The Benchwarmers is probably the stupidest movie I have ever watched. A classic in the nerd retribution genre, it has developed a cult following since its release in 2006. If your are unfamiliar with this imbecilic masterpiece, it is a juvenile car wreck of bodily function jokes, offensive humor, and little league baseball. Think of it as Velveeta for the brain.
One of the characters is an agoraphobic and heliophobic adult nerd who lives in a closet. Several non-PC jokes are made about his reclusiveness. This is OK because – ha, ha, ha – nobody would actually live like that.
Well, actually, an estimated 1.5 million Japanese do. Known as Hikikomori, literally “pulling inward, being confined”, these young hermits – average age 31 – isolate themselves in their bedrooms for months or years. Causes are unclear, but it appears that helicopter parenting, the education system, and modern communication technology are significant contributing factors. This phenomena is not limited to Japan. While not as reclusive, the UK also has a problem with withdrawal among young adults. They refer to it as NEET: Not in Education, Employment, or Training.
Have we (speaking as a parent and educator) raised a socially incapable generation? Leave a comment.