Category: Changing Times

Dec 23, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Fake-umentaries

I like documentaries, perhaps because learning something makes me feel less guilty about watching television. When I was a kid, my favorite show was Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins, though in retrospect, I may have had a crush on his assistant. I looked forward to a new National Geographic special as much as any situation comedy or drama. Jacques Cousteau rocked my world. My taste for documentaries is rather eclectic, including historical, geographical, scientific, and biographical. Long before I thought about writing a novel, I watched all the documentaries about serial killers. I’ve seen bits and pieces of numerous documentary miniseries, but don’t think I’ve ever caught every episode. Though I haven’t watched them for a while, …

Dec 09, 2013
By Michael Rupured

DVR Changed My Life

For longer than I care to admit, my evenings revolved around the television. I had shows to watch every night of the week. Picking favorites for some nights was easier than others, but somehow, I always found something to watch. Looking back, the quality of my viewing selections makes me cringe. I couldn’t stay awake late enough to watch the top-rated ten o’clock dramas. So I filled the hours with banal situation comedies, an endless variety of reality shows, VH1 Top 100 countdowns, and occasional episodes of Jerry Springer, Cheaters, and Dr. Phil. You know — must see TV. Years ago, I changed my cable package. As part of the introductory offer, the company threw in a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). No …

Oct 21, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The End of Gay Culture?

Since the beginning of time, doing gay things hasn’t necessarily made a person gay. You know — boys will be boys. Stuff happens, especially when the guys are far away from womenfolk fighting wars, doing time in prison, hunting, fishing, or hanging out drunk at the frat house. Beyond those who took the occasional walk on the wild side, I suspect even cavemen had an eccentric uncle, tolerated because he grilled amazing bison steaks, made the best loincloths, and showed no interest in diddling the women. What he did in his own cave was his business. And because of his…cooking skills, the men invited him along for hunting expeditions. Really I have no idea what gay people did prior to …

Oct 14, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The New Gays

They just don’t make gays like they used to. Kids who come out today are different from those who stepped through the closet doors when I did. For a select group, being gay is not — and never has been — an issue. I grew up in the 60s and came out in 1979, at the age of 21, into a very homophobic society. Interestingly enough, I recall very few occasions, outside of the occasional dirty joke, when the topic of homosexuality even came up. Queer was the polite alternative to faggot. Cool parents didn’t exist when I came out. My child, gay? Absolutely not! Some parents handled the news better than others, but hours of tearful attempts to talk the …

Aug 12, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Privacy and the Rapid Pace of Change

I often wonder what a visitor from the past would think about modern life. Perhaps because of shared ties to Kentucky, Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln are almost always my imaginary time travelers. What would they think about supermarkets, central air conditioning, automobiles, televisions, and airplanes? What would impress them most? In the century between 1765 when Daniel Boone would have been 31, and 1865 when 56 year-old Lincoln was assassinated, the pace of change quickened as America entered the Industrial Age. People might have thought him a bit backward, but Daniel could still have lived in Lincoln’s time more or less the way he had in his own time. Going back a hundred years, except for maybe learning the native tongue, …

Aug 05, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Holiday Series

I had no idea when I wrote Until Thanksgiving that a prequel would follow. The idea of writing a novel was intimidating enough — never mind a series. But something about Philip Potter, a supporting character, grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I wanted to know more about him. Readers loved him too, and shared my interest in his past. After Christmas Eve, scheduled for release this fall by MLR Press, is Philip Potter’s story. Fans of Thad Parker’s uncle will find out what sparked his interest in helping gay teens who’d been abandoned by intolerant parents. They’ll also learn Philip’s deepest, most well-kept secret — unknown even to his precious nephew. Discovering Philip required a trip to the sixties — widely …

Jul 25, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Magazines

In college, I majored in consumer studies and family resource management. Rather than a textbook, many of my professors compiled packets of articles from academic journals and weekly news magazines that we had to purchase from Kinko’s. Nowadays they make this kind of information available to students online. All the weekly news magazines were represented in these packets. But for some reason, the articles in U.S. News & World Report appealed to me more than articles from Time or Newsweek. Within a semester or two, I paid for a subscription to U.S. News & World Report which I continued until last year when they stopped printing magazines and switched to an online format. Staying up on current event is important to me. In addition to my weekly …

Jul 08, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Vinyl Collection

I played music I can’t remember now on a portable record player when I was little. Rather than the traditional black vinyl, these ten-inch records came in colors like Play-Doh magenta and yellow — neither shades you’d ever actually select for any purpose. They may have even played at 78 RPMs. The children’s recordings got pushed aside for a stack of 45s, culled by an older cousin from her collection to make room for new additions (Vicki, for her kids and other family who read my blog). The fifty or so cast-offs included my favorite from the bunch, Big Girls Don’t Cry. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember even one of the other songs. My first album was …

Jul 04, 2013
By Michael Rupured

An Old Fashioned Fourth of July

To celebrate Independence Day, I looked for posts I’d done in the past about the Fourth of July family reunions that were so much a part of my childhood. I couldn’t find the posts. So instead, I’m running that chapter from my never-to-be-published memoir, Glass Houses. For background, Mom is the baby of eight Glass kids with four sisters and three brothers. Enjoy the read, and may none of your fireworks be duds. *** Throughout the sixties and well into the seventies, my Uncle Deezer hosted a Fourth of July family reunion and cook-out that was the biggest Glass family blow-out of the year. Everybody smoked, alcohol flowed freely, and the language would make a sailor blush. Count on at …

Jun 06, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Coming Up Short

After the ex and I parted ways last fall, deciding to sell the house was a no-brainer. The place was half-again as much space as I could ever use. The one-acre lot — an asset when I moved in — had become a liability. Taking care of everything, inside and out, required far more work than even the two of us could manage. No way I could do better on my own. Just making the decision to move took a load off my mind. Even though I’d refinanced and cashed out some of the equity back at the peak of the housing market, I figured I had enough equity to cover the loan and closing costs. Assuming home values would keep …

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