You read Ayn Rand in your teens? Ouch. I'm reminded of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' for some reason... I'm sure you're nothing like that.
The New Topographics photographers took a documentary approach to the landscape, and I believe Gursky's work to be derived aesthetically from New Topographics, but without the concerns - which leaves it pretty empty! Of course, Stephen Shore has been productive outside of his association with that movement, as has Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz, but being concerned with representation of landscape, that's how I know him.
Anyone can be a photographer, but more problematic is the idea that anyone can be an artist... with any photograph.
I'm a little slow so I'm having trouble figuring out what you're trying to get at. Are you saying Shore's work is mediocre and we need more expressive photography? And it's the curators etc who are largely at fault?