R  A  L  P  H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities 
Volume XVIII, Number 3 --- Early Winter, 1999

The Frog Prince, Italian Scooters,
Tibet and Its Forbidden Practices, and
E. L. Doctorow as an Actor (Playing Himself)

All the Time in the World
"I believe I shall be writing home about this trip for the rest of my life.
I think I may easily develop a mania to be heard out and may well be seen,
years from now, still recollecting, like an old white hunter,
shadowy images to an empty fireplace, far into the night."

Time and Responsibility:
The Ideas Behind The World's Slowest Computer
"We may idealize the medieval period, but it was a time where you would have
rotten teeth, eat turnips, and die at the age of twenty-seven of exhaustion?
Want an idea of plant life over the last 300 centuries? You can study
woodrat middens in Nevada preserving thirty-three thousand years
of seed and pollen samples in columns of amberlike rat excrement."

Great Reviews of the Past
The Ashes of Waco
"Maternal feelings, the FBI hoped, would be unleashed in the mothers
by watching their children choking, gasping and blistering from the gas;
the plan Reno approved and took to President Clinton for approval
contemplated the children choking in the gas unprotected for forty-eight hours
to produce the requisite maternal feelings."

Hoover Dam,
the Poetry of Self-Pity, and
Eddie Fisher Raising Hell

"Serenely unkempt were those final years,
free from confict, doubt or dismay,
while she reverted gently to a rustic simplicity
as a moss rose reverts to a wild one."

Two by Marshall McLuhan
Maps, Media, and Bibles
"We are confronted here once more with that basic
function of media --- to store and to expedite information.
Plainly, to store is to expedite, since what is stored
is also more accessible than what has to be gathered."

The Coming of the Marx Brothers --- and Mad Magazine.
"Relativity theory in 1905 announced the dissolution
of uniform Newtonian space as an illusion or fiction, however useful.
Einstein pronounced the doom of continuous or rational space,
and the way was made clear for Picasso
and the Marx brothers and MAD."

An Oriental New Years' Journal --- 1984
Bangkok, Fireworks, and God
"Now Chris is smart enough, when he launches a logical attack on me
and my country, to lace me with a soporific disguised as Thai wine.
I am scarcely able to keep my eyes open, much less defend
the entire United States South East Asia foreign policies
of the last four administrations over the last twenty years."

The Missile Sites of Thailand
"The trick-of-the-week for those few of us still functioning
was the Banana Shot --- said artifact which was cast forth,
not unlike an ABM missile from a silo,
to great and amazing heights."

Salmo T.
"The most sceptical of them all / is time
that with the no's make yes'es / and with hate love
and the contrary."

Hierarchy of the Unexpected
"I've packed a hamper
of dog food, there should be a star tonight
if we're lucky, which as you know we seldom are,
and yet the violence of the race still pursues
us benevolently."

More on H. L. Mencken and "The Greeks,"
Richie Havens, J. D. Salinger, Post-Expressionism,
and Questions Concerning Lolita Lark's Virginity

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

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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
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Ralph R. Doister, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176


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