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.
This is going to sound harsh - but this post reminds me of Naomi Wildman saying "It's a small ship." She has limited basis for comparison. Still, you're an awesome person and I respect you. I just don't share your generalized assessment. Talk to me in a couple decades.
Tell me, can you actually argue any of the points I made? Or are you just going to continue waving your Kids These Days banner in my face? The truth is that the insights you had in your original post have been had by countless other people from every
generation in recorded history, and yet art and science continue to progress. You seriously lack perspective if you think the handful of years you have on me (or may not have on me -- I have no idea what age you are -- do you even know what age I am?) lend you any greater insight over a cultural phenomenon spanning all of recorded human history. Or are you arguing that people haven't
been whining about the devolution of culture for the past 2500 years?
That being said, I'll totally defer to your wisdom if I ever need to learn to drive a stick.