The Dominican Republic,
Lies and History,
The Fessenden Review, and
Suggestions on How to Better Promote
Our On-Line Magazine


I don't like the comments about the men in Dominican Republic ... so what if they brag and have time in there hands to attend to cock-fighting and chomp cigars. That is none of your concern and don't worry about other people's culture and way of life get your own and, by the way, Americans don't have any culture or real historic background. Why don't you write about that? You can title it the fantasy American world how Americans made up history.

--- Milengua

Go to the review that inspired this letter.

Subject: Please take this site off the web


I am a history teacher. First of all this is simplifying history. Putting down so many american lives to two songs per war is ridiculous.

I do not know if you realize this, but $950,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 exceeds the worlds supply of money. Do not put this information out, because students may look at this information and take it as fact.

Additionally, Not all soldiers want to just go to war. Some soldiers want to serve their nation, or find a better life for themselves.

Expand your wine savvy and get some great new recipes at MSN Wine.
--- Tom Washington

Go here if you
can remember which review
inspired this letter.

>Hello hello hello!

>I don't know what has been wrong with me all these long years that I have been on-line and never once did a search on The Fessenden Review, but today, I finally came to my senses.

Good. We wish we could come to our senses too.

>I am so absolutely ecstatic to have found you! I was a loyal subscriber to TFR and still have every edition.

Someday, surely, they will be auctioning them at Southbys. Or at the near-by Veterans' Thrift Store.

> I must catch-up on almost a decade of RALPH.

We hope you are able to. We can hardly remember the issue from last week.

>Welcome back and where do I send the check!

Best to send it to us, not to The New Yorker.

--- Nikki

Hi there:

I'm from Hotdog film magazine in the UK, and we're after a little picture of Fatty Arbuckle for one of our features. There is a great one on your site of him with police card --- credited to the Bison Archives. I can't find a website or contact details for Bison Archive or Marc Wanamaker --- could you pass them on to me please? Or even better would we be able to use the image on your site as long as we credited him? It's quite urgent because of deadlines so please let me know.

--- Thank you for your time,
Kind regards
Janine Kay
Picture Editor

§     §     §

Dear Janine:

We are agog that there is a magazine around called HOTDOG. We thought RALPH was pretty silly because back in college, "to ralph" meant "to upchuck." There's no accounting for taste in either direction, is there?

Anyway, we borrowed the mug shots of Fatty from the San Francisco Museum, at

I think they would appreciate your giving them credit and if you are really a hotdog, we would like a bit of credit ourselves if there is any room left there between the relish and the pickles.

--- Lolita Lark


I happened to visit your site ' ', the official website of "Ralph". I understand that your site presents the Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities. The content of your site is fabulous. The review of Popular Music from Vittula is very impressive. The Outlaw Sea was wonderful. I appreciate the fact that you have made a significant effort to provide a lot of relevant information about art reviews in the site.

I visited quite a lot of sites, and would like to kindly recommend a professional makeover for your entire web site ( I work at, and would like to offer you to redesign your complete web site absolutely free of charge. You will only be asked to pay for the monthly hosting, which is only $9.95/mo. There are no other fees, and there is absolutely no risk from your end. If you are not satisfied with our work, you will not be asked to pay anything. Please let me know if you would be interested in this offer (in fact, I can't imagine why you wouldn't be). Take a look at for details. When signing-up, please indicate Eva Dale (that's my name :-) ) in the "How did you hear about this offer?" field.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

--- With Best regards,
Eva Dale

§     §     §

Dear Eva:

Thank your for your thoughtful comments about RALPH.

I should tell you that we have never stopped working on our layout, tweaking it here and there, adding a bit of color here, taking it away there, fretting about spacing, wanting to be spacious --- but not too much so.

We've been doing this for about ten years now and we think the layout of RALPH is just dandy. The reason: no screaming-meemies, no show-off graphics, no scrolls, no blinks, no blops, no puff-ups, pop-ups, pop-overs, or whatever they are called.

Just simple letter-press, simple black-and-white (mostly) photographs, with type colors and background colors we made up ourselves from the huge variety available in HTML. (It's somewhat like mixing paints, or making mudpies --- we love it.)

The "professional makeover" you suggest would probably make us look like everyone else on the web, or at worst, like the other RALPH, that rave-and-beer mess coming out of Australia.

We favor being original, and we think we well might be, with our plain vanilla 19th Century letter-type format, our doughty layout, our antique perspective on placement of words and figures which, we would hope, might make what we want to say consistent with the way we say it.

To put it another way, if it was good enough for H. L. Mencken, then it's good enough for us.

--- L. Lark

Attention: Webmaster of 

Market research has shown your site to be one of the most popular websites on the Internet. has spent several years aggregating statistics from thousands of online users and found that is now ranked as the 153,421 most visited site on the Web... invites you to review your listing and make sure that all of the information available in our database is correct ... This offer is being extended to only the top sites visited during our continuing market research.  It will only take a few minutes of your time and the benefits (listed below) are many. 

By providing specific details to about your site, millions of unique visitors will have your contact information available with just one click through the BrowserAccelerator toolbar ...

Once your site is categorized, you will be able to see how you rank against the competition. allows free use of this information in your own promotional, marketing or advertising campaigns...

Our market research software has tracked over 38,000 Internet surfers since inception, many of whom have visited your site on a regular basis.

--- Thank you in advance,
Patrick Devereaux

§     §     §

Dear Patrick:

Good Lord! "The 153,421 most visited site on the Web." We are impressed that we are one of your "top sites," although to us the number 153,421 sounds much like what we used to call "damning with faint praise." We had always thought that with our 1,500,000 or so hits a year that we were at least up at 153,420.

As far as using you for "our own promotional, marketing or advertising campaigns," please be informed that our promotional and marketing campaigns consist in prodding our slug-a-bed reviewers to get their goddamn copy in on time so that we can meet our deadline, and nagging the army of friends of RALPH, numbering at least in the tens of hundreds, to mail in their $25 ASAP so we can have the beans to pay our lone secretary so she can pay what is left of our server's bill on time so they won't suddenly up and cut off our water.

As far as our competition goes, we have yet to find any competition, except for the kids who compete with us for our old-fashioned wood-burning computer, so they can use it to play their dreadful computer games, taking up endless hours on-line so that we are restricted, by them, solely to working the hours between midnight and six, when they are, presumably, asleep and free of the cares of the world.

--- L. Lark

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