"It takes place back at uh, one of those wonderful Nuremberg rallies."

The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
Larry Block, David Rapkin, Kristine McKenna, Jack Kornfield, Joe Frank
Karma Style, 58 minutes
Preceded by: The Future
Followed by: Stoner

Margarita is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on July 8, 2001.


Larry tells a joke about the fellow who demanded more land at one of Hitler's Nuremberg rallies.

5:00: Larry tells Joe about his drinking. He says Jolly is making him drink margaritas, which he doesn't like. She asks him to leave; Larry says they don't have the money.

6:10: Jack Kornfield talks about our addictive society, how addiction keeps us unaware of reality.

7:10: Joe talks to Larry about what he'd do if he hadn't been an actor. Larry says he'd have been a park ranger, which Joe can't imagine.

7:40: Jack Kornfield talks about doing the job we have as well as we can. He remembers the repetitive job he had at Beacon Gauge, that the only thing he's done more boring is meditation.

9:20: Joe asks David Rapkin if he can imagine being a forest ranger. Rapkin conjures up living in a tree, like an elf, having sex with beautiful female hikers.

13:00: Kornfield quotes Bruce Chatwin, 'A white explorer in Africa, anxious to press ahead with his journey, paid his porters for a series of forced marches. But they, almost within reach of their destination, set down their bundles and refused to budge. No amount of extra payment would convince them otherwise. They said they had to wait for their souls to catch up.'[1]

14:10: Kornfield says Ajahn Chah told him that meditation is de-hypnosis; quotes Krishnamurti, 'only when the mind is still, tranquil, not expecting or grasping or resisting a single thing is it possible to see what is true and it is the truth that liberates and not your effort to be free', then Dag Hammarskjöld,[2] 'In the point of rest at the center of our being we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way; then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation and each human a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable in the first page.'[3]

15:50: Larry tells Joe about his encounter with David Rapkin in the street. Rapkin tells Larry he has a project Larry would be great for, but never calls.

17:10: Rapkin tells Joe he was making a 36-part audio version of the Ramayana that he thought Larry would be great for, but then he got Danny DeVito instead. He tells Joe he paid Larry a $100,000 kill fee, which Joe doesn't believe. Rapkin tells Joe Larry owes him that much for a valuable guitar Larry borrowed (a 1939 Gibson L0) in 1964 but never returned.

19:50: Larry tells Joe the story about his meeting with Rapkin was real, that he was hurt, that it hurts him more that he treats it as a joke. Joe tells Larry that Rapkin's role in the show is fantasist. Larry opines that Joe should drop him from the cast.

21:30: Joe talks with 2 people about philosophers who tried to prove the existence of god.

23:30: Joe tells Larry that he can't tie the quality of Rapkin's work to his character.

24:30: Kornfield quotes Thomas Merton, 'It was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are, if only we could see each other that way all the time, there would no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, and no more greed. I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other…'[4][5]

25:30: Kornfield says the journey is pathless, always leads back to where we started. He quotes Merton again, 'We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time; this is not just a story or a fable: it is true.'

27:00: Kristine McKenna tells Joe about a couple, the man lost all the money on the stock market, tried to kill himself, caused brain damage that made him incompetent instead.

29:00: Kristine McKenna tells Joe about couple, happily married for 52 years, the man now lost to Alzheimer's.

30:30: Kornfield tells us to stop trying, just to let things be.

31:40: Larry tells Joe that Zachary says he won't go to summer school because Blacks and Latinos are harassing him. Larry and Jolly tell him he has to go. He walks out. Larry's worried about him; Jolly's angry with Larry, tells him to leave. Jolly blames Larry for not disciplining Zachary. She doesn't believe Zachary's story.

33:50: Kristine McKenna says we have deeply-embedded fantasies, that we are attracted to people because we imagine they will fulfill our fantasy, that this is when the trouble starts.

35:00: Joe tells Larry that Zachary is with one of his friends, not on the street. (At 35:30, Larry says he's 15¾.)

35:50: Kristine McKenna tells Joe that, when she's at a party, she doesn't covet others' situations but covets their non-solitude. Joe says he'd rather be alone than with someone he doesn't like; Kristine's not sure.

37:00: Larry tells Joe that he told Jolly he doesn't have the money to leave; Larry wants to deal with the immediate problem. Zachary wants to go to a special retreat in the Berkshires.

38:40: Kristine McKenna tells Joe that living with someone is a challenge.

39:20: Larry tells Joe he doesn't know how'd he'd leave.

40:20: Kristine McKenna tells Joe that she meets people who seem like the answer to all her questions, cites Harold. She flew somewhere to meet him but he didn't show. She spent a week and a half in Mexico with him. They made a trip to Death Valley where they recreated Edward Weston's nude pictures of his wife.[6]

43:30: Larry's worried about Zachary.

44:50: Kristine McKenna tells Joe that this fellow was in intensive care. She flew there, got into bed with him. The nurses kicked her out.

46:40: Larry asks Joe how he's going to get out, can't imagine how.

47:50: Kristine McKenna tells Joe the relationship was a rollercoaster between euphoria and despair. She imagines committing suicide on his front lawn.

48:50: Larry tells Joe about Zachary's call. He comes back with 2 friends, 1 drunk; Larry won't let them stay. They call collect at 3 AM. He finds out that his charge of being harassed by Black and Latino kids was untrue.

50:50: Kristine McKenna tells Joe the most-incredible thing about being with him was that she was completely in the moment.

51:40: Larry tells Joe Zachary will be 16 in 6 weeks, at which time he can do what he wants. He complains that Zachary is condescending to them.

53:40: Kristine McKenna tells Joe that she sees paradise in relationships, even if they haven't worked out in the past.

54:00: Kornfield says that in the universal path the first step is wise understanding: what do we want to do with this life we have been given?

54:40: Kornfield says we get caught up in the details of daily life, lose sight of what's important.

56:10: Kornfield observes the shortness of life, tells us to 'set your heart, treasure the time you have been given.'

Legacy Synopsis
  • Larry Block - Hitler "more land" joke. Drinking fruit margaritas, wanting to leave but not being able to afford it.
  • Jack Kornfield - An addicted society.
  • Larry and Joe - alternative lives, Larry as a park ranger.
  • Kornfield - Being engaged in a boring job.
  • David Rapkin - Visualizing a sexual encounter as a park ranger.
  • Kornfield - Africans waiting for their souls to catch up with them.
  • Larry - He meets David Rapkin and is asked to participate in a production, is never called back.
  • Rapkin - He cast DeVito instead of Larry in a 36 part epic. Joe confronts him about never calling Larry back, he tells an absurd story about a guitar.
  • Larry and Joe - Larry's hurt by Rapkin's trivialization of their encounter. Joe argues that he was just fulfilling his role in the radio program.
  • Rapkin - Proving or refusing to prove God, dead white men.
  • Larry and Joe - The merits of art versus the ethical behavior of the artist. Larry asks that the audience write to demand Rapkin be removed from future programs.
  • Kornfield - Thomas Merton. If we could see the depth of the heart, we would want to worship each other.
  • Kristine McKenna - A Hollywood playboy gambles away his money, fails at suicide, ends up disabled and a burden on his wife. A happy couple married 52 years is torn apart by Alzheimers.
  • Kornfield - let it be.
  • Joe and Kristine - Attaching fantasies to people, envying others at a party. Larry - his wife kicks him out. Zak wants to go to a resort of troubled teenagers. Kristine - being challenged by living with others.
  • Kristine - A relationship with a lying, marries man. Spending time in a Mexican hotel, reproducing Edward Weston nude desert photos.
  • Kristine - Visiting the man in the hospital, sex in the ICU.
  • Larry and Joe - Larry wants to leave.
  • Kristine - relationships as a drug. Fantasy of suicide on her ex's lawn.
  • Kristine - being truly engaged in the moment.
  • Kristine - looking for paradise in a relationship.
  • Kornfield - wise understanding.


Additional credits

From the broadcast, 'You've been listening to Joe Frank "The other side". This program was called "Margarita" with Larry Block, Kristine McKenna, David Rapkin, Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, and Joe Frank - production: Ray Guarna; production assistance: Esmé Gregson; music consultant: Thomas Golubić.'


  1. The songlines, page 230
  2. the second secretary-general of the UN, not the first, as Kornfield says; Norway's Trygve Lie was the first.
  3. Markings
  4. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, New York: Doubleday; 1966, page 155
  5. I recommend Garry Wills's 'Shallow calls to shallow', from Harper's, for a portrait of Merton.
  6. I can't find these. Weston spent a year in Death Valley, took lots of pictures. Harold may have been putting her on.