"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." – John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (1825-1829)

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About Funky Dung

Who is Funky Dung? 29-year-old grad student in Intelligent Systems (A.I.) at the University of Pittsburgh. I consider myself to be politically moderate and independent and somewhere between a traditional and neo-traditional Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, spent a number of years as an agnostic, and joined the Catholic Church at the 2000 Easter Vigil. Why Funky Dung? I haven't been asked this question nearly as many times as you or I might expect. Funky Dung is a reference to an obscure Pink Floyd song. On the album Atom Heart Mother, there is a track called Atom Heart Mother Suite. It's broken up into movements, like a symphony, and one of the movements is called Funky Dung. I picked that nickname a long time ago (while I was still in high school I think), shortly after getting an internet connection for the first time. To me it means "cool/neat/groovy/spiffy stuff/crap/shiznit", as in "That's some cool stuff, dude!" Whence Ales Rarus? I used to enjoy making people guess what this means, but I've decided to relent and make it known to all. Ales Rarus is a Latin play on words. "Avis rarus" means "a rare bird" and carries similar meaning to "an odd fellow". "Ales" is another Latin word for bird that carries connotations of omens, signs of the times, and/or augery. If you want to get technical, both "avis" and "ales" are feminine (requiring "rara", but they can be made masculine in poetry (which tends to breaks lots of rules). I decided I'd rather have a masculine name in Latin. ;) Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what? :-P Wherefore blog? It is my intention to "teach in order to lead others to faith" by being always "on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful" through the "use of the communications media". I also act knowing that I "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [my] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and [I] have a right to make [my] opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward [my and their] pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (adapted from CCC 904-907) Statement of Faith I have been baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I, therefore, renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements. I hold and profess all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That is, I promote and defend authentic Catholic Teaching and Faith in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. Thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for all Thy infinite goodness, and, especially, for the love Thou hast shown unto me at my Confirmation. I Give Thee thanks that Thou didst then send down Thy Holy Spirit unto my soul with all His gifts and graces. May He take full possession of me for ever. May His divine unction cause my face to shine. May His heavenly wisdom reign in my heart. May His understanding enlighten my darkness. May His counsel guide me. May His knowledge instruct me. May His piety make me fervent. May His divine fear keep me from all evil. Drive from my soul, O Lord, all that may defile it. Give me grace to be Thy faithful soldier, that having fought the good fight of faith, I may be brought to the crown of everlasting life, through the merits of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung (Thursday, March 03, 2005) 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.

12 thoughts on “Vote

  1. Funky Dung

    “Are there any queers in the theater tonight?
    Get them up against the wall!
    There’s one in the spotlight, he don’t look right to me,
    Get him up against the wall!
    That one looks Jewish!
    And that one’s a coon!
    Who let all of this riff-raff into the room?
    There’s one smoking a joint,
    And another with spots!
    If I had my way,
    I’d have all of you shot!”
    – Pink Floyd “In the Flesh”

    I just couldn’t resist. 😉

  2. Funky Dung

    In other election news, most of the 11 referenda for bans on homosexual marriage are expected to pass. This confirms to me that the debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment debate was fruitful. My Democrat friends have repeatedly said that since the amendment had no chance of passing the debate was merely a ploy to get votes for Republicans. I’ve said all along that the point was to put the issue into the spotlight and get people to do what pro-family folks wanted in the first place – write bans into state laws.

  3. theomorph

    Nothing wrong with women baking pie. Wouldn’t mind a woman baking me a pie right this moment, actually. But I meant that to express the cliche of women’s place being “in the kitchen” cookin’ up goodies for their men.

    But then to qualify the second sentence of the previous paragraph, I have a chronic compulsion to help out when women are in the kitchen (mostly because it’s a darn good excuse to be close to women–wink wink), so don’t get the wrong idea that I just want to sit around smoking my pipe, reading the paper, and letting my woman do all the work! No ma’am.

  4. h2


    We didn’t have Nader to kick around here in PA this year — which was probably the only reason I didn’t vote for him again. It was a tough choice in the end, and I actually considered all of the available third-party candidates in the lead-up to this election. Won’t post online about who I voted for, but I will say the turnout was an extremely pleasant surprise this year; I was expecting it to swell a little, but I get the impression it swelled quite a bit.


    How was the turnout in your neck of the woods? I’m still hearing about precincts in areas of PA (urban and non-urban) that haven’t closed because so many people were in line at 8.

  5. Funky Dung

    Still don’t know who to vote for? Read this article. It’s about Presidential Guidester, the first choosing quiz I’ve taken that allowed for weighting of issues. According to PG, Bush is a 44% match to me and Kerry is a 56% match. Peroutka (who actually got my vote) wasn’t listed.

  6. steve

    Thot you’d like to know, Funky, that I’m:

    24% Bush | 37% Kerry | 39% Nader

    Not too great with any of them. (Hence my seething anger at the status quo!) Tho’ I did vote for Nader–I guess I got that right (no… left ;-). And according to (as of a few minutes ago), NJ was an exact tie, so… it may just be my vote that causes Kerry or Bush to not win this state… which would serve them right.

    Funky, I still can’t believe you went for Petroutka… tho’ in another selector poll, he did score a higher correlation for me than Bush or Cheyney. No self-respecting Pink Floyd fan could possibly go for Petroutka… unless of course they actually didn’t get it that Pink’s Evil Twin’s diatribe above wasn’t intended to be a political endorsement!

    Okay… we’ll see if this whole thing sorts out by tomorrow AM, eh?


  7. theomorph

    Ugh. If this nation survives the end of the Age of Oil (and I’m not too certain it will), I suspect we’ll look back on all these bans on gay marriage the same way we look on old miscegenation laws.

    The government has dabbled in dictating the terms of home life before–laws against sodomy, laws against bestiality, laws against interracial marriage, laws against polygamy, etc.–but it never seems to last. Eventually people realize how silly it is for the government to get involved with these things. Honestly, if we can make laws against gay people being married, why can’t we make laws against stupid people having children? Oh wait, we tried that, too. It didn’t work, either.

    We like to criticize all those Islamic nations for their wacky social laws, but our track record isn’t exactly stellar. Americans have always had this fascist, get-in-line-or-we’ll-shun-you streak, especially when it comes to the ways individual people are allowed to relate to others. First we freaked out when poor people were allowed to vote. Then we freaked out when women took off their aprons. Then we freaked out when black people were allowed off the plantations. Now we’re freaking out about gay people trying to love each other. As Yakov Smirnoff used to say, “What a country!”

    One of these days, I’ll wake up and Americans will no longer define themselves according to their skin color, their sex/gender, their sexual preferences, their race or ethnicity, their religious predilections, or their political party, and we’ll all just be plain ol’ “human beings,” right? Right?

    Not if the We’re-Christians-and-We’re-Gonna-Take-Over-Your-World Lobby has anything to say about it. You–atheist! Get over there in that box and don’t talk to my children! You–homo! Get over there, pretend you don’t exist, and don’t touch me! You–strong, independent woman! Get back in the kitchen and make me some pie! You–with the brown skin! Keep quiet and do what I say! Look, Lord! Look at all the good things we’ve done! *sigh*

  8. baking girl

    What’s wrong with a woman baking pie? 😉

    I have two pumpkin pies in the oven right now.

    (And for the record, I’d consider myself a feminist. But what’s wrong with liking to bake?)

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