Knowing my scientific interest in rabid immigration enthusiasts like the Wall Street Journal Edit Page’s James Taranto, our friend Marcus Epstein just sent me a recent discovery with the note: “Peter— I thought you might enjoy this.” I did.
Yet as he’s risen steadily in his profession, Taranto has remained, by his friends’ account, much the same geek he was back in his L.A. adolescence. “I imagine he must be very lonely, as are many talented writers I’ve come across,” says Laurel Touby of Mediabistro. “Regular people have trouble relating to him. I recall hosting parties, and women would later ask me, ‘Who is that guy?’ because he was so intense. He’s a force, a bigger-than-life brain at a party. People are used to idle chitchat, and he would be in there with serious issues. Girls can’t wait to get out of there. [Taranto’s Web, by Duff McDonald, New York Magazine, September 6 2004]
Americans shouldn’t wait to get away from Taranto, either.