There are two opposite tendencies in the development of culture and human spirituality. By the very definition of spirituality, it drives people to extending the domain of conscious assimilation up to the whole world, thus making them more universal. However, this development is not always straightforward, and, on certain stages of economic development, the destructive trend can dominate, which can result in the overall spiritual degradation and possibly in the annihilation of the human subjectivity as such.
Unfortunately, the present level of cultural development is not enough to ensure the immunity of human reason to such temporary retreats, and self-destructive tendencies can eventually strengthen to the point of no return. Humans are yet half-animals, and their primitive instincts can easily be manipulated and stirred up to entirely abandoning the human half proper.
Thus, a book (or a movie) relishing exaggerated violence, brutal force or a supernatural ability to get out of danger appeals to the survival instincts, and this can make it more attractive for an average person, since the state of permanent instability and fear characteristic of the capitalist society would push people to striving for mere survival, suppressing any higher desires; as a result, people become too engaged in search for shelter to rely on their spirituality, and they cannot even imagine the future free of the animal struggle for life.
The media's rage of sensation is of the same ilk. To sell better, newspapers wake the primitive instincts pretending that there is nothing beyond them. The news is replete with crimes, wars, dirty politics etc. Books and movies advance the cult of crude force. Why not consider instead a regular person living a conscious life in a truly human society gradually developing towards more cultivation? Is it because such stories would be too dull to sell? No, the reason is that they are too dangerous for the traders, since they undermine the very idea of struggle for life, and virtually annihilate the social system that grew from it.
Mass media and the major part of the arts cultivate a specific subculture that should rather be called anticulture for its utter hostility to any glimpse of reason. However, this subculture can never absorb the whole culture; artists, writers, scientists etc. are not necessarily well cultured, and they do not differ from the representatives of other professions in that respect. Currently, true culture stays mainly in the underground. I don't mean the official underground, which is nothing but yet another instance of anti-culture, but rather the implicit presence in cultural products and people's acts, while people may be unaware of these hidden traces of spirituality.