Think of the legal, moral and societal changes that have redirected behaviour over the past 40 years. Never-ending!
Here is a fresh example. Australia's most successful comedy export, Barry Humphries, plays a pivotal role, as does Melbourne, the red centre of Australia.
The Melbourne Comedy Festival has dropped the name of its "best in show" award. "The Barry" is no more after Humphries made comments about transgenders in the Spectator magazine last year.
He said: Being transgender is "a fashion. How many different types of lavatory can you have? And it's pretty evil when it's preached to children by crazy teachers".
This at the same time as another comedian at the festival — Isaac Butterfield — is telling Holocaust jokes. Ah, "but as long as they're clever", nothing is off the agenda, according to Australian comedian Michael Shafer in an interview with the Weekend Australian .
There is, however, a much more challenging but related matter. In 2012, a funeral home in Detroit, Michigan, elected to let an employee go. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued Harris Funeral Homes, claiming discrimination based on sex.
On April 22 this year, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Harris Funeral Homes' case, which will decide whether federal agencies can rewrite federal law. The result could have long-reaching consequences.
Here are the background essentials. The funeral home had dress requirements for employees and issued clothes accordingly. Skirt suits for females and pantsuits and tie for males.
The male employee concerned had dressed accordingly until he advised he was from hereon intending to dress and present as a woman. The employer responded that this "would not be in the best interest of the grieving families it served".
Legally, this is where it gets interesting. The EEOC had a political objective, i.e. changing the law by replacing "sex" with "gender identity", according to a lawyer for the funeral home.
The aim was to bypass Congress and completely change the meaning of the legislation, the lawyer says.
Sex and gender are not the same. Thus, an example of the Administrative State attempting to override the democratic process.
Let's accept that, at this time and place in political evolution, society has backed itself into a corner through its own stupidity. Let's accept that we live in a world which is far more accepting of individual differences than it once was.
But there is a reluctance to recognise that compromise needs to work both ways. Do we then say that employers who have legitimate regulations for the benefit of their customers, the business image, their reputation, even survival, must adjust their rules to satisfy the whims of one individual?
Common sense dictates the obvious, but common sense is a dwindling commodity.
Two different stories caught my attention this week.
Here's a quote from the Herald : "Schools are gambling with our children's future— taking a punt on new ways of teaching, for which there is not much hard evidence of success". That should send a shiver up your spine.
Rote learning has been replaced in most primary schools ... and traditional subjects such as science, technology, social studies and arts are being managed into student-led "inquiries".
I recall a geography teacher who came from England. He was young and very amusing, except when he was serious. And he was serious when it involved a point he thought was important.
I have never, ever forgotten, be it temperatures or rainfall, "there is no such thing as normal. It is average. Today it is five degrees above average. Get it ?" Great teacher.
Anyway, the aforementioned changes have been introduced over 20 years and guess what? Kiwi kids' performance in international surveys has declined.
Of six comparable nations, New Zealand students in Year 5 consistently bottomed out in reading, maths and science. As American kids TV host Professor Julius Sumner Miller used to say: "Why is it so?"
The second story, from the US, quotes presidential candidate Kamala Harris wanting to raise teacher's pay. "They're raising our children", which is all you need to know.
Teachers should never be raising other people's children, that, as it happens is the parents' responsibility.
In California, the state is introducing LGBT indoctrination in public schools under the California Healthy Youth Act.
Back to the Herald story for an explanation. Briar Lipson, former British teacher now with NZ Initiative knows the answer. "The progressives and romantics that have a stranglehold on education, particularly teacher training, in the anglophone world have changed the purpose of schooling, particularly primary school".
Isn't that where enthusiastic teachers are committed to creating inquiring minds, engaging brains and launching aspiration through inspiration.
Earlier this year, a retired teacher (let's call him John) of my acquaintance received a letter from an ex-student thanking him for life-changing inspiration. John shed a tear. John thought charter schools were good, but the Education Minister thought otherwise. That way it's easier to provide the circumstances which saw children walk out of school to protest climate change — what Australian magazine Quadrant called a "Carefully Miseducated Generation of Climate Warriors". Striking result.