We’ve all seen the celebration of mediocrity that youth sports leagues have become in this country: everybody gets a trophy.  Some leagues don’t even keep score any more.  (You can bet that the kids do.)  We’ve heard the stories of high schools who have ceased naming a valedictorian, because it’s just not fair that one person should get all that recognition for his hard work.  But this takes us beyond saving Johnny’s self-esteem.  This is a whole new level of “MY CHILD DESERVES THIS!!” parenting.

From the Times Online:

The stage was set, the lights went down and in a suburban Japanese primary school everyone prepared to enjoy a performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The only snag was that the entire cast was playing the part of Snow White.

For the audience of menacing mothers and feisty fathers, though, the sight of 25 Snow Whites, no dwarfs and no wicked witch was a triumph: a clear victory for Japan’s emerging new class of “Monster Parents”.

For they had taken on the system and won. After a relentless campaign of bullying, hectoring and nuisance phone calls, the monster parents had cowed the teachers into submission, forcing the school to admit to the injustice of selecting just one girl to play the title role.

Parents are not only pressuring teachers to give their children what they don’t deserve, they plot and scheme to do so en masse, to the extent that they force teachers to resign.  Check the article.

And as if this behavior weren’t bad enough, the reason given for it by the Times?

The sudden switch marks what many believe is the symptom of deeper social troubles at the heart of Japan, a transformation that took root during Japan’s long economic downturn of the 1990s and whose effects have only now erupted.

People are behaving like selfish brats because of the economy?  This is not a matter of money; this is a matter of the heart.  People in the US blame crime on poverty.  Really?  Our grandparents survived The Great Depression without the crime levels that we see today.  It’s not about poverty.  It’s not about the economy. 

I guess it’s easier to blame the government than take a good look at yourself, and take responsibility for your actions, no matter where you live.