Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Seminarians create metaphysics video

Sacred Heart's Got Talent!

Two very resourceful students in my Metaphysics course created a video I would like to share with you. I'd like to see Josephinum or Mundelein top this! Yes, folks, now you can safely say you've seen it all!

It all started with an off-hand remark I made at the beginning of the semester this fall while talking about the challenges of reading Aristotle and St. Thomas. Students today might find it preferable, I joked lamely, if somebody could come up with a different medium for communicating metaphysics, like, say, a MUSIC VIDEO!

The students politely laughed. But two of them approached me after class with the idea of undertaking precisely such a project. For a moment, I wasn't sure whether they were joking or serious. They were serious.

Well, it's done, and here it is. Whether professors of metaphysics at Catholic seminaries across the country will be assigning the video as a prerequisite for their Metaphysics 101 courses any time soon, or whether they may think Aristotle and St. Thomas are turning over in their graves, I am not sure; but I think most of you will agree that we have some pretty impressive talent and creativity here at Sacred Heart Major Seminary -- with plenty more to spare from where that came from.

So enjoy! And see what you think.

Credits: Michael Weisbeck and Brian Meldrum produced the video, with a little help from their friends, Patrick Setto and Mario Amore (vocals); and James Houbeck and John Vatter (the hip hop eye candy). Brian was the primary agent responsible for composing the lyrics and the "mash-up" of two popular songs/melodies. Michael was the principal editor of the video. Brian appears as alongside Mario and Patrick in the vocal trio. Michael appears as a Catholic metaphysical incarnation of rapper Eminem.

The rap lyrics carry most of the metaphysical load of the video, although several themes are woven together around the meta-theme of Detroit as a city and the metaphysics of municipal identity, change, essence, unity, and hope for a brighter civic tomorrow. I suppose many people who see the video without a heads-up might miss the academic themes altogether, at least at first, while just enjoying the excellent musical performance; and that's okay.

But who knew?!


Anonymous said...

Well, I could not continue past the part where all three began to walk on the street. I had trouble getting past the man with the feminine voice. I thought that he was through and then whammo, there he was again. I could not even try to understand the words. Sorry folks, especially you younger folks just toss it up to there is no accounting for taste. :)


Roger said...

Detroit 187 could learn from this!

walter said...

With all due respect - you are commenting on style not substance. I am sorry you could not see the deeper meaning or just enjoy the unique way it was offered.

Anonymous said...

Walter, I could not “see” or hear the deeper meaning because I was cringing whilst that young man sang like a female (at least to my ears). How does one enjoy a musical attempt at a fingernails down a blackboard experience? One of my sons has a beautiful singing voice. He is 34 years old and sounds like an adult male as he should.

If my opinion still bugs you, just toss it up to there is no accounting for taste.


C. J. Peters said...


He was singing in falsetto, with two tenors as backup. This does not make his voice "feminine," but a particular mode of male singing that (in particular) tenors use at times to achieve a particular style. Indeed, he does an excellent job singing in this range! Most tenors couldn't carry it off nearly as well.

It is too bad that this style distracted you so much; the content was really excellent!

If you had looked under more information on YouTube, you would have seen that the lyrics are posted there, as well.

Thank you for sharing, Dr. Blosser!

Anonymous said...

I know what he was doing. I still cannot listen to it. This is one of the rare times that I disagree with Dr. Blosser and maybe most educated Catholics.


Gerhard221 said...

These are seminarians creating a daring artistic reflection on insights they are gaining. The fact that I'm not into rap has nothing to do with the excellence of this pesentation. I had a similar experience with Job last year, where you simply run out of conventional ways of saying things. Oh, and what's wrong with simply having fun? I hope this video goes viral, but I'm afraid most of your public will simply frown and say WTF?! I say: excellent! Please follow up! And thanks Dr. Blosser - I'm sure it's a privilege to study under you.

Anonymous said...

You guys were amazing!! Leave it to Dr. Blosser to get his students to think out of the box! Nice job.

trish said...


Who knew during 'Capstone' that you had a voice like that? Your presentations all were great but the addition of the vocals would have spiced up the class a bit.
Very nice.

t said...


Perhaps if you took Dr Blosser's Metaphysics course, you would be able to "see" the deeper meaning in video. It was/is really quite clever Donna. I'm sorry you missed out on all of the fun.


Pertinacious Papist said...

Dear Donna,

I'm sure our tastes in music are probably much closer than anyone may think; at least if you like Gregorian chant, Palestrina, Mozart and Italian opera.

So if we have a disagreement between us, I imagine it is only over whether a performance such as this one is technically excellent or not. I think it is.

But just to be clear: this doesn't say anything yet about what constitutes good taste in music, as I would imagine the seminarians themselves would quite agree.


Anonymous said...

No t I could not. I did not know that they were Dr. Blosser's students. I'm willing to bet that they will be assets to our Church one day as wonderful Priests. Dr. Blosser is one of my favorite people on the internet. I have been reading his blog for what must be years and am not unaware of his gifts.

One of my sons (not the guy with the beautiful voice) was in a hip-hop (like rap I can't tell the difference) band. The messages in the songs were very positive. His music, however, made me cringe as well and he knew it.

I come from a very musical family. Unfortunately, I am one of the very few in the family whose gifts do not include musical abilities. I love beautiful music and art work (we have many artists in the family too.) I hate to see talent wasted. It seems no one agrees with me and that's okay with me.

Sorry Dr. Blosser, I meant no offense.


Anonymous said...

You should sell this. It's quite amazing. Bravo!

Dark Horse said...

Yo, home slice. This is really deep stuff when you listen more than once or twice. It's really kinda beautiful too. These guys should think of doin' more tunes.

Kasun Perera said...

Nice funny voice feminine of a pertinacious papist