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

Volume XXVIII, Number 2

Late Mid-Winter 2001 - 2002

The Muckrakers,
Bernard Schlink Short Stories, and
Fighting Homosexuality in Oregon

Of Two Minds
"The assumption seemed to be
that if a psychiatrist could be everywhere,
he would be able to solve all social ills.
This was not the psychoanalysis of devastated Europe
but a bright, shiny intellectual appliance,
an automated floor buffer
for messy psyches."

An Ocean to Cross
"I suspect that what they did around Year Five
in their new disability was to come to an agreement.
The unspoken agreement was that they would kill themselves.
They didn't phrase it that way;
they didn't have to."

Hiking Through American Deserts
"After I got through with this one,
I had closed and locked most of the doors. I called up
my travel agent to tell her I wanted to go off to the desert,
but to a safe one. Like Algeria, Iraq, or Afghanistan."

Great Reviews of the Past
The Inside Story of USA Today
Part I

"The purpose of this review is not to defame
social workers, HEW bureaucrats, teachers, television station owners,
fundamentalist ministers, and the other ne'er-do-wells who feed off
the carcasses of the poor and untutored."

Part II

"Whenever they trundle out the lachrymal discharges
of the leading heavy, it's probably time to man the bilges,
especially when we know that he is not necessarily
riding away into the sunset after a job well done,
but more likely tucking his $100,000,000 in options
in the trunk of his Lamborghini and driving off
into the Poconos."

Haitian Slaves Known As Restavecs,
How to Learn Magic in Calcutta, and
Hurricanes in Cuba

A Geezer with the St. Vitus' Dance
Part I
"One of the advantages of geezerhood
besides getting up four times a night and forgetting
our children's married names (and even our children's names)
is that we now understand why those other ancients
we knew so long ago did what they did."

Part II
"The wheel chair starts in with
the Anvil Chorus, and my teeth decide to join in.
Also --- this is new --- my arms go into spectacular
attacks of palsy. It gets quite noisy
in that normally quiet office."

Terrorism Works

"Already Osama bin Laden's specific concerns
are being addressed with vigor, just as IRA demands
rocketed to top priority following the bombing of Canary Wharf.
So, in the medium term, the Israelis had better watch out,
and I don't think there will be US military bases in Saudi Arabia
for very much longer."

Traveling in Terror
"The contents of my bag are scrutinized.
While this is going on, I lean against the counter.
The rather short Army guy (white American)
next to the official checking my bag walks up to me and
points at me with his automatic rifle.
He tells me to stand up. I think about asking him
if he's not a little small to be in the Army
but think better of it and comply."

Great Poems of the Past
Song of Welcome

"Here's your blade, here's your wrist.
Welcome to playing your own terrorist;
call this your Middle East.
Here's your mirror, your dental gleam.
Here's an octopus in your dream.
Why do you try to scream?"

Joyce Carol Oates and Jacob Epstein,
Anorexia and Aplastic Anemia - PNH

Of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

All books reviewed in RALPH
since 1994 arranged chronologically.

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T H E  F A C T S
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Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
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
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176


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