rogaine."

Carlin's bit concludes in epic fashion with an all-encompassing take down that applies to, well, literally everyone. But the next time you hear a Boomer ridiculing young people or defending their own legacy, just show them this clip and remind them that Boomer criticism is something that transcends age, gender or race. Heck, even if you're from the Boomer generation, this clip is just too good to not enjoy and share.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less