I was quite amused Fleming's article. It was a satire, right? Farce? He is serious?
Fleming, I believe, has gotten his story turned around. Artists have not forsaken society, it is society that has forsaken artists.
American society tends to look askew at those who follow the arts. An artist must take on the personality of an underground fugitive. It is no wonder some choose to ignore the audience; in a sense the audience has ignored the artist. Or on the opposite end and of the spectrum, if a person attends operas, society tends to label them as rich and snobbish. I may be snobbish about opera, but when opera is performed in Los Angeles I dream of sitting in the good seats. If college students can only recite lyrics from pop songs it is not from disdain of poetry but lack of exposure to modern poetry. Students should be exposed to modern culture at school and, dare I say, at home.
Popular culture is not the stuff of which a lasting society is based upon. It may express the currents and feelings of the day, but it is "highbrow" art that will preserve society through the ages.