It seems to me, that the hard facts of our changing economy mark a dramatic equivalent - one that is (for the student of history) all too reminiscent of the panic that set-in, subsequent to the collapse that led into the Great Depression.
We now know that an "Era" has ended for the United States of America …but we don’t know what is going to come...
It remains that we all have two choices:
We can lock ourselves behind facile rationale (by promoting happy-talk, or by ignoring the news).
We can join into challenging conversation (to decide what needs to be done, and do it).
Change is never perfect. Change means re-invention.
And until something that "works" has been re-invented, we will have no idea what the specification may be. As for me, I am quite capable of feeling a strong preference for something entirely NEW (admittedly, for reasons which reflect my own ignorance), and that is likely to add greater risk to the formula.
We all need to become "good" at disguising that gloomy scenario to ourselves -- to overcome fear. Because most of us automatically tend to create a rational cover-story - which we (then) learn to believe. The stance doesn’t solve problems nor author the diplomacy of mediation and middle ground. We are (after all), ALL in this together.
Meanwhile, what we see on TV is not vulgar, and prurient, and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar, and prurient, and dumb. Television is the way it is, simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar, and prurient, and dumb interests (and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests, or the absence of same).
History teaches. History repeats itself.
Art, including the Performing Arts (all culture) will be first to take the hit. Not unlike Tinker Toys and Tribes, the assemblage is weak, and the few survivors were quite naturally, all the more vulnerable in the first place.