Still on the subject of Innaloo: The McDonalds there was the scene of an altercation filmed on a mobile phone that was ultimately reported internationally. Basically some drunk girls were being antisocial and throwing their food around. One older bloke was disgusted, got up and confronted them.

This event, as well as many I've seen with my own eyes, shows just how much society has changed in the last several decades. Sure, there were always drunken, antisocial idiots. But there are certainly far more of them now than there used to be.

And what's unusual in this case is the fact that someone actually did something about their behaviour. Usually people just suffer in silence.

I think there are two reasons for this. Firstly, onlookers are afraid of getting attacked physically. Obviously females are not the most frequent perpetrators of violence, but they're certainly capable of it. Just a few days ago, for example, a fight between two women on a bus near Hilton was also uploaded to YouTube.

And if the louts in question are male, you've really got to watch out. Once, when I was on a bus going into the city one afternoon, I asked a bogan who was playing his music loudly to turn it down. I said it pretty snarkily, I suppose. But what amazed me was that he got up out of his seat almost immediately, ready to thump me -- egged on by the girl who was sitting next to him.

Backing away, I reminded him that he was being filmed by security cameras and he restrained himself. But I learned not to do that again. There are so many "ready blokes" in this city now, you've really got to be careful.

The other reason so few adults will attempt to discipline youths these days is because they're worried that they themselves might be the ones accused of wrongdoing. Rather than children respecting their elders, adults are afraid of children! And the kids know this.

Concern about a false accusation of sexual harassment or assault by a teenager is widespread, and with good reason. I think everyone has this fear but it's much greater when it comes to men who contemplate disciplining young women, which is what happened in this case.

If the protagonists in this stoush are ultimately identified and the story keeps getting media oxygen, I won't be surprised if the girls make some accusations against the bloke. He used strong language and manhandled at least one of them, after all. I think his behaviour was perfectly reasonable under the circumstances, but I suspect the law might not see it that way.

It's a truly sad situation, and not confined to Perth, of course. But when you grew up here as I did, and remember what life used to be like, then such changes are all the more noticeable -- and depressing.

UPDATE: Lost of traffic coming to this post. Some thoughts on why this is the case.