Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?
Sorry, no. He (?) has good taste though!
Of course there was literature produced in this period. But do you still read any of this stuff (language is no counterargument, Tolkien did e.g. translate Beowulf into modern English)?. Take theatre, as far as I know before Shakespeare there were only mystery and morality plays who were probably of far lower quality than the few remaining plays of classical antiquity.
Same with philosophy. You don't miss anything when you jump from Greek philosophers to Spinoza unless you really care about all that theological-philosophical Middle Age stuff.
Do I personally read any of it? Not regularly, but then I don't regularly read Ovid or Chris Marlowe either. Is it read though? Um... yes. In high schools even; I read Chaucer and Beowulf (I'd like to read Tolkien's translation one day; Seamus Heaney has a great translation) right alongside Sophocles and Shakespeare.
"Nonviolence means... you not only refuse to shoot a man, but you must refuse to hate him." - Martin Luther King, Jr.