December 6, 2010

Transgender man wins battle to get name changed on university diploma

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:41 am

Justus Eisfeld won the right to get a new bul, a master’s degree diploma, Parool reported last Wednesday. Eisfeld had undergone a sex change, which required a name change, but the University of Amsterdam refused to issue a new diploma to reflect this new reality.

Minister for Education, Culture and Science Marja van Bijsterveld (one of only three women in the cabinet) has decreed that the university’s official stance, which stated that it is illegal to issue a new diploma, is incorrect. The University of Amsterdam has responded that it is now “very happy” to issue Justus Eisfeld a new document.

An added complication may be that it is generally difficult in civil law countries (i.e. non-Anglophone countries) to have one’s name changed at all. How does this work for our native English speaking readers? If you change your name from John Smith to Autocar Bumblebee III (as you all do!), does that mean you get to rewrite the paper trail?

(Photo by Hildo Krop, some rights reserved)

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June 18, 2010

Snoop Dogg suddenly canned by fearful bureaucrats

Filed under: Music,Shows by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

Ah yes, the pseudo-tolerant cliché of the Netherlands rears its ugly head: all of a sudden, hip hop artist Snoop Dogg, head act for The Hague’s Parkpop festival on Sunday 27 June, is not welcome. His show at the Melkweg in Amsterdam the next day is sold out. I’ll bet he’ll say some nice words about the bureaucrats in The Hague at his show.

Parkpop, said to be Europe’s biggest free pop festival, will feature Nena, Nick Lowe and Juliette Lewis. The mayor of The Hague, the attorney general and the cops think that it is a good idea to cancel Snoop Dogg, “in order to preserve the free, open and friendly nature of Parkpop.” Say what?

And not giving an explanation makes us imagine the worst of reasons. Even political parties are wondering why Snoop is being banned. Fear has to be part of the excuse.

Here is a great television appearance by Snoop Dogg on an old episode of ‘Jensen’ (Dutch talk show). It’s mostly in English with Dutch subtitles.


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November 10, 2008

Bureaucratica – the power of bureaucrats

Filed under: General,Photography by Orangemaster @ 11:01 am

Yes, it’s been on for a while, but the current exhibition Bureaucratica, quoted by The Wall Street Journal as “a surprisingly compassionate view of the ways in which individuals inevitably resist all efforts to impose one single standard of behavior,” is on display at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam until 14 December 2008.

The exhibition features the work of photographer Jan Banning who photographed bureaucrats from countries such as India, France, Liberia, the US, and Russia from 2003 to 2007.

(Link:, via, photo Jan Banning)

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