There IS hope for civilization! (I take no insult from your words, my friend.) I too, think 6ths, 7th,s and 9ths are basic. I just don't want to come across as a 'music snob.'
I really do like almost all types of music.
It's just, as the years go by, - I get bored hearing the exact same progressions over and over and over, in 'different' songs.
I have used hundreds of different chords in my music. I've referenced many sources to find new chords. I've found perhaps 30 chords by experimenting, just trying to reproduce the sounds in my head . . .
Ted Green's "Chord Chemistry" has a few thousand chords listed . . .
Nice piece of work . . .
I've written down about 6-7 pages of chords whose sound I like, merely awaiting the right song to come around . . .
When I use a new chord in a song, I cross it off the list. Eventually, I'll find out what it's called . . .
But - being a master of theory is NOT my desire.
As long as I can keep writing songs with new and different sounds, I'm happy.
I don't want to be a professor - I just want to play good original music.
I have no formal studies of music, but when I make a song, I sometimes need to experiment and seach for the right sound - a SLIGHTLY different chord. I've tried several unlikely fingerings, all over the neck, before (usually) coming across the perfect chord (for that one spot in the song).
When I find the right sound, I use it, record it and write it down. It's often not until several months later that I take the time to actually reasech the chord to see what it IS, either by picking it apart, or looking it up.
If I get too hung up on theory, it can interupt the creatice process, and the new song I'm working on can be lost.
(and, I'm ALWAYS working on 3-4 new songs).
I've got to translate the sound in my head into chords, right away.
I hope others will also experiment, and look at the chord charts.
There are hundreds of "crummy" sounding chords that sound GREAT, when you know the right place to play them.
To the musicians reading this:
Challenge yourself. Find a chord that you NEVER, NEVER use, and write it into a good -sounding song.