Your video for “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” is a big YouTube hit. What is it like to see it now?
I have a certain kind of pride connected to that piece. It was done, I think, in the early ’70s, 30 years ahead of the Lord of the Rings cycle. It’s a fun piece for kids. It’s amazing that it now has this big life. It also points to another issue, which is that, fairly recently, some kids were having a conversation with President Obama and someone asked him advice about building a political future and he said, “Be careful what you put on Facebook, because that stuff will show up.” So, there it is.
There have been comparisons between Obama and Spock. If he's Spock, who is Sarah Palin?
Oh God. I’m not going to go there. I’ve met Obama a couple of times. The first time, my wife and I went to a very modest luncheon, very early, when he was just starting to put himself out there as a candidate. We were waiting for him outside on the back patio of this lovely home, and he came through and saw me and gave me the Vulcan hand gesture and said, “They told me you were here.”
I’m aware of the comparisons. He’s got a tough, tough job. I don’t think he’d hoped or planned to be the president presiding over two wars and a severe economic crisis. There will be people sniping at him for what Dick Cheney referred to as “dithering.” Well, for Christ’s sake, how about giving it some thoughtful process before you send thousands of kids to die? It’s painful to watch the political game, them trying to outdo each other, to get political points at the expense of reality and intelligence.
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