Chapter 1: Ok, Boomer
"The CHIPS! The CHIPS!"
Steven banged on the counter rhythmically, shouting into the shop. After just a few seconds Peedee popped up behind the counter.
"Ssshhh, keep it down!" he cried. "Dad's taking a nap so I have to hold my own for a few hours! Don't make my job difficult, Steven!"
Puberty hadn't been awfully kind to the youngest Fryman. His face had become a constellation of red zits, and at current his record was fifteen voice cracks in a single sentence.
He held out his hand. "That's four dollars."
Steven gaped. "What! You raised the prices."
Peedee shook his head. "If you're upgrading to proper fries they're gonna be more expensive, Steven."
"Fine," he grudgingly agreed, and handed over the bills.
At that moment, his phone buzzed, and he took it out to find the screen lit up with an image of Pearl. One of her first selfies, he remembered fondly—she had taken the phone into her room, insisting on privacy, and when she emerged thirty minutes later, Steven found on it a collection of extremely poised portraits, every single one of them a unique angle and setting. In this one, she sat perched on the edge of a fountain, gazing wistfully into the distance.
Steven answered. "Hello?"
"Steven! It's getting dark. Please be home soon."
"Pearl. . ." he suppressed a sigh. "It's only eight."
"And you need your beauty sleep! We still have missions to attend to, remember?"
"And Beach City isn't known for its low crime rate! We should know, we've been patrolling this town for decades."
"Okay, fine," he relented, and again checked the time. "I should be home in twenty."
"Thank you! We'll see you then!"
"I love you!"
"I love you too."
He hung up and shot Peedee a helpless look.
"What'd she say?"
"I need to be home in half an hour."
Peedee whistled. "That's rough. Doesn't she think you can take care of yourself?"
"She just gets worried. She's. . . protective."
Peedee gazed at him for a moment before breaking out into a grin. "Hey, you know, I could give you a discount on these fries."
Steven raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Totally! I just want you to do something for me."
Steven groaned. "Of course. What."
"I want you to call Pearl a Boomer."
Steven grimaced. "Seriously?"
"Hey, you want these for free? Then do it."
"Okay, okay, fine," he conceded, and snatched the money back with the fry box. "But if she doesn't like it, I'm blaming it on you."
No sooner had he walked in the door that he had been overwhelmed with requests.
"Steven, can you test out this shield for me?"
"Steve-o, do you want this apple core or can I have it?"
"Steven, come check out our new meep-morp!"
"Steven, are you free tomorrow to help me study?"
He looked at Connie in surprise. "I thought school was over?"
"Not yet," she sighed. "Still one week to go. And an exam on Thursday."
Cautiously, he turned to the others. "Bismuth, I can test your shield out tomorrow morning. Yes, Amethyst, you can have that. And Peri, I'll see if I can make time tonight. I just need to organise a few things first."
"Like what?" the green Gem scowled.
"Like homework," he replied. "Online courses, remember?"
It was at that moment Pearl entered from the staircase. Without a moment of hesitation she noticed him and spoke. "Steven, can you clean your room?"
She'd been in his room again? This was why he'd had it walled off! Didn't she understand the concept of privacy?
He just stared blankly at her for a moment, fries still steaming in his hands.
She tutted. "Come on! Chop chop!"
That was it. He had absolutely no regard for the consequences and no regret for what he was going to say next.
He levelled her with a neutral stare. "Ok, Boomer."
Everything went quiet for a moment.
Connie hid her smile behind a hand.
Pearl appeared gobsmacked. "What did you call me?"
"A Boomer," he repeated, eyes fixed on her.
Amethyst burst into guffaws.
She looked at Amethyst. "What's so funny?"
"It's so true!" she crowed, wiping at her eyes.
"What?" Pearl glanced between them, confused. "Boomer? What?— Is this a human thing?"
She looked at Connie, who nodded. "Baby Boomers."
"Oh!" Her eyes lit up. "Baby Boomers! The generation born between 1944 and 1964. 'Gen X'." She raised an eyebrow at Steven. "You know I was made well before that. I don't understand what you're implying."
"He's calling you old, P," Amethyst sniggered.
She blinked. "Well, he isn't incorrect."
"Oh, I've heard this one!" Peridot piped up. "Boomer! It means a generally an annoying, middle-aged human with conservative views!"
"Annoying?" For a moment, Pearl looked hurt, and then she gasped, scandalised. "Middle-aged?" She looked down at herself in horror, and then the worst dawned on her. ". . . Conservative?"
"Oh boy," Amethyst mumbled.
Pearl drew a deep breath and, pointing a finger at Steven, she exploded. "Conservative! In all my years I have never been afforded such an insult! I detest authority! I am a rebel, I am a criminal, I am a knight—"
"Who put you up to it?" Connie whispered, leaning over to him.
"Peedee," he admitted, defeated. "He gave me fries—"
"Never would I—and have I—yielded to such degrading standards since my education! Conservatism is corrupt, at its extreme right it amounts to fascism—to dictatorship—to think a person would ever willingly submit themselves to such an ideologically absurd regime!—to allow oneself to be indoctrinated in a political game of cat-and-mouse, subject to violence and threatened into obedience—"
"How long will she go on for?" Steven asked Amethyst meekly.
She shrugged. "She's gone on for hours about it before."
Connie left three hours in. Steven did not get any sleep that night.
Chapter 2: political issues (A/N)
The following review was left by a Guest on FanFiction:
Hi, a bit late to this, but I thought I'd drop my two cents (which I hope doesn't come off as an "hours long" wall of text rant since I'm just a talkative and wordy person).
First off, I find this idea funny and get the intent behind it, but I think a few things need to be said.
For one, I'll say that conservatives technically just want to "conserve" the status quo. Even "liberal left wing progressives" become "conservative" for what they've accomplished, unless they think that they must "progress" even further left. (Or conversely the "reverse direction" of "technically non-conservative regressives" who want to alter the status quo to go BACK to stricter times.)
To say this in a single saying: "Today's 'liberal progressives' are tomorrow's 'conservatives'".
Or inversely: "Today's 'conservatives' are yesterday's 'liberals'".
Now the latter statement doesn't always hold true, as there are still a good number of far right fascists and monarchists. But compared to the standards of 100, 200 years ago? The majority of "conservative" ideas of then were monarchism and dominance of the church while the majority of "liberal" ideas of then were "democracy/republic" and "separation of church and state". But once again, what was the "mainstream liberal" position of then is now generally "conserved" by the moderates of both left and right wing ideology. Compare to the 1900s and present wher...
The rest was cut off in the notification email, and unfortunately FanFiction hasn't loaded the actual comment :( But I'd like to thank "Cycles" for their informative review on my work. As a Modern Historian myself, I totally agree with all of their points.
I definitely appreciate the ambiguity of the term "conservative" and the stereotypes associated with right-wing politics. As they've said, conservatism is the protection of certain values as opposed to revolution, and once even a revolutionary has enforced their ideologies, they may become conservative as a means of protecting their values.
And, of course, conservatism comes from both the right and left wings, even though conservatism is more generally associated with right and revolution associated with left. And the only reason this is so is because right-wing political ideas have been prominent in many of the world's industrial cultures through monarchy/fascism*/dictatorship, as they have stated, and the people in power in these societies have of course protected their values as a means of staying in power - which has had conservatism manifest as a stereotype of the right-wing.
(*though, of course, fascism is more of a subset of dictatorship.)
Because this is a crackfic, of course I've largely simplified these ideas and stuck to stereotypes for a more humorous effect, but I greatly appreciate their input. Political awareness is becoming of increasing importance in our world and I thank them for ensuring my FanFiction (and now, all) readers are not left ignorant!