If you spot a man with an unshaven face and sporting long hair in the coming days, the chances are that he could be a Congressman. Reason: the 15 lakh-odd barbers in the state have decided to stop servicing Congress leaders. This is in protest against the Congress state government not lending a sympathetic ear to their long-pending demand on power supply to barber shops: Barbers to boycott Congress Leaders
The associations had even filed representations with the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) requesting that they be shifted at least to the LT-cottage industry category if not residential. Nayee Brahmin association representative DV Nagendra Rao also appeared at public hearings to make out a case that as a profession, barbers should be given concessional treatment. But all that fell on deaf ears and hence this extreme step.
CNN gave a interesting related news story: Politics is an ever-present topic in barbershops all over world especially in India. Boycotting of barbers means loosing votes of not only barbers but also of most of their customers.
Politics, though often a taboo subject at social events and many workplaces, is the topic of choice in his shop, said Quavis.
Men share opinions with Quavis that they wouldn't be comfortable discussing with their closest friends, said the longtime New York resident. "They trust me."
"More or less, I'm not a threat to them. I'm not going to judge them for their opinions."
Quavis, 46, founded Taylor Mae'd a decade ago and began recording videos of his conversations with customers in December 2008. In an introductory video on his Web site, Quavis explains his goal. "This is a chance to take a look and see what Americans are passionate about."
He also offers a warning: "If strong opinions offend you, then maybe this isn't the Web site for you."
Perhaps surprisingly, many customers allow their discussions to be filmed and shared online. Quavis posts his barbershop videos on CNN's iReport.com and his personal Web site, All Buzzed Up.
Though the men speak with obvious fervor, they manage to stay calm and still as scissors fly through their hair. Quavis heard plenty of political chatter when he worked as a bartender, but says those conversations were never as civil as those in the barbershop.
During a typical recorded conversation, Quavis will ask about a current legislative issue, then let the customer talk as he goes to work. Often, the energetic barber will jump in to share his observations.
"I try to keep them guided by what's going on in the news today," he said.
Jack Quavis has put a tech spin on America’s traditional opinion forum: the local barbershop. Sitting in his barber’s chair gets you a shave, a haircut and a chance to voice your ideas on a webcam. Click on the thumb nails to watch customers participate in civilized discourse.
There is Atwar, blog at nytimes:
BAGHDAD – “We are brothers in this barbershop,” Sadiq al-Jaff, a barber, said when I showed up for a haircut and, this being election season, a sampling of the voters’ mood.
He is himself a Kurd, he explained. The barber in the first chair, a Shiite from Karbala, the holy city. Their clients: a Kurd and a Sunni. “And I’m a Jew,” Rasim Mansour, in fact a Shiite, said from his chair, jokingly suggesting that perhaps Mr. Jaff was overdoing the brotherhood thing a bit.
Iraq may yet be riven with ethnic and sectarian divisions – certainly among its political leaders – but in fact the need for a haircut seemed to have brought me to a little ecumenical oasis in the bustling heart of Baghdad. On the walls hung a postcard of a Christian altar and another of Imam Hussein, the revered Shiite martyr and grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
The barbershop – three chairs in a tiny storefront in Karada, on the eastern side of the Tigris – has been there since 1948, through the monarchy, the republic, revolution, dictatorship and war. In all that time the men who gather there have probably never been freer to discuss the Iraq’s faith and politics, its leaders and their shortcomings.
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