≡ Menu

Better Daze

The Photographs Norman Rockwell Used to Create His Famous Paintings

We aren’t better because we want to be. Because the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Because all the do gooders in the world whether they’re doing good for others or doing it for themselves are troublemakers. On the basis of ‘kindly let me help you or you’ll drown’, said the Monkey putting the fish safely up a tree.  — AlanWattsAn owl finding something to eat in the snow 

Japan Has A Train Station Just So People Can Enjoy The Beautiful Scenery 

Early Colour Photographs of New York 1900-1930

How Astronomer Percival Lowell Mistook His Own Eye For Spokes on Venus 

The 17-Year Cicada Swarms of Brood X Are Coming This Summer – 

Underground Tunnels of Los Angeles  –  During prohibition, corrupt city officials ran drinking dens under the streets of Downtown Los Angeles.  

The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab 

Postures of Transport: Sex, God, and Rocking Chairs

How To Recognise Clouds – The International Cloud Atlas, 1896

The 20 Most Unbreakable Records In Professional Sports History | 

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. And whenever their weakness is exposed, the people who prefer tyranny make capital out of the exposure… The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters. C.S. Lewis on Equality and Our Core Misconception About Democracy 

This 1925 invitation to the solar eclipse, with special spectacles included

The story of Tupperware parties in pictures, 1950s  



Bananas As We Know Them Are Doomed – Plentiful Lands

A 3,000-Year-Old Painter’s Palette from Ancient Egypt, with Traces of the Original Colors Still In It

The Wave Organ – San Francisco, California 

Old Concept Cars – Concepts cars of the past The Toyota EX-II(1969)

Hanoi Bikes — Jon Enoch

Giant timber megaphones amplify sounds of Estonian forest

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sam L. February 10, 2021, 9:08 AM

    Charts of the Planet Mars: Ahhhhh, BARSOOM! (As the Martians call it.)

  • Casey Klahn February 10, 2021, 11:18 AM

    I saw what Scruton was trying for: beauty has slipped from our dialogue, in architecture and art. What I like to say is that I am interested in beauty. I desire it. It still isn’t the principle thing of art, and here’s where I depart from Scruton. Expression is more fundamental than beauty. If you haven’t beauty, but you have truth, this matters.

    OTOH, CS Lewis is never wrong in my mind. He was that good at writing, and that fine a thinker, that his revelations are still essential to us now and will be for some time. He wrote a lot about governmental, or human, tyranny. He could detect it in families, as well as communities and in governments. Taking his quote to the opposite context, the reason why Marx was wrong is that equality will never happen by man’s governance nor by a utopian non-governance. People are too damaged; they are evil when pushed or allowed to be. They are bone-in evil, if you look closely enough. Disagree? I suppose you’ve never done a thing that was bad enough that if those around you knew it – knew your thoughts – you’d shrink in horror at their judgement. I have. I did it yesterday, and I hated what my mind was saying.

    Laws are a good idea. But too many laws and the next thing you know you’re a vassal of the state. Back to CS Lewis: if the party we call Democratics (sic) wants every last soul in the bounds of the USA to vote, including illegals, felons, underaged, dead people, dogs and cats, then in the end they want it just to add mass to the cheating polling places. More “votes,” means more influence. It is at base a contradiction to laws, which are founded on principles and regulate between equal parties (supposedly). The majority, in their view, is a cudgel and going forward into the future computers and mass media makes their “majority,” and actual votes don’t enter into it.

    We need a return to reason, don’t we? Thinking. Logic. Belief.

  • Mike Anderson February 10, 2021, 1:00 PM

    I see Sarah Hepola, writing in Texas Highways, is well on her way to becoming another Texas truckhead. Three types of Texas Truckheads: good ol’ boys, hot-rodders, and bullies. The last two are particularly obnoxious, but pathetic in a crowded parking lot. Especially if they’ve jumped on the “Park it like Batman” bandwagon, and they’re jerking off to and fro trying to fit an oversized truck into a compact space.

    Me? I deem it inelegant to squire my lovely wife on an outing or to a fancy event in a pickup, whether battered or pristine. And I have limited lifespan to waste on parking lot gymnastics. So I drive a nifty little roadster that oozes class, sips gas, and parks like a charm. When there’s pick-upin’ to be done, I rent one from Home Depot; lots cheaper than owning one of those beasts.

  • Mike Anderson February 10, 2021, 1:05 PM

    @Sam L: Apparently, Barsoom is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, all our telescopes and planetary probes might suffer spoofing from the Thrawn. I never did trust those Barsoomian white supremacists.

  • Nori February 10, 2021, 5:43 PM

    What’s that on the back of New York lady’s hat? Roadkill?

  • Skorpion February 10, 2021, 6:49 PM

    @Casey Klahn: Are you familiar with G.K. Chesterton? He was the English writer who led a young C.S. Lewis to Christ, and who brilliantly defended clear thinking, common sense, and simple decency in his many works.

  • Donald Sensing February 10, 2021, 7:19 PM

    I have paraphrased the Lewis quote thus:

    I believe in the democracy of a representative republic because history shows that the natural heart of human beings is corrupt end inevitably tends to wrong culminating in evil. But I think that most others who believe in democracy think the opposite – that humanity is basically good and kind and unselfish, so all therefore deserve a voice and vote in their government.

    However, I maintain stoutly that history fully rebuts and disproves that notion and shows that it is wishful thinking amounting to fantasy. And whenever history shows this to be so, the people who want to be tyrants make good use of it.

    The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Humanity is so fallen that no one can be trusted with unchecked power over the rest of us. Even an elected leader cannot be trusted with any authority and power except that which is tightly controlled and limited. Tyrants always tell us how they have only our best interests mind. But whether they rule by iron hand or velvet glove, the effect is the same.

    Many people may well be suited for nothing except to be ruled. But even if so, I insist beyond rebuttal that no one is fit to be ruler.

    Based on C. S. Lewis in his essay, “Equality,” in The Spectator, Aug. 27, 1943

  • Dirk February 10, 2021, 7:44 PM

    Laws are for us little peeps. Here’s the thing, every year in every state Hundreds of NEW laws are added, with zero oppertunity or attempt to educate We The People. I speak from experience. If I ever here another judge say to a citizen, ignorance, is not an excuse!. I’m gonna puke.

    New laws, zero educational oppertunity for the citizens equals free money to,the state city our coumty, depending on which court!. It’s bullshit.

    I should have been a fireman!


  • gwbnyc February 10, 2021, 10:44 PM

    why go to a forest to hear amplified noise? this ruffles my aspergers.

    the rockwell site has an old comments section where the artist is somewhat villified for using the fotos to trace his scenes- IIRC the use of a camera obscura in painting goes back centuries and sculptors relied on artisans to rough out statuary.

    I’m acquainted with the daughter of a well known illustrator- her father fotoed everyone in the family for magazine covers. sometimes even I can spot them in the finished artwork when I stumble across it.

    the lady across the street from us when I was a child sold tupper- didn’t make much money but she had a house full of it for years. knew a guy who recruited people to sell Amway- he did OK with it money-wise but the recruits got had. he always was happiest scamming people.

    this was a killer Daze, out of a body of always high quality posts.

  • Jim in Oxford February 11, 2021, 12:33 AM

    In my humble opinion, Norman Rockwell is truly one of America’s greatest artists. Any painting has always been, at base, an illusion; a great painting, by a great painter, is a masterful illusion. A great painter, at base, is a masterful draftsman — an ability with which Norman Rockwell was gifted. But even more, he had an eternal vision, the ability to see something and create a world. Even his photographs, from which he worked, illustrate this gift of being able to capture time and place.

    When my wife and I lived in Iowa, about a decade ago we drove to Hannibal, MO, to meet up with my niece who was attending WashU in St. Louis. One of the things the three of us stumble on that day was an exhibit in downtown Hannibal of Rockwell’s work. Considering where it was, place and building, it was mind-blowing. On display were a number of the original painting’s work-up sketches (drawings and cartoons) of his most-famous creations. Interesting it was to see how many of the original ideas experienced subtle, and improved, changes once they became the final painting. What a wonderful experience it was to be able to see this exposition.

    The ONLY reason Rockwell has, historically, been so vilified by Modern Culture, is hatred by the Cultural Elite of the yobs.

    Norman Rockwell — I suggest that another close view of his works is definitely worth your time!

  • Ony Mous February 11, 2021, 5:21 AM

    I used to drive a Silverado. 5 foot 2 and heavy in the thighs, i really had to stretch to get in the cab. But oh what a joy to drive. Maybe not The equalizer, but definitely An equalizer. I miss that truck. If i’m ever in a life situation where it’s just my choice, i’m gettin’ another one.

  • Casey Klahn February 11, 2021, 7:00 AM

    I am a double non-graduate of the NRockwell Correspondence Course. In the 60s-70s I ate his art up like it was ice cream. I still do love it, and the other guy from the same period who gets the same treatment from the intelligencia is Andrew Wyeth. Both Rockwell and Wyeth are vilified because: cultural politics. And yet, both of them only ascend in the American mind and heart. See how that works?

    Don Sensing! I hate to disagree with your paraphrase because I hold you as a scholar and a gentleman. But, CS Lewis was a monarchist, don’t forget.

    It isn’t skill that makes that art big A art, though. It helps; it is sweet skills that those artists show. Let me see if I can simplify this…”ar” is the root of art, which shows up in arm, artillery, and art. It means connection. Your hand has skill, but it must be connected to your heart and your head to produce that indescribable thing called art. Artillery? Any army vet knows that all war is inelegant until the artillery shows up. Cannonry is the art of persuasion.

    Sure he snapped a photo. I can see a master’s hand even in a tracing. But, don’t get me started in how photography has entirely screwed up your eyes. It is pretty much the rape of mankind’s vision, and 99% of photography has made you blind.

  • Casey Klahn February 11, 2021, 7:02 AM

    Forgive the paragraphs out of order. WYSIWYG turds me, again.

  • ghostsniper February 11, 2021, 8:07 AM

    I’m of few words today, so I’ll say it outright:
    “I won’t be ruled, and art is what I say it is.”
    You can quote me on that, after all, the world began the day I was born.

  • Jack February 11, 2021, 9:32 AM

    T’weren’t Chesterton who led Lewis to Christ; it was J. R. Tolkien.

    And I too am a strong advocate of two things for young men pursing young women. A keen sports car and a bit of skill with a guitar. My wife still loves both but after long years of marriage, a couple of shots of smooth tequila works better than either.

    I think that what people wear and how they present themselves says more about the overall condition of society than any other thing. The lady strolling in NYC looks absolutely beautiful and classy. No matter the ornamental stiff lace on her hat, compare her and her dress to what you see every time you go out. (I’ll spare you my rant on that subject.)

  • jack February 11, 2021, 9:36 AM

    Oh….and Barsoom. Could Lynn Collins have been any more beautiful?

  • EX-Californian Pete February 11, 2021, 11:21 AM

    How unfortunate that our current society has descended from the glorious days of Norman Rockwell into a surreal landscape of evil and insanity- resembling something painted by Salvadore Dali on LSD.

  • ghostsniper February 11, 2021, 2:12 PM

    Pete sed: “How unfortunate that our current society has descended from the glorious days of Norman Rockwell into a surreal landscape of evil and insanity- resembling something painted by Salvadore Dali on LSD.”

    It’s like you stole the words right out of my brain.
    Cept, I believe it’s a meth-krak combo not LSD.