Please Excuse The Interruption

Today in the week in Tabs that wasn't.

I don’t normally like to break the “third wall” of newsletter verisimilitude like this but I got sick on Tuesday, and while I’m feeling much better (thank you) and I thought for sure Tabs would be back today, every time I sit down to write my head goes:

It’s a weird thing to write one (1) email per day as a job because if I email you to say I’m taking the day off, I have in fact technically not taken the day off. So I guess I’m writing this to tell you I am technically not taking the day off. But only technically.

Tweet from @carvellwallace: sorry i’m late bro i strait fell asleep legit zzzz-pilled real honk shoo hours dog mimimi gang for life my guy cozy time squad down good fr fr

If you want to know what’s happening on the internet at slightly greater length and coherence than the Tabs standard, you should always check with Garbage Ryan, who had all the good takes yesterday on Trump and Twitter. Otherwise, you know what? We haven’t missed much this week.

The only story that I think hasn’t gotten enough attention is a report in Science that a new study claims “T. rex had lips.” Paleontologists are still bitterly divided on whether or not she also had a cretacious booty.

Tyrannasaurus Rex majestically bestriding the prehistoric landscape, with the juiciest med-spa lips, ready for her Real Housewives of Miami audition. Art courtesy of Tabs Senior Contributing Editor for Graphics Alison Headley.

I may not be able to write today, but like Joseph Stalin, I can still edit. So here, filling in for my ░f░u░u░z░z░y░ ░b░r░a░i░n░, is Today in Tabs’ Senior This Looks Shopped to Me Correspondent Allegra Rosenberg with:

A Special Report
Tweet from @sarah_michelson: “fooled again by another AI-generated image smh” above the famous Cottingley Fairies picture, which, if no alt text has ever described that to you, is a black and white photo of a winsome looking young girl in the midground between what looks like a blurry waterfall in the background and some foliage in front. On the foliage are dancing four extremely fake looking little butterfly-winged fairies that look like paper cut-outs because they are in fact paper cut-outs.

We get it, we get it, the Pope Coat’s fake. The finest minds of our time are on the case. The whole thing made me reminisce fondly on my addiction to checking Worth1000.com every day in middle school. To my youthful untrammeled imagination there was nothing more thrilling than the deranged yet realistic output of hobbyist Photoshoppers putting arms on whales, making bugs really big, &c.

What’s the most famous pre-digital shooped pic you can think of? Perhaps Stalin’s endless visual expurgations, which have been memed to death. Tabbers of taste and discernment might also be familiar with the Cottingley Fairies, in-camera fakes using paper dolls which suckered none other than Arthur Conan Doyle, by that time a devout follower of Spiritualism and an accomplished sucker

Then there’s World War I field photographer Frank Hurley, who nearly got kicked off the gig for creating his stunning composites—manipulated combinations of images which he claimed represented the true horrors of war better than any individual photo. Seeing himself as an artist, he had no qualms about enhancing or inventing when it came to his front photography, as long as it evoked the right sort of emotion in the viewer. 

AI images don’t generate themselves. There is a prompt and a huge training corpus behind each one. Human motivations drive all art, even bad art, even AI art, even art you don’t like, even and perhaps especially the Pope Coat, which is so goddamn silly, HOW HIGH do you even have to BE just to DO something like that (answer: very high on shrooms.) 

—Allegra Rosenberg can tell by the pixels

Everything else:

Cat and Girl: Gnostalgia

CBC News: “Watch as a steady stream of rats falls from this moving truck.” You can’t say you weren’t warned.

Close watchers like Goldman and Behrens know the Emerson case by name and could provide it to me readily as an example of the poop emoji in court, but if I tried searching the phrase “poop emoji” in a legal database, I probably wouldn’t have found the case. 

Yes, this problem sounds pretty minor, but keep in mind that databases also struggle with diacritical marks or mathematical and scientific notation for the same reasons I can’t throw 💩 at them.

Apparently the Verge CMS also had to be updated to render the 💩 correctly for this article.

Today’s Song: The final piece of Tabs news that was supposed to drop this week was the debut of Song of the Day Intern Sam Gavin, professional amateur sneakerhead and host of NO CHILL on KCHUNG radio, who’ll be contributing some of the Today’s Songs. His first contribution is Tanukichan, "Don't Give Up"

Thanks to Senior Contributing Editor for Graphics Alison Headley for the beautiful T. rex, she looked at so many filler lips for that. And I promise I’ll be fine next week. I mean, you know, “fine.” Times being what they are.1 

Since I skipped out on you so flagrantly this week, I’m opening up comments to everyone in this post. Got a tab? Leave a tab. Need a tab? Take a tab. Be nice, no arguing. I’m going back to bed.

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