10 posts categorized "The International Day to Bite Me"

Celebrate My Fit of Pique!

Bite Me Black Dress

What does it take to unleash your indignation?  Eight years ago, a calendar and a couple of beers did it for me.

It came to my attention that some busybody proclaimed the second Monday in January as National Clean Off Your Desk Day.  This impertinence provoked me to declare the following day, January 13, The International Day to Bite Me.   

The busybody in question was one Anna Chase Moeller, daughter of Bill Chase, who co-founded the Chase's Calendar of Events in 1957.  Rumour has it that Anna helped in the family business, and in so doing, shared a desk with her father.  As is the case with pretty much all entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers, creative personalities, and productive people of every stripe, the desk was a mess.  In a snit, Anna declared National Clean Off Your Desk Day to humiliate her father's habits.  Once a year, Bill was forced to sacrifice a day of personal productivity to appease his daughter, who no doubt could have worked on the goddamn kitchen table if the sight of actual work upset her so goddamn much.  Neat-freaks have used it to shame us normal people ever since. 

In 2017, The International Day to Bite Me falls on a Friday.   By coincidence, the first Friday the 13th of every year is National Blame Someone Else Day.  (It's also National Rubber Duckie Day, but that's another story.)

On Friday, August 13 1982, a sleepy Michigan woman found that her alarm clock had failed to ring.  This set off a cascade of lateness and bad luck that hounded her throughout the day.  The National Blame Someone Else Day commemorates her string of excuses and apologies.  In truth, it should be National Blame Fate Day, since the mechanical failure likely had no human source.  Unless it was the woman herself who failed to set the alarm on August 12—in which case we should celebrate National Sorry, It's My Own Damned Fault Day.

Who was this unfortunate woman?  None other than a certain Mrs Anna Chase Moeller.  

Clearly, this amounts to an abuse of privilege. Anna's way to vent petty annoyances was to declare a day after them, because in the days before the internet, she was one of the few who could.  Well, two can play at that game now, eh?

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 08.58.53By the authority vested in me by Typepad blogging software, Deutschland über Elvis declares The International Day to Bite Me 2017 open for all.  The ritual Flipping of the Bird will take place across Germany and the rest of the world, perhaps flipped all the harder because it might occur over Friday drinks.  

Personally, I spread the message by keeping calm.  On the International Day to Bite Me graphics page, you'll find an #ID2BM Keep Calm message, created on the official Keep Calm and Carry On Merchandise Store.  I had it embroidered on a pillow, suitable for screaming into. 


Get Your Sneer On

 

IDTBM vert sneer white

 

Today's the day.  Tell the busybodies and fusspots that they can bite you, as those witty young people say nowadays. 

Then tell us about it on the IDTBM home page. Or the IDTBM facebook event page.   Tweet about it with the tag #bitemeday.  Or just leave a comment here.

If you're in Munich, a few of us might be getting together for a quiet Bite Me drink this evening to swap stories of how we expressed our enormous contempt.  Let's call it Bite Me, Beer Me.  Drop me a line if you're up for it.

 

 


Pixel Perfect

IDTBM square subtle
A messy desk acts as a lightning rod for scorn from some.   Far be it from me to judge those who would spend time clearing up papers, rather than thinking of ideas to write on them. 

No scratch that.  I judge, and judge hard.  Those people can bite me. 

But something happened on Thursday January 13th 2011, the Third Annual International Day to Bite Me, which gave pause. And it goes to the heart of what the day is all about.

I made a PowerPoint presentation.   Now, a lot of people may race ahead to the conclusion that this formed part of the problem.  Not at all.  I adore PowerPoint.  My decks are like poetry; not meant to be read, but to be spoken.   They are drama.   Everybody loves them.  For the first ten minutes, anyway.

APresentation1s ever, when setting up, the audience caught a glimpse of my laptop's desktop.  It held all the electronic documents that I was working on, or using. It showed a few bits of flotsam; scratch-spreadsheets, e-books, installers that had been downloaded and used, but not discarded.  You know, the usual stuff.

One audience member saw the screen, and gasped.  "Wow", he said.

This wasn't a good wow.  It was a that-must-have-hurt wow.  A three-car-pile-up wow.  It was an I-really-wanted-to-say-fucking-hell wow. 

"Hat der Herr ein Problem?" I asked in German.  Does the gentleman have a problem?

He replied in English.  "No, no problem.  Just...um, wow."

Think about this.  If there is one desktop which needs no tidiness, it's the desktop on your computer.  If you can't find something, hit search.  It can be anywhere, and you'll find it. 

But my colleague didn't get that far.  His hindbrain jerked his instincts.  It conflated the normal disorder of the active workbench, with dangerous chaos. 

Now there are some people with those instincts, and some not. I don't have those instincts to any great degree.  For me, the actual work is of more importance than the form it takes.

And real work takes mess; on yourdesk, on your desktop, in the library, on your workbench, in your kitchen, under your car, in your legislature. 

And that's what the International Day to Bite Me celebrates.  Actual work getting done, thoughts being thought, deals being closed and fun being had.

When somebody sneers at your desk tomorrow, tell them to bite you.   When someone sneers a your parking, tell them to bite you.  When someone sneers at your kitchen, tell them to bite you.  Then tell us on the IDTBM home page. Or the IDTBM facebook event page.   Or tweet about it with the tag #bitemeday.

Make us say "wow".   In a good way.


National Clean Off Your Desk Day Passes Without Incident

Happy holiday, everyone. Yesterday was the second Monday in January, or National Clean Off Your Desk Day

You may recall that on just such a wintery day in 2009, a certain blogger failed to clean off his desk.  Instead, he wrote a blistering blogpost, and washed down his bile with a beer.  That post  declared the following day, January 13, the International Day to Bite Me. A day to tell those busybodies and fusspots where they can stick their manilla folders and pencil sharpeners.


IDTBM to the heavensIDTBM beats the NCOYDD hands down.  Not just because the purpose is noble, but also because it dispenses with that stupid business of landing on a different date every year.   Oh, you ever-so-organised people who must have the damn thing on a Monday every year because that's all neat and orderly, as opposed to being easy to remember!  We who follow the IDTBM philosophy like to remember stuff.  That's why we don't need to be neat and orderly.  Our minds are big enough to know where all our shit is.  Take that.  Now go and put all your pencils in a coffee mug or something. 

In my humble opinion, the Personal Organising community has been dispensing some odd, if not silly, advice.  For example, hint #3 on how to keep your desk tidy in this HuffPo piece is "Keep Everything at Your Fingertips".   No, really.   And, of course, any place where you work hard, collaborate or have fun can harbour germs.  An unmanaged desk will kill you!

This year, we see a beautiful co-incidence.  National Clean Off Your Desk Day occurred on January 9, two days after I'm Mad As Hell And I'm Not Going To Take It Any More Day on January 7.  No, really.  Click this link if you don't believe me. And this one.  And this one, too, since it has some cool videos.

I regard Mad as Hell Day, occuring less than a week before, as a nice warm-up for the International Day to Bite Me.  But alas, like so many holidays, Mad as Hell Day went commercial.  Zany Holidays wants to sell you a stress ball.  The Giftypedia website also suggests a stress ball, or perhaps a nice long vacation

Bugger that.  Do not look inward for a solution.  You don't need to buy some bauble to comfort you when the problem rests with others  Just sharpen your tongue.  It's cheaper.

And when you do, tell us about it on the IDTBM home page. Or the IDTBM facebook event page.   Or tweet about it with the tag #bitemeday. 


The Fifty Most Annoying Germans, as Judged by Experts

Screen shot 2011-12-30 at 14.52.32It is not a part of German culture to withold one's disapproval.  Many foreigners who live here can recount tales of being told off for anything, anything at all, which a passer-by deems improper.

Haughty matrons tell off the Heidelbergerin for not packing her groceries fast enough at the Aldi.  Ian in Hamburg gets the stink-eye for riding his bike in the afternoon on a work day.  Phone operators chastise me for not having the serial number of my washing machine handy when I call for a repairman.  And customs officers assure everyone that no matter how the form is filled out, it's wrong.

Yes, we like to point out each other's faults, here in Germany.  So it shouldn't surprise us that among the highlights of last month's viewing, we find Pro Sieben's Most Annoying Germans of 2011.  

If you open the list of fifty most annoying Germans, one sees the smiling face of Boris Becker.  This shocked me.  Not that Becker made the list, but rather, that there were 49 others in front of him.

The Odd Men Out

Television viewers selcted the Die Nervigsten Deutschen, and they showed quite specific tastes in their distaste.  They filled the top five slots with tabloid glitterati, except for one. 

The Pope (#4), technically qualifies as a German, and a Bavarian at that.  But to call His Holiness annoying is to call Dick Cheney a little haughty, or Bernie Madoff an inconvenience.  

Two of this year's Nervigstern filed in joint names, those cooing turtledoves Pietro Lombardi and Sarah Engels. The pair fell in bed love when they placed first and second on Deutschland Sucht den Superstar, part of the Pop Idol franchise.  They got engaged soon after, and many smelled a cynical PR opportunity.  The pair drips with starry-eyed goo.  Each wears a silver ID bracelet that reads Sarah and Pietro, and have been seen, in public, sharing a lollipop.  They are so romantic, they are rarely seen outside each other's mouths.

And you know what?  Good for them.  Public displays of affection annoy only the cynical, the miserable and the loveless. Yes, voting public, that obviously means you.

The panel of TV commenters weren't far behind the mob, baying for blood and public humiliation. 

Comedian Simon-Gosejohann chided Pietro for having no self-awareness or interior life.  Rapper Sido trotted out the old chestnut that dumme Menschen sind glücklich, or stupid people are happy, to wild applause from the studio audience.  Comedienne Carolin Kebekus just kind of sneered. 

A Bunch of Boobs

What annoys the public more than romance?  Breasts, it would appear.  The remaining three finalists sport boobs like zeppelins, as the professionally annoyed panel reminded us.

The booth announcer commented that fifth place mononame Indira had just been reassessed by ratings agencies, and "upgraded from a D+ to a DD+".  Amid many shots of second place Gina-Lisa Lohfink's ample bustline, Sido cattily christened her Vagina-Lisa, and moderator Micky Beisenherz changed her last name to Lohfick.  For those of you who don't know: ficken, in German, means to fuck.   It takes real class to be that annoyed.

Katzenberger kindle biography(An aside: According to , the Langenscheidt youthspeak dictionary, young German men call such a rack a docking station.  They don't seem to be terribly nervig.)

Die Siegerin

So, who is the most annoying German for 2011?  It's the pneumatic Daniela Katzenberger, an actress/model/singer/personality/author.  At first glance, she might seem like a celebrity in the Gabor or Kardashian mold—or as we say in German, she has no hobbies.  But like the cat after which she is named, her cunning hides her genius.  Her autobiography confirms it: it's titled Be Crafty, Play Dumb.

She is truly a child of the media, with an unerring sense for publicity.   As a teenager, she auditioned for a spot on Auf und Davon – Mein Auslandstagebuch, one of the several popular reality shows which document the tales of Germans who set out for a new life abroad. 

Daniela set her eyes on Chicago, and scored an internship with Hooters.  When Hooters learned that their new intern would be bringing a TV crew, they rather wisely demurred.  But that didn't stop Katzi, and she delivered her application to become a Playboy Bunny to Hugh Hefner himself.  I understand he offered to marry her, before someone reminded him that he was married already.

From there, no-one could stop her.

Who's Annoying Whom?

I think it's fair to ask a question of the people behind The Most Annoying Germans of 2011. 

That question is not what will people think of Germany with all these programmes about Germans getting on each other's nerves and wanting to leave the country?  

No, the question is who the hell do you think you are?

The gracious Miss Katzenberger has not responded to this taunt on her highly-professional, multilingual website.  (I notice that none of the panel of commenters has a goddamn multilingual website, BTW.) 

But if she should wish to tell these TV sorts where to get off, I invite her to do it this Friday, January 13.  It, of course, is the fourth annual Deutschland über Elvis International Day to Bite Me.

Bite me, bitte!

Snarl at them, Katzi.  You can read all about the history of The International Day to Bite Me at its homepage on Deutschland über Elvis, join in the fun on our Facebook event page, or follow the hashtag #bitemeday.  

DüE declared the day in response to the annual Clean Off Your Desk Day, and it celebrates, with a hearty bite me!, a deserved riposte to all those busybodies who will tell you how to live your life.

Daniela, you can let those puppies loose anywhere you want.  Ignore what people say!

IDTBM Square strangle


The Third Annual International Day to Bite Me, January 13.

Clean desk loafing
Look at the photo above.  What do you see? 

Here's what I see.  A clean desk.  And absolutely no work being done!

It astonishes me when self-righteous neat-freaks suggest that a desk with no sign of work upon it shows more evidence of industry than a desk which looks like it's actually used.

That's why the second Monday in January—National Clean Off Your Desk Day—gets my goat.

In 2009, Deutschland über Elvis declared an anti-holiday in response.  The International Day to Bite Me occurs every January 13, and celebrates a number of things. 

It celebrates creativity, thoughtfulness, and humanity.  It celebrates a temperate and relaxed order to one's life, as opposed to an obsessive quest for absolute control over everything that happens around you.   It empowers you to resist, when others tout their neuroses as virtues.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE

First, choose your target.  When they nag you, let'er rip.  Then  go to the Official International Day to Bite Me Page, and leave a comment.  Let us hear your stinging riposte. Tell us who you told off.  How did they take it? 

If you're feeling really riled up, you might like to post a story on your own blog.  Or show your support on the IDTBM facebook event page.

And you can get into practice for the big event on January 7.  It's I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take It Any More Day.  The perfect warm-up, wouldn't you agree?


Time to Flex Your Middle Finger.

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The second annual International Day to Bite Me has arrived!  It's your day to flip the bird at the small-minded, the petty, the unreasonable, the insufferable.  Tell us your story in the comments, or you can blog about it, and link back here.

Whales and Dolphins are Delicious!

And to put you in the mood, here's the Tokyo Choir of Complaint.  I'm not sure whether they should bite us, or they want us to bite them.  No matter.  It's splendid discontent, if a little too polite. 

By the way, the government forbids the Complaints Choir of Singapore from performing in public.  Sounds like they need a National Bite Me Day, real bad.


I refuse to participate in your neurosis

Bite me woman

The second Monday in January, is special.  The day-declaring people declared it National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

Odd.  Studies, they say, show people with messy desks are as productive as those with tidy ones.  Perhaps even moreso, if they produce thinking

People use their desks to park information they may need, but which they can't keep top of mind.  Getting people to clean up their desk gives them, according to one expert, an "environmental lobotomy".

Yet companies still enforce clean-desk rules. And a veritable industry has grown up around getting people neat and organised. 

Last year, I was so outraged at National Clean Off Your Desk Day, that I declared the following day, January 13th, as National Bite Me Day.

Because it's about more than a messy desk, IMHO.

People make moral judgements about slobs.  Slobs obviously have more important things to do than clean their desks.  They might use the time to think beautiful, original thoughts.  Do you know how uncomfortable that makes the world's meddlers, busybodies, control-freaks and Calvinists? 

Be alert to those who pass off their own hangups as "helpful". Or just plain better.

This issue is about people with nothing better to do who seek to foist whatever it is on you that they have nothing better to do than.  (Hey, grammar police!  Suck on THAT.)

HOW TO TAKE PART:

Refuse to accept someone else's emotional agenda.  Draw a boundary.  Don't let them bully you, with bogus arguments about what's best, what's right, what's more efficient, what's pretty, what's nice, what's necessary. Your emotional comfort is as important as theirs. Say so. 

Afterwards, leave a comment.  Let us hear your stinging riposte. Tell us who you told off.  How did they take it?  Not that you, like, care.

Click on the twink-link to your right to get the full story, or on this page.

You might like to post about it on your own blog, and link back to here.  You'll find some (if I do say so myself) cool graphics here, should you clever webophiles want to use them as a hotlink.  I've already paid the royalties on the images, which was rather well organised of me. Don't you think?


Organised Resistance

The Honourable Desk, at Prominent Global Communications Firm GmbH

 

Today, January 12, sees the Professional Personal Organising Community aflutter over National Clean Off Your Desk Day. In a brilliant stroke of post-modernism, the day was first declared by a leader of the Professional Day-Declaring Community.


I have two words for the Professional Personal Organising Community. One of them is
off.

You have read before that the Honourable Husband's clan lives in junkyards. We are slobs, with a capital ob. Yes, it's dysfunctional and neurotic, and we have some damn fine reasons, thanks.

Since moving to Germany, where Ordnung ist das halbes Lebens, The Honourable Husband has attempted to mend his ways.

In part, one can thank The Enforcer, our Putzfrau. Master Right is neat. I mean, like Japanese neat. Even he maintains (get this) she's too professional.

For example, since we're guys, we both used to do, um, the toenail thing. You fellas know what I'm talking about. Well, we don't do it any more.

But I draw the line at the desk. It's a joke in the ad game that every strategy planner's desk is a fire hazard of research reports and articles he intends to read. Our hard drives groan with downloaded cool-hunting. You can't think without shit around you. It's not creative.

I know EXACTLY where everything is on my desk. Yet the tyranny of the tidy means that over the years, people have looked at my office and sneered about it being unprofessional, even as I covered their asses and saved their bacons. You know who you are, my little honeys.

Time has come to resist. Do not be neatened. The Honourable Liberation Front declares tomorrow, January 13, as National Bite Me Day.

The boss. The guy at the DMV. Your mother. No matter what form of small-minded tut-tutter gives you the evil-eye, tomorrow is the day to tell them to kiss your sweet, fragrant buttcheeks. I might even design a logo for it, if I can just find my password to that online clipart site. I wrote it down, somewhere.