As I have said before, conversation for the arts is like oxygen for fire. Ignore them, and they slowly wither.
This is not a contemporary development. In 1941, artist Nicolas Calas wrote to Alfred Barr at New York's Museum of Modern Art that "the hardest thing for an artist . . . trying to earn a living in America is to make contact with an educated public. If our work isn't known here . . . it's nearly impossible to go on."