From the Cracked Mirror is a blog about culture, both high and low, including art, literature, film, food, and advertising from a progressive and feminist perspective. I’m here to critique, elucidate, wonder, and gush. One minute I’m lamenting the craftiness of fast food marketing, the next I’m recommending a fantastic show I’ve just seen. Why? Media creates culture, changes how we view the world. It entertains and informs. It’s both artificial and real. It colors our world.

Remember, the first step to understanding our culture is defamiliarizing ourselves with it.

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Steph, a publishing student, writer, and narrative culture junkie (Yes, narrative culture is a clunky phrase. And, for that matter, not all the culture I like is narrative. But it’s the closest phrase I’ve got right now.)  After graduating from Carleton College, I came here armed only with my BA in English, a degree that pretty much means I’m a professional reader of subtext. You could call me a cultural critic. I’m currently obsessed with questions surrounding art and media: who can create it and at what cost?

But there’s another side to me too: I’m currently studying the strange manufacturing business known as publishing. Yes, legally, we are manufacturers, like those who make cars and mugs and coffee stirrers. But clearly, that’s not the whole story of how books are made, and I hope to be talking a lot about what that story is and is becoming. Publishers have long prided themselves as being the gatekeepers of literary culture, but what does that mean in our age when the gates are so easily scaled and slipped between?

I’m busier with school these days than I was when I first made this blog, and, perhaps, a little more timid about sharing my thoughts with the world. But I’ll do my best to keep this up. I write from coffee shops and wander through tree-lined streets. I dance; I make delicious dinners with my flatmate in our kitchen, decorated with Kafka on the wall and Virginia Woolf making out with Frida Kahlo on our fridge. I spend way too much time in my head, thinking about the things I see, and then I sit down with my laptop and write them here.

Did the header image come with your wordpress blog?

Nope! I dabble in graphic design and whipped it up based on an awesome photo my friend Thomas took of a really cool treehouse in Scotland. For more of his work, check out his website.

What causes do you really care about?

Media issues (duh!),  the future of publishing, food ethics (I’m in for the whole enchilada [pun intended]: environmental concerns, social concerns, hunger, making food affordable, local food, organic food, farm-to-table [I’ve been a WWOOFer!], the creation of ATP), feminism, educational activism, racial issues, LGTBQ rights (I may only be an ally, but I try to listen as much as I can)–basically I just want to make the world a better place.

What other things are you interested in?

Oh, you know, how books are marketed, dancing (modern, Middle Eastern, social, tap, however!), baking, art, really good coffee, sitting in cafés and feeling silly because I’m not a real Portland hipster, cupcakes (and the quest for the perfect one!), sci fi and mystery tv shows, knitting, farmer’s markets, books, really good children’s books, bookbinding, art history (especially Chinese art history), parks, smelling the flowers that line the streets in the Hawthorne/Belmont area, herbs and spices, wandering around Powell’s, learning as much as I can.

Can I link to you?

Please do! I survive on word-of-mouth, you know? If you do link me, it would be nifty if you told me about it so that I could link you back.

How can I contact you?

Send an email to skrolled @ g(removethistext)mail . com