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Mar 04

Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung

I try to avoid most memes that make their way ’round the blogosphere (We really do need a better name, don’t we?), but some are worth participating in. Take for instance the "interview game" that’s the talk o’ the ‘sphere. I think it’s a great way to get to know the people in neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhod? In your neigh-bor-hoo-ood…*smack* Sorry, Sesame Street flashback. Anyhow, I saw Jeff "Curt Jester" Miller’s answers and figured since he’s a regular reader of mine he’d be a good interviewer. Without further ado, here are my answers to his questions.

1. Being that your pseudonym Funky Dung was chosen from a Pink Floyd track on Atom Heart Mother, what is you favorite Pink Floyd song and why?

Wow. That’s a tuffy. It’s hard to pick out a single favorite. Pink Floyd isn’t really a band known for singles. They mostly did album rock and my appreciation of them is mostly of a gestalt nature. If I had to pick one, though, it’d be "Comfortably Numb". I get chills up my spine every time I hear it and if it’s been long enough since the last time, I get midty-eyed. I really don’t know why. That’s a rather unsatisfying answer for an interview, so here are the lyrics to a Rush song. It’s not their best piece of music, but the lyrics describe me pretty well.

New World Man

He’s a rebel and a runner
He’s a signal turning green
He’s a restless young romantic
Wants to run the big machine

He’s got a problem with his poisons
But you know he’ll find a cure
He’s cleaning up his systems
To keep his nature pure

Learning to match the beat of the old world man
Learning to catch the heat of the third world man

He’s got to make his own mistakes
And learn to mend the mess he makes
He’s old enough to know what’s right
But young enough not to choose it
He’s noble enough to win the world
But weak enough to lose it —
He’s a new world man…

He’s a radio receiver
Tuned to factories and farms
He’s a writer and arranger
And a young boy bearing arms

He’s got a problem with his power
With weapons on patrol
He’s got to walk a fine line
And keep his self-control

Trying to save the day for the old world man
Trying to pave the way for the third world man

He’s not concerned with yesterday
He knows constant change is here today
He’s noble enough to know what’s right
But weak enough not to choose it
He’s wise enough to win the world
But fool enough to lose it —

He’s a new world man…

2. What do you consider your most important turning point from agnosticism to the Catholic Church.

At some point in ’99, I started attending RCIA at the Pittsburgh Oratory. I mostly went to ask a lot of obnoxious Protestant questions. Or at least that’s what I told myself. I think deep down I wanted desperately to have faith again. At that point I think I’d decided that if any variety of Christianity had the Truth, the Catholic Church did. Protestantism’s wholesale rejection of 1500 years of tradition didn’t sit well with me, even as a former Lutheran.

During class one week, Sister Bernadette Young (who runs the program) passed out thin booklet called "Handbook for Today’s Catholic". One paragraph in that book spoke to me and I nearly cried as I read it.

"A person who is seeking deeper insight into reality may sometimes have doubts, even about God himself. Such doubts do not necessarily indicate lack of faith. They may be just the opposite – a sign of growing faith. Faith is alive and dynamic. It seeks, through grace, to penetrate into the very mystery of God. If a particular doctrine of faith no longer ‘makes sense’ to a person, the person should go right on seeking. To know what a doctrine says is one thing. To gain insight into its meaning through the gift of understanding is something else. When in doubt, ‘Seek and you will find.’ The person who seeks y reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees the light. The person who talks to God even when God is ‘not there’ is alive with faith."

At the end of class I told Sr. Bernadette that I wanted to enter the Church at the next Easter vigil.

3. If you were a tree what kind of, oh sorry about that .. what is the PODest thing you have ever done?

I set up WikiIndex, a clearinghouse for reviews of theological books, good, bad, and ugly. It has a long way to go, but it’ll be cool when it’s finished. 🙂

4. What is your favorite quote from Venerable John Henry Newman?

"Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt."

5. If you could ban one hymn from existence, what would it be?

That’s a tough one. As a member of the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, there are obviously a lot of songs that grate on my nerves. If I had to pick one, though, I’d probably pick "Sing of the Lord’s Goodness" by Ernie Sands.

To continue the meme, I’m supposed to interview someone else. If you’d like to be interviewed, be the first person to ask (leave a comment) and I’ll email your questions in a couple days.

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