The Other

Dear Lolita Clark,

Westward Ha! is my favorite book and I enjoyed reading your perceptive review of this neglected masterpiece. I was so impressed that I immediately decided to take out a subscription to your journal.

But it seems that all the "links" on your web-page have expired. When I entered Ralph Magazine into a search engine I was directed to an Australian "Girlie" journal. Not exactly what I expected.

Could you send me subscription information for your journal (not the Australian one...)?

--- Sincerely,
Jonathan Brodie

Dear Jonathan:

Yikes. You are right. Even our best friends didn't tell us.

A peek at the other RALPH shows that, instead of vigorous poetry, they are into vigorous body parts:

    Amy Erbacher - we're glad to have her back (plus all those other gorgeous body parts) in RALPH!

There are also big (and vague) Darwinian "victories" for the beer fridge set:

    Tell us about your biggest victory for the male species and win a home theatre system ... perfect for watching movies within easy reach of the beer fridge.

Finally, for those of us who have a hankering to be in pictures:

    Think you have what it takes to be a RALPH babe?

    You could be the next Imogen Bailey, Erin Normoyle or Nikki Visser!

    OK then! For details, click here!

§     §     §

This other RALPH, we've discovered, is run by some outfit called ninemsn, "Australia's number-one website, capturing the largest online audience in Australia."

And guess who runs it? Mama mia!

    Formed in 1997, ninemsn is a 50:50 joint venture between the Microsoft Corporation and PBL's online investment arm, ecorp.

What to do? We've been humble-pie literary RALPH since we started in 1994, eons in internet time. The new passion-pit RALPH turns out to be a step-child of the colossus to the north, and has been around only for micro-seconds.

Some of our readers may feel that they are dragging down our good name but, for better or worse, that already happened, decades ago --- long before they (or we) came on the scene.

According to Richard A. Spears' Dictionary of American Slang,

    ralph and rolf --- intransitive --- to empty one's stomach; to vomit (Teens and collegiate. See also cry ruth.) She went home and ralphed for an hour. I think I am going to rolf.

§     §     §

What to do? We recall that old saw --- we don't care what you say about us, just be sure you spell our name right. But what do you do when a beer-in-the-cooler girls-in-bikinis magazine snitches your monicker. Cry ruth?

We could go directly the editor, emphasize that we were here first. Perhaps they would then stick us in a subsection they feature:

    What's up in RALPH? Check out this month, next month and our sick site links at In The Mag.

If we were listed in one of their "sick sites," it would certainly doll up our monthly hit list --- what, in the trade, are called "site visitors." RALPH le hot claims 200,000 a day. RALPH père is lucky if it can pull in 6,000. With their help, however, perhaps we can go to the stars. In the arms of Imogen Bailey, Erin Normoyle or Nikki Visser. Or even that chanteuse, Lolita Clark.

By-the-bye --- there are no expired links to our magazine. In the interests of purity, we have always used the sobriquet RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities. Not RALPH (or ROLF) Magazine.

--- Sexcerely yours,
Lolita Lark

Go to our review of Westward Ha!

Go to more letters

Go Up     Subscribe     Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH