I bet we could take a sample from every generation of someone bitching about how culture is degrading, starting with Plato (which is the is the earliest example of which I know), through to today, and prove something
-- though I doubt it would be the perpetual down-spiral into buffoonish mediocrity the authors attempt to project.
This is going to sound harsh, so I want to preface it by saying that I mean no disrespect, because many people whom I admire greatly throughout history have expressed the same viewpoint as the OP and some other people in this thread, however, it is indeed the very prolific nature of this observation that demonstrates how ridiculous it is. Honestly, I find the question funny -- the notion that simply because pop culture doesn't suit one's tastes means we are living in some kind of cultural and artistic dark age is so blatantly egotistic and so void of perspective as to be laughable. Pop culture always
regresses to the mean. That's why it's popular! If you're too out of touch to find the awesome, innovative, and intelligent art, music, and drama that's being made these days then, like these seemingly endless rants about the seemingly endless devolution of humanity, it says more about you than it does about anything else.