Now, I recognize that the above is a sweeping generalization. This generalization, however, directs us towards a dismal conclusion: we don't want to offend anyone with our musical art anymore; unless that offense is politically correct--and in that case it is only offending a segment of society which has been declared properly offended. It never use to be this way.
When Beethoven wrote his 5th Symphony, the lack of "melody" was offensive to critics. Mahler stretched the length of his symphonies beyond sensibilities. The premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring caused a riot. The dissonances of serial music, the strict repetition of minimalism, the ear shattering electronic experimentations--there were all aurally offensive; challenges to the listener and a true "experience" in performance. I remember the first time I hears Stockhausen's Kantakta live: it was like a sonic trip through hell--it grabbed on to you and didn't let you go until it had chewed you up and spit you out the other side. It was wonderful!
Even (or maybe especially) poplar music has lost its edge. The blues based behemoths that ruled the sixties and seventies have given way to the American Idol experience. The rap of NWA and Run DMC is now called the "bridge" of a typical pop song. It seems that the only offensive movement in pop music is that which tries to take to extreme that which has already been done. And that which does offend often does so simply because it is so poorly done. Punk music was a "movement." It was a philosophy of being, not a musical performance.
So, I trudge on, occasionally hearing a performance that knocks me out of my seat, but more often allows me to nod off. I search for the music that has an edge. I look for the artistic expression of one who isn't afraid to tell it like it is and likewise has the chops to pull it off. With a few pieces and a few individuals that can "bring it," maybe a dent can be made in this field of nice and proper music.