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Open Questions: In Search Of Something That Is Culturally Ubiquitous

Elizabeth Blair has a piece on All Things Considered today that's kicking off an NPR series that will look at elements of our "fractured culture" — the fact that everything belongs to a niche, and we don't have, for instance, "water cooler" television shows anymore, because too many people watch too many different things. (See also: the very first post in Monkey See history.)

You can follow the stories as they appear, but we wanted to take this opportunity to ask whether you think there still are cultural events that genuinely unite the larger culture. Harry Potter? American Idol? Or maybe it's the Super Bowl. We're wondering whether you still find things that are broadly unifying in the culture, or whether you prefer to immerse yourself more deeply in the niches that you enjoy. Do you miss phenomena like the finale of MASH, or are you just as happy to be part of lots of little fandoms?

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.