DEGENERATE, adj. Less conspicuously admirable than one's ancestors.
The contemporaries of Homer were striking examples of degeneracy; it
required ten of them to raise a rock or a riot that one of the heroes
of the Trojan war could have raised with ease. Homer never tires of
sneering at "men who live in these degenerate days," which is perhaps
why they suffered him to beg his bread -- a marked instance of
returning good for evil, by the way, for if they had forbidden him he
would certainly have starved.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"