R  A  L  P H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities 

Volume XIX, Number 1 --- Late Winter, 1999 - 2000


NEW LISTINGS
Internet for Dummies,
Opium, A History; Heroin from A to Z, and
Travelling around the World with E. W. Scripps


REVIEWS
Ants at Work
"If, for some fool reason, you and I wanted
to spend a summer in the desert, sweating, being stung often and well
by the subjects of our investigation --- then we could do no better
than make the journey with Dr. Gordon."

The Couch and the Tree
Dialogues in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism
"The three major questions of life:
Who are they? (the mystery of our parents in childhood);
Who am I? (the perennial question of adolescence); and
Who are we? (the exquisite question of adulthood.)"

Great Reviews of the Past
Another Day of Life, by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Part I
"I can't explain it. Would our correspondents at Bataan or Pusan or Inchon
or even the Ardennes have said I can't explain it. Would Ernie Pyle have said
I can't explain it. Maybe that is what makes Kapuscinski so inviting: he's honest and
human and we come to know him, know his angers and fears and feelings."

Part II
"0, Lord! Despite a great many prayers to You we are continually losing our wars.
Tomorrow we shall again be fighting a battle that is truly great.
With all our might we need Your help and that is why I must tell You something:
This battle tomorrow is going to be a serious affair.
There will be no place in it for children.
Therefore I must ask You not to send Your Son to help us.
Come Yourself."


BRIEF REVIEWS
Will Rogers and Joseph Stalin,
The ZenWizard of Oz, and
Cockroaches Running into your Ear


ARTICLES
She Lives in a Big White House
Part One
"I didn't know anything about the stock market when your father died,"
she tells us. "I knew nothing about investments, or money.
I had to teach myself. Your father never taught me what he knew,
but that's all right --- I'm strong.
He was one of the kindest men in the world," she says."
Part Two
"Sometimes I wonder what makes her tick, this mother of mine ---
dios mío. Did I make her up whole cloth? What planet did she come from?
Did I, as the Buddhists say, pick her out specifically
in order to rework the many wrongs I committed in my many past lives?"


READINGS
Tijuana Baby Jesus
"His baby hands are moving, and you know they are signaling
to you in some strange way, and with his hands he's asking you
to show him your heart, but you are afraid, because you are afraid
he will see all the dirt and ugliness in your heart."

Johann Sebastian Bach and the Aliens
"Johann Sebastian Bach was an extra-terrestrial being
from the planet Ixneria, whose spaceship happened to crash-land here
around 1650. He obviously constructed a flawless cover story,
inasmuch as all the standard biographies suggest nothing
out of the ordinary, except a family background of third-rate musicians, and then
a tiresome career-path of churches and aristocratic courts. "


POETRY
Dojo
"A school that displays on the outside / a visionary's name
and on the inside: a metal detector, / heavy chains on the exit doors
(on the bars called "panic handles"), / and armed guards in uniforms..."
Tender Buttons
Rooms

"The care with which the rain is wrong
and the green is wrong and the white is wrong,
the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing.
The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness,
all this makes a magnificent asparagus,
and also a fountain."


LETTERS
A note from the poet Hugo Williams,
more on the Lolita Lark Controversy,
and a letter addressed to
"Dear Miss Lonelyhearts:"
It aint the job that I am complaining about
but what I want to no is what is the whole stinking business for.


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


ARCHIVES
This will lead you back through previous issues of RALPH
(at least as far back as Winter, 1994 - 1995).


HELP
Perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
Subscribe, and get a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works
along with a print-out of some of our most pithy reviews, in
The Folio


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Titles, authors, and publishers
of all books reviewed in RALPH ---
arranged chronologically.
1995    1996    1997    1998
1999 (Early)    1999 (Late)

 

T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books

The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
Submitting Reviews

Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
History

RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over twenty-five years.     
The Fessenden Fund

Other activities of RALPH's godparents, including
Mho & Mho Works


Lolita Lark
Editor-In-Chief

Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176

poo@cts.com


Go to the Current RALPH     Go to the top     Go to the next RALPH