March 29, 2023

The annoying use of "you" in headlines these days is especially annoying when they assign mistakes to you that you haven't made.

I found this one especially irksome: "Why You Fell for the Fake Pope Coat/The pope didn’t actually wear that great jacket, but a lot of people were ready to believe he did" (The Atlantic).

I didn't think this really happened, did you? The Atlantic article explains "why" something that didn't happen — my falling for the fake Pope coat — happened and offers to help me not make such non-mistakes in the future. I haven't read the advice about not falling for AI-generated images because, on my own, I'm experiencing and developing skepticism and powers of observation and common sense.

In the case of the Pope's coat, it's way overdetermined that he didn't wear that. The Pope is unlikely to ever be anywhere so cold that a coat like that would even be comfortable. And if he was, he'd have to wear more of a hat than his usual minimal beanie, and he would need mittens. The source photo had to be taken indoors, probably on a fashion runway. And it screams "fashion." And the Pope never wears things that speak of fashion. It's always only traditional garb. Finally, what's he carrying? A water bottle? The Pope is never going to hydrate while out walking. I'm sure he has people to provide him with water if he needs it, but he'd never dangle a plastic bottle from his fingertips.


Ann Althouse said...

If you can see the hands in the embed, click on the image, which will take you to Twitter and to a larger image that includes the hands.

Kay said...

Yes I had seen these and they were funny and realistic, though not so realistic that I believed they were real.

Sydney said...

That’s a bottle of holy water

Enigma said...

It's technically terrible too -- his head has a slightly wrong angle and wrong size. It looks exactly like a cheap green screen image or amateur Photoshop mashup. Before that, it'd have been a hand painted or cutout fake a la the "real fairies" photos of a hundred years ago:

It was not news, but "YOU" (they) needed to fill space in the publication.

tim maguire said...

I suppose I "fell for" the pope coat. But only because it was too insignificant for me to think about. I saw the picture and moved on, and later saw the debunking and moved on. Completely forgot about it within seconds.

Is that what the Atlantic said my mistake was--having "it's real" be my default so that if I don't care enough to think about it, then I am fooled?

tim maguire said...

Journalists have a bad habit of projecting their opinions onto others. Then, when the opinions turn to to be wrong, they castigate those imagined "others" for being so gullible. It's a cowardly technique, but common. And I've been noticing it for decades.

Crimso said...

My favorites are those that are fairly prominent in the Gannett cult of newspapers that are of the form "The Transphobes Are Literally Murdering Every Trans Person. Three Things You Need To Know" or "White Supremacy Is Causing The Sun To Go Nova. What You Need To Know."

Sydney said...

Also, he’s been selling minorities out to the Chinese government lately. Maybe they sent him to the mountains of Nepal.

Kate said...

Also, the Pope is extremely restricted physically. He walks with assistance and hunched over. I do like this kind of Blue Steel Pope look, though.

J2 said...

Well Pope Benedict blessed Prada's red loafers, for real.

Lilly, a dog said...

Can a Millennial/Gen Z "journalist" write any story that doesn't involve something seen on Twitter or TikTok? It seems abundantly clear that this is what they do all day long, instead of actual work. Total Buzzfeedification.

Leland said...

Is that supposed to be a coat or a Michelin Man costume?

re Pete said...

"I dreamed I saw St. Augustine

Alive as you or me

Tearing through these quarters

In the utmost misery

With a blanket underneath his arm

And a coat of solid gold"

rastajenk said...

He does strike a dashing figure for an old dude.

R C Belaire said...

Just the very tip of the AI/digital iceberg. Much more to come, and of course we will all be questioning our sanity/comprehension in the future. What fun!

JRoberts said...

The bright colored spandex ski pants were also a clue...

Gusty Winds said...

Typical liberal media headline "Why something that sounds like complete bullshit, makes perfect sense after we weave it into the magic cloth worn by the Emperor."

After you read and digest their crap, you're supposed to be one of the gifted people that can now see the cloth. You're enlightened. You're woke. You're a 21st century empty headed, credentialed intellectual.

Why women with penises can have periods, and experience menstrual cramps.
Why Global Warming is real despite no actual warming.
Why the mRNA vaccine is safe and effective even though you can still catch and spread COVID.
Why we are giving $100 billion to Ukraine to defend democracy even though Ukraine is completely corrupt.
Why masculinity is toxic even though we still need it to dig our ditches and fight wars.
Why Joe Biden is the most ethical President ever despite accepting money from China.
Why Donald Trump and his supporters are racist even though they want people to be judged by character.
Why COVID came from a wet market serving bat soup, even though there was a lab a mile away fucking with bats.
Why tranny pole dancing is ok for children, but taking them to a strip club is not.
Why it's ok to ignore all the powerful men and women that had sex with young girls on Epstein's Island.

Between the MSM, liberal dominated public education and Colleges...the west is more than likely fucked.

Dave Begley said...

“I'm experiencing and developing skepticism and powers of observation and common sense.“

Ann, You’re in a shrinking minority there.

Quaestor said...

The Atlantic and many other publications and periodicals have more grievous pronoun problems than the insidious hypothetical you.

Amy Welborn said...

Related: The headline or assertion that "we need to..."

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

This all started with that not-Funny Tina Fey.

My dumb as a rock neighbor actually believed Sarah Palin said "I can see Russian from my house"

gspencer said...

He was doing an ad for Michelin tires,

Wince said...

How long before someone puts the Pope's head in a photo of MTG's white coat she wore to the State of the Union?

RideSpaceMountain said...

Regarding popes and fashion, did you know that the Patriarch of Moscow has a hat where the little cross on top of his hat folds down so he can get in and out of cars?

It's true. Look it up on YouTube. I guess they got tired of him repeatedly breaking off the little cross or damaging the vehicle upholstery, so they put a little hinge on the little cross so it folds down.

It is the most adorable thing in the history of pope fashion. Beats the communist in the michelin man jacket by a Vatican mile.

James K said...

The "you" is annoying, as is the use of "us" to suggest some bond between the writer and the reader.

But the worst trope that's spread around the media is the condescending "We explain...," which implies I'm too stupid to figure something out from just the factual information that I would like from the media. I associate it first with Vox, which has as its slogan, "The news, explained," as if I'm interested in hearing their "explanations" a.k.a. leftist spins on news stories.

narciso said...

Like the pirate shirts in seinfeld

Ralph L said...

Talk about annoying yous in headlines!

I was just reading about the Papal beanie on the St Meghan Markle reddit last night. Someone was comparing a recent photo of Harold's bald "spot" with a tonsure and Papal beanie (I've already forgotten the correct RC nomenclature that someone contributed). The atlantic didn't capitalize Pope in their headline.

Yancey Ward said...

While I can still spot the fakes, it is getting harder and harder to do so. I can use context to spot the really good ones-like, for example, the Pope is 99% of the time in a location without extreme cold weather. However, within five years you won't be able to distinguish the fake videos from the real ones without contextual clues, and, eventually, you won't be able to distinguish the fake from the authentic on even a technical level. The era of video evidence is about to be upended.

MadisonMan said...

When I see "You" in a headline, I usually just substitute "I" for it, and assume it refers to the poor journalist and that the piece probably should be an Op-Ed.

Ficta said...

"My dumb as a rock neighbor actually believed Sarah Palin said "I can see Russian from my house"

It's not just the intellectual dummies: a friend of mine who is highly educated (advanced degree, very prestigious institution, academically published) believed it too! Some variant of Gell-Mann amnesia perhaps.

Quaestor said...

"Like the pirate shirts in Seinfeld."

But I don't wanna be a pontiff!

Lurker21 said...

Somebody else in the blogosphere -- I forget who -- was complaining about all the "Why Everything You Know About ... Is Wrong" headlines. They are certainly condescending, assuming the reader's ignorance or stupidity and the great wisdom and truthfulness of the writer.

Rather like "fact checking." When the media "fact check" something I wonder if I could ever go wrong by just assuming that the opposite is the truth.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm amazed that there are 3 "Michelin Man" comments.

I have heard "Michelin Man" remarks about down jackets since the first time down jackets were seen in America, more than 50 years ago.

Doesn't this observation — looks like the Michelin Man — ever get old?!

n.n said...

We need nationwide insurrections to know if our perception is plausible, probable, or an article of faith.

Ann Althouse said...

Once, long ago, I saw Patrick Sky in concert, and I knew a lot of his songs but not the one he did about the Pope (Pope Paul VI at the time). I've never forgotten it, and it's why I use the word "beanie" for the Pope's skullcap:

There's a man who lives over the ocean
And who has got a great notion
That he is the World's Greatest Hope
He's Giovanni Montini, the Pope

Giovanni Batista Montini
He lives in the Vatican-nini
He's Italian; he doesn't use soap
He's Giovanni Montini, the Pope!

When Atheists try to distract him
He doesn't let it upset him,
He just makes the High Sign on his chest,
Lets his Boss Man take care of the rest!

No cherub could ever sub-pee-ni
Giovanni Batista Montini
For how can you possibly quibble
With a man who is infalli-bibble?

Giovanni Batista Montini
He lives in the Vatican-nini
And he don't even have to smoke dope
'Cause he's Giovanni Montini
You know who I mean-i
The one with the beanie!
Giovanni Montini, the Pope!

Ann Althouse said...

I know some of that is in poor taste, but it was pretty lightweight stuff at the time. I would ask him to rewrite the line "He's Italian; he doesn't use soap."

Sky died in 2021, but he was one of the folkies of the 1960s..

You can find the "Pope" song on his 1973 album "Songs That Made America Famous."

Joe Smith said...

It would be a scarlet coat in any case.

Hides the communion wine drops.

Ann Althouse said...

Something I just learned about Patrick Sky: He once said to Joni Mitchell, "Oh, Joni, you're a hopeless romantic. There's only one way for you to go. Hopeless cynicism" — and that was, by her account, the inspiration for her song "The Last Time I Saw Richard."

Lyrics from Mitchell's song:

The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in '68
And he told me, "All romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark café
"You laugh," he said, "you think you're immune
Go look at your eyes, they're full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies, pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies?
Only pretty lies, just pretty lies

tommyesq said...

Doesn't this observation — looks like the Michelin Man — ever get old?!

I was going to make a "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" from Ghostbusters, but I suppose that is also about a fifty-year old reference now.

mccullough said...

The pope wears a zucchetto on his head in the photo. Although beanie is kinda funny. Gentile yarmulke.

etbass said...

Today's headlines on line are designed to get clicks. Formerly, headlines were designed to give the main information.

Yesteryear, the headline, "Japs bombed Pearl Harbor" would be today, "See who bombed Pearl Harbor."

Joe Smith said...

'Yesteryear, the headline, "Japs bombed Pearl Harbor" would be today, "See who bombed Pearl Harbor."'

More like: "I bet you can't guess who bombed Peal Harbor. Photo 8 will leave you gasping!"

Bunkypotatohead said...

Maybe once the point is reached that everything you see online is potentially fake, we can dispense with it all and return to real life activities.
The internet has to be the biggest time waster ever created.

Narayanan said...

Sydney said...
That’s a bottle of holy water
handy for social distance from his constant companion!?