June 13, 2017

Obama’s unofficial official portrait is Dutch

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 10:03 am
Portrait of Barack Obama made of wood by Diederick Kraaijeveld

Portrait of Barack Obama made of wood by Diederick Kraaijeveld

Here’s some fake news for you, served up and spread generously by Americans on the Internet: that portrait artist Edwin van den Dikkenberg from Amsterdam painted Barack Obama’s official portrait (pic here).

According to Het Parool, Van den Dikkenberg painted an obviously very popular painting of the 44th POTUS, but it’s not going to be hanging in the White House any time soon.

The bunk was posted on Facebook and went viral. I don’t care who or what, but it is a good exercise in demonstrating that many people don’t check their facts and enjoy spreading fake news when it goes well with the walls of their echo chambers.

Van den Dikkenberg said he opened his email last Sunday and it was full of messages from the United States. He painted a portrait of Obama to show people what he could do, and didn’t expect it to be seen as an official portrait. “If Obama had personally asked me to paint him, I would have jumped two metres in the air. But that’s not the case”.

President Obama will have a portrait, the artist and image of which will be shared at a later date. And with all the commotion, probably not in a baggy, tan-coloured suit. Feel free to read about Scrapwood Obama that did make it to Washington, DC.

(Link: parool.nl)

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January 21, 2009

Text message got students to see Obama live

Filed under: Aviation,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:15 am

On 16 January, two ‘poor students’ were at a congress called the Big Improvement Day in Amsterdam where Sir Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group was a guest speaker. Through a back channel screen and using text messages (and oddly enough not free Twitter), people could ask Branson questions. Two guys jokingly asked him, “Would you bring two poor students to Washington?” to which Branson answered “yes” right away. They actually got to jet off to see Obama live yesterday. Cliché number one: ask, and you shall receive. Cliché number two: it’s easy to be off the cuff when you’re loaded.

Branson dropped the guys off in Washington, while the organisers of the congress offered to pay for their accommodations. Not bad.

(Link: rtl.nl)

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November 17, 2008

Tiger Woods has Dutch ancestry, but do we care?

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:26 am

I have no idea why this happens or why this is considered news, but there’s this ‘game’ the print media plays every once in a while which I call “Find the Dutch person” (“Zoek de Nederlander”). Allow me to explain.

Way back when Britney Spears was on the straight and narrow, Dutch Daily De Gelderlander had an article that read something like “Britney Spears has Dutch blood” and went on to explain she had ‘family’ in the province of Gelderland on her father’s side and that made her one fourth Dutch. This was seen as a source of pride.

Then right after Estonia won the Eurovision Songfestival in 2001, the papers said the win was “half Dutch” because Dave Benton was born on the island of Aruba, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This came off more like envy because the Netherlands’ last win in the Songfestival dates back to 1975.

And today, popular Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that Tiger Woods has Dutch blood because he is – get ready for this – one eighth Dutch! And apparently he’s really proud of being ‘multicultural’ too. He’s about as ‘African-American’ as Barack Obama is. That was sarcasm.

What’s wrong with the Dutch people ‘we’ (you) already have? As a Canadian, I go out of my way to point out that someone is Canadian or else they will be classified as American or French. Back in 1996 De Telegraaf called actor Leslie Nielsen American and sometime around 2004 some Flemish exhibition centre boasted about the great American singer Neil Young. I couldn’t let that last one slide.

Although there are tons of great Dutch people, islands and all who are surely a source of pride, I just cannot understand this identity soul searching. Even Anne Frank was seen a source of Dutch pride although she was German, while the growing amount of populists in the Netherlands are still not sure any Dutch person with a second passport qualifies.

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October 27, 2008

Dutch woman works on Obama’s campaign in the US

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:37 pm
Kirsten Verdel with Robert Kennedy Jr.

Thirty-year-old Kirsten Verdel of Rotterdam (seen here with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) currently works at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in the research department, helping with campaign strategy for Barack Obama.

“I’m not allowed to vote here, so what I’m doing is the next best thing,” Verdel said. “It’s a way to be involved, and that’s important because what happens in the U.S. directly impacts not just people in America, but people around the world, and not just world markets, but global policy.”

Verdel has effected change in her own country as a member of the Dutch Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid, or PvdA). She served as an elected member of the provincial parliament in South Holland and worked as a policy analyst for the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs. As a campaign manager in six elections in the Netherlands, she most recently helped secure the Senate-level election of a former Dutch minister.

Amazed by the financial and human capital involved in the 2008 presidential election, Verdel said in the Netherlands, all political parties combined spend the equivalent of $35 million for a national campaign. In America, one party can spend that sum in less than a week.

“Endorsing a candidate in the Netherlands would be like saying, ‘We’re not objective, we pick sides,’” she said. The role of Dutch newspapers “is not to endorse any position, but to write about it.”

Read the entire story here.

(Link: america.gov, photo: Kirsten Verdel. Thanks to the author Victoria Colette Reynolds for the tip!)

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