Stanford Chaparral

The film "American Beauty" showed us the secret majesty of a plastic bag whipping about in the wind. Here are other seemingly mundane, everyday objects whose hidden beauties can fill us with joy.

A pencil lying on the ground

A broken beer bottle on a lawn

A pile of dirty metal that is or has been on fire

Part of a dead cat

Some wet, steaming garbage

A ham sandwich that has been smeared against the side of a building

A concrete wall featuring racist graffiti

A pornographic magazine that is nailed to a rotting piece of plywood


Discarded teeth that you know are riddled with herpes

The head of an old doll that once belonged to a boy who wasn't embarrassed about playing with dolls; the head has mustard all over it and there are tiny razor blades in the mustard