Monday, March 09, 2015

INVISIBLE - Martin Briley & Miserable "Invisible" Disabilities

Ripped out of today's headlines: "INVISIBLE DISIBILITIES."

This girl, testifying about just how sick she is (even if you can't see it), instantly had me thinking of that champion of the peculiar, Martin Briley. He could've written her story. Maybe he has, give or take a line.

The article that was on NPR's website today is below. It's all about the "Invisible Disibilities" this lady, and millions of others, have to deal with.

As for Martin Briley, his lyrics have sometimes been "invisible," or at least, misconstrued. Happily, sometimes it's been for profit. The best example is "Me Without You," which became a #1 on the "Christian" charts when it was mistakenly interpreted as a song about Jesus. Another fine example: "Invisible," which turned up on a Barbie movie soundtrack, and covered by a then-unknown Kesha, even though it's actually Briley's take on what one of the Columbine killers may have been thinking. "Like the wind I'll blow you all away" is the key line that gets lost, or diluted, especially when a chick is singing it.

"Invisible" disabilities are all around us:

See that guy on the bus who didn't give up his seat to a lady? Everybody's hating him and glaring at him. Should he tell them that he's a vertigo sufferer, and lucky that his meds even let him stand up long enough to get on a bus and go see his doctor?

Don't see the girl you thought would be at the party? That's because she's suffering a "flare," with an embarrassing ailment she keeps from all but her closest friends. She'd rather appear to be flighty or snooty than...defective.

With most song lyrics, some lines get through, some don't. The execs at Barbie who happened to hear Kesha's demo, heard only the lines about alienation, and feeling "invisible," which were things teenage girls could relate to. They didn't quite pick up on the line "I'll blow you all away," especially with the sweet vocalizing of this lady.

Today, on the blog, "Invisible" is being slanted as an anthem that could be sung by Carly Medosch (photo above). She looks normal on the outside, because her ailment is invisible. She is suffering the shitty world of Crohn's Disease, with its pain, fatigue, and embarrassing problems of digestive misery. There are no doubt, times when she'd like to "blow away" the well-intentioned idiots who say "surely, if you eat the right diet, you won't have a problem" or those who want to deny that the world is unfair, and say instead, "your doctor must be giving you the wrong meds."

There are wayyyyyy too many people in the world who seem to disappoint others by suddenly leaving a party, or backing out of a project, or lapsing e-mails because they are overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, or a physical ailment that just isn't evident. These suffers of "invisible" ailments can't point to a wheelchair, or a scar as the reason they can't do something. worse, there's usually a stigma attached to explaining the problem.

Who wants to admit to being a nervous nelly, or having a phobia, or having to explain that any minute they could shit their pants? Often a problem is denied with a disdainful, doubtful "You don't LOOK sick." People don't like being a nuisance, or seeming different, and it can be worse if a person looks normal and therefore gets no sympathy or even courtesy when there's a problem. Instead it's a surly growl of "You don't LOOK sick." People don't think: "Oh, maybe he didn't hold the door for me because he doesn't have the strength," or "she's walking slow because there's a problem."

You'll find the story on the website ("People with Invisible Disabilities").

The highlights are here:

Some writers of lyrics and poems prefer to leave some aspects vague. They like to let the reader color some things in, and "share" the experience and emotions. Sportswriter Bob Costas was delighted to think that Paul Simon's line "the cross is in the ballpark" had to do with the Pope coming to Yankee Stadium. Paul had to gently shake his head "no." And if "Invisible" has you thinking of Claude Rains, or Kesha nude, or a Crohn's girl walking calmly to the ladies room with a change of underwear in her purse...congrats to your imagination. You're entitled to personalize any song you hear. But all praise to the original author, Martin Briley.

Lots of lines in this song are quite universal, and beyond the world of Columbine or Crohn's:

"Maybe I'm just not like everyone. I fade a little more each's hard to feel when all you feel is numb...I could disappear without a trace..." KESHA sings Briley INVISIBLE, listen on line or download. No capcha codes, money requests, password with an ego-driven name like Zinfart, dopey ads or malware sneakiness.

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