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I really hate to sully this blog with this, but, as many of you know, I’m currently included in the rather large Portland demographic of “recent college graduates who can’t find a job,” and the economy is not helping my situation. In light of this, I’ve decided to start up an academic and admissions essay editing service: Commas, Ink.

Please check it out, and if you know anyone who’s looking for a friendly, writing-obsessed editor, please let them know. I used to edit jr. high papers, and so I’m really good at adjusting my editing to grade-level. Thanks so much! I promise I’ll get back to your regularly scheduled blogging shortly. I’ve been working on this project all week, and then Powell’s foiled my plan to talk about “handbooks for straight women” by only carrying the books I was planning to dissect in their warehouses. I suppose that this probably says something about Portland: either no one or everyone buys these books (In the case of The Bunny Book: How to Walk, Talk, Tease, and Please Like a Playboy Bunny, I’m seriously hoping no one.).

Enjoy your Saturdays!

I’ve been holding off posting this week just because it feels weird to post non-inauguration-related things on  or around inauguration day. If you really want to know my thoughts, well, I’m really excited to see what Obama’s going to do. I’ve got no illusions of perfection, but it’s a relief to have a president who values intelligence, cares about women’s issues, and is not afraid of science. But, for Cracked Mirror purposes, I figure the more news-centric blogs have all the election stuff covered. Instead, I’m going to talk about media.

For those of you wondering how an unemployed feminist blogger spends her suddenly free time (aside from desperately searching for jobs), the answer is: we volunteer for our local feminist magazine! (Or, at least, that’s what I’m doing.) I had a fantastic time this morning at Bitch‘s funky Portland office (It’s a wonderland of posters, awesome books, and puppies, let me tell you. I can’t wait to go back.) and  doing research on feminist organizations (bookstores, community organizations, publishers, sex toy shops) they could contact for mutual advertising purposes. This was an oddly satisfying endevor, and not just because I was helping out one of my favorite magazines. As I dutifully searched, clicked links, sighed in frustration at finding stores that had closed (feminism isn’t necessarily a great money-maker), I discovered something odd: I barely needed to use Google.

Yes, I’m afraid that when it comes to looking for feminist places, Google only was of limited help despite my pretty decent google-fu. What actually was a huge help were the feminist bookstores themselves. Those with websites tended to link to fantastic organizations, stores, festivals, etc. in their community, providing me with endless links to savor, both for Bitch’s and my own purposes. Just through links provided  feminist bookstores alone, I found enough feminist media/community/culture outlets to fuel a fantastic feminist-centered roadtrip, and that doesn’t even include the bookstores (and, believe me, I’d visit those too)! I’d love to listen to the spoken word artists of Fierce Words Tender in San Jose, CA, check out the programming put on by Charis in Atlanta, GA,  and then have a great vegetarian meal at Bloodroot in Bridgeport, CT. Maybe I’d talk to some people at the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press in DC or visit Ladyslipper Music in Durham, NC.  On the way I’d probably hit up a concert put on by Indie Grrl.

This is why feminist media and feminist media outlets can stay alive, even in difficult times; I think, on a whole, we’ve (I say we, but I’m not really a feminist media outlet… yet) recognized the value of community. We’ve recognized that even if you want to call us a niche market, we’re a strong powerful niche if we support each other and get the word out to each other. I think what saved Bitch and In Other Words when it looked like closure was imminent was their intigration into the community (both Portland and Feminist community): We care about each other. How cool is that? I just wish there were even more link databases that were even easier to find on Google. The one slightly depressing part of the whole experience was noticing that the databases I found (not so much the link pages off of feminist bookstores/orgs./publishers) were often either way out-of-date, neglected, or really poorly organized. It’s a shame because the internet is a great way to create a community of feminists who will support feminist media (outlets)/orgs/etc. Let’s use it!

Welcome to 2009, everyone!

Last night, as the clock struck twelve, my friends and I banged pots and pans together to greet the new year. It had been a difficult year for all of us, and we were glad to see it go. Then, we heard a bang, and, a hush came over us. From the kitchen window, we could see the fireworks set off over the waterfront. We watched them in relative silence, with only the crackles of the explosions and the music we had been listening to playing in the background.

Finally, someone said, “I feel like we’re in the credits of a movie.”

Another agreed: “The opening credits.”

It did feel like a beginning.

So here’s to new beginnings! I hope you had a great evening whether you spent it in, out, or not caring that a digit on the calendar was about to change.

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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...

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