Last month N.Y. Times columnist David Carr, a.k.a., “the Bagger,” was at an industry screening of Stephen Daldry‘s The Reader and “totally flipped his lid,” he writes in the third person, “when the couple next to him chattered happily through a scene in which a young man walks silently through a concentration camp. ‘Are you twits really going to talk your way through a scene at a concentration camp?’ he hissed.”

Twits! The growing fashion these days, of course, is to pull out a gun and start shooting when someone talks during a film, or at least pull out a squirt gun and let ’em have it two or three times in the back of the neck, or in the ear. Such luxuries, of course, are out of bounds for a Times guy. But more and more I’m detecting a John Wayne frontier-justice attitude about theatre gabbers. Critic-columnist Marshall Fine recently expressed sympathy for the motives of the Philadelphia shooter. “Awww, I didn’t hurt him!”