My Bedunkadunk Moment



The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon is when you hear or learn some fun, obscure fact or word that you've never heard before and then you encounter the same fun, obscure fact or word again, often repeatedly.

This happened to me yesterday.

We recently received a copy of David Trinidad's Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems (which title I can never even look at without queueing up the music to the Siouxsie and the Banshees' version of that song in my head...but I digress) and yesterday I read the first poem, "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker."

So I'm in the frozen food aisle
at Jewel, trying to find the right
veggie burger, and I realize
"Blitzkrieg Bop" is playing on
the store's P.A. Thirty years later:
the Ramones as Muzak? Hard to believe.

So I've seen Rock & Roll High School and I've heard the occasional Ramones song and from the context I'm pretty sure "Blitzkrieg Bop" must be a Ramones song, but my mind doesn't hold on to it as I continue to read this 6 and bit more page poem.

After reading it, I went to NPR to check out the news and books and found this account of the violence in Oakland...

Via NPR

It wasn't until around 2:35 a.m. local time that the "crowd's energy [appeared to be] waning." Around 2:50 a.m., as riot police were beginning to disperse, instead of confrontations there was a demonstrator playing "Blitzkrieg Bop" on a mandolin.

My emphasis. So there you have it. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. I was blown away.

Granted at first, I was calling it my Bedunkadunk Moment in honor of Weeds. In either the first or second season Nancy Botwin, played by the lovely Mary-Louise Parker, is told the she has a sweet "bedunkadunk" a word she's never heard before. Then later in the same episode another dealer whom she meets also says she has a nice "bedunkadunk." To which she replies basically "Do you ever have one of those days when you hear a word you've never heard before and then you hear again in the same day?"

And to be quite honest, from the description of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon I found on the net, it's called Baader-Meinhof most likely because someone had just learned about the German urban guerrilla group and then heard about them again! So it could just as easily be called the Bedunkadunk Effect or whathaveyou.

Side note: I went in search of what this phenomenon was called because I was telling a coworker about reading about the "Blitzkrieg Bop" in the poem and them immediately reading about it on NPR in Oakland. And he said that there was actually a word for that happening, to which I said (being completely glib), it's bound to be something German because there seems to be a word for every weird existential thing that happens to us in German (por ejemplo, Schadenfreude which is the enjoyment one feels at the misfortune of others).

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