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Harry Knowles

Entertainment blogger and film critic, Harry Knowles created the website Ain’t It Cool News [www.aintitcool.com] in 1996. The site was quickly recognized for its colorful movie reviews and its wealth of insider news.

Due to the popularity, or perhaps the notoriety, of the website, Knowles was sought out by the mainstream media, including magazines, newspapers, and television news programs. In 2000, he was ranked #95 in the Forbes Power List in recognition of the influential power of his website. Due to his unorthodox style of journalism, Quentin Tarantino referred to Knowles as “the Wolf Blitzer of the Internet”. Knowles has made guest appearances on the television shows Siskel & Ebert & the Movies and Politically Incorrect.

1. What role do you feel art plays in politics?

Well, I’d say since Leni Refinstahl and Hitler, artists composing the image of politicians has become increasingly important in how these politicians are marketed to the public at large. Now – with the advent of the internet, we’re seeing political short films with increasing frequency put together quickly and with a higher degree of cinematic relevance. As for ART as a subject in politics, in this election, thus far, ART has had no real impact, as we’re dealing with issues like economic, war, environmental and energy. However, with a candidate like Sarah Palin, an evangelical that will advocate for “cleaner art” the issue may be raised. But frankly, I think this election will be focusing on these harder issues.

2. What do you think is the biggest issue for the next generation of Americans?

I think the single greatest issue facing all of us is ENERGY related. Right now, the wars we are in are all tied to ENERGY. With the advent of the internet and an increasingly electrical community, our demands for energy will increase. CHINA and INDIA are demanding more and more energy – the struggle for the remaining sources will increase strife and war on our planet, unless we completely ween not just the United States from Oil, but the rest of the world as well. This is the key to America becoming a significant leader as we drive further into the 21st Century. Drilling is not the solution, it isn’t even a band-aid.

3. Who was the first political candidate you were excited to vote for and why?

Bill Clinton – because after George H W Bush and Reagan he was such a breath of fresh air. However, every political candidate that I’ve been excited for pales in comparison to what I feel Obama can do for this Country at this exact period in history. With a Democratic Congress and the world looking to us to lead, he’s the exact sort of inspirational leader that can inspire us to be more than we are.

4. What factors are important to you in choosing a president?

To me, I like a President to be a realist – that can look at the lay of the land, the world that America finds itself in and sees that the problems facing America are not that we need to go back to the 1950′s ideologically. But that we move forward. That we accept that Global Warming is an issue, perhaps not for our lifetime, but definitely for our children and children’s children’s lifetimes, and that we can actually deal with the problems beyond our own times. That understands that TERRORISTS have killed under 5000, while cancer, obesity, diabetes and health concerns will kill the rest of us, and that the best NATIONAL DEFENSE to protect our people and ensures them a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is through UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

5. What issues would you like to see politicians focus more on?

Energy, Economy, Healthcare.

6. Which issues would you like to see politicians focus less on?

Abortion, Religion and Terrorism.

7. Which candidate’s initiatives do you feel better address environmental concerns?

Obama.

8. This is your soapbox – shout it out! What do you need to get off your chest?

There is only one correct vote in this election and that’s for Barack Obama. McCain and Palin are a nightmare future we need to avoid. McCain buckles under pressure. He crashed his plane 5 times. As a P.O.W. he took part in “enemy propaganda”. As part of the Keating 5, he rolled over on his fellow criminals. And when Bush & Rove destroyed him, he came back bowing his head and kissing their hands – and accepting the nice pat on the head. He has never been significant, never will be significant and his picking of Sarah Palin is the greatest signal of his insignificance and his lack of respect for office that he wishes to occupy.

9. Do you have any recommended links, books or movies so people can learn more about the issues you care about?

FactCheck.org [www.factcheck.org]

Extra Credit: Fill in the blank. _________ for change.

BRAINS for a change.