Never mind what "Media Equation" columnist David Carr is doing at a mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, covering the appearance of Twilight star Robert Pattinson, when his time could be better spent bemoaning job losses in the news media from his protected bubble in the Times newsroom.
Consider, instead, the painful effect on Carr's eardrums of the screams of 1,000 adoring female fans. And, by extension, the painful effect on his prose:
In collective pitch, frequency and volume the sound would make a shuttle launching seem demure, a Jack White guitar solo retiring, a jackhammer somehow soothing. To reach into history, it may have approached Beatles-at-Shea-Stadium loud, replete with the weeping, swooning and self-hugging, and only the ambient flutter of cellphone cameras and furious texting by way of modern update.
For the record, 55,600 fans attended the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in 1965. Clearly, Carr was not among them.
What, exactly, explains the Times's obsession with Pattinson and Twilight? It seems like only yesterday that the Styles Section devoted its "A Night Out With..." column to one with Pattinson.
Wait, that was yesterday.